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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 project possible since so little of the actual line remains. My thanks go out to anyone who had the mind to document the Hawkhurst branch while it still existed. I'm sure it's final fate could never have entered their heads during the times of its heyday.


So it is that I turn my attention to the station building. Rather typical of the station infrastructure designed and built by Holman Fred Stephens, this line's station buildings were cheaply constructed from corrugated iron and was very much a function over form kind of affair. Indeed, many of the lines Stephens built for were specifically designed to be cheaply built and run. I covered a lot of my scratch building techniques in the posts for the Stationmaster's house, so I won't get too detailed here.


For such a simple structure the model has required more forethought than I initially expected. I decided to model a portion of the interior for this build. To make my life easier I try to take the path of least resistance; this basically means doing things in an order that rules out having to paint at awkward angles later on! To some, my process may seem a little barmy but it makes sense in my head at least! First I start with plan printed on regular paper. I up-scaled the ones in the book and simplified them for ease of cutting.




I settled on using windows from Wills pack SS86. They aren't amazingly detailed but they were the right size and design. The window appertures above are big enough to accommodate the whole window over which I would create my own frame.




I used Slater's embossed plasticard corrugated iron sheets. Care has to be taken to ensure these sheets are square before cutting individual elements. Due to the direction of the corrugations I had to cut two smaller pieces and join them at the middle which was a shame. I made sure the join was over the door so the amount of actual plastic joined was minimal. I then relied on a sheet on the reverse to strengthen the join, which would also form the interior wall. I used wooden slatted embossed plasticard here. Unfortunately I didn't double check the direction of the slats and got this wrong; they should be vertical! The rest of the walls were strengthened with plain black plasticard as the interior would not be modelled in those sections.





There is little to no pictorial evidence of the interiors of any of the Hawkhurst branch's buildings, making the interior sections tricky to gauge. I took inspiration from the various surviving Southern-themed preserved railways. I'm lucky to have access to the Kent and East Sussex Railway, another designed by Colonel Stephens, whose station buildings are very similar.


I solved the internal slat problem by adding another layer in the correct orientation over the top. This actually thickened the walls to a pleasing level and allowed me to add window frames inside and cap off the walls around the door frame, making the whole thing look much neater. 




I started making interior walls. This would be the wall featuring the ticket window.




Next I added the brick layer which the building sits upon. This was thickened by one extra layer of plasticard behind the brickwork.




Just a quick test fit of pieces...




I added some detail to the inside of the men's toilet. The urinals wouldn't be seen but the sides of two stalls would be visible. I made this sink out of an old piece of white metal casting and a drainpipe!  




I made the slope of mortar above the brick courses from some Das Clay. I have a tendency to use too much for this and it can looks clumsy. I hope, after the painting is done, it won't look too bad!




Everything is primed for painting...




I made this simple template from card so I could create the 11 window frames required for the building. Each was constructed from thin strips of plasticard and a 2mm square rod for the windowsill. I made these separately as I wanted to paint them before adding to the model, something that made life much harder! This was a very fiddly job.




All 11 window frames complete!




I started on the cream colour for the main building. I chose to do this now so the window frames could be assembled while I could still hold the walls flat. I figured it'd be much harder to do a neat job once the building was assembled.




The toilet is coming along nicely...




While everything was drying I turned my attention to some interior details. I made this double-sided chimney breast from bits and pieces I had lying around. It will just be visible through windows and the open booking hall doors. I have no idea if this is how such a feature would look, but the floor plans suggest a fireplace here and the chimneys definitely confirm it. I could have made a neater join on the brickwork... amazing what you spot in close-up photography! Being an interior detail I'm not too fussy about small mess-ups like this.




Lots of painting to do next...


All for now,




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