Why should you consider joining? – As a model maker you may be thinking a society covering the prototype rather than model making offers nothing of benefit.
However the reality is that if you are even moderately interested in making your layout and rolling stock look authentic for a time period, or a geographic location, you require a source of information. The SLS is a society that has traditionally covered the full size railway with in depth analysis of the performance and technical details relating to locomotives and their performance, rolling stock, company history etc.
As an author, or film producer seeking to add authenticity to your work the photographs available of period scenes and wealth of published works available from the Library will give you the opportunity to gain the knowledge to assist that quest for authenticity. Read memoirs of the employees of the time.
Please read on and find out what information sources will be open to you if you become an SLS member:-
The Journal is an excellent, professional quality magazine published bi-monthly. It covers many aspects relating to construction and operation of railways and rolling stock, new and old. Granted, nothing in the Journal’s contents will tell you how to construct a baseboard, lay or wire track, build a kit, construct scenery or buildings, but that information is readily available elsewhere.
However, if you don’t know whether locomotive 1234 was shedded at XYZ depot in 19xx, had been fitted at that date with the type 2 chimney or the widened cab, the chances are that a member will know the answer. It may well have been previously published within a back number of the Journal.
In addition to articles and the Journal’s correspondence page, we now have a members only internet forum to give you a chance to ask.
It is a two way process of course; having built and researched your model of 1234 a few years ago, you may be the knowledgeable expert feeding back that information to others!
Meetings & Visits
Although this benefit varies according to your ability to travel to a centre, there is national coverage with different evenings for meetings, including two holding them on Saturday afternoons. Full details of the meeting venues and diary of events is contained on other pages so not repeated here.
For many prospective members we appreciate that distance from a centre precludes meeting attendances, however the golden nugget in your SLS membership is that you gain access to the Library. Membership of the SLS opens a door to a massive information store as you become a subscriber to the library service. Our library list contains a wealth of maps, books, manufacturer’s catalogues and other documentation not subsequently re-printed or published and running to over 7,000 items. It is not just old published material that we hold in our library, newly published items are added too.
The library is based at Hersham in Surrey and opens regularly for personal visits. The key benefit however is the loan service to members, which is free/self financing. There is no item loan fee, but when you return the books you include stamps to the value of the outward postage used to send the item to you.
Now we have tempted you to join here is the link to our Membership page and also to the printable Application Form.
Free printable scale versions of our SLS Special train headboards (last updated 30 March 2010)
The SLS has always been associated with visits and special trains as anyone who has read our Centenary Booklet will be aware. This tradition grew to reach a peak during the branch line closure era. However this tradition still continues with runs over preserved railways, the occasional organised main line tour to replicate past times, and with behind the scenes visits.
Three of these are now available as free of charge "printies" ( 300 dpi jpg format) and accurately scaled to 4mm, 7mm (UK 1:43), 1:24 and 1:12. For more information on what is available visit the SLS Headboards page.
This service was formally launched to railway enthusiasts at the 2010 York Model Railway Show, (3 - 5 April '10). Launch press release text follows:-.
Launching at York Model Railway Show 2010 - Free printable scaled SLS excursion headboards.
As a service to railway modellers the SLS has added downloadable photographic copies of three genuine excursion headboards to their website. The boards available are scaled to 4mm. 7mm (1:43), 1:24 and 1:12. The images, available free of charge, are at 300dpi suitable for home printing from a PC and when printed onto photographic gloss paper are a perfect representation of the real artefact. N gauge examples are not currently offered as at that scale they become unreadable but, those and any other bespoke scale, can be supplied on request by emailing the Society Webmaster.
As for the prototypes two of the originals were only used in the 1950s but the third remains active and is still used on both preserved railways and for mainline tours. The most recent outing being on 14 November 2009 when carried by 0-6-0T No 9600 on the two panniers SLS Centenary rail tour in the West Midlands Printing onto a flat surface is prototypically accurate as the three originals available were not castings but flat surfaces with painted lettering therefore not requiring any depth for accurate reproduction by the modeller onto gloss paper. More details about the headboards themselves and links to the actual files can be found from the SLS website. (Page ref = sls_headboards.htm )
John New, SLS Promotions and Publicity Officer comments -
"The SLS Special was synonymous with the branch line closure eras in the 1950s and 60s but remains an occasional feature of mainline tours to this day with two run during 2009. We are offering this free "printie" service to the railway modeller as many layouts are seen featuring a special working, but rarely with an appropriate tour headboard. We are therefore offering this free service to fill that gap! The headboards offered have been carried by a wide range of locomotives, large and small, and every modeller can justify an SLS special."
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