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Behind the Fence - Summary

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Finally managed to find time (and good weather) to take some decent shots, so here we go:




Quayside Permanent Way Depot




The line to the city quayside was mothballed in the late 1960s as traditional freight shipping was replaced by containerised cargo, and the ships used to carry it were no longer able to navigate up the river to the inner city docks. In the early 1970s BR decided to build a new depot for its permanent way equipment, and found the site of a former warehouse net to the old line suitable for the development.. A new shed was erected, and sidings to connect it were made off the old dock line.


By the time the diorama is set, we have moved to the 1980s, and the site has already become a little dilapidated. A fine layer on grime and soot has covered most of the site, giving it a grubby and unloved appearance, the unused line to the docks now fenced off and decidedly overgrown. The local crews have to deal with the occasional vandalism attack from the local youths, who have recently started throwing things over the parapet walls onto the track below; it is often left to a member of staff to clear up this detritus first thing in the morning. On the shed today is a Plasser & Theurer tamping machine, ready for another day of lifting and packing, whilst on the old dock line, a condemned “Grampus” is still awaiting disposal, whilst the team by the inspection lorry get a call via the radio to go out to check a reported bridge strike. Just another day at the depot...


The Diorama


This is my first foray into scenic modelling, having usually got as far as nailing down the track, then spending the next five years shunting around imaginary scenery and a few Metcalf card buildings. Almost everything you see here is my first attempt at it: the ballasting, the weathering and the buildings are all firsts for me. Track work is Peco code 100, with the disused track receiving a heavy coat of Tamiya rust weathering powders, ballasted in the usual manner with 50/50 water/PVA and a drop of washing-up liquid. The fence is an old Dapol kit, as are the street lamps. They were painted and weathered using Tamiya powders, before being added to the scene.


The long tufts of grass are made from Gaugemaster's long scenic grass, and the short grass comes from The Model Tree Shop, part of their static grass range. Buildings are by Scalescenes, and were modified to fit the small space, whilst the bridge is scratch-built from card, loosely based on the old Bridge 30 near Goathland on the NYMR. The road and pavements are Metcalf products, the vehicles are Oxford Die-cast, again weathered to highlight details and tone down the new, shiny appearance. Figures are a mixture of Preiser and Bachmann, weathered and repainted where necessary to backdate them, and Bachmann Scenecraft models were used for the smaller details like the booth, portaloo and roadworks cameo. The railway vehicles are a Parkside Dundas “Grampus”kit and a Bachmann tamper, bought as an impulse buy several years ago.


I have also made heavy use of several new scenic materials, including Deluxe Materials' Glue 'n' Glaze (to add glass to the phone boxes and to stick in the glazing in the depot), as well as lashings of their Scenic Rust to add to the feeling of dilapidation to the old over bridge and the condemned “Grampus”.


The diorama has been an excellent chance to practice scenic modelling, and develop skills I never knew I even had! I certainly now have no qualms about attempting a full-size scenic model railway.


Follow the building process here

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