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Platforms For People - and Livestock



Whilst there has been no updates for a week or so, progress has continued apace, with the bulk of the platform now completed as well as the cattle pens.


As previously mentioned I want to ensure a local flavour to the layout, starting with the building materials, but also continuing to the structures. Typically, a cattle dock in 00 Gauge has meant using the Ratio Kit, which is of a GWR style with wire and post fences. Locally though the cattle docks I have found in my research - Hailsham for one, but also the 'new build' dock at Kingscote on the Bluebell Line - had wooden 'four bar' fencing.


I've chosen to represent this with Ratio Lineside fencing, and I leave it to you to decide if it works. I'm quite pleased with it though, and my wife was impressed with my patience!




The fencing itself is set into a platform top of DAS clay, with 60 Thou plasticard for the floor of the pens. The non slip brick pattern is Wills tunnel lining, cut into strips, and for those in between, individual bricks. I used the tunnel lining as the sheets are flexible and therefore considerably thinner than the standard sheets. The pattern itself was cribbed from the stunning model of the Walllingford pens by John Hayes in MRJ 223 - though his work, with custom-milled brass section and opening gates makes mine look like the amateur effort it is!


To represent the gates, I adapted the fencing with bracing bars from thinned offcuts, and added hinges from slivers of the posts, which were trimmed to make the gates.




A few little bits will be needed - standpipes and troughs for example, along with a healthy dose of grot coloured paint washed over the floor to represent the mud and unmentionables which haven't quite been washed away by the station staff!


Heres the dock in relation to the rest of the platform, with the SECR van currently in use to gauge clearances - excuse the poor quality of the 'Google Earth' style view, the camera on the tablet didn't appreciate it very much!








The platform itself is made from basswood from Hobbycraft for the sides, with a top of 2mm ply and a surface of DAS, with coping stones scribed individually. The brick facing is again cut down Wills tunnel lining, with separate strips (one of four, and one of two courses) cut and overlaid for the corbelling on the edge of the platform. This is nearly complete, the ramp section needs doing as does the small sections leading into the bay. The odd sections of wood you can see in the overhead view are supports for the ramp leading up to the station building entrance and the ramp for accessing the cattle pens. I've also noticed that I've left off the ramp at the other end of platform, which will run down to a barrow crossing next to the level crossing.


The whole shebang will be fixed to the board - making something like this where placing it down slightly incorrectly could result in all sorts of problems with stock hitting the platform removable is, I suspect, asking for trouble! This will also let me fill in the gaps between the dock and main platform, and also the ramp sections, which were built separately.


The goods dock at the other end of the layout will be built using the same methods, but I'm looking forward to cracking on with some more structures - a couple of railway cottages and also an attempt at something from the real Litlington...

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