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Tim Hale

Building a Southern Region layout

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For the past few years both Hornby and Bachmann have produced some excellent stock for those of the Southern persuasion, what is missing is the infrastructure of Southern Railway buildings. However not is all lost, there are a few excellent books that provide plans and views of buildings, whilst amongst the archives of Railway Modeller and Model Railway Constructor there are a few gems to be found- John Charman and Frank Crudass were prolific contributors to both magazines, the latter featuring his layout Wadebridge.

 

Frank Crudass

 

RM 11/68 Building a super-detail tank wagon, pages 336, 337.

RM 08/69 N Class Locomotive 2-6-0 SE&CR Maunsell Design

RM 06/70 LSWR Rail Built Buffer Stop

MRC 06/65 SR Platform barrows

MRC 03/66 Building 30200 - building the Wills 4mm scale kit

MRC 07/66 SR Platform seats

MRC 04-5/67 Modelling the Beattie Well Tank

MRC 07/66 SR Platform seats

MRC 1980 Annual Wadebridge Island Platform

 

John Charman

 

MRC 08/71 LSWR Loading Gauge - John Charman describes the prototype and the model

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PP1.jpg

 



After a rather disjointed start, have attempted to replicate the stock that would have been found in the area during our timeframe of the latter half of the 50's. As we had originally planned to build a branchline, an M7 and P+P set seemed obligatory unfortunately the only kits seemed to be the old Blacksmith range (seen above) although it must be rather out of place in West Dorset but the preferred gated stock was just not available.


 

The background of Hornby and Bachmann boxes are a reminder of the wonderful items of stock that we could dream about ten years ago, the layout is home to at least four Maunsell sets and there are plans for building an exLSWR 3-car cross-country set as described by Terry Gough almost 50 years ago in RM.

 

We now have three pairs of hands contributing to the construction of the layout, with a combined age of at least one hundred and seventy, fortunately we hope to have the layout completed by Easter 2012.

 

DesA

 

 

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I assume you've looked at Roxey Mouldings' range, which seems to me to offer quite a few opportunities for nice period SR and Pre-Grouping stock if you have the skills. Also Holt Model railways still advertise the venerable Mike's Models range, which includes LSWR water cranes & buffer stops.

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Dave has yet to release a driving trailer for an exLSWR set but he does offer an exLBSCR P+P set.

 

It is many years since the Triang clerestories were cut n'shut to form bodies for the cross-country set but the chassis have always been on the to-do list, maybe after the scenery is completed on the layout we will have some time to complete the job?

 

Thanks for letting us know about the water crane, we have some Southwark Bridge details on the other to-do list.

 

BTW, here is an image of the SCC roadsign that will be made from a set of Dart Castings with Chris Nevard's guidance, the bin is about 50 years out of place.

 

Scc+400.jpg

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Don't forget that Pull-Push Set 723 ran on the Seaton branch from 1939-49, so an LBSCR set in the West Country is not unprecedented!

 

Not your locale, perhaps, but coming further east, Hornby Magazine for January offered a Skaledale model of Medstead & Four Marks, which ought to appeal to either those seeking to model the Mid-Hants, with all the plethora of preserved stock plus visiting locos, or anyone wishing to build a model of "The Alps" in either the steam era, or with Kernow's Hampshire DEMU, and ample scope for its legendary use as a diversionary route.

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IMG_0028.JPG IMG_0031.JPG Top Left - Looking towards Chard - this would have been the site* of the station Top Right - Looking south towards Beaminster - a seriously hilly route

 

This was the route of the 'ACE', less than fifty years ago it was a busy double track mainline to the West Country. This is the actual location of the proposed station for Beaminster Junction, mentioned in Railways of Dorset by J.H. Lucking, it is on the Wayford Hill between Wayford and Clapton on the B3165 . The railway cuts into side of the hill and follows the Axe valley towards Axminster in Devon, if the station had been built it would have been severely restricted by the natural landscape and the branchline to Beaminster would have crossed the valley before rising over the hills.

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CC_3_800.jpg CC_7_800.jpg

 

This is the crossing keeper's cottage at Wyke, between Sherborne and Yeovil Junction. It is typical of many such structures built by the LSWR for railway employees and it is the basis of both single and double designs that could be found from Surrey to Cornwall. Only two external doors at either end of the building, a very narrow building only one room deep, it must have been very cramped quarters. Note the rendered west and south faces as protection against the prevailing rain from the southwest.

 

Thanks to Chris Nevard, we have the plans to create a similar structure to his lovely cottage on Catcott Burtle. More generosity shown to the group by a local picture framer has resulted in enough mounting card for our needs - watch this space.:rolleyes:

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The construction of some buildings has produced a few more structures for the layout. Rather than scratchbuild, all are standard kits from Scenecraft, Peco, Wills and Knightwing. To replicate that 'washed-out' colour of the Southern, I have toned down the colour scheme and use Humbrol Acrylic 78 'Interior Cockpit Green' and Citadel Colours 61-17 'Bleached Bone' The combination has the effect of diluting the colours as if looking from scale distances rather than at close quarters.

 

Goods+Group.JPG

Shelters.JPG

SBox.JPG

station_masters1.jpg

 

This is the station master's house, a repainted Skaledale Station Building, I think it is supposed to be a Scottish Region building. However its stone construction and front porch is more than similar to many in West Dorset/South Somerset, it will match the only other major building on the layout- a Scenecraft exLSWR signal box.

 

As is common at smaller stations in the West Country, there was no provision for the passengers, their needs will be satisfied by a collection of wooden buildings

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As a Southern enthusiast and modeller myself, I have to say I'm really looking forward to seeing this layout develop. Do keep posting updates, and I can't wait to see what you plan to do.

 

All best

 

Chris

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I have a similar collection of ready-to-plonk buildings, and I shall be delighted to copy your painting ideas. My ideal choice of station building would be closer to one of the designs of Sir William Tite (Topsham is my favourite, but others also light my fire). If Skaledale continue to miss this opportunity then scratchbuild will be unavoidable.

 

Like others, I am following your progress with great interest.

 

PB

Edited by Peter Bedding
Edited to remove quote and pictures
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MoS1.JPG

Warehouse1.jpg

 

This really is the most monstrous carbuncle of a structure but therein is its attraction - welcome to MoS Wayford Buffer Store*.

 

Even the acquisition of the building was a nightmare, it originated in the Nederlands, was purchased from Elburn, Illinois and finally sent from Wisconsin to Dorset. The kit was best described as challenging, none of the major components were straight and some serious modification was needed to create something acceptable. The roof panels were replaced with 1mm plywood and the centre roof seam is a strip of PCB sleeper, I still need to fit a roof access ladder and some suitable Ministry of Supply notices but otherwise I am pleased.

 

It will be raised on a platform edged by Ratio concrete sections and other suitably governmental (ugly) structures will be its companions- a collection of carbuncles?

 

 

*Built during WW2 in strategic locations, often rail-connected, the MoS buffer store often housed essential foodstuffs. A few still exist, there were examples in the South at Pinhoe, Burgate, Bentley and Wells.

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The Meldon

 

As the location is on the old SW Mainline, it would have been host to stone traffic to and from Meldon Quarry. Luckily, suitable wagons for the traffic seem to be in plentiful supply from a variety of sources albeit some are now obsolete. As proponent of 'near enough' I can overlook the incorrect bogies on the venerable Lima Walrus and I am happy enough with the other wagons that make up 'The Meldon' however I still have no definitive answer as to what motive power was used on the stone traffic in the 50's between Exeter-Salisbury and beyond moreover much of the non-passenger traffic ran in darkness during the busy summer months and not many photographs were taken of these trains*

 

Mel2.JPG Shark.jpg

 

*Of the few photos from the 50's, most show N's, S15's and Bulleid Light Pacifics but did other sheds provide other motive power for the returning empties?

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Layout design philosophy The trackplan reflects, not so much the 'typical' Southern wayside station but the reasoning behind the layout. We have just 16'x10' in old money in which to create a plausible through station and this really precludes any attempt to replicate a scale location, therefore we designed the layout on a constant compound curve 16'R to 6'R and 4'R at the extreme ends into the storage sidings. The rationale behind the entrance to the sidings is access to a passenger bay, therefore a locked facing turnout is permissible and from the outset we decided to keep the remainder of the layout as simple (and low key) as possible. In addition, all buildings are as small or unobtrusive as possible as their role is a backdrop, this suits our interests of stock building rather than operation, the layout is merely a scenic test track.

Further+amended+plan.JPG

Hopefully, as the layout progresses, more can be revealed.

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(As an aside, I seem unable to exercise control over my edit facility; I edited my earlier post only in an attempt to correct my grammar. The edit record is as strange to me as to others.)

 

However, whist here, I am delighted to add that this project looks as good in the flesh as is indicated by the text and photos. It has all the right ingredients. John Charman certainly started something, over five decades ago.

 

PB

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FY_Complete1_775.jpg

 



At last, some progress on the fiddle yard.


 

Not large by normal standards but enough for eleven trains which should be adequate to represent the daytime traffic on a typical weekday in late spring on the old SW Mainline. However the balance of goods to passenger trains is incorrect as only one or two goods trains would pass during daylight hours and we are running four goods trains.

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Temporary placement

IMG_0189.JPG

 



Getting the feel of a 'factional' location is never an easy process, we all (hopefully) have perceptions of how the end result should look but more often than not the process derails and we are disappointed by the outcome.


 

We have a solution- we try placing the various buildings in odd combinations as we think they should look and leave them for a couple of sessions to get 'used' to them before rearranging the mix. This arrangement follows the 'huddled together' look that seems to be favoured in the West Country - is it a self-protection thing?

 

The pub in the background is definitely not in the goods yard but it will be part of the station group on the far side of the tracks beside Wayford Hill Lane - a suitable name is being considered as is the correct brewery for West Dorset- the much lamented Eldridge Pope is favoured.

 

DesA



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May only be a temporary placement Des but it does give a good impression of the developing layout.

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Hi,

 

The buildings themselves are only temporary and will be replaced with our interpretations of local buildings such as the crossing keeper's cottage at Wyke (a few posts ago)

 

Dscf0204.jpg

All the dimensions were researched by Bill Jones with some confirmations from a decorator friend of Bill who has worked inside a similar property. The model, if measured, is scaled at 4mm to 12" to give the correct sized internal rooms to within +/- 5% in full size, with full allowance for the correct width of the external walls and cavities, and the depth of the double faced chimney breasts built in the original. The chimney is placed in the correct position with double pots as per original, totally different to the model on Catcott Burtle, as are the window frames and sliding sashes.

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I particularly like the chimney detail there.

Edited by Mod5
To remove unnecesary quote and photos
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LSWR Type4 Signal Box

Dscf0206.jpg

 

Much as we like the Scenecraft signal box, it really is unique to Wadebridge, not West Dorset, however its standard LSWR design can be used for inspiration for Beaminster Junction. The walls are overlaid with Slaters brick sheet- I prefer to see texture therefore brick paper is not an option, the remaining structure is all scratchbuilt.


 

Updates will be published as we progress.

 

Dscf0207.jpg

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Hi,

 

We are not sure if we should continue with this occasional update of progress on the layout. The subject is somewhat narrow, it appeals to a generation before modern traction, when steam was normal fare and being a locospotter was considered normal. After this weekend's activity in the workshop, the crossing keeper's cottage is almost complete and a start has been made on the exLSWR brick built type 4 signal box which will replace the Scenecraft example, the next instalment would have been the trio of rail-built SR signals with their remote drive using actuator motors together with the completed signal box.

 

In the meantime, this is the model of the 'mundane cottage' featured a few posts ago.

 

CC1+Rear.jpg

 

The construction is Slater's brick over mounting board, all the other pieces are scratchbuilt. The rendering at the rear of the cottage has been ignored as it ruins the appearance of the cottage and we are not actually modelling Wyke crossing, it is ironic that this will replace the Skaledale Stationmaster's house and yet it is in harmony with the other structures on the layout.

 

CC1+Front.jpg

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Not much more to do, just the chimney from the stove (is it a stovepipe?) and fit out the interior with the kit from Wills, it should compliment the 'Mundane Cottage' in both colouring and style. Again, Slater's brick over a card construction, the balustrade is wood section and less chunky than the Scenecraft version - A set of MSE rodding and pulleys are ready for installation, hopefully the operating semaphores will be the next instalment if there is any interest?

 

DSCF0216.JPG

 

DSCF0219-1.JPG

 

DSCF0217.JPG

 

 



The balustrade on the signal box was also researched by Bill Jones, rather than copying that on the resin model (which is incorrect for the layout) Note should be taken of the separate door furniture and rainwater guttering.


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Putting the station on a curve makes it look so much more realistic than having it straight with rather sharp curves at either end which always looks like a toy train set, it was one of things that I did on my layout although I only had 11ft 6x 8ft to play witht.

 

I'll be looking to see how this develops

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Warts n' all - was it worth the wait?

 

OK , nil points for originality but I had to buy one and I have no regrets because it captures the look to a Tee. A few jobs to be done in accordance with Larry G's instructions but it will result in a very nice model that was well worth the wait.

 

Stove+R+2.jpg

 



 



Thanks Alan for the comment, our previous successful layout was built on a continuous curve and I regret not placing the station closer to the ends rather than in the centre, the decision has restricted our usable space and the goods yard is cramped - too late now to rebuild. The other 'odd' decision was to downsize everything to its minimum - single station building, no goods shed and a level crossing rather than an overbridge which would have dominated the station scene.


 

Does it work - I am not sure but it is worth challenging conventions if only to make mistakes.

 

DesA

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