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As a change from Blagdon I can share some of the limited progress made with Westbrook. This was a very small station on the Golden Valley Railway that ran between Pontrilas and Hay. I had already constructed a baseboard and laid the track but since then that baseboard has sat under Blagdon. Rather than buy anything new I thought I should get the unfinished projects completed so a faltering start was made on completing Westbrook. The first job was to construct the station building which I did some time ago and I also built the platform, this time of wood rather than Plasticard as I've done in the past. I also completed all the station "furniture," aided by a few photos of the prototype although, annoyingly, some corners of of the station have escaped the few photographs taken at this remote location.


Having completed the platform I wanted to see how it looked on the baseboard so withdrew this from under Blagdon (a task that requires our back door to be open). I've taken a photo as below but please ignore the backdrop of cleaning materials and paint brushes.




Photos of course show up any flaws and I have corrected the leaning milk churn. The slightly wonky fishplate needs a little more work. Although out of focus you might notice the wooden lean to attached to the side of the station building.  The fencing was Microstrip and is a good match for the original. The other point worth noting is the nameboard. I used the posts from a commercial item but the nameboard itself was constructed from Plasicard. The broad surround might look odd but follows the prototype. The Slaters letters (not quite in line!) do not match GWR running in board lettering. I recollect etched brass letters closer to the font used were available at one time but not it seems now.


I'm quite pleased with the trackwork which illustrates a feature rarely modelled, flat bottom track in sidings. On many branch lines chaired bullhead rail replaced the original flat bottom rail secured to the sleepers with spikes but this was usually done on the running lines only. Sidings, which had far less use, were more often than not left as they were. Oddly Blagdon retained flat bottom track to the end but with stone ballast. The Golden Valley line was upgraded to chaired bullhead but with inferior ash ballast.


The gardens were a feature of Westbrook, as indeed they were at Blagdon, and both seemed to have been made in the same way. The beds were edged with large stones, the ones on Westbrook came from sieved sharp sand (also called Thames grit) which has small stones within the sand. Whislt doing this I came across a tiny shell fossil which of course found a place in the flower bed. The layout of seats and lamp posts is taken from photographs although it seems that sometimes the seat migrated to the front of the building.


The platform was edged with the familiar blue bricks with a diamond pattern set upright. I used a diamond pattern Plasticard for the top and ridged for the edge. The latter does not look completely correct but captures the look that would be hard to reproduce otherwise (the only way would be to cut each brick individually and I'm not doing that!).


The scenery will be poystyrene blocks glued to the wooden frame of the baseboard. I was partcularly keen to keep weight to a minimum so only the trackwork is on a MDF base. As Westbrook was sited on fairly open land the backscene is going to be particularly difficult. At Blagdon a long line of "GWR firs" provided a very effective visual stop.


Once I've got a little more done I'll keep readers updated but in the meantime having acquired a second-hand copy of the comprehensive HMRS publication "All about Iron Minks" it will give me the opportunity to take a closer loook at my minks and see if any further detailing is required.

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  • RMweb Gold

Good to see the Westbrook building in place. I was wondering what had happened to it. The flat bottom track is a very nice touch.


Apologies if you have already mentioned it, but will Blagdon and Westbrook be linked somehow, or are they separate layouts?

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