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Helping out on the Southern

Captain Kernow


I was at Scaleforum last weekend, helping Rod C (10800) and John F (Re6/6) with the massive Ouse Valley Viaduct and Balcombe station layout, representing a chunk of the Brighton main line in P4. It is truly a project on an epic scale, both in size and the understandable gestation period of the layout.


Also of this parish, Brian H (Taz) and Nick R (Brinkly) were also on the team. Although the layout itself is essentially the work of the first two gentlemen (John and Rod) only, both Brian and Nick have made very significant contributions in terms of rolling stock for the layout, with construction having taken place over the last 12 months or so.


Others have also made important contributions, either in terms of building stuff or (eg. Mike A of the Kent Area Group) bringing superb locos and stock for the show and attending same.


Although I have been involved (rather casually, by my own admission) with the project since the early site visits to Sussex in 2009 (10 years ago, for goodness sake!), for a variety of reasons, my own contributions have unfortunately not been on the above scale.


That said, for the last few weeks at least, I suspended work on 'Bethesda Sidings', to allow me to complete one or two items for the layout, in time for the show last weekend.


The first item was a small building for Balcombe station. Rod made all the other buildings and structures for the station and did a splendid job, as evidenced by photos posted on this forum and also on the Scalefour Society forum. My contribution was to build the Gents toilet! (no comments, please, Stubby).


This is the prototype, the photos taken way back in 2009:










Although I took detailed photos and measurements during a subsequent site visit the following year, it took me until 2018 to actually produce the scale drawing, necessary for me to build the thing (from plasticard).


This is the Gents part-way through construction:







The roof slates are the old Exactoscale self-adhesive ones, which were designed to be painted over with a dirty enamel wash.


This is the finished building, prior to having signage and advert hoardings added (which it had in the 1950s 7 1960s):









After taking these photos, I added the 'Gents' sign and also two period adverts. Here is the building in place on the layout (please note that the station area scenery is not yet completed, including the station garden adjacent to the Gents):





I also built most of the buffer stops for the layout. Nick (Brinkly) built a couple of Southern examples from Dave Franks kits, which I then put on copper clad sleepers, added cosmetic chairs and then painted and weathered.


I also built a lost wax SR buffer stop and another Dave Franks whitemetal example.


Finally I built a sleeper-built buffer stop from balsa wood and also painted and weathered a Bachmann sleeper-built example. All buffer stops were sprayed with red oxide (Halfords) primer, then 'Rail Dirt' by Railmatch and then weathered with Mig and Abteilung 502 powders.












  • Like 10
  • Craftsmanship/clever 11


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  • RMweb Gold

A quite splendid “Gentleman’s convenience” and damn fine stop blocks too!  Well done Captain:) 

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  • RMweb Gold

I reserve judgement until I've seen the insides.

(But the outside looks very nice, if a little clean).


Interesting that you've weathered the sleepers on the buffer stops items - how easy was it to then blend them with the track sleepers?

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  • RMweb Gold

Rod and I are very grateful to CK for his splendid efforts in bog making. It's a splendid rendition which has captured the look of the small building albeit rather ornate with the lovely cupola. It is believed that it's now used as an S & T store.


The stops from Mike Franks are a delight and Tim's weathering is excellent.  CK to the rescue as time was rapidly running out before S4um!:o


Still a mountain of work to be done!


Edited by Re6/6
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  • RMweb Gold
1 hour ago, Stubby47 said:

(But the outside looks very nice, if a little clean).


Whole station recently repainted, so the Gents had to match the other buildings, which Rod built. That said, I did apply some weathering with powders, having first sprayed the whole building (except glazing and roof slates) with Dullcote.


1 hour ago, Stubby47 said:


Interesting that you've weathered the sleepers on the buffer stops items - how easy was it to then blend them with the track sleepers?

Can't say with regard to the track on Balcombe, as I didn't weather that, but I treated these buffer stops in the same way that I will be doing my own for Bethesda Sidings and using the same paint mixes. On Balcombe, the sleepers aren't fully visible now on some of them, as vegetation has taken over!


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  • RMweb Gold

CK's work is even better in the flesh! My contribution to the building of the buffers was quite small!


Tim, what did you paint the buildings with? 

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  • RMweb Gold
5 hours ago, Brinkly said:


Tim, what did you paint the buildings with? 

Nick, I used Precision Southern Region green and cream (purchased at Wells).


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