August 22, 2013

"Tale of the Unnamed Engine - now available at the Bluebell Railway!"

A further dream has come true this week, with the paperback book now on sale at the Bluebell Railway's wonderful Sheffield Park shop. I can say categorically that Dean and I are thrilled by this news.

Hopefully a few more railways will follow suit over the next week or so.

If you are from a preserved railway and would like to stock Tale of the Unnamed Engine (at wholesale prices, or sale or return) in your shop, drop us a line at

Until next time!


August 19, 2013

"Modelling: inspiration in architecture"

Inspiration can come from anywhere. In this case, it's come from the island of Malta.

I've been working on the planned shelf layout (which originally was a proper roundy round, partially based on Halifax but with my own accoutrements, then it became an end to end layout, and now it's a lot smaller and much more manageable), and one of the things which has been interesting me most recently is how the same basic material can be used so similarly, and so differently, across the globe.

Malta was for a time part of the British Empire (with some frankly heroic and incredible feats made during the second world war, in particular) and whilst the narrow gauge railway is long gone, parts of that still remain.

None of these buildings I am looking at are from the long lost Malta Railway, however. These were all picked because they are built out of limestone, and also very attractive buildings in their own right. Lots of Northern towns had buildings made out of limestone, including Halifax, for instance.

For example, the church and clock tower on the outskirts of Valletta. The dome in particular has a strong resemblance to St Paul's Cathedral in many ways, and the architecture is in many ways rather "British" in look (or do the British buildings look Mediterranean?)

All around me on holiday were interesting buildings with history attached to them, and lots of inspiration too. This is apparently a guard tower!

I was fascinated by the industrial remnants of Malta's past, and this dockside crane has a particularly rustic appearance I'd love to try and recreate.

Some buildings oozed character and charm, with subtle hints of Britishness (or similarity thereof) which led me to ponder if taking inspiration just from British buildings would result in something unique and attractive in the model railway world. Can we take inspiration from elsewhere, and apply to a British scene and create something unique, but recognisable despite the influences from elsewhere?

This church is in the centre of Sliema's waterfront, and is rather stunning in its own right (if ruined slightly by the Burger King to the left!)

That's all of the Malta photographs for now, onto the books again and the modelling in a few weeks...

...and a very western themed video review by the end of September.

Until next time.

August 08, 2013

"A great start!"

It's been a great first week for our first paperback, so far emptying one entire box of sixty books...and moving swiftly onto the next!

All books will be signed on request by the author, and sent out within seven days of purchase.

Allen Token pre-orders will soon be getting their special link with which to buy the discounted book via email.

Review copies are heading to the railway magazines shortly, as are samples to various railways and bookshops up and down the country.

It's all go and we couldn't be happier!

Buy Tale of the Unnamed Engine here - the perfect children's book for the summer!

August 03, 2013

"Tale of the Unnamed Engine - now on sale for UK and the rest of the world"

The paperback you've been waiting for is now on sale! Tale of the Unnamed Engine is now available direct from this website, for both the United Kingdom and the rest of the world. Simply click the button relevant to your location to go onto the payment link for the book.

Please remember that although I am a "one man band" in terms of the distribution of the book, I will endeavour to send out orders as quickly as possible.

All copies will be signed on request.

After six years on YouTube, The British Railway Stories is now in print for the first time. Thanks for coming along for the ride, and hopefully this will be the first of many.

On behalf of myself and Dean, may I say thank you for your patience, your support, and your kindness.

These are the stories we tell, and we have many more to tell, rest assured.

Simon A.C. Martin

August 01, 2013

"Tale of the Unnamed Engine - taking preorders!"

We are now taking preorders for the first book in the series, Tale of the Unnamed Engine.

However, there is a catch! The company email address to place your pre-order is now... cope with the renewed demand.

Therefore if you wish to order the book, or any other product from this blog (including the A4 Conversion Etches, which will be the subject of a blog next week giving an update), please email me there with the name of the product in the email header.

I will advise on postage and packaging costs tomorrow evening for the book, including home and abroad. The RRP remains £7.99 (however if you have an "Allen Token" from purchasing the eBook on Kindle or Kobo devices, you will get your £1.14 discount honoured until the 30th of September).

Until next time!