Westhill Road, an introduction #2

My first Westhill Road, introduction #1 post provided a little of the what and the why behind the plan for Westhill Road, this introduction #2 covers more of the what, and some of the when, with respect to the plan of the layout and the scenic side of things.

As I disclosed in my #1 post Westhill Road will comprise of a single track line passing from left-hand rear corner, through a small SR Concrete wayside halt, a single goods siding and a level crossing before exiting through to the front right hand corner.

A quick badly drawn sketch of the inner workings of my imagination
A typical Dartmoor stream from my inspiration folder

As a picture says a thousand words, even though my 2D art skills are not as honed as perhaps some of my 3D model making, please excuse the quality of the quick sketch left. Hopefully it shows the key elements of the plan and includes the main scenic features.

There is a small stream, reminiscent of a babbling Dartmoor brook / ‘lake’ in a shallow valley in the front left corner, the railway enters behind some trees from the rear left on a small embankment. The ground level also falls away behind into the backscene, and possibly a farm build hides away at the rear lower level (not on sketch before you look), as this also helps trick the eye into believing the effect of increased depth.

The Hawkhurst provender store that will be centre front on the layout

A provender store building (from Hawkhurst) and large trees are front and centre allowing glimpses of the concrete wayside halt and siding through and behind with more trees blending the background into the backscene further behind.

The road to Westhill itself crosses the line and past the small LSWR type ground frame cabin (from  KMRC), although I might include a proper signal box (I have a scratch built Hawkhurst signal box I could use, I haven’t fully decided yet as it might be too large for the scene), and then the combined station masters house and booking office (more likely similar to that at Alverstone on the Isle of Wight than the outline shown on the sketch).

A small tin tabernacle will be helping with the element of perspective at the rear RH corner

The road continues past a small tin chapel on the left and a row of workers cottages on the right, both sized to assist with creating an element of perspective, before disappearing off to the right rear corner.

With respect to the when, my usual modelling period as regular readers will know is 1946 to 1949 and primarily Westhill Road will be no different, however, like Canute Road Quay, I intend to keep any permanent specific period identifying features to a minimum, to enable me to ring the changes with eras by changing rolling stock and any road vehicles to enable the time period to be portrayed anytime from grouping through to the start of the 1960s.

Future posts will cover some of the buildings already teased / shown above in more detail and will of course also document the ‘making up’ and progress of Westhill Road as I go along, so watch this space…

When You Go Home, Tell Them Of Us And Say, For Their Tomorrow, We Gave Our Today #Remembrance #lestweforget

If you so wish, wear your poppy with pride today, pause respectfully for two minutes at 11 am this Armistice Day and again this Remembrance Sunday remembering all those, both service and civilian personnel whom have given their lives for the freedom that we all enjoy today, and should you feel so inclined, support the sterling work of the Royal British Legion.

This post is written to not only commemorate the fallen service personal from any conflict, but it is also, as in previous years, dedicated to all Railway companies across the country and indeed the world that lost many staff; not only those drafted into the military services, but also those lost whom continued their duties on the railways keeping the networks up and running, we should honour and remember them all.

When You Go Home,
Tell Them Of Us And Say, For Their Tomorrow,
We Gave Our Today

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.

Locomotive 333 was built originally by the London Brighton and South Coast Railway, designed by Billinton, as an L class 4-6-4 ‘Baltic’ tank. She was given the name Remembrance and became the companies War Memorial engine and carried a plaque with the inscription:

“In grateful remembrance of the 532 men of the L.B.& S.C.Rly. who gave their lives for their country, 1914-1919″

In 1934, under the auspices of Maunsell they were rebuilt as Class N15x (an appropriate Brighton-style suffix) 4-6-0s, and fitted with standard Urie LSWR tenders along with smoke deflectors. Now number 2333 ‘Remembrance’ retained its name, plaque and status within the Southern Railway.

Inscribed on James Scott’s Victory Arch, at Waterloo station: “Dedicated to the employees of the Company who fell in the war.” and the names of those London and South Western employees who gave their life are honoured within the arch.

And just to end this post, as written by Paul Hunter – the poppy is more than a one time of a year symbol:, 

I am not a badge of honour, I am not a racist smear,
I am not a fashion statement, to be worn but once a year,
I am not glorification of conflict or of war.
I am not a paper ornament a token,
I am more.

I am a loving memory, Of a father or a son,
a permanent reminder of each and every one. 
I’m paper or enamel, I’m old or shining new,
I’m a way of saying thank you, To every one of you.

I am a simple poppy, a reminder to you all,
That courage faith and honour,
will stand where heroes of all kinds fall.

Bachmann product British Railways Announcements – Winter 2021 (updated 04/11/21)

Bachmann Europe have continued their new policy of making quarterly product British Railways Announcements and whilst Covid-19 has stopped any physical showcase event taking place, Bachmann announced the new items in a video that can be seen here:

Unfortunately no new models this time around for Southern Railway / Southern Region modellers, after the new O2s from the last announcement, (although I can recommend the new SPA / SEA wagons…, and even I am impressed by the 00-9 Double Fairlies) but I am confident more is to come in the future, remember it is a regular quarterly announcement and all the items announced today should be available during the next three months and not all that is being produced Bachmann for the year.

Work in progress – update (added 04/11/21)

00 Gauge
Bulleid Coaches – These are now at the decorated sample stage following some amendments to the first Engineering Prototypes (see here) , Malachite, BR Crimson and Cream and BR(s) Green, and awaiting signing off before production can commence.

N Gauge
BR Standard 5MT – modified to enable sound fitted models, engineering prototypes have been approved and livery artwork is being prepared.
Class 450 EMU – These are at the decorated sample stage.
Class 319 EMU – In production

The next announcement will be in early February 2022.

Ex LBSC E1 0-6-0t 00 gauge RTR update; no longer by Model Rail Magazine but possibly Rapido Trains UK direct

Model Rail Magazine originally announced their intention in collaboration with Rapido Trains to produce the ex LBSC E1 0-6-0t in 00 gauge back in June 2018 as reported here, they have now advised via their latest issue now arriving with subscribers, that they are to withdraw from this project.

E1 Class as currently on the Isle of Wight steam railway, masquerading as W2. Originally B110 and sold to industrial use in 1927

My friends at Rapido Trains UK have now embarked on a customer research programme to allow them to determine if / how they might take the project forward direct themselves. They have created an online poll that can be accessed here, therefore if you are keen to see a RTR ex LBSC E1 0-6-0t please complete the poll as the more responses they receive the more likely we are to see the E1 project continue.

By way of some background into the E1 Class; with the exception of the final six built in 1891 under the auspices of RJ Billinton with different boiler, dome and chimney known as E1s from new, the rest of the 80 strong class were originally introduced by William Stroudley from 1874 as the E Class. Essentially a larger goods version of the A1 Terrier 0-6-0t, using the same cylinders, motion and boilers as the D Class 0-4-2 passenger tanks. Later all the E Class were reclassified as E1s.

E1 class 2506 in post war ‘Sunshine’ black livery. Picture courtesy and copyright Mike Morant collection

Although most of the class worked on the Brighton section some were used in Southampton Docks, (hence my own interest as ideal for Canute Road Quay), and on the Isle of Wight. Ten members of the class were converted between 1927 and 1929 to become E1/R Class 0-6-2t with new cabs, extended bunkers and the addition of a Radial axle for use in the West Country.

Despite withdrawals starting as early as 1913 many passed into British Railways ownership with the last surviving to 1960. Four members of the class ended up being sold into industrial colliery use, including the one preserved example B110 now located on the Isle of Wight steam railway.

Please therefore help Rapido Trains UK with their customer research and complete the online poll here.

Westhill Road, an introduction #1

It is about time that I formally introduced you to Westhill Road there has been a teaser page on here for quite some time, as with many plans timing has slipped somewhat from the original intention of it being a post-Christmas last year winter project. However with much of the items needed for its construction already purchased I plan to hopefully start building in earnest during these forthcoming winter months.

Whilst I still have plans for larger layouts, perhaps maybe for the future, space at this time is still a limiting factor.  The plans still include Hawkhurst in Kent, the Colonel Stevens SR branch line terminus, but ultimately Lydford Junction in Devon on the edge of Dartmoor.
Most of my rolling stock building has always been with these two layouts in mind, and believe it or not Fisherton Sarum was my first ever layout build and initially only to be a stop gap measure…
Some of the buildings that I have already built for these future layouts will actually make a temporary appearance on Westhill Road. Having already built Canute Road Quay as a 4′ x 12″ shunting layout, that has already provided endless entertainment and enjoyment in both its building an operation, I saw the opportunity for another small layout/diorama that has more of a scenic countryside than the dockside setting of Canute Road Quay.
So I will introduce Westhill Road over the next few posts that will will answer the usual questions of what, why, how and when…
Firstly, the what and a little of the why…
Westhill Road will be different from Canute Road Quay as it’s more of a diorama than a shunting layout as such,  but mainly a chance to enjoy the more scenic side of constructing a layout.

A hint of what is to come…

Westhill Road signal diagram

The Tim Horn baseboard will still be 4ft wide but will be 6″ deeper Canute Road Quay to help, along with some perspective modelling, to further create the illusion of space and depth. It will only comprise of a single track line passing from left-hand rear corner, through a small SR Concrete wayside halt, a single goods siding and a level crossing before exiting through to the front right hand corner. Careful placement of trees will assist to hide the entrance and exit points.

The layout will include working, servo operated SR rail built signals and level crossing gates, all interlocked with each other and the co-acting siding turnout and trap point, see the signal diagram left.

A future post will provide more details of the intended scenic side of things.

Now a bit of the why, starting with why Westhill Road? Fisherton Sarum has a huge nod to my grandfather who worked as a ganger at Salisbury where my father was also bought up.  Westhill Road is a nod to my Mothers side of the family where I spent some of my formative years in Torquay at my grandparents who lived on Westhill Road.

Westhill Road therefore has no real railway connection or real setting; it could be somewhere west of Dartmoor; you could equally be somewhere on the Isle of Wight railway network or perhaps even somewhere in Kent. So yes an imaginary location and initially it will be a diorama, although ultimately I do intend to have simple fiddle yards at each end but these won’t be part of phase one. The initial purpose it to build something that has scenery at its forefront and allow me to test and experiment with different scenic techniques, perspective to create depth and the, new to me, use of servo motors.

It will also give me a a different scenic setting for photographing locomotives and rolling stock; and much of the placement of buildings and the many planned trees will be with allowing view points in mind, as you look into and through the layout.

Future posts will cover much more of the what and some of the when; and will of course also document the progress of Westhill Road as I go along, so watch this space…

KR Models announce Bulleid 4DD emu in 00

KR Models revealed it is developing a ‘OO’ gauge model of the experimental BR Southern Region 4-DD double-deck Electric Multiple Units (EMU) at the 2021 Great Electric Train Show on October 2. Information below is courtesy of Hornby Magazine see here.

Built at Eastleigh Works in 1949, two four-car double-decker EMUs were developed for use on the Southern Region’s Eastern Section. Each was formed with Motor Third Brake vehicles at each end, sandwiching two Trailer Thirds. Designed by O.V.S. Bulleid, they were an experiment to find ways of reducing overcrowding on commuter services to/from London termini such as Charing Cross during the peaks.

Numbered 4001 and 4002, both units featured seating on two levels with a notably different appearance to a standard 4-SUB unit, particularly the bodyside profile with exterior doors and curved windows along the roofline, which added to their cramped appearance. The two four-car units could each seat 552 passengers, compared with 386 in a standard 4-SUB unit.

Whilst their capacity was impressive, their loading capabilities were not as dwell times at stations took longer while passengers boarded and alighted – standard units could stop and restart much quicker. No further units were built, although the two 4-DDs continued in regular use for just over 20 years.

KR Models is planning to release examples of 4001 and 4002 as four-car packs in BR green, BR green with small yellow warning panels and BR blue. Each ‘OO’ gauge unit will feature two powered motor cars, interior illumination, steel buffers and close couplings.

Visit www.krmodels.co.uk for more information.

Prices start from £350 for Digital Command Control (DCC) ready units, while DCC fitted and DCC sound-fitted (ESU LokSound V5.0) examples will also be available. An anticipated release date has yet to be confirmed.

Thanks to my friends at the Blood and Custard website the unit history including livery change dates is covered here.

From the archive #4 The quay to making puddles and something about gulls…

Although it could be said that I cheated with Canute Road Quay when I modelled the quayside wall as part of the front facia of the layout; this was not to avoid having to create the water but in fact to maximise the space available with a 12 inch deep baseboard.

One of the puddles has attracted the attention of Gerald the Gull

Another quayside puddle and gull some gloss varnish add to the effect of some water running by the edge of the concrete

Step 4, The scenery or ballast is added to form the edge of the puddles

The finished effect including a larger puddle in the shed area due to the water crane

large and small gulls can be seen if you look close enough

A real life Gerard who misread the sign, he thought it said “free herring test”

There are however a number of representations of water on Canute Road Quay in the form of a few puddles, this post is a quick explanation of the method I used to create the effect of standing water.

Note: the initial steps are carried out before any nearby ballasting or scenic work is carried out, so needs a bit of forward planning / vison of where puddles might naturally occur, remembering that puddles will only form in depressions, hollows, ditches and low points and water finds a horizontal level and wont form on a slope!

Step one, is to paint one side of a thin sheet of clear plasticard with gloss black paint, I used good old Humbrol enamel. It’s a good way to use up a few offcuts.

Step two, cut the now painted plasticard into the rough shape, but wider and longer than the maximum length and width, of the area of the puddle you want to create.

Step three, glue the plasticard paint side down, i.e. the clear plasticard side up, in the location you want the puddle.

Step four, start to build up the required terrain, at this stage you create the final shape of the puddles which is why the plasticard is cut larger than the size of puddle you want and so the terrain edge is on the surface of the plasticard. I generally used Daz air drying modelling clay, see picture left, and used the terracotta colour rather then white or grey so it already has an earth like base colour. In and around the shed area I used a mix of ballast and real ash from my wood burning stove.

Step five, add the foliage as required, I used a variety of lengths of static grass, using the lighter greens and straw colours as wild grass is rarely dark green. In some areas I represented wet earth / concrete using some gloss varnish.

Step six, remember to dust the puddles every now and again, especially before taking any photographs…

Some people have occasionally mentioned the size of the some of the ‘seagulls’, of course they are not seagulls but Herring Gulls and I have used those available from Springside Models. If you want to really see just how bit a real life adult Herring Gulls stand at the sea side with an open bag of chips you will soon find they are much larger than you think!

I have used both their 4mm scale  versions and at the rear of the layout a number of their 2mm versions to assist with perspective. Those on the backscene were drawn on in flight as curly ‘W’s with a pencil.

Gerard the Gull was not so much wild when I glued him place but furious… (with apologies to Not the Nine o’clock News…)

And I didn’t even mention ‘The Gulls’… oh Doh! #COYY

 

 

 

The model railway world and mainly Southern Railway meanderings of Graham 'Muz' Muspratt

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