Tag Archives: Westhill Road

Workbench Witterings #18 Not a pane yet, Westhill Road’s station building takes shape

Has it really been August since my Workbench Witterings#16 The Foundations of the Westhill Road station building? I have at last been able to do some more work on it today, starting with a the upper floor windows.

Making the window sections old school…

As I have been unable to find any proprietary windows from the usual sources, including from laser cut suppliers that were the correct size for these distinctive upper windows (the ground floor window are from the PECO LK-78 building kit-1), I resorted to the old school method using various sizes of microstrip.
I have actually used the centre section of some Ratio signal box windows (whispers quietly GWR ones…) that were the right height, but too wide, so have reduced their width and added new edge verticals. To aid production I make up little jigs from the versatile wooden coffee stirrer screwed to a piece of MDF.

The completed 3 and 5 section main windows

Once I had made enough main six pane sections, I joined them together with additional verticals between them, and complete outer frames to make the required three and five section main windows. Once fully assembled they make up into quite strong assemblies. I also used the same technique to make the smaller side landing window. 
With the windows made, although they won’t be glazed until after painting, I was then able to complete the rendered upper wall sections (a characteristic of the mirrored inspiration of Alverstone, for this build)

The shell of the building takes shape, the two doors, the middle for the ticket hall and right hand one for private access can be seen

The shell of the main building was then assembled around the internal lower floor, that has been cut square and allowing for the wall material thickness, and its internal partition walls. The corners are chamfered to an angle greater than 45deg to get sharp corner joints and further reinforced behind with lengths of triangular section.
On the Alverstone station building being used for inspiration there is a shaped brick moulding that runs horizontally between the lower brick and upper rendered walls along with the the very bottom edge of the rendered walls sloping outwards to deflect rainwater away from getting in along bottom edge of the render. I have used half round microstrip and 10thou thin flat strip at an angle above it to represent these features.

The rear of the station building

The approximate internal layout has been worked out for both floors.  The ground floor, as at Alverstone has a small ticket hall with passenger being able to access just the ticket window via the middle door. This is one of the interesting features of this combined station ticket office / station masters house whilst not actually on the platform is one of the quirks that attracted me to using it as the basis for the station building on Westhill Road.
The door next to the ticket hall is the private station house access opening into a lounge, whilst at the rear is a kitchen that in turn gives access to the ticket office and the stairs. Two bedrooms and a bath room complete the upper floor rooms. 

A view inside with the upper floor removed

All the internal walls, fireplaces and chimney breasts etc. have been created from plasticard, representations of the door frames have also added with plastic microstrip. The upper floor is currently removable to allow access inside for painting etc. 

As the building will be internally lit, the central chimney will allow the wires to be hidden down the inside, all the rooms will have a representation of furniture etc. included. I have sourced some suitable 3D printed items to use as a basis and these will be painted and added in due course along with a few suitably posed figures.
I am still planning to make the roof as a separate module so it can always be removed if required, so watch this space for the next instalment… 

Workbench Witterings#16 The foundations of the Westhill Road Station Building

Amid some of the heart breaking events and issues that life is throwing at many of us at the moment, being able to step aside into model building can be very therapeutic. This is a quick post to show some of the progress being made on another one of Westhill Road’s key buildings, this time the Station House / booking office.

The ground floor inclduing interior walls and staircase takes shape

As with most of my ‘scratch building’ I still like to have in mind / ‘be inspired by’ an actual prototype, in this case I am using Alverstone, this station on the Isle of Wight (Newport Junction) Railway was later absorbed by the Isle of Wight Central Railway and subsequently the Southern Railway.  Whilst I am building it as a mirror image I am keeping its quirky characteristics including: the tiny booking office being part of the station masters house, the brick lower and rendered upper walls and the interesting roof line with hips and gables.

Being old school, no CAD or 3D printing malarkey here yet, using prototype images I create a series of quick sketches / plans on the trusty A3 graph pad to work out, to scale, all elevations and interior arrangement (with a little help from my Dad who worked most of his career in the building trade, thanks Dad!).

As one the features of Westhill Road is to introduce an element of perspective modelling as the overall layout depth is 18inches, I have purposely compressed the size of the Station House / booking office a little to help with the effect once its position behind the LSWR Type 3B ground signal Box and small tin tabernacle chapel becomes clear.
As with all the buildings, I propose where possible to include interior details and lighting (I will utilise the central chimney to hide the lighting wires). The next stage is cutting the windows in the upper rendered wall sections (Wills building material as are the brick lower walls) along with making from scratch the upper windows and creating the bathroom and bedrooms, so watch this space.

Ch-ch-changes, Turn and face the (s)train…

With apologies to David Bowie… regular readers may have spotted a slight change to the layout of my little corner of the world wide web.  The previous WordPress theme (page style) I was using had become obsolete and was causing a few back office and functionality issues, so I therefore have adopted a new WordPress theme that hopefully solves some of the issues and gives a similar but slightly fresher look.

The downside, and there is always a downside of course, is that the positioning of images, annoyingly, align differently and so has affected the visual appearance of previous posts. Please bear with me and accept my apologies as I either find a work around and / or slowly manually correct past posts.

USA Tank No 68 shunts across the Quay.

In other news, Canute Road Quay is on the road again next month and is appearing on Saturday 20th August 2022 at the Silverfox DCC MRC exhibition being held at the Oakgrove School, Venturer Gate, Milton Keynes MK10 9JQ

It is good to be at exhibitions again, especially as many Model Railway Clubs/Societies have lost such valuable income from the lack of exhibitions during the pandemic,  so if you are able to visit the show, and support the Silverfox DCC MRC, please drop by Canute Road Quay and say hello.

Workbench Witterings#12 Building an LSWR Type 3B signal Box for Westhill Road

In my Westhill Road Ramblings#1 post here, I discussed my thought process for selecting the style and type of signal box for my new little modelling venture Westhill Road. This post looks at my scratch build of the chosen ground level signal box based upon the LSWR Type 3B design.

A cruelly enlarged picture of my scratch built Type 3B ground signal box.

As with many of my scratch-built buildings, even if they are not to be exact replicas of an original prototype, I like to use as much research as possible to ensure that the characteristics and proportions of such a building look correct. In this instance I wanted to make use of some nice proprietarily laser cut windows from Proses Hobby Shop, therefore using these fixed dimensions, and of course standard door sizes, I started by quickly drawing out the design, to scale, referring back to reference photographs at every stage.

The use of these laser cut windows and their dimensions are therefore a slight compromise but by adjusting the dimensions of the rest of the building to suit it maintains the proportions and the overall effect that I am wanting to achieve.

The mitred corners and triangular corner uprights can be seen.

Further framework and windowsills are added

The construction of these LSWR signal boxes was basically a wooden frame and wooden clapperboard structure and I’ve replicated this using Wills 213 clapperboard for the main structure.
From my drawing I cut the wooden floor, from Wills 201 wood planking, to size to give a square base for the clapperboard walls to be built around it.

The brick base and side porch are added

The porch is added, still a separate assembly to aid later painting

I mitred the edges of the walls before filing back the outside of the cemented corners at 45° and adding 2mm x 2mm triangular plastic strut upright, see picture left. The use of the triangular section on the building corners creates the corner framing and also completely hides any joint.
Additional plastic microstrip is then used to create the other wooden framework, both externally and internally, and to create the windowsills etc.  (remember to include the thickness of windowsills, door frames etc when cutting out the apertures). Plastic microstrip and Plastrut square section was used to built up the framing across the tops of the walls, along with roof trusses.
The side porch is made from a mix of plasticard, planked plasticard and another Proses Hobby Shop laser cut window. It was made as a separate assemble to make paining easier.

The working lamp is fixed to the roof truss, and a view of the knee frame.

The ground frame sites on a low brick-built foundation, that includes the opening for the point rodding and signals wires to exit with a small piece of microstrip added to represent the steel beam supporting the bricks above the opening.

As ground level signal boxes do not have an interlocking room under the floor, they used a ‘Knee Frame’ with short levers that was higher off the floor to allow interlocking directly beneath the levers. I have used a modified Ratio 224 signal box interior kit for the interior details. I mounted the lever frame base on a piece of plastic I beam and shortened every lever, to represent the 10 lever frame in accordance with the signal box diagram I have already created.

The hipped roof, stovepipe chimney and Ratio guttering

The underside of the hipped rook with roof trusses added and painted.

The hipped roof was made using Wills 203 Slates with thin card ridge tiles added. Guttering is added around the bottom edge using Ratio 300 gutters and downpipes. The stove pipe chimney has been fashioned from plastic rod and turned at the top to represent a cowl, and lead flashing asses from very thin plasticard.

A quick snap showing the effect of the illumination, (a scratch made light shade hides a tiny surface mount LED)

The internal working lamp and its shade have been made using a suitable shaped plastic part, I think an old wagon kit, found in the scrap box, with a Layouts4u.net 0805 12v Nano SMD led (prewired) glued to it. It’s affixed to the ceiling truss and the fine wires passing down the wall behind the stove and its chimney.

The external paint colours are SR Buildings Cream and SR Middle Chrome Green from Precision Paints.
I will wait until Westhill Road is ready for its signal box to be planted before I weather it to tone the colours down to suit the tone of the rest of the layout.

Shopping list

  • Wills Building sheets – 201 Wood planking (floor), 203 Slates, 213 Clapboarding,
  • Proses Hobby Shop – 28x126mm 12 pane windows, 12/17mm 9 pane windows
  • Layouts4u.nett 0805 12v Nano SMD led (prewired)
  • Ratio – 553 signal box interior, 538 gutters and downpipes
  • Micorstrip / Plastrut – various
  • Precision Paints – SR Buildings Cream (P95) and SR Middle Chrome Green (P93)

Recommended reading: Signal Boxes of the London & South Western Railway: A study of Architectural Style by G.A.Pryer

I hope this post has shown that, whilst some similar kits might be available, scratch building is not a dark art and is enjoyable and rewarding.

Westhill Road Ramblings#1 3B or not 3B choosing a signal box

Welcome to the first of my Westhill Road Ramblings as I think thoughts (or why isn’t that thunk?), yes dangerous I know, to develop the concept in my mind / imagination and start to make actual physical progress on my new little scenic diorama type layout. To read my introduction to Westhill Road click here. As the layout progresses my imagination, vision , concepts and ideas board will be covered via such ramblings posts, whilst more details on some of the physical items will be covered in my Workbench Witterings series.

The three potential options for the cabin at Westhill Road

The signal box diagram for Westhill Road

Now on to the main subject of this post the signal cabin. The original thought in my mind I had for Westhill Road, with its small level Crossing and minimum signalling and only one point (plus a co-acting trap point) for the siding, was to utilise one of the lovely Kernow Model Rail Centre LSWR ground frame cabins.

However upon developing the concept for the layout further and looking at signal Box diagrams for similar locations on the Southern, and having created a signal box diagram for Westhill Road that required a 10 lever frame, I soon realised that such a ground frame and cabin would actually be too small.
I initially thought about using my scratch built model of Hawkhurst signal box that I built from scratch many years ago now, when still a teenager, but feel that using such signal box at this location would possibly also be out of character for a small wayside halt and crossing  location as Westhill Road and maybe affect the balance of buildings I intend to have on the layout, as it will located directly in front of the roadside combined station masters house / booking office.

A cruelly enlarged picture of my scratch built Type 3B ground signal box. The roof is not affixed yet whilst it awaits some final details and a signaller to be added.

A birds eye view inside the box

I decided to take a look at the idea of using ground-based signal box. The LSWR have a number of different types of boxes, as the design involved throughout the years, small ground versions of the signal cabins were quite common across the network at smaller locations such as level crossing gates and small stations and these could either be directly mounted on the ground or onto a station platform. I therefore settled on the idea of an LSWR type 3B signal cabin as these were used at similar crossing gate locations.

A view showing the knee frame

A quick snap showing the effect of the illumination, (a scratch made lamp shade hides a tiny surface mount LED)

These Type 3B boxes were introduced in 1889 and were generally located in and around Plymouth and also on the Ilfracombe line in North Devon, including wonderfully named locations such as Stoney Mill Gates, Vellator Gates and Duckpool Gates. Unlike the earlier Type 3 and 3A boxes they did not have toplights (replaced with weatherboard or any ornamental valances. As these ground level boxes did not have an interlocking room beneath the floor they utilised a raised ‘knee frame’ with shorter levers.

This slightly more plain style is, in my thinking, ideal for Westhill Road as it gives a slightly more general and not to area / company specific appearance. I have therefore knocked up a quick scratch built version of such a ground box, that is internally detailed, complete with a knee frame and each individual short lever, coloured to match the Westhill Road signal box plan,  and illuminated (as will all the buildings I build for Westhill Road). I will detail the build process in a near future Workbench Witterings post before you ask, and although I do not yet have the actual layout built to plonk it on, I already feel of the three options it will look the part.

 

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…

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…