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Friday 23 December 2016

Project 17 - Swanage Turntable

I scratch built this motorised turntable before I built the layout module shown in Part 1 of this series. The turntable is the pre-1967 version that was probably made by Cowans Sheldon and Comp. The other notable manufacturer being Ransomes and Rapier.

At the outset I had no idea on the best way to make a motorised turntable from scratch. Years ago I had made a manual operation turntable from an Airfix kit but that experience was no help in making this one. So, it was a case of developing it step by step.

This turntable called upon all the technical and craft skills used in railway modelling from paper modelling to mechanical and electronics engineering with a bit of carpentry thrown in as well.

The research phase, mostly on the web,  found many photographs and two engineering drawings of Cowans turntables so that was a good start. What I ended up with is very close but sadly not identical to the Swanage prototype due to mistakes I made in my design by not following closely enough the research data.


The turntable Deck was made from Grey Board with decorative paper overlays. The rail is Code 100 flat bottom (because I'm using my spare stock of code 100 throughout) with 3D printed base plate fittings. The handrail is copper wire and the brake/locking mechanism (dummy) 3D printed.

The wheel trucks at each end are 3D printed and the metal wheels (2 at each end) are coach disk wheels with the flanges ground off. Phosphor bronze wires pick up track power from the wheels and these are wired to the deck rails.


The Well has a half inch chipboard base and is cambered as the prototype using wood filler. I believe the base is concrete in practice so this was easily painted as such. The walls are Grey Board with decorative paper overlays. the Well track is code 100 mounted in base plates cut from proprietary flexi-track which are themselves mounted in a ring of foam board with the top paper layer removed. This gives a bit of flex to the rail but is probably not a necessary feature.

Track Power Feed

The track in the well is two pieces wired to the train controller and are isolated from each other with insulated fish plates. Ideally only one wheel at each end of the deck should pick up power but I wired both in case one wheel lifts off the track. Two live wheels would result in electrical shorting when the two wheels straddle an insulated fish plate during operation so, the power is fed via a switch. Track power is turned off during rotation.

Electronics and Mechanics

I used a 1.5V-6V high torque motor found in my spares box. The gear reduction ratio of 12:1 was taken from that specified in a proprietary turntable motor and gear set. But that still spins the turntable too fast without further measures being used to control rotation.

The gears are 3D printed and don't need to be physically that big. They are that size due to printing limitations for the teeth profile.

The most important motor parameter is torque because the motor has to overcome at low speed friction, gravity and the weight of a locomotive. Torque is related to motor current and at low speed, i.e. low voltage, the current is reduced proportionally leading to motor stalling. Simple potentiometer voltage control is not therefore recommended. The solution is pulse width modulation. The motor is pulsed at full voltage all the time but the pulse width is varied by a potentiometer and this changes the average voltage thus controlling speed but since the amplitude of the motor voltage remains constant  the motor is always at full strength. The result is that the motor can be rotated much more slowly without it stalling. Here is a web link to one such electronics circuit: http://www.circuitstoday.com/dc-motor-controller that I used. One undesirable side effect is a screaming motor in operation due to the pulse width frequency. I suppose it could be likened to a rusty prototype in need of an oiling.

The motor body is held in the base by an interference fit. The big gear has a built-in 15mm spigot that passes through a roller bearing fixed in the base (interference fit). The Deck is screwed to the top of the spigot.

The whole turntable is clamped to the layout baseboard with a ring of cable tie wraps. These can be easily cut so that it can be removed without damage if necessary.

Control Panel

Pretty self explanatory from the photo. I have not included a track alignment locking mechanism. The tracks are lined up by switching the Rotate Switch, back and forth as necessary. The Rotate Switch is sprung, centre off.

Monday 19 December 2016

Project 17 - Swanage Loco Yard

This project has been on the cards for some years, ever since I discovered Small/Micro Layouts built into the Ikea APA storage box*. The layouts appealed to me because I could see the benefits of the small boxed format.
  • Space saving storage
  • Protection from damage and dust.
  • Opportunity to focus on detailed modelling giving results within a reasonable time scale.
Railway operation will be limited of course. Small layouts are best considered where modelling is of more interest than running trains, although shunting layouts are popular and can give satisfying operation in this format.

* Ikea do not currently sell the APA box but it is available on eBay from other suppliers.

Another influence for me undertaking a small layout build is Mikkel's The Farthing Layouts - 'a series of small 00 layouts that show different sections of a GWR junction station'. I like the concept of detailed modelling parts of a large station complex, e.g. a goods shed and siding, with imagination providing the railway landscape between modules.

I had studied Swanage years ago when I scratch built its LSWR water tower for my Misterton Layout (water tower since scrapped) and I always thought that the loco yard in particular would make for an interesting model. Looking at the track plan it needs only 1 metre length for 4mm scale and includes everything from the railway bridge to the back of the engine shed.
There is much here to entertain with a variety of locomotives visiting the yard for refuelling and service and passenger and goods trains passing by at the front, although long holiday passenger trains are a no-no. Perhaps a winter or autumn scene would be appropriate where the Branch two coach passenger train is more evident.

1 metre length is longer than the APA box. My first thought was to make by own APA box to the dimensions I needed so I bought a Lidl/Parkside table saw to prepare the timber that I already had to hand. Unfortunately it broke down after only 5 minutes use and I'm having difficulty getting it replaced under manufacturer warranty.

As I researched further I came across Tim Horn's laser cut baseboard modules made from MDF or ply. Nice modules but more interesting was a comment in a forum -  'make your own from foam board' So, that is what I did.

I was concerned that foam board is not robust but I hedged my bets thinking that the mortice and tenon / jigsaw type construction would give it sufficient rigidity. The dimension of the module is 1000mm x 400mm x 400mm. This required 5 sheets of A1 5mm thick foam board, bought from Hobbycraft for only £14. The basic box shown here required a full day to construct. The top is still to make (it is included in the 5 sheets mentioned) and I want to add a black fascia to the front.

Great care is needed because the foam board marks easily and panels will break if roughly handled. But the cutting of the mortises was a dream with only a sharp knife needed. Panels were glued together using PVA. So far I am happy with the rigidity of the module. Later on I'll need to make fiddle yards for either end using the same methodology.

I'll be posting progress on this Blog but I am not setting a timescale to complete. I'll be modelling as and when I feel like it. Postings therefore, may be more sporadic than the previous Project 16.

To Part 2.

Friday 21 October 2016

Project 16 - Project Finished

I end this series where I started - with a track plan. Not a speculative sketch as in Part 1 but a satellite image of the completed layout.

The build has taken about 10 months work comprising a few hours hobby time per week. Baseboards, most buildings and trees are reused from the previous layout. If they had to be made from scratch it would have added another couple of months to the project.
(click image to enlarge it)

Now I need to run trains in earnest to get used to the new track layout, especially shunting operations.

Some loose ends to tidy up. I want to remake a couple of videos to replace those filmed on the previous layout and my main website will be overhauled to reflect this rebuild. I also want to go through all Blog postings and remove out dated ones.

After that I have new model railway projects in mind, which will undoubtedly appear on this Blog, if they take off.

Feel free to comment on any of the postings in this series.


Just to show that a layout is never really finished this is a Calf Float that I subsequently knocked up. My own designed 3D printed kit with printed paper overlays.

Calf Floats were used to convey calves and small animals between the cattle dock pens and rail wagons.

A preserved example is on display in the Train Story museum on the Isle of Wight.

To Project 16 Part 1.

Friday 14 October 2016

Project 16 - Crewkerne Tunnel Pt. 3 Fin.

This is the view down from the top of the tunnelled  hill. 

The completed tunnel portal is shown below.

Note: The normal viewpoint is from the right hand side, where the portal is mostly hidden by the embankment.

The best way to peruse this scene is through the mirrored wall at the back of the station layout, which also gives the only view available to us along Clark's Lane. The foreground track work is also seen (out of shot here) making this the deepest landscaped view across the layout of about 5 feet.

Below I have flipped the image to show how it should be seen if I squeezed myself  into the 30cm gap between the station layout and the mirrored wall.

To Part 44.

To Series Part 1.

Tuesday 11 October 2016

42nd Farnham Show

What a fantastic show! Of course, that depends on your perspective but for me I saw some wonderful layouts.

20 layouts and umpteen traders across four halls in Aldershot, Hants. On first entering the exhibition the first layout on display captivated me. Red Hook Bay (HO) has a plethora of well modelled buildings, boats and cameo scenes where the railway is almost incidental. If only it was a British landscape and not American I thought as I pondered that this could be my Best In Show - and I have only seen one layout! How wrong could I be.

The next model that drew me in was The Worlds End, another Peter Goss masterpiece. He who created the atmospheric Rowlands Castle, which was featured on BBC TV Local News as the Parish on which the model is based want to buy it. 

The Worlds End (00) is a similar concept to Red Hook Bay, being a whole community of exquisite model buildings and people set in cameo scenes. As with Red Hook Bay the railway is incidental in the landscape being only a two track main line with station, although the castellated railway viaduct is a dominant feature.

Very difficult to choose a Best in Show but I have to give it to Wickwar (N) [below]. The modelling is also to a high standard and the almost seamless integration of three dimensional  foreground to two dimensional back scene gives it such depth. The layout also featured an integrated Faller road system and an animated figure - in N gauge would you believe! A woman flagging down a vehicle that duly stops at the bus stop (incredible).

I did not have a shopping list this time but came away with some Hornby Zero 1 accessories at prices that could not be refused, comprising 2 chips and a walkabout controller for my own layout that cost significantly less than Ebay prices, and the trader had many reasonably priced RTR boxed locomotives too.

Once again I find the best second hand bargains not on Ebay but, at a model railway show. (Not wishing to deride Ebay as it has its use).

Friday 7 October 2016

Project 16 - Crewkerne Tunnel Pt. 2

One of my pet hates is modelled tunnels where the hill top is just a tad higher than the tunnel mouth and to make matters worse a town is built on top! It's just not authentic.

At Crewkerne tunnel the hill is tall, steep and unpopulated. On my model the hill (A) is cut down but still tall, taller than looks from this angle, and the top is left open because it is above normal viewing eye level.

A removable side panel for access (D) is held in place with one magnetic latch.

This view shows the depth of the interior walls (C). It is not the normal viewing angle, which is between B and D, and with the embankment (B) now in place there is even less scope to view the portal, let alone inside it.

The embankments are my usual build method of polystyrene foam blocks covered in Plaster of Paris bandage. The surface is then smoothed over using Wickes wood filler.

Just showing on the far right is the side wall of the other portal on the Hewish Gates side of the layout.

To Part 43.

To Series Part 1.

Wednesday 28 September 2016

Project 16 - Crewkerne Tunnel Pt. 1

Visitors to my main website may have seen there the portal of Crewkerne Tunnel that is built into my Hewish Gates layout. Now I am creating the other end on what was previously the non-scenic bridging baseboard between the two layouts.

I can not be sure the portal architecture and construction is accurate to prototype from old monochrome photographs I have seen. When I built the portal on Hewish Gates it seemed to me that the portal was stone work with brick capping. Subsequently I saw a glimpse of one portal in the Clemens colour film 'The Withered Arm'  (incorrectly identified by the film narrator as Hewish tunnel). That portal is clearly brick construction with a rough stone arch. That is what I have modelled here on the approach to Misterton Station.

The portal is made from plywood covered in old English brick bond paper that I created on the computer, taking care to include the white mineral leeching from the brick, as the prototype.

The stone arch is Miliput standard grade epoxy putty. I have a love/hate relationship with this product. I find that the initial adhesion is weak but once set hard (after several hours) stays firmly in place. During application excess can be scraped off the brick paper without any marks or damage due to the putty not being wet, like clay products.

The track work through the model tunnel is on a curve. It is not necessary to make a complex tunnel interior that follows the curve because the viewing angle for the portal is quite acute, as seen in the first photo.

The tunnel interior is built at right angles to the portal, which makes for a simple construction, and the part where interference with trains arises is cut away.

This is exactly what I did for the other portal. From the normal viewing position you would never see that it is not a full fabrication.

Landscape is to be created above this and the side will be a removable panel for access.

The first and third photo show part of the back scene I created from photographing a real location, printing out on multiple A4 sheets and sticking together on a hardboard backing.

The back scene is reused from the previous incarnation of this layout where it formed a front scene on this non-scenic bridging baseboard, which is now being landscaped. It has added another dimension to the model giving an impression of more depth than actually exists on the layout.

To Part 41.

To Series Part 1.

Friday 23 September 2016

Project 16 - Return to Cattle Dock

'Followers' may recall I had an issue sourcing 00 gauge calves for the cattle dock pens. Well, I found some that are about the right height for 6 month old fresian male calves. Purchased from Pendukemodels (at a show) I believe they are the same as that manufactured by Dorspring. Pendukemodels supplied me one cow and two calves in a pack. The problem is the calves have the same pose of head down grazing. A herd of these in a cattle pen would not be suitable so, I looked into moulding replicas and adapting them for an upright head posture.

Searching YouTube tutorials on 'moulding miniatures' I came across this one. I adopted that technique simply because I had all the required materials to hand. I find it is a very effective method of replicating small 4 legged critters and at mininal cost.

Photograph on the right is two halves of the mould tool made from a hot glue stick with a moulded calf in situ.

Photo left shows the stages of adaptation. Left to right is the master Pendukemodels calf, then the moulded replica, then repositioned head on milliput standard putty neck and finally the painted model.

The hot glue stick mould tool captures the fine details of the master but care is needed. The calf head in particular is not so well defined as the master having lost much of the ear profile. More care would probably have overcome this but the final result here is OK for me - they are quite small being about 11mm high so deficiences are not too noticeable.

Below is the scene on the model railway. The mould tool is good for creating more calves so I could go mad and fill both pens if I wanted to.This will do for now.

To Part 40.

To Part 1.

Friday 16 September 2016

Project 16 - More Ballasting

This round of track ballasting takes us to the end of the buffer stops. I ran out of builders decorative granite chips so this was substituted with Woodland Scenics medium grey granules, which has two shades of grey. Included in my mix is brown cork granules and for areas between the sleepers coal granules to represent dirty ballast. To the mix is added dry wallpaper paste granules for adhesion. The mix is spread between the sleepers and the lot sprayed with water containing a few drops of washing up liquid to reduce surface tension.

Left to Right: down head shunt, down main, up main, up head shunt.

Next up is the final push for this project as I create the approach to Crewkerne Tunnel and its portal.

To Part 39.

To Part 1.

Friday 9 September 2016

Project 16 - East Field Pt. 4 Fin.

And so to East Field itself. The field is populated with horses, which is inspired from the area where I live as there are half a dozen fields round about occupied by horses from the local livery stable and riding school.

Unfortunately all but one of the model horses (made in Hong Kong) have the same pose. I tried to differentiate through colour and position so that it is not obvious. There are dark bays, chestnut, grey/white and a palomino in there.

This end of the field is open and the far end has a clump of trees midway between the hedges.

The hedge in the right foreground is somewhat lower than that alongside Clark's lane and is kept nicely trimmed by the railway because it is alongside the crane yard. Further along, where the yard peters out, the hedge has been allowed to go wild with distinctive shrubs commanding the ground.

The field is made from two shades of static grass.

The hedge construction is described here.

The large trees are sprigs of Yarrow glued together.

Small trees/shrubs are mainly Woodland Scenics armatures and matting spread over. When I ran out I made some myself surprising quickly from 7 pieces of twisted wire in two tiers with Woodland Scenics matting spread over.

Since these photos were snapped a back scene has been installed - more on that later.

To Part 38.

To Series Part 1.

Wednesday 7 September 2016

Andover Modelex 2016

16 layouts on show from N to 0 gauge.

I find myself being drawn to model railroads of the USA, as modelled by residents of that land. Many of them have the knack of creating vast, very realistic looking railroads, judging by YouTube videos I have watched.

There was a USA model railroad (called Sutton Summit) on show at Andover Modelex created by Brits. of the Gosport Railroad Group. It held my attention due to its enormous size. It is the longest N gauge layout I have ever seen at 100 ft  (3 scale miles of scenery) and growing, although some sections had to be left out for this exhibition.

It is a modular dumb bell scheme with some modules owned by their club and others by individual members, all built to a common standard for interconnection.

The baseboards are very narrow at 30cm or so, which can make viewing and photography disrupted by all the real world objects of the room and people that are in eye shot too.

These two photos show some of the more dramatic Sutton Summit landscapes. Other scenes included various industrial sites, town, farm and station. Quite a variety are accommodated without looking cluttered and that is made possible by its great length.

The range of Traders was very good and welcome allowing me to obtain all I wanted. One characteristic of many small traders is the boxes of untidy, mixed up small parts. Great rewards can be had by spending time rummaging through these. Often you'll find rare, specialist or inexpensive bits and bobs for your models or layout.

One case in point was an item I bought from a very tidy Trader's stand with all their products neatly displayed and visible. Later on, whilst rummaging through another trader's untidy box, I came across similar items that I could have purchased for half the price!

Saturday 3 September 2016

Project 16 - East Field Part 3

In front of Station Cottage is Clark's Lane. In reality, and on this side of the railway, it is a green lane between two fields with high hedges but no buildings alongside. I have upgraded it to a tarmacadam lane to serve the cottage and field. But it gets little use, indicated by the spoil of gravel and dirt washed from the verge by rain. Vehicle movement to the cottage and field have driven a path through this.

The width of the tarmacadam was determined from me pacing a real lane and when I got home measured my boot multiplied by the number of steps. It calculated to nine and a half feet.

Beyond the cottage, with even less vehicle use of the road, grass has started to invade the road surface.

With high hedges little of the cottage environs are visible. The field gate serves as a portal to catch a glimpse of it.
The field is to be used by grazing horses and their hooves have churned up the ground at the gate leaving it peppered with hoof impressions. Some of the soil has spilled onto the road surface.

To photograph the views down either end of the road proved very difficult due to limited access on the layout here. My compact camera could not cope with the close proximity to the model and the long depth of field required. I borrowed a Go-Pro Hero 4 miniature camera for the shots, which did the job admirably.

To Part 37.

To Series Part 1.

Friday 26 August 2016

Project 16 - East Field Part 2

Squeezed into the corner of the baseboard is station cottage, a Wills Finecast plastic kit I built in the late 1980s.

Photo. 1, Station Cottage (with photo stitched back scene)

On the left is a wooded enclosure (Woodland Scenics small trees, shrubs and homemade large tree comprised of dead Yarrow sprigs).

The cottage fronts onto Clark's Lane and East Field (yet to be modelled).

Photo. 2, Dusk at Station Cottage (with photo stitched back scene)

The rustic hedge is my first attempt using a method that I saw in a YouTube video tutorial recently. Hitherto I used green scourer pad covered in Woodland Scenics matting. That's fine except it can look a bit too uniform. I wanted a hedge that was more rustic, as seen alongside little-used country lanes.

It is simply coir hanging basket liner covered in course scatter and sprayed green allowing some of the coir brown colour to show through. The trick  is to pull the coir about for a chaotic appearance whilst keeping the bottom narrower than the top.

Photo 3, Garden

I don't think much of the cottage scene will be visible once the foreground landscape is created so there is no point going overboard on garden detailing.

The ground at the back and front of the cottage is grass flock paper. I placed the vegetable plot, clothes line and apple tree in a line between garage and cottage with the intent of placing a 'portal' into the foreground landscape through which they can be glimpsed.

Garage available to purchase here.

To Part 36.

To Series Part 1.

Friday 19 August 2016

Project 16 - East Field Part 1

This is the site for East Field, Clark's Lane and Station Cottage. I thought the land would rise above the track bed level, as it does at West Field, but when I checked Crewkerne's station plan again I found that it is lower than the track bed! I don't think it is a massive drop so I am sticking with the small drop here caused by the cork track underlay.

There are three things I want to achieve here. Firstly, a large open field like West Field, secondly a nicely modelled underused lane/bridleway and thirdly lots of trees and shrubs as I have quite a number available from the previous layout. A large open field and lots of trees in this space will be a challenge to maintain balance.

I have two options where to place the cottage, which incidentally does not exist on the prototype, either here with the lane in front of it or, with the cottage back facing us and the lane on the other side. From the viewers position a rear view of the cottage may be more interesting showing a detailed garden and out buildings but the lane would be insignificantly short cutting across the corner. On the prototype the lane ends with a pedestrian level crossing over the main line.

I have decided to position the cottage as shown and run the lane in front of it.

To Part 35.

To Series Part 1.

Saturday 13 August 2016

Project 16 - Yard Crane

There is no proprietary scale model of this distinctive hand operated 7.5 ton yard crane that once existed at Crewkerne and cranes in the real world exactly like this do not, as far as I am aware, exist today. Photographs in the public domain are also pretty rare and as for a drawing, well I dare say one exists somewhere on the planet.

I had one image that shows a distant view of the crane, enough to recognise its uniqueness but too distant a view to discern details. I made contact with the Friends of Crewkerne Station who very kindly showed me a close up photo that gave much detail of its mechanical arrangements, without which I could not have made the model. But, being only one viewpoint there were hidden aspects. I started another search and came across a preserved yard crane at Bere Ferrers station (a heritage line near Plymouth) that whilst having a different style of frame did have some remarkably similar components and identical operating mechanics.

There are many photographs of the Bere Ferrers crane on the web viewed from all angles and one of these showed the makers plate with the name 'Stothert and Pitt'. There is no doubt in my mind that the two cranes were made by the same firm.

Stother and Pitt were a renowned crane manufacturer located in Bristol. Their first cranes were hand operated and they exhibited one (don't know which style) at the 1851 Great Exhibition. They went on to make travelling railway cranes and huge dockside cranes.

The model design was scaled (4mm:1ft)  from the photos and then scratch built by myself. It may not be 100% dimensional correct and I believe at least one of  the angles is off but it does capture the character of the crane on its dressed stone plinth.

The plinth is card with stone paper overlay and its railings made from copper wire pieces butt glued together using Superglue (very fragile).

Most of the crane components were designed in CAD and 3D printed. Struts, gear axles, winding drum and cable roller support (half way up the jib) were fabricated from various gauges of copper wire.The chains are two pieces of thin brass wire twisted together.

The crane can be hand turned on its central stanchion but the winding mechanics are static. Just as well because I did not bother to model the ratchet locking mechanism!

It was painted grey and the visible cogs and chains painted black. The lot was then given a light dusting with black pastel dust for a weathering effect.

I enjoyed the challenge posed of making this model from scant information, except handling very small parts and loosing many to the carpet abyss caused some frustration.

The back scene in these photos is placed only for the photographic session. I have yet to model the landscape on this part of the layout.

To Part 34.

To Part 1.

Friday 5 August 2016

Project 16 - Horse Box

I mentioned previously that Crewkerne Station was noted as a dispatch centre for calves. These were transported in BR Horse Boxes. I needed a rake of these for the new layout. I already had an old Lima Horse Box in Southern Green with 1930s lettering and had the idea to re livery it in BR maroon. What I needed was a reference model to copy.

I have seen photos of different style boxes in use at at Crewkerne, which I assumed to be of LMS (bow side) and GWR (straight side) origin. (The Lima model is based on a GWR design).

On a whim I bought Hornby R6728, a BR Midland box M42367M and latter discovered Hornby once marketed a GWR style box. I found some discontinued stock on eBay and bought  R6561 W643W with the legend 'Calf Box' on the side - very fitting.

On comparing the Lima and Hornby GWR style models I found the bodies of both very similar in levels of detail. Lima has a nice touch of a partially open window but the Hornby chassis has greater detail. One glaring fault on the Lima is the roof vents. There are too many and they are too pointy. It was a simple job to cut off the extra vents and file down the others to match the Hornby box. The Lima model was then given a respray  with Humbrol enamels and HMRS Pressfix decals applied using the Hornby model as a reference.

Next I had to find a correct BR Western number. My research lead me to a document on the web that identified W643W as having been seen at Crewkerne in 1963! I had no idea about this when I bought the Hornby box so was well pleased. The same document identified W676W in use as a calf box in August 1962 so, this was the number chosen for the Lima box.

The refurbished Lima box and the Hornby version sit very well together. If I wanted more I would convert the Limas since second hand Limas are about a quarter the price of a new Hornby.

Left to Right: W676W (Lima conversion), W643W (Hornby), M42367M (Hornby)

To Part 33.
To Part 1.

Friday 29 July 2016

Project 16 - Down Platform Furniture

On the previous layout I set up a cameo scene based on a photograph of passengers standing on Axminster station near its foot bridge. This required me to fabricate my own human figures to achieve the same costume and pose as in the photograph. The plan was to recreate the scene on the new layout.

I was not too happy with the figures that I made previously because they are a bit over size in height and build so I searched for some proprietary models. I found and bought three of the five figures needed, that were a good match, from the excellent Monty's Models range. I have not found a close match for the other two, a balding middle aged man and a middle aged woman in a summer dress.

It was at this point that I moved the foot bridge to its correct position near the road bridge completely destroying the cameo scene! But the figures are so good I decided to leave them in their original place. The girl in the pink dress has been modified by giving her a head scarf made from kitchen foil.

The palisade fence in the above photograph is Ratio GWR spear fencing with the diamond points cut off. Not quite enough in the packet to complete the job so I designed and 3D printed the extra panels to good effect. Had I known the fine detail would print OK I would have printed the lot.

Moving along the platform the waiting shelter was scratch built in the 1980s from hardboard and card. Next to it is a rack of fire buckets.

Beyond the road bridge is a water crane, station name board, swan neck lamp, noticeboard and the co-acting signal described in an earlier posting. An LSWR style bench is needed to complete this scene.

To Part 32.

To Part 1.

Friday 22 July 2016

Project 16 - Station Throat

One for those who like a lot of track. This is as busy as it gets at Misterton.

From left to right, down headshunt, down main line, up main line, up siding, goods shed siding, crane siding.

Ballasting and grassing has started as progress moves beyond the east end of the station into open country. Sidings were spaced further apart from the main lines hence the grassed no-mans land between them.

To Part 31

To Part 1.

Friday 15 July 2016

Project 16 - Down Siding Landscape

On the east side of the cattle dock at Crewkerne was a coal office but the coal stacks were on the other side of an adjacent siding. Here on the model we are right at the front edge of the layout so the coal siding and coal stacks are off stage.

Just to highlight that there was coaling activity near here a sprinkling of coal dust has been applied to the yard.

The office itself is a very old Airfix kit, which is a bit crude by todays standards. Nevertheless, it is still available under the Dapol brand.

On the west side of the cattle dock was a hut (purpose unknown) and this too is an Airfix kit. In this photo the ramp up to the loading platform is seen.

The embankment was made in the same manner as West Field, except wood filler used on the car park was applied instead of plaster of Paris to cover the foam.

Wednesday 13 July 2016

Foreign Territory - LMS

For one fully immersed in BR(S) I felt like a foreigner on a visit to The Lakeside and Haverthwaite Railway last week, a 3.5 mile stretch of line in the Lake District.

The ornate station bathed in LMS red paintwork

1245 (Barclay) was the engine in service, an ex colliery locomotive. Here it exits the short tunnel at the end of the station platform to run around its train. This scene shows how a tunnel can be the ideal exit from a station to a fiddle yard on a model railway and be completely authentic to prototype.

Surprise finds in the Engine Shed. 
BR Fairburns, 4MT Nos. 42073 & 42085 that started life on British Rail Southern in Kent and a Lowmac. The Lowmac was of interest because I had scratch built a rake of N gauge Lowmac models and this was the first time I saw a real one.

There was a small selection of Bachmann rolling stock in the railway shop and some attractive locomotive models carved from coal. No other shops were found to satisfy the railway modeller around the lakes. I did get a surprise in our local Co Op grocery store where they had some back issues of Steam World from 2007 price cut to 50p each. I came away with the July 07 issue that featured several articles on BR(S) in the final year of steam engine services (1967).

Friday 8 July 2016

Project 16 - Cattle Dock

The cattle dock at Crewkerne had a brick platform, unlike the stone block station platforms. Three pens were provided and an unfenced loading platform alongside.

I have three different area plans and an aerial view of the station and yet none of them clearly show how the livestock gained access to the pens from the road side. Two plans show a ramp to the unfenced loading platform alongside but no access gates were provided from there.  There was one access gate located at the back of the rearmost pen. This gate must be the entrance for livestock but the plans do not show a ramp to it or much space to manoeuvre livestock lorries. None of this matters from a modelling aspect because the rear half of the dock is 'off stage', as shown right!

The platform  is made in the same way as the station platforms, being a plank of wood 18mm thick covered in granite dust on a dark grey painted base.

The fences at Crewkerne were board on concrete posts. For the model they are 3D printed, but matchsticks and card would be just as good and simpler to make.

The gates are fitted with paper hinges so that they can be opened and closed. Paper hinges are not robust enough to withstand prolonged use but they will only be moved for the occasional photographic session.

The gates are also fitted with working latches made from thin copper wire.

The final photo shows the loading gates open with a cow about to enter a wagon. However, Crewkerne was more noted as a dispatch centre for male calves destined for Scotland where they were processed into veal. I would like to show a pen of 6 month old veal calves but 00 gauge calves are not available in large packs. Best we can get is a pack of cows that include 1 or 2 calves. N gauge cows are too small to represent 6 month old 00 gauge calves but TT cows (Noch or Preiser) are close enough in height but carry too much weight for calves. The pens willl have to remain empty until I solve this problem. A couple of water troughs are also needed to complete the pens.

To Part 29
To Part 1.
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