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About this blog

Follow the progress of Addleford Green, a fictional station on the now lost Hawkhurst Branch Line in Kent. Addleford Green is a "what-if" scenario, assuming the line had been extended beyond Hawkhurst to the titular fictional Kent town. This facilitated a connection with the Express Dairy creamery and the subsequent diary traffic would keep the line open into the 70s.

 

Addleford Green measures 5ft by 16 inches, is modelled in 4mm and utilises standard analogue controls. All buildings are scratch built where possible, some based on existing locations, some completely imaginary! The time period is intentionally left open, anywhere from the early 40s up to the 70s, allowing me great freedom of motive power and rolling stock.

Entries in this blog

Running in board

Running in board

When you start to look at running in boards you soon realise that they are as individual as the stations they adorn, even within the same region. It's quite fascinating when you start studying their various designs. This site has some useful pictures of various Southern running in boards and may be of some interest to anyone modelling the Southern areas: http://www.semgonline.com/infrastr/ribs_01.html   Some aspects of the Hawkhurst branch differed from station to station, the platform

JRamsden

JRamsden

Laying the ballast (Magic?)

Laying the ballast (Magic?)

I recently received an order which had been a few weeks in the delivering. It contained Deluxe Materials' Ballast Magic, a dry glue for mixing with ballast. The idea being that it only needs a light misting with water for a good solid hold. Ballast clumping and shifting is, apparently, a thing of the past. I'd seen a favourable review in a modelling magazine and thought I'd give it a go.   I laid the whole layout (not exactly large by any standards!) with ballast and sprayed as directe

JRamsden

JRamsden

Addleford creamery - Part 3

Addleford creamery - Part 3

Just a quick update to show that some further progress has been made:   The engine/boiler house has been rebuilt. The water tower and roof access build has been started.  The main building and all sub-builds have been painted. The chimney has received it's "Express Dairy" lettering. Windows, doors and lintels have been added.     All for now, Jonathan

JRamsden

JRamsden

Addleford creamery - Part 2

Addleford creamery - Part 2

When starting the diary build I decided not to include an interior. This was mostly because I had no idea how to model an accurate replica and also because it would be largely unseen and therefore pointless. But the huge window at the front just begged to have something behind it. I decided that multiple floors and a staircase would be a likely feature and easy enough to build.    I started by measuring available space and drawing some plans on Excel, with cells set to 4mm squares.

JRamsden

JRamsden

Fiddle yard adventures

Fiddle yard adventures

When I first planned Addleford Green I didn't really plan for a fiddle yard or any kind of out-of-view area. "I'll just figure that out later," I said to myself. I realise now how foolish that was. In future projects I would definitely consider the fiddle yard an essential part of the plan. Not being able to reliably have a train remove itself from the immediate viewing area really limits operational potential.   A while ago I started looking at options for my fiddle yard. I had planne

JRamsden

JRamsden

Addleford creamery - Part 1

Addleford creamery - Part 1

The right-hand side of Addleford Green features a rather awkward corner where the backscene hides what is essentially a single track fiddle yard. Originally the plan was to use a low relief industrial building to extend beyond the backscene and essentially view block the garish square hole to nowhere. I also envisioned a tall industrial chimney which could be placed over the join between backscene boards. As I started to research possible industries I stumbled upon information about rail-served

JRamsden

JRamsden

Hawkhurst Branch - Station building scratch build - Part 2

Hawkhurst Branch - Station building scratch build - Part 2

So, the station building for Addleford Green is finally finished! I won't bore you with too much description but would be happy to elaborate if anyone is interested. I hope the photos will say most of what needs to be said...   Windows... now these were the bane of this whole project. The windows I settled for came from https://www.scalemodelscenery.co.uk as they were the closest match in terms of size and style. I painted each frame white and assembled them with a layer of acetate bet

JRamsden

JRamsden

Addleford Green general progress

Addleford Green general progress

So for the sake of posterity we are currently in the midst of a global pandemic. the COVID-19 lockdown means I have been working from home for some weeks, until this week when I have been furloughed for at least the next 3 weeks. Less travelling and less opportunity to leave the house has increased opportunity to model. However I'm pretty bad at keeping a regular record of anything I do, hence the recent inactivity! So here are a few things I have achieved recently, lumped together for ease and
Station building woes

Station building woes

You may remember that I started to document my scratch build of the Hawkhurst station building in this blog entry. You may also be aware that I never actually completed both the blog posts and the actual building. I thought I'd explain what happened before the final version is completed... hopefully!   Despite the prototype having a devilishly simple and cost-effective design, the model version proved to be anything of the sort! I've never been interested in pinpoint accuracy, but beli

JRamsden

JRamsden

Backscenes assembled

Backscenes assembled

Another quick post to show my backscenes assembled on the layout. There's still some work to do, not to mention the eventual effect that will (hopefully) be created by some view-blocking buildings and scenery. The corners are held together with plastic L-shaped strip glued around the edges. I may use Velcro strips for those I want to keep removable.   I've had to cut some panels as I purposely overestimated when purchasing the panels. Luckily they're incredibly easy to cut. I'm pleased

JRamsden

JRamsden

Backscenes

Backscenes

A quick post to say I have just taken delivery of these beautiful panels for Addleford Green's backscene.     They are 3mm Foamex with the images printed on the surface and treated with a matt protective layer. I bought them online from one of many suppliers of this kind of material. I ordered them Monday and they arrived this morning, Thursday! The process was uncomplicated, completed entirely online and they even contacted me when they thought some white would show at the

JRamsden

JRamsden

Farm buildings (almost) complete

Farm buildings (almost) complete

Just a quick post to show the result of a couple of days of painting. Hope I did them justice! Can't wait to get them 'planted' and actually have something scenic on the layout.     The oast still needs its steps assembling and glazing fitting, but that may not happen before Christmas.   All for now, Jonathan

JRamsden

JRamsden

Half-relief Kentish oast

Half-relief Kentish oast

I haven't had as much time to dedicate to modelling lately. The colder weather has made spending time in the shed even less desirable too! However I have been making slow progress on my farm buildings.   The latest project is the half-relief oast house. Despite square kilns actually being older, there are far more round kilns dotted around Kent and Sussex and I prefer the look of them. I must see dozens of different examples every day in my travels. They are a firm fixture of this area

JRamsden

JRamsden

Building the farm

Building the farm

I haven't been able to spend a huge amount of time on the layout recently. As a result I have started many things but haven't completed much. Some projects have been started, scrapped, restarted and stalled! Some simply require more time to complete. I prefer to post when I have something significant to show.   So in order to get away from the nightmare building project, I tackled something easier and altogether more enjoyable. Some low-relief buildings for my farm and a small stable b

JRamsden

JRamsden

Addleford Green - Future plans

Addleford Green - Future plans

I recently realised that I hadn't really detailed my plans for Addleford Green on this blog, despite having a reasonably clear idea of what I am hoping to achieve.   So here's a shot of the layout so far complete with annotations for each major area:       I outlined in my very first blog entry what I wanted to achieve with Addleford Green and I believe I've managed it here - in plan form at the very least - despite the small board size. Every major elem

JRamsden

JRamsden

Hawkhurst Branch - Station building scratch build - Part 1

Hawkhurst Branch - Station building scratch build - Part 1

In relation to the Addleford Green project I owe an awful lot to the book The Hawkhurst Branch, written by Brian Hart and published by Wild Swan Publications. Not least for the incredibly detailed plans drawn to 3mm scale by Ken Garrett. This book is not only a fascinating look at a piece of long-lost railway history, but also a personal record of the author's connection to said line. It's also an unparalleled resource for modellers, the plans and photos contained within having made this whole p

JRamsden

JRamsden

Hawkhurst Branch - Stationmaster's house scratch build - Part 4

Hawkhurst Branch - Stationmaster's house scratch build - Part 4

Next up: glazing. I had originally decided on using Deluxe Sceneics' Glue N Glaze but after using it for the bay windows and not being overly impressed by the results, I figured I'd go back to doing it the old fashioned way. Applying a piece of clear plastic to the reverse also had the added effect of holding the windows in place without the need for glue around the frames which could have damaged the paintwork.     I hadn't intended for a modelled interior, so it was import

JRamsden

JRamsden

Hawkhurst Branch - Stationmaster's house scratch build - Part 3

Hawkhurst Branch - Stationmaster's house scratch build - Part 3

I made the small sentry box seen on the Cranbrook station out of plastcard and embossed planking sheet.     Using some card held against the roof angle and a good straight edge, I made a template for the walls of the dormer windows. This is where I introduce you to my best friend...     The Chopper! By NorthWest Short Line, an American company. This device (pricey in the UK but worth every penny) is the scratch builder's best friend. The sharp blade cuts

JRamsden

JRamsden

Hawkhurst Branch - Stationmaster's house scratch build - Part 2

Hawkhurst Branch - Stationmaster's house scratch build - Part 2

The next task was to tackle the bay window at the rear of the Stationmaster's house. I used smaller windows here, as I believe is accurate for the prototype. It's possible the window next to the bay windows was also smaller than those of the front, but one thing I had to concede in this project was possible errors due to lack of detailed plans.   I made a paper template to ensure the windows would fit and so I knew how it would fold and fit.     Then I cut a piece

JRamsden

JRamsden

Hawkhurst Branch - Stationmaster's house scratch build - Part 1

Hawkhurst Branch - Stationmaster's house scratch build - Part 1

With the station platform in place I turned my attention to the Stationmaster's house. The Hawkhurst branch had several examples of this striking building: Cranbrook, Goudhurst and Horsmonden, each one a little different from the last. Interestingly the example at Horsmonden had absolutely no windows on the rear side of the house, despite that side facing the station! I'm pleased to say that all 3 original buildings still remain and are now private dwellings.   To design the model for

JRamsden

JRamsden

Platform construction

Platform construction

So, it's been a while. I have been working on the layout but because my work is very much in dribs and drabs I wanted to gather up my progress into more coherent blocks.   Once the track was down and the wiring complete I turned my attention to the station. It's the biggest part of the layout and felt like a good starting point. When I started this project I simply had Southern region as a theme; I never intended to model a specific location or line. That was until I did some research

JRamsden

JRamsden

Mucking about with track and ballast

Mucking about with track and ballast

I'd started the process of weathering my track in the last entry. I prefer to do this before laying ballast to avoid spoiling the ballast itself and to avoid a uniform colour across the entire trackwork. I start with a good coating of Halfords grey primer, my go-to for any painting project now. In the past I have applied paint direct to the track but it never quite adheres right and looks ugly.     Next up is a coat of Railmatch sleeper grime. I mask/cover any areas I wish t

JRamsden

JRamsden

Track and wiring

Track and wiring

When I laid the track for the previous version of Addleford Green I learned a few lessons. I had elected to mount the point motors directly beneath the track, therefore having to cut holes in the baseboard. I had never done this before but felt it might help with the dreaded point motor alignment. Despite my drilling and cutting being somewhat gung-ho, everything worked well. That was until it came to ballasting.   I'm not sure if it was due to the over-large holes beneath the track or

JRamsden

JRamsden

Addleford Green - A History

Addleford Green - A History

Growing up with trains Thanks to my dad’s interests, I was raised on a healthy diet of trains, canals and anything powered by steam. It was therefore inevitable - after receiving a Hornby GWR Mixed Traffic train set for Christmas - that I would develop an interest in modelling for many years after.   My first layout was an extension of my first train set, with various different pieces added over time. It was safe to say it kept me busy until my teenage years, when I craved somethi

JRamsden

JRamsden

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