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Ouse Viaduct

P4 viaduct laser cutting Southern electric




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#1 10800

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Posted 16 August 2011 - 11:57

Many of you may be following the building of this in the blog http://www.rmweb.co....elewes-project/, and some may have seen the entry in the erstwhile Showcase and Featured Content sections, but we (John/Re6/6 and myself) are bringing it into the main forum for those who may have missed it so far; and also to see if the interaction is different.

This won't repeat everything that's gone before - see the blog for that - but will summarise mainly in photos where we are now and take it on from here.

So this is a model in 4mm scale of the whole Ouse Viaduct (or Ouse Valley Viaduct, or Balcombe Viaduct) on the Brighton main line north of Haywards Heath in Sussex - all 37 arches worth. The viaduct alone in that scale is about 20ft long. The master plan is eventually to connect the viaduct with models of Balcombe station to the north, Lewes to the south and possibly onwards to Eridge which is being built independently. This will all be in P4, and based in the 1950s/early 60s.

To give an idea, here is a diagram of the master plan, and a few select photos to give a random flavour of the real thing.

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#2 10800

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Posted 16 August 2011 - 12:20

And here is a quick sequence of photos showing work to date.

Firstly, early trial mockups and the ordering of laser cut parts from York Model Making:

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Early planning and construction:

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How to join the sections (there are 5 in all):

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Some details - arch course etching by Jim Smith-Wright:

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Pavilion roofs and corbels, produced by Mark/Ark Royal in resin and 3D printing respectively (the latter still under development):

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Master mockup for decorative brickwork at top of piers - this is being done in resin, also by Mark:

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First showing of centre section as work in progress at RMWeb Taunton show last April:

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#3 10800

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Posted 16 August 2011 - 12:25

The whole thing will be on show at Scaleforum in September as part of a demonstration on modelling the BR(S) scene. This is roughly where we are at the moment, although things are moving all the time:


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#4 Oldddudders

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Posted 16 August 2011 - 12:31

RMWeb is full of great modelling, but this project - a blog I have actually followed, no less! - sets new levels for sheer audacity in its scope, while meeting the highest standards in the fidelity to the original. I have no doubt as to its eventual success, and hope it receives wider recognition once it reaches some degree of maturity. I happen to be a Brighton Line enthusiast, but do not believe that is swaying my judgement here. Off-the-scale modelling, surely?
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#5 10800

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Posted 17 August 2011 - 07:56

Many thanks for that Ian.

As for highest standards of fidelity it's probably worth pointing out that there are no scale drawings of the viaduct that I am aware of (they will of course show up when we've finished) even though it was subject to significant renovation work in the 1990s. What we are building is therefore based on general data on length and height that can be found on the internet; measurements of the piers at ground level; and photographs from below, from adjacent public footpaths and through the window of trains passing over. Access to the top of the viaduct is a non-starter of course, even without the third rail issues. So everything on the model has been dimensioned from limited data cross referencing to known dimensions on low-parallax photos, counting bricks etc. There are many minor errors inevitably, which have required a few workarounds and compromises, but I hope we have got the general appearance and character about right.

We are quite close to having a trial assembly of the whole thing, and for Scaleforum we are looking forward to placing it in at least some preliminary rudimentary scenic setting.
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#6 richard brown

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Posted 17 August 2011 - 21:59

I will have to keep a eye on this some of my family live that way

#7 mobi323

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Posted 27 August 2011 - 06:21

Great effort at a worthwhile project.

#8 Re6/6

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Posted 04 September 2011 - 17:24

Some more progress. Much experimenting on the mortar course 'grouting' was done under the guidance of Tim Maddocks. Several paint combinations/types and finally Games Workshop 'Citadel' acrylics came out as the most user friendly and best for speed of application/process, considering the amount that has to be done!
The resin cast corbels are only temporarily attached and are to be replaced with ones from Shapeways 3D printed ones in due course.

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The top structures in grey primer prior to being finished with a beige colour to represent the Caen stone.

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#9 10800

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Posted 04 September 2011 - 19:49

These are probably the last photos before Scaleforum in (gulp) three weeks time (well we have to leave something in anticipation!). Just to add to John's earlier photos here are some showing the early stages of terraforming and a bit more detail appearing on the balustrades - still in workshop photographic grey - in the form of limewood strip to represent the coping.

At this (London) end the viaduct continues onto an embankment before rejoining the background topography; at the Brighton end the land rises more gradually from the valley floor to the higher ground to the south.

If you get to Scaleforum please drop by and say hello.

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#10 Re6/6

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Posted 05 September 2011 - 19:36

The Genesis Effect (Trekkies on here will know!) Let the terra-forming begin or fun with nasty chemicals!

05 September 2011

Posted by Re6/6


The first area to be 'terra-formed' has now been done.

Two of the main reasons for doing it this way is for lightness and durability. Using traditional plaster bandages, they're too easily damaged as I found out on Matford. The whole area is only supported along the edges with the chicken wire doing all work keeping all in place. It may need an second coating with resin as I've missed a few bits here and there. I'll see when it's all cured nice and hard, and of course it adds virtually no extra weight.

The materials that I've employed are used in the marine repair business and are freely available from any good chandlery.

The chopped strand fibreglass matting is impregnated with polymer resin & catalyst and forms a very hard and durable surface. The job ideally should be done in the open air as the smell is very persistent. At the moment the section is in the garage while it cures but with all the doors shut I can still smell it! Hopefully by tomorrow that should've disappeared.

Next to come will be brown earth paint prior to gluing down hanging basket line similar to the old hairy carpet underlay.
Then it will be selectively pulled off and treated with various scenic methods. I intend to experiment with the 'Grasmaster' used on top of the pulled off liner.

There still a lot more to do with the main structure before any scenics are done.
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#11 10800

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Posted 11 September 2011 - 16:54

A few developments on the refuges, adding plinths and coping, so that when joined to the balustrades they look like this:

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Each refuge has 16 separate pieces, and there are 72 of them. They will of course look better after some light sanding, filling and painting.
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#12 10800

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Posted 17 September 2011 - 19:51

Only a week to go to Scaleforum, so it's all hands to the pumps to finish to a reasonable level (this is only part of a demonstration, not meant to be complete). There will be more scenery, but here's a few random photos of where we have got to.

Cluttered work area with balustrades and bits of refuges

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The London end with pavilions and other details temporarily attached with Copydex - they will be removed after Scaleforum for final fettling. Hopefully they will be painted in Caen Stone (aka Games Workshop 'Bleached Bone') before next weekend.

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Remind you of anything?

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All this just to cross a tiny stream!

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Details added to two of the centre boards. and 3CEP added for scale - this is about 40% of the total length. Piers are missing decorative brickwork around the tops, some will be done before and even possibly during Scaleforum. We have some fabulous 3D-printed corbels to add as well.

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#13 10800

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Posted 27 September 2011 - 12:11

So, we survived Scaleforum (and had a great time as well!).

Some pictures on the Scaleforum topic at http://www.rmweb.co....post__p__496055

Now that's over, the whole lot (temporarily set up for the show) will be dismantled, fettled and then put back together permanently. There is a whole lot of detailing to finish, highlighted very clearly in the photos, but it will be nice to proceed with it now with a little less pressure - although we were glad of it to get us to where we are now.

Other fundamental issues that Scaleforum brought to the front of the queue for consideration included the layout support framing and undercarriage, which John will look into, the height and general presentation including need for and type of backscene, which I will, and the depth of scenery in front of it. For the last one, although it would be nice to see the final detail close up, the best impression will be from a bit further back, so we may add up to a metre to the front. All these issues are related, so I will probably make up a small card model of the model to test viewpoints and eyelines so we can get the right balance.

#14 10800

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Posted 19 February 2012 - 21:08

Well it's been a while since this topic was added to, but there are some updates on the blog http://www.rmweb.co....ative-dormancy/ .

John has been experimenting with trees, and I have been starting to correct the heights of the pavilions which we realised at Scaleforum were about 4mm too short in relation to the trains. These things happen when you have no drawings and decisions are being made on the fly. Anyway, no major drama, and Phase 1 of the 'great lift' is well under way with 2mm being added to the base of all the balustrades and refuges. The pavilions will also be raised by 2mm at the base in due course, and by another 2mm cut-and-shut into the roof slab on top of the columns.

I also took the opportunity to lightly sand the copings on top of the balustrades to get the slight arc of the real thing.

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#15 Kris

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 08:13

You've been busy making those!

#16 Oldddudders

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 21:36

The scope of this project continues to make me reel - and that shot of lots of pavilions really does remind me of a concrete casting yard with a week's output stacked ready. In awe, as ever!
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#17 Re6/6

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 15:01

Some more trees and an armature for Balcombe. These are all experimental ATM and will be placed at the rear of the layout. I've still got to improve on tree recognition and produce better models of particular types.

Some of these will probably be removable for use on other projects. The smaller ones will be used on the Matford rebuild on the new extension board.

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#18 10800

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 15:42

72 refuges now virtually complete, to go with 78 balustrades, nearly 2000 pieces altogether! (More info on blog http://www.rmweb.co....the-great-lift/ )

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I've now been working on lifting the roofs on the pavilions - the bases will also be raised to match the balustrades shortly.

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Edited by 10800, 26 February 2012 - 15:43 .

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#19 Siberian Snooper

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 21:14

Those Pavilions and balustrades are looking very tasty, Look forward to seeing a few photo's of them sitting on the viaduct

Cheers SS

#20 10800

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Posted 03 March 2012 - 18:51

Pavilions are now finished structurally, see blog at http://www.rmweb.co....d-structurally/ - this included the final 2mm lift at the base and the addition of moulding detail around the tops of the columns.

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The moulding detail is designed to produce a passable representation of this

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And this is how it looks on the model

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And this is what the 'lift' was all about - to get the coach cantrail level lower in respect to the pavilion - now at the level of the top of the roof slab rather than nearer the bottom of the pitched section.

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#21 Oldddudders

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Posted 03 March 2012 - 19:04

The moulding detail is designed to produce a passable representation of this

You call it passable. I call it near-exact. We'll agree to differ!

#22 martin_wynne

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Posted 31 March 2012 - 23:42


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#23 Re6/6

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Posted 01 April 2012 - 08:03

Thank you Martin. A beautifully made film. ....plus some nice detail shots!

#24 10800

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Posted 07 April 2012 - 14:52

In the run-up to Taunton, following the 'great lift' it was time to start fixing some of the balustrades, refuges and pavilions back onto the viaduct deck. (Blog also on http://www.rmweb.co....dy-for-taunton/ )

Lengths of 7mm wide stripwood were temporarily glued with Copydex along the edge of the deck to allow the balustrades to be set at the right distance in from the edge; a simple jig was then used to set them in the right place with respect to the refuge outriggers. The refuges were then added after the alignment strip was removed.

The end balustrades and pavilions are just Copydexed for the time being because the pavilions may need to be removed for final painting.

The buttresses supporting the pavilions have also been extended outwards from their original too shallow construction.

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Edited by 10800, 07 April 2012 - 14:53 .

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#25 10800

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 18:53

Some photos of the latest addition of brick and scenic details at the London end as displayed at the Taunton 'do' yesterday.

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