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Swindelton Stabling Point (O gauge entry)


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I saw the challenge advertised in Model Rail and thought I would enter and share my progress on rmweb. My main motivation with the limited dimensions allowed, was to produce a diorama to display my Modern Motive Power 08, which had been living in a display cabinet for several years. At the same time, the diorama was to enable me to improve my model making and photographic skills. However, part of the challenge actually ended up being, how to fit a suitable O gauge model into a small space!


With such a small model, I was actually hoping to finish it in a reasonable timescale, as I do have a long term project, but this has stalled due to modern house design, kids, no shed and a garage in a block!


Overall I am happy with what I managed to achieve by the deadline. There is still scope for further detailing, and features such as lighting, which will hopefully keep me occupied over the winter. Originally I planned to incorporate a Skytrex TTA wagon in the front siding, but I ran out of time. Hopefully Santa will get me a JLTRT version to take its place.





My main inspiration was provided by photos of Kings Lynn stabling point on the web and Peterborough depot in Model Rail back in 2006. So with these in mind, the model would be loosely based on this inspiration.


The limited size and my choice to model a subject in O gauge meant that there was not too many options available. So, to make the model a bit more interesting, and to make it look bigger, a mirror at one end was planned early on in the build. I also wanted to create some 'depth of field', so a suitable backscene and positioning of fences and buildings would help with the illusion.


I wanted to control what the viewer saw, so that they can't be easily distracted by colourful upholstry or wall paper! To that end, several items have been installed as view blockers, along with the front frame of the diorama.


Base construction

A sheet of 6mm ply, length of wood and screws created a 'belt and braces' base.







Model construction

Rather than a wordy section, I've illustrated this with photos.


1/ Positioning of track, gauging of size and a cardboard mock up of the shed, early in the build. The proposed backscene was also experimented with.




2/ The mirror was measured and cut for a few pounds at a local stained glass supplier and produced the desired effect of lengthening the shed. The back scene was to be supported on mounting card.




3/ What I roughly envisaged the finished model to look like. A Skytex yard office kit was purchased and constructed to form a view blocker.




4/ Eventually I plucked up the courage to actually build something from scratch! The shed was made from various lengths of Evergreen strip, with rough dimensions based on the photos of Kings Lynn and Peterborough. The latter probably had more of an influence. Very late in the build I also decided to add an inspection pit. This was not originally planned as I thought that it would not be seen. However, it played on my mind, so with a little effort this was added.




5/ Ballasting, creation of details such as the wooden fence and a storage tank were soon added. These would help frame and block what I don't want you to see.




6/ The cladding of the shed was the most time consuming part of the model. Trying to find the right colour was difficult. In the end the embossed plastic sheet was painted a dark grey and the lighter colour was thinly painted over the top to achieve the desired effect. The ventilation in the roof apex was made from Evergreen channel strip.




7/ The yard office is a Skytrex model, the Marina is a Vanguards hidden treasure and the front fence is aluminium weld mesh used for car repairs.





Here follows a few photos of the finished diorama, part of the reason why I was motivated to enter this challenge. They have mainly been taken in natural light using a Nikon Coolpix.


All the various framing items are on display here.



Why did they make cars in those strange colours?



A portrait of my 08



A view from within the shed



Experimentation with black and white



An Ex works visitor from DJH



Both shunters at rest



Thank you to those who commented on the build, and all of you who followed its progress.


I have enjoyed myself and have learnt a lot, which I hope to use at a later date, when I finally get a bigger house with an integrated garage/ extra room and the kids move out!


Best regards




A link to the original topic is provided here



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  • 1 month later...

Lovely, it DEFINITELY evokes memories of King's Lynn, especially with the 03 in place. I thought of it immediately, and smiled with satisfaction when I read your notes.


Your 08 and it's weathering are very well done. I have one to build, I hope it comes out as well.


Oh and the photo from INSIDE the shed: exquisite, just like on I have of an 03 and runner wagon at KL, around 1978.

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