As well as working on the club layout-see North Devon Clay blog- I’ve been continuing to work on my own layout.
The front piece is the livestock market. Originally I planned for this to be in full swing but as it only occurred once a week and would involve loads of people, sheep and cattle I decided on a ‘non market day’!
The plan of the market was based on old photographs of Tavistock market and other ones found on the internet. The model is built on a lift off scenery base which gives access to point motors and servo boards.
There still remains work to do on the back scene and the area to the left hand side.
The sheep pens are made up from a mixture of Scalescenes N gauge fencing and plastic N gauge fencing.
The auction shed is made from card and based on measurements of a barn in the farmyard next to where I live!
I am happy that this gives a good representation of a livestock market in the quiet period between market days.
I have now moved further along the layout to continue developing the scenery. The next part includes a timber yard.
The inspiration for this model comes from Mike Corp’s wonderful layout Porthdinllaen which featured in the May 2022 Railway Modeller. Talking to Mike he has adapted the 4mm scale carriage shed kit from Ratio. I have found that the kit provided what I need for the main sheds of the timber yard and left plenty over to use for another project later.
I also used plans produced by Alan Downes and published as Downesplans by Peco in 1977
The two small buildings either side of the main sheds are part of Eggesford station left over when I dismantled that old layout. Nothing like recycling!
There still needs some work to the ground to the back of the yard and the siding to the coal drops which can just be seen behind the yard.
It seems a while since I posted about Tinworthy despite all the time I’ve had on my hands during lockdown.
I have been starting to develop the scenery around the station and have been initially concentrating on the goods yard, entrance roadway and the loading bank mainly used for loading pit props into wagons.
I have included some half relief cottages, a copse of trees and the start of a painted backscene. This end of the layout doesn’t follow the prototype Tavistock out of necessity to have a raised portion of scenery to disguise the point motors therein. Hence the thatched cottage which is now on its third layout!!
My plan is to gradually move along the layout with the scenery. This means having to build the signal box, motor shed and stables.
A cormorant perches on the rotten hulk drying its wings while Herring Gulls fly over the trees, some ducks come down the creek and two very large rabbits graze on the shore line watched over by a couple out for a walk!
Having returned from a successful trip to the Netherlands with Lakebank ,where we had a very warm welcome and loads of interest from the Dutch, as well as the camaraderie of Gordon and Maggie Gravett, Mark Tatlow, Jerry Clifford and Olly and Chris, I have turned my attention to the left hand side of the layout.
The small station building was previously used on my old layout- Wye Knot- and is based on a mixture of Fairford GWR station and Symonds Yat on the Wye. Valley. The signal box is also recycled and is from my first Broad Gauge layout- Bagborough West.
The over bridge is made from stone embossed plasticard initially painted with a wash of acrylic paint and then the individual stones were picked out in water colour. Finally it was given a wash of acrylic weathering paint. The four horse drag(old mail coach) on the bridge is again recycled from Bagborough West. The coach itself is scratch built from plasticard. Makes a change from ‘the bus on the bridge ‘!!
What is left to do now is mainly adding the small detail to the scene. This includes signals, fencing, plant growth,people and animals. I have tested whether the two boards fit together in the travel box and to my surprise found that all the odd bits of the scene all seemed to intertwine very well. 2 large trees have had to be made removable together with the sailing ship and the sky part of the backscene.
It’s been a while since I reported on the progress of Lananta. I have been concentrating on the scene at the right hand side which includes the bridge over the creek and the now disused lime kilns. The backscene has been painted and installed together with trees and ground works.
Materials are a mix of static grass, dyed hemp and woodlands scenic fine scatters. The seaweed is a course scatter from green scenes. The sand is a mixture of filler mixed with stone dust supplied by Attwood Aggregates and then painted with washes of watercolour. The water is painted with acrylics and then varnished with a quick drying satin varnish.
The sailing boat is an old model built over 20 years ago for another layout. The rowing boat is a resin casting from Quaycraft as described in a previous posting.
A ‘narrow gauge’ Beyer Peacock 0-6-0 goods with a fish train passes down the branch
I have now done a final sketch for the backscene and decided to play around with some trees to see the effect. I had a few specimen trees recycled from previous layouts with some hedging. These have been temporarily placed in the scene and suddenly it is all starting to come to life;
Here you can see that I have also given some texture to the estuary sand and some water flowing from the river and starting to creep in around the ship.
Here an Oak tree (which in fact is on at least it’s third layout) is going provide a good scene blocker to reduce the view through the bridge to the fiddle yard.
Finally I have painted a small mock up of part of the backscene and placed it behind the trees to see the effect.
I have now turned my attention to planning the scenery of the layout. I recently purchased Paul Bambrick’s book on Creating a Backscene and have been inspired by the ideas he puts forward. I do not have enough space for a full 3D backscene but will have to make do with a 2D one but intend to try to blend it with the 3D modelling of the base boards. Following his ideas I have started to mock up the scenery around the scenic break at the left hand side of the scene. I decided to have a bridge here which initially I positioned straight across the end but found that if I skewed it, then I could blend it more with the curved backscene and also block the view into the fiddle yard more easily. I have also printed out some pictures of the rolling hills and fields near where I live to get an impression of the backscene and to determine where the horizon needs to be in relation to the viewing height of the layout and the lighting bar. Eventually I will paint the backscene, up to the horizon, on card which will be mounted in front of the rear framing of the boards leaving a space to slip the printed sky sheet in between the two. This sky sheet takes the back scene up to the full height needed in relation to the lighting bar in order to frame the whole scene.
As I progress to rework the scenery the original painted plaster is really looking tired. Recently I have been revamping the area around the station and river.
Considering the buildings are over 25 years old they are in remarkable condition and have needed very little work other than a repaint from Southern to LSWR livery. I have now done all the paintwork around the station as well as freshening up the surface of the platform as well as the road. The platform surface, as described before, has been done with talc sprinkled into wet Humbrol no. 40 gloss grey. This is the method described by Gordon Gravett in his marvellous book on modelling grassland; a book I would thoroughly recommend. The road surface is a lighter grey with chinchilla dust added to the wet paint. It still needs further weathering with weathering powders.
Goods shed with signal box in background. The grass is a mixture of long and short static grass. The road surface is the original and will eventually need some re-working.
The next photo shows the original scenery in the foreground with the hill in the rear re-worked with scatter materials and new hedging. The trees come from the original layout but have been freshened up with a dusting of new fine Woodlands scenic scatter. The second half of the river is waiting for a new coat of varnish similar to the bit seen in the distance.
I am really pleased with how the scenery is improving with relatively very little effort mainly due to having such a good base to start with. I am now looking forward to adding more details and atmosphere to the scenes.
As many will know, Lakebank was featured in the latest issue of Model Railway Journal, no. 250. Since it was published we have added more details to the scene. These include fencing along the edge of the lakeside, advertising around the station and steamer office and the appearance of the Swallow and the Amazon.
These two dingies were made by making a balsa wood former for the hull and covering it in aluminium foil. Strips of cartridge paper were then glued with paper glue around the former, each one being overlapped to represent clinkers. When the whole had dried the former was removed. This was easy as the paper glue did not stick to the foil. The hull was then completed with seats etc using thin card. The mast is a thinned down cocktail stick and the sail is cut from paper and painted. The details of the two dingies were found on a website devoted to all things ‘Ransome’. A Google search will find it.
The next job will be to provide some more road vehicles and then to augment the freight wagon stock.