As I've been building my new layout I've been trying to imagine the story behind it. As I'm using this blog as a record of my build I thought I'd make a few notes on what is coming in the future. As I've already mentioned the station is squarely based around Acklington station - my closest ECML halt. I've been to site armed with my camera and taken many photographs.
Although the main station building is now private dwellings it is wonderful to see all the original architecture. The goods shed is also based on Acklington but has been switched to the other side of the main line due to space restrictions. The village behind the station will have cottages based on various local buildings from Acklington, Felton, Warkworth and Denwick. These will be scratch built using a combination of hard foam, card and DAS clay. I have some Metcalf building I may put in place temporarily around the layout until the scratch built items are ready.
The castle on the hill is inspired by Bamburgh Castle but I have nothing like the space required for a scale model here. Instead I will be restyling the Noch “Hohenstein” castle which I picked up on eBay for a very low price. It gives me a good starting point - I had started to build a plastic kit (Miniart 1:72 Scale Medieval Castle) but IMHO the kit is very poor quality especially if like me you are used to Tamiya, Faller and the newly tooled Airfix models. Also the stonework looks far to uniform and perfect and the joins need a lot of work including around all the crenellations. So the Noch castle is just a representation of the many Northumberland castles around us - parts of the Noch structure look very similar to Dunstanburgh castle which is just a short drive away.
Fred Dibnah is seen here inspecting the tower, I hope it's still there in the morning!
The final piece of Noch I'm using is a tunnel mouth to go below the castle. This is inspired by the likes of Bramhope and Clayton tunnel portals, this does not fit perfectly with a local landmark - to say the least- but I just love the eccentricity of these structures and wanted to have one on my layout.
After this the structures will be mainly scratch built, this includes the three road engine shed adjacent to the turntable (Heljan DCC item), and a coaching inn - I'll use the metcalfe one temporarily but want to build one based on some local buildings.
I'm also thinking through an idea to represent RAF Acklington in the far left hand corner of the layout. The airfield opened in 1916 and was a Royal Flying Corps airfield, In April 1918 the RAF took over but only until 1920 when it was closed. In 1938 it was reopened and was then active until 1972 - I have researched this site in depth having a keen interest in the war time RAF aircraft - mainly instilled by my father who did his national service with the RAF.
I'll do a little more on Acklington station now before getting back to the track bed next week.
I briefly posted this next link on my last blog entry but I think it caused an issue so I'll try again here but will not edit this later. It's just a slideshow of my progress to date that I have posted on YouTube