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Building a 4mm layout based on the S&D

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A tale of two Blandfords

It must be about twenty years since Hornby released their improved West Country/Battle of Britain pacifics, supplanting the old triang-era model. I've got four of these nice models, mostly acquired with little thought to region/period suitability. It was only when I started work on Stourpayne Marshall that I started taking a closer look at what I had, and how they might fit in with the S&D theme.   Back in October, with the help of some friendly commenters, I came up with this non-

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Stourpayne Marshall one year on.

Incredibly, it's 12 months to the day since I posted the first pictures of Stourpayne Marshall on rmweb. As elaborated on at the time, this isn't a new layout, but an identity-swap for my existing GWR-based layout King's Hintock. Using various dodges, King's Hintock can be swapped over to an S&D station (and back again if needed) in about twenty minutes. In the course of the transformation, the station building moves from one side of the tracks to the other, the goods shed is relocated, and

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S&D coaches - paint and lining.

After the full brake I showed in the last entry, I cracked on with a second vehicle from the same range of kits, while the build sequence was fresh in my mind. I think it's a composite!   I haven't progressed this second one completely as I'm still puzzling over the roof details, and might want to revisit the first one in the light of better understanding. The kits come with four different types of castings representing the set-up for day and night running, but the instructions ar

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S&DJR passenger brake

A year or two ago I acquired four kits for S&DJR six-wheeled vehicles from the Connoisseur Models range of 4mm "Pocket Money" models. These kits were reduced from the 7mm vehicles in the main Connoisseur range and judging by the packing on mine, date from the 90s.   An evening's work saw the main body put together without too much difficulty. Although I have a rolling bar, I'd misplaced it, so all curves were formed by gentle finger pressure. Once completed, I then found the o

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Barry Ten in S&D

Rocking suspension on an EFE bus.

I've been working on and off on an old EFE Hants and Dorset bus. After opening the bus up and painting the interior, as well as adding people, I wanted to make the front axle rock, to help the bus sit nicely on uneven ground. I also wanted to add a slight turn to the wheels, which I think always makes for a more interesting look.   The rocking mod is quite simple and I've done similar jobs on kit-built road vehicles as well.     First, the existing axle w

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Stourpayne Marshall - Jinty and goods shed etc.

Some recent low-stress modelling on Stourpayne Marshall:     This Bachmann Jinty was renumbered to a Bath example and then weathered. It came with "British Railways" lettering which I was reluctant to remove, even though I don't have any evidence that this particular loco carried that scheme. A number of S&D locos did, though, right through until 1953 or so, so it's not obviously out of place.   It runs smoothly, and incredibly quietly, but I can''t get it to s

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Stourpayne Marshall - sorting out a DJH 7F

I decided to crack on and get the DJH 7F back into correct right hand drive condition!   As mentioned in the previous post, the model as acquired by me was a bit of a dog's dinner in that it had been incorrectly numbered in the 1925, left-hand drive series, whereas the DJH castings are only good for the first batch of locos, with small boilers and right--hand drive. However, the model had somehow ended up with the reversing lever on the "wrong" side for the boiler, so it

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Stourpayne Marshall - 7Fs

7Fs are vital for any representation of the S&D so plans have long been afoot to make sure the layout can call on a number of these fine, versatile locomotives.     Shown above are  a Bachmann example, and a DJH one of which more anon. Two more are in the works - another Bachmann, and a large-boilered DJH.   Back when I started thinking about the layout, the Bachmann model was a distant gleam in the future, with the two main options besides scratchbuilding bein

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Stourpayne Marshall - Rebuilt Bulleid Pacific tender gaps.

A minor digression into drawbars, here.   Hornby's Rebuilt West Country/Battle of Britain models are nice products, with a couple of annoying quirks. The first and worst of these is that they're prone to gear failures, at least the ones produced in the early batches. I ended up with three, and after a few years two of them were both non-runners due to various issues. Hornby's repair department was no help at all, which I found very disappointing as they are by no means o

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Stourpayne Marshall - motive power #4

Following the debacle mentioned in the previous blog entry, 5MT 73049 has now been paired with the correct type of tender. The route I went down was to buy a second hand Bachmann model of 73049 itself, what I should have done in the first place, but since I'd already gone to the trouble of weathering and renumbering the original loco, I decided to swap the tender from the new model and use the old tender and new model (do keep up at the back there) for a future repaint and relining job into BR b

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Stourpayne Marshall - motive power #3

Some examples of 4MT and 5MT motive power on the layout, including an exciting blooper!   First off, a Bachmann 4MT 4-6-0 which has been renumbered (using HMRS and Modelmaster transfers) to an S&D example:           Light weathering is applied by brushing on liquid acrylics, then almost immediately swiping it off or buffing it around using cotton buds. I must admit I rarely use the airbrush for weathering these days, preferring to use brush

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Barry Ten in S&D

Bulleid Light Pacifics on the S&D

Westward Ho, above: seemingly not a regular on the S&D.   I've seen lists of the Bulleid WC and BoB classes which ran on the S&D, but I can never find them when I want them. As much for my own reference purposes as anything else, as I look to renaming some of my examples of these locos, I thought I'd have a go at compiling a non-exhaustive list.   I went through all four volumes of Ivo Peters' photo albums on the S&D in the 50s and 60s and noted all the WC/BoB cla

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Barry Ten in S&D

Stourpayne Marshall - goods store

As seen below, there's an area of raised platform to the left of the station building that was notionally going to be a loading dock:     After living with it for a while, I decided that I wanted something else occupying this space, in line with the parcels store at the real Shillingstone. Unfortunately I missed the boat with the Bachmann nodel of this structure (and they seem to be very scarce on ebay) so I decided to build something of my own.   The basis for thi

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Barry Ten in S&D

Stourpayne Marshall - footbridge and goods shed

Work progresses on Stourpayne Marshall at an extremely  leisurely rate, interspersed with more running sessions where I can get some of my S&D-related models out of their boxes.     As mentioned, I decided to replace the LSWR-style covered footbridge with a Ratio concrete one, which I felt was more in keeping with the S&D ambience,     The Ratio kit is good value and goes together nicely. In common with the other two bridges that have occupi

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Stourpayne Marshall - motive power #2

A couple more locos, one with an association with the S&D, the other more dubious!     2P 40601 was an S&D regular, here represented by another Hornby loco with tender drive, and again a more than adequate runner. Again, not much has been done to this one - tender gap shortened, renumbered, lamp irons and lamps, crew, coal and a bit of weathering. In immediate post-nationalisation BR condition, there;s a nice picture in this state in one of the Ivo Peters volumes.

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Stourpayne Marshall - motive power

In between working on the scenic features, I've been enjoying giving some of my older S&D-related models a run.     44422 was an S&D 4F and this model was renumbered about a decade ago, It's an old Hornby 4F with the Airfix-style tender drive. Although beyond the pale in certain quarters, my experience with these particular mechanisms is that they respond incredibly well to DCC. There's a bog-standard Hornby chip in this one and the running is quite superb, with impe

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Introducing ... Stourpayne Marshall

Be it through the work of Ivo Peters. Norman Lockett, or any of the other renowned photographers of the Somerset & Dorset, it's often commented that the northern section of the line was rather better documented than the southern half. Lacking the drama of the ascent over the Mendips, with generally less dramatic scenery, and fewer goods trains, perhaps it's no surprise that the locations south of the border were not so well captured. Even allowing for this, few stations were as shy of the ca

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Neat, neat, neat: adding a fascia to the summer module.

I'm a firm believer in treating our home layouts with the same presentational care that we would use for exhibition models, if not more so, so for me that means a neat fascia and a decent lighting arrangement. The lighting bar is still to come here, but I've at least begun work on the fascia. Recently I've begun using bendy MDF for this, as while being thicker than I'd like, it is very easy to work with and (there's a subtle hint in the name) it bends really well.   In an ideal world you'd put

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Summer module - Sign O' The Times

Following a suggestion by Wenlock of this parish, I've added a road sign to the junction at the top of the bridge - it's a Dart Castings "Somerset" sign but I guess Dorset is close enough? I also extended the road into the backscene, and took the opportunity to add a bit more detail and variations in tone.   And look who's arrived in his midnight blue Bentley? If Ivo's expecting some S&D trains, he's in for a bit of a wait. But perhaps he'll be able to make do with the Western Region traff

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Summer module - progress

A few days off work saw some enjoyable progress on the summer module. Currently it's in "GWR" guise although as mentioned earlier in this blog, all the region-specific fittings are designed to be easily swappable so that I can switch to S&D operations with relatively little bother, as well as having some scenic areas that can be changed purely for variety.   Here's the current state of play in the station/goods yard area, before I ran out of Wills sheets to do the setts between the sidings

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7F with sound - video clip

Being a bit thick I can't quite remember how to embed Youtube clips directly into a post but this link should take you to a short clip of my 7F with the Howes sound chip:      

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Winter module - cottage details

Just a couple more shots of the cottage, now that is has lighting and a few details to place it in the surroundings.       Like many of the buildings on my layouts, this one is absolutely ancient but has been tarted up a bit to keep it in use.

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Summer module - backscene

The summer module is getting on for four feet deep in one corner, so I need to have completed any fiddly work at the back before working forward to the front. In fact, part of the layout is still be bolted into place and once that's in, it will be hard to get to the back right corner at all. With that in mind, now has been the time to take care of the backscene.   I used a photographic backscene on the spring module, but the two I've done since then have both been painted directly onto a rigid

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Summer module - more scenery

Things have moved quite quickly in the last couple of weeks. This tends to be the way it goes, I find - slow progress from baseboards, track laying, wiring, backscene construction, and so on, then basic landforms go in and everything speeds up (before slowing down again with the slow process of fine detailing, which can take months or years as required). Maybe it's because scenic work is very much my comfort zone as a modeller, but I tend to just dive in and get on with it, coupled with having a

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The green, green grass of home

I love hanging basket liner - it's the best thing ever. While I accept that it is best viewed as a basis for further texturing, rather than an end in its own right, its sufficiently grassy looking, in its natural state, to fool my eye into thinking that some definite progress is being made. Rather than endless hours faffing around with glue, paint and Kermit-coloured scatter materials, you can cover dozens of square inches of model landscape in seconds, giving that instant gratification of seein

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