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  1. An interesting little project last night was to take the 1908 OS map as shown above that I purchased, increase the transparency and then overlay it on the Google Sat image and then adjust the sizes to get the best match that I good. Low and behold things were not quite as I thought, turns out the station building is under the current Station Road as is the engine shed. The footpath that I discovered from the map is the current run that runs along the road but at distance quite far from it. Zooming in and out, it is possible to equate the modern day boundaries (once you know where to look) with the current land features. Plus it looks like at least the top part of the bank that used to be just inside the station after the bridge on the far side where the loading chute used is be is still there as the bank coming down from the small street and houses that are know there, all of these were apparently built on the "flatter" land at the top of the embankment. To see the overlay of original you will need to look closely at the image below and perhaps scroll up to the one above to see the original.
  2. That looks even better, I must admit that as my first visit, I was struggling with the scales, but was specifically looking for the 50's, but will no doubt return and add to my collection. Thanks for pointing this out.
  3. Need to work on making my images smaller! Last item for this update is that I have now received the track for Helston and have started laying it out. Having been working with modern OS maps available on-line and good old Google maps and street view, earlier this week I was faced with a challenge. Looking at pictures of the station building from the road and looking towards Praze, it did not appear that Station Road continued as it does now, there was a wall that appeared to be in the way and far too close to be Church Hill, which is what Station Road has always connected to in my memory for the past 40 years. Well to my joy a little more on line snooping brought me to copies of old OS maps that were surveyed in the 1940's and 1950"s. Bingo, now not old did I have a good scale map that actually showed the tracks and general lay out for the station. I also saw that Station Road was a dead-end, with just a small area probably for parking etc. just past the station building. Needless to say that although I printed out the on-line version I have ordered the high resolution downloadable version that should be a lot easier to work with and will at some point be framed to display in the model room (once I get one. Pic below shows the start of determining where the lines will go with the relevant OS map in the lower left. Will not be fixing the track for a while as I wrestle with which point motor I want to go with...
  4. Posting has been a little delayed, as that thing called work has got in the way, but that is not to say that progress has not been made. The engine shed has been painted, but there is still some detailing to do. Another chunk of my time is about to disappear as our local theatre group is starting gearing up for the next production in March. But there is a hidden benefit in that as the lighting designer and engineer I get to spend a lot of time working along our very talented set painter, and although the scales are very different, I am hoping to pick up a few tips to improve my model painting skills. The shed is seen here with the Lima 2-6-2T Class 45 I picked up second hand for a good price in auction. Interestingly enough is number is 4589, which was based out of Truro and there are pictures on-line showing 4588 at Helston station so I was very pleased to pick that one up. I have also followed some on-line tutorials for servicing Lima Locos and have had it all stripped down and cleaned up and reassembles and fully greased and oiled. Although I have not checked it on the track yet, I was happy just hooking it up without the body and running with a small variable transformer, it seemed to run reasonably well. Just waiting now to get the bits to fit DCC to it.
  5. The blade in question I have discovered is a #9 button hole blade mine is made by a well know company of cutting tools Friskars and I could find these blades available in the main on-line shopping site both in the UK and here in Canada. I haver attached a pic of the tool in action, just four simple pushes down and the sides of this N-gauge door were cut.
  6. Having received my first order from Britannia Models, now having N-gauge track to go with the points I had left from my younger days, I set about laying the track for Praze station. As both my points were left‑handed this dictated modelling a later time period when the passing loop was converted to just a siding. With the track laid and glued in place, it was time to reacquaint myself with ballasting. Having viewed a number of various “tutorials” on‑line, time to get started. I am reasonably happy with the results, and was thankful that GWR was known to ballast up to and occasionally covering the sleepers. Still this is a learning model, I can only improve when move to OO‑gauge and the Helston station. Having then set aside Praze station, it was time to try my hand at modelling buildings, so started with the Helston engine shed. The shell was cut from foam board (old company presentations with the printed surface peeled off). Although not purchased on purpose, I found that one of the craft knives I had purchased had a blade for cutting button‑holes, this was perfect for cutting the windows, done simply by pressing down the blade and getting a perfectly straight cut right into the corner. Having assembled the shell I tried a new technique, at least for me, of applying a thin coat of air drying modelling clay and then scoring out the various stones. At this point I was again glad for one of my father’s “hobbies” when I was a teen, namely renovating a traditional Cornish farm labourer’s cottage only a couple of miles from Praze and Beeble. As a result I have had hands on experience, for more years than I care to remember, working with granite walls and slate roofs, taking them to bits, cleaning them up and rebuilding them. To my mind this experience makes it easier to model something you are intimately familiar with. Although, far from perfect, a very acceptable result, and again a great learning process. Lastly, as I have had plenty of time being off work for two weeks over Christmas, I have been tiling the roof. Although I am aware of a number of other methods, I still prefer the process of cutting out thousands (about 2,400) tiles from index cards each 4 by 3 mm. Then individually gluing each on, with just a small overlap. In reality on the real building each slate would have been overlapped by about four tiles above. I very much like the effect created and was more than happy to see it taking on some of the profile characteristic profile of an older slate roofing that can never be purposely modelled! Painting next.
  7. So what is the plan with two models at different scales? To start with it’s a bit like our early years of marriage, having graduated and found a job, we found ourselves in the position of having time to travel but no money to do it. Well now thirty years later with retirement on the horizon it is the reverse, more money but less free time. So now is the time to buy the stock (rolling and otherwise) while I can afford it and tinker at modelling, while anticipating retirement. As mentioned previously the motivation to switch from N to 00‑gauge was the greater availability of rolling stock. However, finding GWR 2-6-2T Prairie tankers was not easy. I thought I was in luck when Google pulled up just what I was looking for, but following the link lead to a dead end as it looked like a back page archived by Google. However the page was linked to the name of the shop in British Columbia on the other side of Canada, so I fire off an email, seeking information. Now for a huge shout out to Connor at Britannia Models for customer service way above and beyond. I got a speedy response confirming that was indeed an old page for a Bauchmann loco which was out of stock and no longer made, but he took the time to search the internet and provide me with a link to a store where they were still in stock. Wow, needless to say I have been happy to purchase what I can from Britannia Models and yes their great customer focus continues. In starting to build the station building at Praze, I was able to find enough pictures on-line that allowed me to reconstruct the platform side (is the front of a station that which faces the road or the track?) and the down end (towards Helston). But have absolutely nothing on the other end or the side that faces the road. Before I employ creative licence does anyone have any details, pictures, plans etc. that would help me with this?
  8. 1940's at the end of the GWR era, although a few features of the 1950's might be seen.
  9. Tony, All the best for the new year, thanks again for the articles, I have also started my own blog also on the Helston Branch LIne "In Praise of Praze"
  10. At last, after over 30 years’ absence from model railways I have begun to model the Helston Branch line. In my late teens I chose to model the Helston Branch Line because I grew up in Mullion and attended Helston Comprehensive School. Every day for many years I would pass the former site of the station to and from school, in a “routemaster” bus just like the one in some of the archived photos of the station. It is probable that it was the very same bus. In addition, when I endured the agony of cross county runs during our PE lessons, it was often along the abandoned railway lines. So although I never had a chance to see the line in operation, I feel a close affinity to it. As a teen in the early 1980s, I spent many hours going through material at both the Helston and Truro Museums, browsing the local book shops looking for information and more importantly pictures; I roamed the site, camera in hand, taking shots of anything that remained (mostly just the goods shed). I struggled but made a good start in N-gauge until I had to move away. Now with retirement on the horizon, it is time to get back to where I left off. But technology has vastly changed modelling. Now when Helston Railway Station is entered into the Google search bar it returns far more images than I was ever able to find before and there are links to a forum with fascinating details from those who have gone before such as Tony Mulgabill in "A Cartoon of Helstonish". My thanks to Tony for sharing the articles from the 1960s that give detailed scale drawings of the buildings, almost making it too easy! Visits to the OS maps app and Google Street enable me to peruse the sites almost as well as walking along them. I can do my research before I once again walk the sites with camera in hand when I am back in the area in 2020. How did I come to choose the title for this opening blog? I agonized over the decision of what scale to build. I determined that this time I would work in 00 and not N‑gauge, based on available locos and the space available to me. Initially I decided that I would start with a layout of Helston Station in 00 and that with a little licence I could fit it on a 3 m run. When I announced my grand plans to my lovely wife, she instantly wanted to know what I was going to do with the old N‑gauge rolling stock that I had. She wanted them displayed as well. No model railroader could refuse such a challenge, so I needed a very simple station that could fit on a board about 1 m long and accommodate a 2-6-0 loco and tender along with three coaches plus a few wagons. Looking along the branch line it was evident that Praze was the ideal location, with a simple platform and a small additional goods siding. It is also on the section of the line where 2-6-0 locos were allowed to run. Also, as it is only a couple of miles from where my brother currently lives, one could say it is his local station.
  11. Very interested in you Helston model, I am looking to take up a project from 30+ years ago and also model the Helston station would be very interested in any tips, drawing plans that you might be willing to share, although there is a lot here already :-)
  12. Would you be interested in sharing your plans/drawings for Helston models?
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