Jump to content
The forum software has been updated to a new version - further work on appearance and function will be carried out over the next day or so.


Wot Halt or trying to get back into railway modelling

Recommended Posts

Well it's been a god awful number of years since I left the railway modelling hobby and although I've given it a passing interest in recent years I haven't actually done any modelling for 25-30 odd years, just been collecting model railway bits and having lots of dreams. I have started at least 2 layouts(Ball Spond Road & Carr Quays) but those have stalled at the moment, mostly due to lack of money and, as someone on here put it, lack of modelling mojo.


But I have now started on a small diorama, partly to give me something to do rather than just sitting about flicking through the TV channels, especially over Christmas and winter, but also to get experience of doing modelling again and working out how to do scenery. it all looks so easy in the magazines and on the DVD's but It's been so long since I've done anything and the hobby has moved on a lot since the 80's & 90's.


Money is still very much an issue which is why I buy rolling stock that is old Hornby, Mainline/Airfix GMR etc etc...if it's less than £30-£40 in the month then I might consider buying it. The same applies to the building of the diorama bases. These are all made out of scrap plywood offcuts and timber reclaimed from pallets at my workplace (also means I can clear out the big stack of wood I have collected that my bosses would like disappeared)


So here is the progress so far on Wot Halt. As I've said the base is a simple box pallet timber box with plywood top and a couple of palletwood slats for the backscene, painted blue as I had a tub of spare paint at the back of the shed doing nothing. Only items purchase for the diorama are the Will's cattle creep, decked girder bridge and station halt with waiting room. Oh and I nearly forgot a Ratio station barrow crossing. I'm in the process of gluing down scrap polystyrene to make a start on the scenery. Once I'm happy I'll start carving it out to the desired shape, embankment with a footpath leading up from the road under the bridge to the halt with the barrow crossing serving as a crossing for any passenger. I need to fiddle with either end of the diorama and change the end pieces of timber to provide a proper looking end and then I can finish off the scenery building and get it all covered in either mod roc or plaster of paris. Then it's just a matter of painting the base in relevant colours, painting the track and having a go at static grass.






  • Like 13
Link to post
Share on other sites

This looks a super start. Great progress. I'd be tempted to add two fold down fiddle sticks so you can run through trains?


Also like the consist, loco+coach+brake, as it reminds me of the typical consist at my local preserved line, Telford Steam Railway.


Looking forward to seeing more. Great start!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Seems to me that your return to the hobby is off to a very good start, certainly better than mine which is currently stalled at the bare baseboard stage.



Your scenic ideas give plenty of interest, even in such a small space.


I like it - a lot :good: 


Link to post
Share on other sites

Strange, but I've never put any of my dioramas on here, perhaps I should start because

I'm a big believer in making up small dioramas to try different ideas.


I love your basis of having track bed well above board datum, allowing space for under

line scenery.


You state a tightness of cash ...... for many that's a secondary problem following lack of

space !! The diorama is the key to happy evenings.



Link to post
Share on other sites

A small update on progress....progress is likely to be confined to weekends and after pay days. I've made a couple of adjustments to the board now in the replacing the short end piece wood with pieces that go the full width of the diorama and used some small pieces of hardboard to shape the scenery. All the polystyrene has now been glued down with PVA wood glue and carved to rough shape ready for a coating of plaster of paris. The denser the polystyrene you can get the better for carving but as I'm using up waste stuff from work and it was all free I just had to keep the hoover going all the time sucking up the mess.


I'm going to have an experiment using modroc on some areas and just straight plaster on others. I also need to get around to painting the bridge and the cattle creep, as well as the track so I may have a visit to the Engine Shed down at Ford over the Christmas hols to get some supplies. Also the track needs to get a painting so I'll get some spray cans of black, dark grey & brown for that along with some track colour paints for detailing (I've also seen people using artist pastels for track detailing as an alternative)


Also changed the engine and train for a bit of variety...Jinty on the milk run this time







  • Like 7
Link to post
Share on other sites

Evening jet Morgan I am really pleased you have come back to the great hobby of railway modelling. I like your halt layout as it’s given me some great ideas for my layout. I hope to see more of your layout.



Edited by Clover
Link to post
Share on other sites

A smidgen of progress on Wot halt the other night. As there was sweet fanny adams on the television I thought I'd make a start and get the cattle creep painted. Also gives me the chance to use up the old tins of Humbrol enamels I've had lying around. I'm going to move over to using acrylics rather than enamels in the future but I want to use up what I have.


Started with a dry brushing of a dark grey for the stonework and then a very thinned down light stone colour for the mortar. Which didn't work out so well, probably should have done the light stone colour first. Then gave it a dry brushing of a darkish brown and then a red brown and used the same red brown to pick out some of the stonework. I have the 2 bridge abutments to do yest so with those I'll try the lighter colours first.


The first photo makes the red brown look rather too red but that is probably because it was taken under the desk lamp I have. The other pics are with it in position on the diorama with a few of the locos in my stud.





  • Like 6
Link to post
Share on other sites

Me too ! Where did you find this platform ? Thanks.




That's the Wills kits Halt with platform shelter. I've used the Wills kits for nearly everything on this one.




They do a second version without the platform shelter. I bought mine through Hatton's though as I was buying some other bits & bobs from them

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • RMweb Gold



Been watching your progress for a while...I really like this concept. So much so I'm tempted to do a version of my own.


Thanks for sharing, I will follow with interest.


All the best,


Link to post
Share on other sites

I decided to have a morning away from the flat and ended up spending more money than I ought to have done. But came back with some gear to get the next stage of Wot Halt done, 2 packs of Modroc. Also a few tools, including some Xuron track cutters, that was a real "ouch, my wallet" moment. Some acyrlic spray paints from Humbrol and pots of weathering paints from Railmatch so I can also make a start on painting the track. I also bought a second Wills engine shed and some brick sheets so I can make some more progress on my other diorama Basket Shed.





  • Like 4
Link to post
Share on other sites

Well as I woke up to a thoroughly miserable Sunday morning I decided to get plastered....and I got completely plastered and not a drop of alcohol passed my lips, mind you I don't drink. 


So I used up a roll and a half of modroc on the scenery on Wot Halt, glad I bought the 2 packs when I went to Ford on the Saturday. There is still some fine tuning to be done as there is modroc in the area for the halt and also where the cattle creep and bridges are going so I'll have to do some carving. Already tried a bit using a Stanley knife but it doesn't like it and won't cut properly. I might have to see if my brother has one of those multi tool affairs to see if I can borrow that next time he is down, Next job will be to get the whole thing painted....so I'll have to find somewhere near here that does matt emulsions in brown colours, our local B&Q & Homebase (Tonbridge) closed down a few years back so it's now a matter of Tunbridge Wells and the out of town trading estates.


Also had a go at painting the trackwork today at work. This didn't turn out too badly...I gave it a light spray with Humbrol rattle can grey primer. gave that an hour to dry, then Humbrol rattle can dark brown, again a random light spraying. Let that dry and then a spray of Humbrol matt black. That was left for the rest of the day to dry off and once I got it back home it was out with the Railmatch dark & light rust acrylics. These I thinned down and dry brushed them along the chairs and the rail with the dark rust and just the chairs with the light rust. The light rust I really thinned down as I didn't want the track looking like it had been given a spray tan. The photos make the track look rather red but that was just the desk lamp I was using.


I also made a start on painting the platform of the halt...this wasn't so great. Used my old enamels for this, a medium brown first off, then a dry brushing of a darker brown. I had left that to dry and then gave it a wash of slightly thinned acrylic Humbrol dirty black to give the impression of old creosoted but dusty timber but it has ended up have a slightly glossy finish to the platform. I will have to have a think about that as to either leaving it like that or repainting it completely. I still have to paint the fencing and the shelter so I still have the option....I really will have to start replacing my old enamels with acrylics. They seem to be easier to work with but I'm loathe to chuck them despite being a number of years old. I also need to see how other people have painted their shelters and how they have done an aged going slightly rusty and paint peeling look.








  • Like 6
Link to post
Share on other sites

I like the colour of the platform (track looks good too), could you use some Matt varnish or weathering powder to take away the slight gloss? Nice to be able to shop locally, we have Derails only 5 miles away, small stocks but small prices....usual disclaimer, just a satisfied customer.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I like the colour of the platform (track looks good too), could you use some Matt varnish or weathering powder to take away the slight gloss? Nice to be able to shop locally, we have Derails only 5 miles away, small stocks but small prices....usual disclaimer, just a satisfied customer.

Oh I wish The Engine Shed was local....£16.60 return trip on the train and it was a palaver getting there and back because of broken down trains and Gatwick station only having 3 platforms open, I presume because of the Quarry Line through Redhill being closed. 


I have thought about giving the platform a dusting with matt varnish and next time I go shopping I might get a can and see how that turns out.

Link to post
Share on other sites

After a bit of an inactive spell a bit more progress on Wot halt. Paint for the scenery base finally arrived (other paint manufacturers are available I believe) I couldn't find a brown dark enough for what I thought was right so got a tin of black to mix in. However it turned all grey but should still be okay once it is covered in a layer of dark brown earth type scatter material. Next time I'll have to find a pot of orange or red paint to get it to a proper brown. Not the best job as i couldn't quite get into the nooks and crannies behind the bridges but they should cover over to hide that white of the plaster. Next time I'll have to remove that backscene to get to everywhere. Once that is all done I'll get down to practicing with static grass.


Well things are now going to have to wait until pay day near the end of March and I'll make another visit to the Engine Shed for some more bits & bobs. Also I want to pick up some bits for Basket Shed.

wot halt painting 1.jpg

wot halt painting 2.jpg

wot halt painting 3.jpg

wot halt painting 4.jpg

Edited by jetmorgan
  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

After a bit of a long gap I've got a bit more progress done on Wot Halt. A small parcel arrived from Hattons with some scenery bits for Wot Halt and Basket shed. i also got some work done on buildings for Pant-y-Loon.


So I've got the first layer of grass down, Woodland scenics soil and earth fine turfs although I was expecting the soil to be more brown than it is. It was very dark green so I'll use that sparingly in places for a bit of contrast. I still need to find something that is a dark brown to simulate mud for areas around the cattle creep. Also I got some work done on painting the girder bridge to finish that off...just needs some fettling to get it to fit properly. Also need to find something to simulate a gravel and stone roadway.

wot halt scenery 1.jpg

wot halt scenery 2.jpg

wot halt girder bridge 1.jpg

wot halt girder bridge 2.jpg

wot halt girder bridge 3.jpg

  • Like 15
Link to post
Share on other sites

A diorama or micro layout is definitely a good idea if you are space or cash starved...or both
in fact, it's a great way to hone your modelling skills, and try out new techniques and materials

This is looking like a nice diorama - I think you could even consider connecting it to another diorama, and have yourself a layout.. one day :)
I too like differing levels in a scene - it helps give the eye more to look at and wander towards. It can also help a given space seem larger than it actually is
Looking forward to seeing this develop

PS. I had many years out of the hobby too - and a recent spell of a few years
But I always come back to the hobby, and usually more inspired after a break

  • Agree 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not sure when it happened, but I've developed a real interest in minimalist halts, both in model form, and the real thing....
Yes, I'm looking forward to seeing this progress too - I simply had to come back, to see if there was any news :)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Well another small step for learner kind on Wot Halt. My attempts at the roadway ended up a bit of a disaster. I was wanting the look of a stone grit road....that sort of country lane that was tar spread over the surface and then grit spread over the top of that and I tried using the grass powder and painting it to achieve that sort of effect but it really didn't work so I gave it and the footpath up to the platform a thin layer of polyfilla again and this time I'll just paint that various shades of sand colour with light browns as well...so that will be another trip to The Engine Shed for a shopping trip. 


I've also paitned the fencing on the platform, Humbrol matt brown 110 and when that was partly dry a dry-ish coat of humbrol matt white. Once that was all dry a a dabbing of humbrol dirt black acrylic wash. It will probably need some more work on it to make it look more un-cared for. The foot crossing is also now in place which will need some more painting as well.

wot halt roadway 1.jpg

wot halt roadway 3.jpg

wot halt halt 1.jpg

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.