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Jon Grant 4472

Hudson Road N.E.R. (1998-)

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Following on from the topic on my first layout, Hudson Lane - Hudson Lane, I thought I'd sort out something similar for Hudson Road N.E.R.

 

The majority of Hudson Road was built between 1997 and 1998, finished just in time to exhibit at the 1998 Shildon show. It progressed, improved and expanded upon themes started on Hudson Lane, applying much of the lessons learnt from operating that layout for 5 years.

 

Here is the first selection of photos, all taken by Steve Flint for the articles that appeared in the November 2003, January 2004, March 2004 and December 2010 issues of Railway Modeller. Please note that some of the photos were scanned from the copies that Steve sent me, with a consequential loss of quality.

 

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More to follow,

 

Jon

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This is such a stunning layout, makes you and to get a scarf and gloves on in July! Have seen it twice in the south, second time on remembrance weekend when it was at Tolworth and had the poppy wreath on it, very poigniant.

 

Colin

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This is such a stunning layout, makes you and to get a scarf and gloves on in July! Have seen it twice in the south, second time on remembrance weekend when it was at Tolworth and had the poppy wreath on it, very poigniant.

 

Colin

 

Thanks colin

 

I was lucky enough to exhibit Hudson Road at Hull (2003) and Tolworth (2005)exhibitions, both of which fell on Remembrance weekends. The Great War theme to the layout made the weekends very special.

 

Jon

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Loved this layout and was very pleased to have been able to see it.

 

Is that one of the locos Metropolitan is building in the second photo?

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Loved this layout and was very pleased to have been able to see it.

 

Is that one of the locos Metropolitan is building in the second photo?

 

Thanks Jon

 

Not sure which loco Metropolitan are doing, as I am completely out of the British modelling loop these days.

 

In the second photo are a Lancaster Models white-metal kit of the Q5 0-8-0 (NER class T/T1) and a brass Manning-Wardle loco kit. I can't remember the manufacturer off-hand, but he specialised in brass kits of industrial locos and always took his stand to Colchester (where I got it)- definately not Backwoods/High Level, though

 

Jon

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Hey Jon,

 

'Metropolitan' of this parish (John Armstrong to his nearest/dearest, I believe) in this thread. Looks very similar to me and he says it's a Manning-Wardle as well.

 

I never managed to track down one of those Lancaster Q5 kits although I do have his J77. Luckily ArthurK has stepped in and solved that little issue.

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Hey Jon,

 

Looks very similar to me and he says it's a Manning-Wardle as well.

I never managed to track down one of those Lancaster Q5 kits although I do have his J77. Luckily ArthurK has stepped in and solved that little issue.

 

Impetus kit - that's the one, I recognised the brass castings straight away. I ended up fitting the smallest Mashima can motor and N gauge gears, reamed out to fit the rear OO axle

 

The last I heard about the Q5 was that Mike Grocock had bought the masters from Owen Lancaster and was trying to get Steve Barnfield to produce them, but that info is a good few years old.

 

Jon

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I chose to model the North Eastern Railway as it was my local railway company, albeit prior to 1923, and there are still a lot of NER bridges, buildings and other historical evidence near my home.

 

The down side was that there was only one accurate ready-to-run locomotive in OO - a J72 0-6-0 tank loco (now made by Bachmann) - and even that had to be detailled and repainted to get the correct period. There were no freight cars/wagons or brake vans available ready-to-run.

 

However there was no shortage of unpainted white-metal/lead and etched-brass locomotive kits which required a fair degree of expertise to assemble, motorise and paint. There was also a growing amount of unpainted plastic, white metal and etched brass wagon kits and brass coach kits available.

 

Anything not available as a kit, such as the snow ploughs, had to be scratchbuilt from official plans and wagon diagrams. I usually worked in plastic sheet and weighted with lead.

 

Here are some more photos

 

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The majority of the buildings and railway structures were based on actual prototypes found in the North East and were also scratchbuilt using either plastic or card, or both. I generally referred to old photographs, official plans and also going along with a tape measure, yardstick and clinometer.

 

Jon

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This is a labour of love, and I have to say the dark, gloomy, brooding backscene really adds to the drama. Superb.

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This is a labour of love, and I have to say the dark, gloomy, brooding backscene really adds to the drama. Superb.

 

Thanks

 

Someone showed me how to do the cloudy sky with a washing-up sponge, some tubes of cheap black and white watercolour and a saucer.

 

The photos where there is a large expanse of sky were Photoshopped by Steve Flint to hide the top of the backscene

 

Jon

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Thanks colin

 

I was lucky enough to exhibit Hudson Road at Hull (2003) and Tolworth (2005)exhibitions, both of which fell on Remembrance weekends. The Great War theme to the layout made the weekends very special.

 

Jon

 

Hi Jon,

 

I can't believe it is over 5 years since I saw Hudson Road, can remember reading about it in the RM and then seeing it the following year at Alexandra Palace. I was also impressed with the way you lit it so that it was a very cold winters evening and you had the snow glinting as if it was frosting over again. Do you still have the layout or even exhibit it still?

 

Colin

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Hi Jon,

 

I can't believe it is over 5 years since I saw Hudson Road, can remember reading about it in the RM and then seeing it the following year at Alexandra Palace. I was also impressed with the way you lit it so that it was a very cold winters evening and you had the snow glinting as if it was frosting over again. Do you still have the layout or even exhibit it still?

 

Colin

 

I retired it after Stafford in 2006 and haven't got round to unpacking it yet. It was far too heavy and unwieldy to get in and out of the cellar and both me and the regular operators were starting to feel the aches and pains.

 

I still have the layout and the stock and I would imagine it could easily be made ready to exhibit again, although I have no intentions of doing so at present. I tried to sell it a few years back but turned down a very generous offer. Maybe I'll rebuild it one day when DCC/sound for accurate British steam sounds has caught up with Europe and America.

 

The sparkle of the snow was produced using glitter powder, which was bought from a cake shop and is a lot finer than the glitter you find in craft shops.

 

Jon

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If you ever feel the need to get it out again and want a lift with it, Jon....

 

One day :)

 

In addition to Model Railways, I have also dabbled in wargaming/figure-painting and modelling military vehicles and aircraft. By setting Hudson Road during the winter of 1917-18, during the Great War, I could indulge in some military modelling as well.

 

Apart from a couple of plastic tank kits (Emhar/Airfix) and a metal Rolls Royce armoured car kit (Scale Link), I would have to scratch build the majority of the military hardware being transported to the North Sea ports.

 

Tank train

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Scratchbuilt coastal defence rail gun. The NER had 2 of these, built by Armstrong/Whitworth in Newcastle to patrol the North East coast after coming under bombardment from German ships, early in the war.

 

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Whippet tanks riding on specially built War Department flat cars

 

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More military equipment to come......

 

 

Jon

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The NER served several North Sea ports and built a number of freight vehicles specially equipped to transport wounded soldiers to hospital. The one at the front of the train in this photo was a modified brake-end elliptical roof passenger coach, which could be added to any train heading in the right direction. The second was an express-rated bogie covered wagon fitted for stretchers inside

 

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Armoured cars and 18-pounder guns were built in Railway Shops up and down the country, using the tools and machines normally used to build and repair locomotives. This meant there was a constant flow of new equipment to the ports.

 

Armoured cars and support vehicles (modified metal kits and scratchbuilt)

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18-pounder artillery battery (scratchbuilt)

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Platoon of the Durham Light Infantry, which recruited heavily in the area. I later found out that troops did not march over stone/brick bridges for fear of dislodging the masonry with the regular thump-thump. Instead the walked over in irregular file

 

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Jon

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Even better.... two of my great-uncles were in the DLI.

 

So was my grandad - joined one of the Sunderland Territorial batallions of the DLI in 1914, even though he lived in Seaham.

 

By the time he landed in France in July 1915, he had become a driver (horses judging by the boots and spurs) in the in the Royal Field Artillery (RFA). Haven't worked out that one yet

 

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He was later 'promoted' to gunner after the RFA became the Royal Artillery (RA)

 

Jon

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It's funny how they moved about between units... I had a great-great-uncle on the other side of the family who started in the infantry (I forget what unit), moved to the RFC, then back to the Machine Gun Corps but seconded to the London Regiment when he was killed in Palestine in 1917. You assume it's to do with the skills they have/acquire, but how much was voluntary and how much arbitrary?

 

My great-uncle in the DLI joined up in Guisborough. Again, you wonder how they were allocated to units... another cousin who joined from one of the pit villages towards your neck of the woods was in the Welsh Fusiiers when he was killed.

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This is such a stunning layout, makes you and to get a scarf and gloves on in July! Have seen it twice in the south, second time on remembrance weekend when it was at Tolworth and had the poppy wreath on it, very poigniant.

 

Colin

 

Hi Colin,

 

here are some photos from Tolworth 2005, showing the night-time canopy to good effect

 

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Jon

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Hi Jon,

 

Thanks for putting those pics up, at a guess I would say they were taken on the Sunday at Tolworth. You definitely used the blue spotlights to good effect as a cloudless night sky. It is a shame you have retired the layout, but glad it hasn't been broken up.#

 

Colin

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Hi Jon,

 

Thanks for putting those pics up, at a guess I would say they were taken on the Sunday at Tolworth.

 

I remember I was waiting in the lunch queue on the balcony when I took the 'above' shots, so it was dinnertime ;)

 

Jon

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Thanks for posting the pics, this is one of my all time favourite layouts. Shame I missed it on one of your jaunts down south.

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A few more photos.

 

As some of you may remember with Sweethome Chicago, I try to fit Dr Who's Tardis on to all my layouts. Here is my attempt on Hudson Road - including Bessie (the yellow car)

 

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A few more photos

 

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Jon

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Jon,

 

this layout is yet another wonderful and atmospheric example of your excellent modelling work! I have never seen a winter scene being captured so realistically before - and I have seen quite a number. The only thing that makes me wonder is, how the NER shop people kept the locos so clean during a war time winter :P

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