RITES OF PASSAGE FOR A MODEL RAILWAY - 18: THORALDBY - The Layout and Potted History
Take a close look at...
*See below for link to Double O Gauge Association (DOGA) web site
Around Ayton Lane m.p.d
THORALDBY - An idea for a space, and space for an idea
The idea of a large model railway layout in the cellar came after taking apart a small layout in the living room known as 'Reeth'. It had been an experiment in track-laying, had 'dummy' signals and was very limited but an article I penned about it and the 'history' behind it (based on a projected railway that never came about because of the decline in lead mining in the northern Dales) appeared in 'Railway Modeller' in the mid-80's. I thought it was time to 'go big'.
Naming the layout took some head-scratching to work out. Made-up names seem artificial and don't always work. As there are duplicated place-names by the score in Yorkshire, I thought how about an out-of-the-way place, a small town or large village with an army base that originated in WWI? There are several of these dotted about in the Vale of Mowbray near Thirsk and Northallerton (satellite camps of Catterick).
Aside from that a coal depot was a must, as well as a cattle dock and 'roll-on' facility for tanks (the army base would be a background feature, and some tanks that rolled out of the factories in the last year of WWI might have come here. After being 'checked' at the local base they would have rolled up onto the ramp and onto machinery wagons alongside the cattle dock). The ramp is used by the time of this layout for farm machinery and unloading horse boxes. You can see the two Nissen huts in the overhead view of Thoraldby Station, painted in camouflage colours. These were bought through Colin Snowdon, Chairman of DOGA, from Gramodels' own large scenic range: www.gramodels.co.uk . Whilst not inexpensive they are a useful addition to a layout with a hint of the military. You could paint them in civilian mode as factories (many were put to use after the military vacated them). As the layout is based in the early 50s these two have been given a Royal Engineers' 'makeover', a board decorated with '8 RE' facing the railway. In the war years they would not have had these boards facing the railway in case of spies (WWII). Peace reigns (at least in war-torn Britain, where signs of the recent past Korea conflict still abound), and part of the Royal Engineers would soon be renamed Royal Electrical & Mechanical Engineers (REME). One hut has a red door to warn of restricted access (detonators or other sensitive equipment stored). The other, with a green door, may be a workshop to repair vehicle parts or equipment. They have been placed where the back of the 'Up' platform was. The goods depot further up uses part of the platform once used by passengers with a water tower sited behind. If you bend down, at the back under the awning you'll see a pair of gates for access by delivery vans or lorries.
Originally based on the years 1946-48, the austerity years of post-WWII Britain, I thought it time to move on, to the early 1950s, Coronation year (1953) to the mid-1950s before the second BR totem was adopted and corridor passenger rolling stock went through a new livery change to all maroon with 'waist stripes' (just below the windows) of black, cream and black.
Passenger stock tends to be mostly Gresley and Thompson, although one David Bain four compartment NER brake passenger coach shows now and then. it would take some time before BR stock joined the rakes in a process of gradual replacement. There was still stock running in LNER livery up to the mid-50s as well as in early British Railways' livery, gradually being re-liveried as they were overhauled. Even NER non-corridor stock was kept on, re-liveried from LNER teak to BR crimson (in the 1920s they had been in NER crimson lake, like their Midland Railway contemporaries). I had allowed myself a nice wide brief, then, as far as concerned coaches. In the late 50s passenger traffic in the region was largely in the remit of Metro-Cammell diesel multiple units, the non-corridor stock being used by longer distance passenger traffic, a bit hard on passengers who travel the full distance, unless they can find seats in a lavatory composite. There is a kitbuilt Ian kirk Gresley and a Thompson version in use (the latter using Comet sides, ends and roof).
What about locomotives?
I started with late LNER (post-1946 numbering), and then began renumbering the engines. All are now in BR livery with the 'cycling' lion emblem on tenders and tank sides (the early 1950s lion on the wheel). There are 'foreigners', i.e., the odd ex-LMS engines that replaced or augmented 'knackered' old North Eastern Railway loco stock, such as Ivatt Class 2 'Mickey Mouse' 2-6-0, Ivatt Class 4 ('Flying Pigs'), also 2-6-0 wheel arrangement, and a Fairburn Class 4MT 2-6-4 tank (precursor of the BR Standard Class 4 2-6-4T, introduced into the area in the early-to-mid 1950s to supplement an ageing fleet of war-neglected ex-NER and -LNER locomotives).
The LNER acquired a large fleet of ex-War Department locomotives after WWII, namely the J94 0-6-0 Saddle Tank locos for shed or trip workings to eke out the old NER/LNER J72 0-6-0 tank engines that originally saw service in the late 19th/early 20th Century, and the much bigger, heavier 2-8-0 tender engines for heavy workings. On the Thoraldby branch these would have been strictly speaking over the axle weight limit, but limits were 'stretched' in post-WWII Britain when re-building became more vital than paying 'lip-service' to pre-WWII permanent way dictats.
The ex-LNER Class B1 4-6-0, designed by Edward Thompson and lighter than the WD 2-8-0, can be used on either fitted freight workings or passenger diagrams There are two B1 4-6-0 locos that appear from time to time, 61016 'Inyala' of York (50A - metamorphosed from 61069 of Neville Hill courtesy of HMRS transfers and name plates from Phoenix Precision) and 61339 of Leeds Neville Hill (50B).
In February 2015 I took delivery of Hornby K1 2-6-0 62059 from Hattons, a welcome addition to the scene at Thoraldby and has seen service on various workings through the station. Originally I ordered an early totem loco, but was told Hornby was not going to deliver. The weathered version bought instead with the early ('cycling lion') totem didn't need re-numbering, the model as it was sported a Darlington (50A) number. A bit of extra weathering, a crew and a change of detailing (brass vacuum and steam heat pipes, and screw couplings) was all that was needed to get her into traffic.
It seems pigs do fly! Not long ago I mentioned a singular shortage of 'off-the-shelf' ex-North Eastern Railway prototypes aside from the erstwhile Replica, latterly Bachmann Branchline J72 (NER Class E1 0-6-0 tank loco). Last week, on Saturday 18th June, '16 I took delivery of the new Hornby Q6 0-8-0 in 'ex-works' condition. Given the time the same weekend I started the weathering process and had her looking like a 'working girl' ready for the DOGA AGM on July 2nd. Who knows, maybe next will be a J27 (NER Class P3 0-6-0).
Ideas about the loco fleet 'on the branch' came from reading a quartet of books titled 'Men of Steam' by the late Scarborough driver Raymond Flint published by Santona Publications of Hull. The first has a picture of an LNER green-liveried D49/2 - 4-4-0 tender loco 2726 'The Meynell' of York 'striding' out of Scarborough Station in the mid-late 1940s).
A selection of branch line locomotives abounds, still kicking about after WWII in the region. A pair of J39 0-6-0 tender engines alternates on branch pick-up work due to their shorter body length (I wish someone would hurry up and produce a J27, much more apt, but the Bachmann J39s will do for now) Several older Hornby D49's have taken passenger turns, one being a visitor from outside the area, possibly a Scottish 'Shire'. couple of engines at Ayton Lane shed alternate between here and Thoraldby, a Bachmann J72 and a Nucast Y7 0-4-0 'Sentinel Coffee-pot' (vertical-boilered shunter, assembled by fellow DOGA member Stephen Siddle). Others get an airing every now and then, a pair of Bachmann Gresley V3 Class 2-6-2 and Hornby L1 (Thompson) 2-6-4.tank engines A couple of NER veterans stand in the shed, a Middlesbrough allocated (Nucast) Q6 0-8-0 further back, and Darlington J21 0-6-0 (also Nucast) pokes her smokebox out of the shed. The bigger engine is in for extensive refitting, meanwhile the recently introduced (Hornby) Q6 from across the Tees at Haverton Hill takes on anything from a mineral working to steel-laden bogie bolsters, four-wheeled twin bolsters and plate wagons away from Teesside for civil engineering projects around the region (see separate entry on this page). The J21 can be seen on branch passenger services - possibly with either a pigeon/parcels van or milk tanker for the Dairy (Co-op) at the other end of the branch.
A few of the locomotives mentioned above have featured in DOGA competitions and magazine features that can be seen on their website - just enter DOGA on the search - in full colour. Others - taken by fellow DOGA member Brian Roper - feature in my RMweb Gallery page. Just for you, I shall feature some of them here (you've already seen the coal depot images in Number 13 of this series of pages).
A motorised Bachmann Type 27 Wickham Ganger's Trolley (see below) in BR Maroon is on order from Rails of Sheffield with an expected (belated) December/January delivery date. I've put the storage shed for it near the tunnel entrance at Thoraldby by cutting out part of the scenery and ballast, some work needed to 'bed it in', some painting and restoration of scenery. I took a fancy to one after seeing one 'buzzing' down past Levisham on the Pickering branch in a dvd (Marsden Rail No.13 'BRAKEVAN TO WHITBY' available through Videoscene, product MR013. I'll add a link below). It could stand in the siding near the provender store at the Ayton Lane halt, waiting for the gangers at work near the tunnel portal. Of course when wagons need to be collected or dropped off by the branch pick-up it would have to be elsewhere. Watch out for pictures.
Model makes: Many of the locomotives are Bachmann from around the late 1990s, a few (the D49s, J94s, K1 and L1) are Hornby of differing vintage between the late 1980s and 2000s (so far up to 2015). A smaller number are kit-built, such as a Q6, J21 and Sentinel Y7. The kit-built locos are Nu-cast, relics of a bygone modelling era and weighty. Friend Stephen Siddle of DOGA who built the Sentinel Y7 fitted it with a Tenshodo 0-4-0 bogie.
As for stock, if you've got a big enough hat I could scribble the manufacturers' names on chits of paper and it would be full in no time!.It's enough to say many of the wagon and van kits are Parkside Dundas, and many of the off-the-shelf wagons are either Hornby or Bachmann. Almost all the coach kits are Ian Kirk Gresley stock. Of these the bogies and underframe detailing are of different sources but mainly Comet and MJT. There are some r-t-r underframes with Comet 'Thompson' sides to complete the scene and a vintage North Eastern clerestory brake 3rd in British Railways' crimson livery (the LNER repainted them after 1923 and BR repainted the survivors into BR crimson. In other words from when they were first built at the turn of the 19th Century they'd run in three different liveries). A pair of 52' Thompson non-corridor brake seconds - originally brake thirds in LNER days - was bought at reduced price by mail order recently (week end 22nd October, '16), screw couplings attached, last running numbers changed, ends, bogie sides, steps and ends repainted to look 'used'.
Some of the coach bogies are Bachmann's, bought separately, as were the sprung buffers on a number of the carriages. In the time since I started building these carriages the ownership of Kirk Coach kits has strayed away two or three steps from the original owner Ian Kirk. A number of other kit manufacturers has also changed ownership in the intervening years, so it gets a bit sticky finding the products after a while. It's all part of the charm of making things, that the bits and pieces get harder to source unless you keep up with the movements of the makers on the market. Even a lot of the ready-to-run stock can only be found on second-hand stalls or on e-bay, where the makers have either gone out of business or do other things. The original Ian Kirk kitmakers now only make 'O' Gauge carriage and wagon kits and Graham Farish only produce N-Gauge models these days.
It's a great life if you don't weaken!
April 2nd, 2013 - A few new additions have entered 'service' since this Hub-page was first created. View one of these, the crane and 'runner', on my RMweb Gallery Page
1. A Bachmann V3 2-6-2 Tank locomotive threw a wobbly recently and I cast around for a replacement. Colin Snowdon, the DOGA Chairman, came up trumps - and price-wise too! - with an unused V1/V3. The model as it came had a Tyneside V1 number, 67635. After adding Markits cast brass vac pipes (these come in two parts and can be either soldered or super-glued together straight or with the 'pipe' slightly askew) and Jackson-type screw couplings, I re-liveried the engine with the British Railways' 'cycling lion' emblem. One of the numbers was changed to turn it into a Middlesbrough-allocated (51D), V3 67685;
2. Spent countless hours assembling seven of the Parkside BR Shildon-built steel mineral hoppers, filing down 'flash' and other extrusion 'irregularities', cutting brass wire, cursing, assembling hopper bodies, adding Smiths 3-link couplings, cursing, painting, numbering, weathering, sitting back and admiring. Two I slightly modified. One I modelled with the hopper doors open - not noticeable with the 'load' inserted - and because I lost a small (and I mean SMALL) part I turned it into a 'prototype', an intermediate between the steel LNER hopper and the BR type. Coal load 'platforms' were assembled using thick plastic card bases (to avoid 'bowing'), thinner layers added on top to build up the load profile. Next plastic filler was added and smoothed around the card profile; to be painted matt black with pva glue spread before sprinkling with real ground/powdered coal from the lump I 'liberated' when at the North Woolwich Railway Museum decades ago;
3. Bought the Dapol version of the Booth Rodley Diesel breakdown/engineers' crane and modelled it with bogies, attached to the underside of the body by 8BA brass screws, secured with nuts under the bogies. Threading the 'cable' was tricky but achievable using grey thread (only trouble is you'd have to keep the thread damp somehow to stop it fraying). It works at least, the jib and hook cables can be turned with a square Allen-type key and with a load on the hook it looks reasonably realistic. Painting was in British Railways North Eastern Region black with the afore-mentioned 'cycling lion', Dapol transfers (Booth Rodley) and HMRC numbers. I since found out Parkside have a sheet of appropriate transfers. Well, when I get a round tuit... As a crane runner I modified one of my four wheeled plate wagons with a jib rest and appropriate regional departmental transfers;
4. Unfitted brake vans have been fitted with outside lamps supplied by Springside (available through Wizard Models), with the clear aspects forward and red to the rear. White lamps were already attached to most of the brake vans - including the bauxite-painted fitted ones - on the middle hooks. A proprietary Bachmann Branchlines unfitted brake was re-worked, using Smiths 3-link couplings, a guard added to one end platform (looking as if he was about to open his cabin door), painted a coat of lighter grey and heavily weathered. I now have twelve brake vans, five of which are fitted, suitable for mixed goods, livestock, fitted freight (fruit, fish or perishables traffic) or breakdown trains, the rest are suitable for mineral traffic (iron ore, coal, limestone, building stone) and are representative of different eras of the LNER/BR.
1. Colin brought the V3, 67686, back in late July, and with a few adjustments to the underside she ran well. With detailing (screw couplings and vacuum pipes, fitted and painted) and weathering she 'slots' back into service with her sister loco 67685, both Middlesbrough allocations. I've painted up a few white metal fire irons to add to the top of the tank on the fireman's side (right);
2. Busy assembling Parkside fish vans and BR 21T mineral hoppers, seven of the former, seven of the latter; intermittent adaptation of proprietary wagons with Parkside underframe kits also went on and I've got a new problem. Parking. Now I've got to modify my stock 'cases' (recycled wooden bread trays and shelving units found locally in skips - new costs a pretty penny!);
The only thing missing at Thoraldby is the hot creosote smell!
Scenery at Ayton Lane shed.is detailed below.in the 'diary'.
Bachmann's Wickham Ganger's Trolley
Traffic's busy - sometimes - along the branch at Ayton Row
- Videoscene - Railway and Transport DVDs. Railway DVD, Train DVD, Cab Rides, Steam and Diesel video
Find the latest railway DVD releases from today's top producers. Videoscene is the UK's premier railway DVD retailer. We stock more than 2,000 railway and transport DVDs. We have over 750 steam dvds, 550 diesel and electric plus hundreds more on all
I have a collection of Marsden Rail's and B&R's steam era railway recordings from Videoscene. These are good quality translations from the original video cassettes (in turn produced from various formats of colour and black & white film) collections that I had before they were superseded. With a large choice of steam, diesel, electric railway, tram (street-car), bus and air transport recordings, these people satisfy transport enthusiasts' requirements in research or entertainment.
An engine passes through... branch goods working
British Railways in colour, The North Eastern Region
Alan Earnshaw and Kevin Derrick have brought together a 'package' of images of freight, mineral and passenger traffic within their respective locations. This handy-sized paperback shows the relationship of the railways to industry and commerce, passengers and the region.
Every region in British Railways' days had its own distinct character, green for Southern, coffee colour for Western, dark blue for Eastern, wine red for Midland, light blue for Scottish and... tangerine for North Eastern. An odd choice of colour maybe, for a region whose traffic was largely industrial with coastal and inland tourist magnets like Durham, Harrogate, Leeds, Newcastle-on-Tyne, Ripon, Scarborough, Whitby and York,
I've got this book in my collection. If you model or are interested in the railway lore of this region you should buy it too!
Nooks and crannies
A few shots here from different viewpoints. Top is the view under the Ayton Row road bridge towards Ayton Row station. The platform signal cabin on the left guards the turn-off for the motive power depot. On the right is the old, windowless clerestory roofed grounded coach body (a Ratio kit) that once served as a gangers' bothy and rest room (gangers, to those not in the know were the workmen who looked after a section of line; a 'bothy' is a workshop). On the right before the carriage body is the bottom of the home signal that controls onward traffic. Beyond the carriage body is the erstwhile cattle dock (part of a Ratio kit), now used for loading wagons, and the (also Ratio) provender store.
Below that is the old cutting on the 'Up' side where the original line ran through a tunnel to an ironstone mine from the junction opposite the Derwent Stone Loader. The tunnel has collapsed trees and bushes have taken root on the spoil heap from the fall-in so now the cutting is used to store redundant or broken-down equipment and timbers meant for cutting.up for lineside fencing. Lots of old rubbish and an old blue LNER trailer.
The cattle creep (Wills) under the throat of Ayton Lane shed is next, the gate's been left open (forgot to close it after taking the picture, hope the sheep don't stray). By the way, the tunnel's called a 'cattle creep' even if it's used by sheep. Farmers don't bother giving them different names, so why should we?
Bottom, looking down over the throat of Ayton Lane mpd with the signal cabin at the back (card kit with plastic, brass and white metal detailing). The engineer's train occupies the siding next to the access road under the (Ratio) LNER distant bracket signal that controls outward traffic back to Ayton Row. Behind is the double-doll (short post) bracket home signal and small calling-on warning arm to allow engines in at caution. This side of the engineer's train is the 'cripples' road to store wagons meant for the knacker's yard (scrap) with an old engine boiler taking up the nearside vehicle.
Thoraldby Station and Thoraldby Gates level crossing
Make your own countryside or townscape, a guide to creating stations and buildings, fields, trees, roads and rivers. 'How to' hints, techniques, painting, detailing and pointers on where to look for direction. A first rate publication that's given me untold ideas for the surroundings on the THORALDBY layout. Handy hints on how to achieve for the beginner as well as the seasoned modeller. Should be part of your library too,
Creating The Scenic Landscape
Thoraldby coal depot and livestock platform
British Railways Past & Present - Cleveland & North Yorkshire
Second edition charts railways in Cleveland & North Yorkshire and present commercial success of the NYMR in the hands of a devoted group of people - mostly volunteers - who turned around a railway the national network in their wisdom abandoned for lack of commitment or imagination. A rich source of images in black & white and colour with route and regional maps, British Railways timetables and facsimile tickets going back in time. Worth buying, I recommend it for background information, scenery and running suggestions.
(see also 'TRAVEL NORTH - 13: RE-OPENED RAILWAYS -', and 'TRAVEL NORTH - 29: Sightseeing Made Easy -')
Royal Engineers' Depot, Thoraldby Army Base
Want to be a club member but don't have a lot of time for meetings?
There's an association of like-minded modellers, DOGA (Double O Gauge Association), who meet twice a year at the premises of the Model Railway Club, Keen House, Calshot Street off the Pentonville Road, London N1 Being a member, I usually attend both meetings, although it's not compulsory. We have a periodical produced several times a year to which members are welcome to contribute whatever material they think is of interest to fellow members. Get in touch, use the link below to give the web site a once-over.
You know it makes sense...
Double O Gauge Association (DOGA)
- The Double O Gauge Association
The OO Gauge Association
Derwent Stone siding and environs
Cameos can be found around the layout, at the shed, below at Ayton Row, at Thoraldby and beyond. They're figures in various poses, frozen in time (maybe one day I'll meet someone who can produce moving models of railway workers, passengers and incidental figures, or shrink people down to size - only kidding, what would they live on or how would they wash their clothes?) to complete the rural picture. There's lots to do yet, take road vehicles apart and insert drivers, (drivers, passengers and 'clippies' in two of the buses, one's been done but you'd have to look closely to see them).
Meanwhile look around through these pictures and you'll find them (such as the shepherd with his Border Collie above, the impromptu road delivery drivers' union meeting at Ayton Row, the farmers' meeting by the cattle creep near the Derwent Stone site and more)
Ayton Row Halt and environs
Bob Essery is an acknowledged authority on the Midland Region of British Railways, its predecessors and successors. He is also a capable modelmaker as you will learn from images in the book, spliced onto the pages beside real life images. Track and signalling diagrams abound, close-ups of wagons and other rolling stock showing, for example how tarpaulins were secured. Images of railway owned road vehicles are also included, as are external and internal signal boxes/cabins. Good investment if this were one of the few books you ever bought on the subject..
Bob Essery, Railway Operation for the Modeller
Around Ayton Lane mpd
Scenery techniques & hints - working on Ayton Lane mpd
As you can see much of the landscape is agricultural on the Thoraldby part of the layout. The general non-railway scenery was based on cross-laid card, which gave a certain amount of elasticity before the scenic overlay was applied. Overlaid card is light and cheap, cereal packets mostly, although on the Ayton Lane shed scenic unit the scenery will be overlaid on styrene foam from electrical appliance boxes. (Even after the 'Modroc' plaster sheets have been overlaid on the card 'forme' on the rest of the layout there is a certain amount of elasticity).
The 'Modroc' was laid for a short time in a shallow bowl, taken out and - trying not to get any drips on the track, although this was mostly covered with dry card - draped over the card. Some lumps of plaster were left in the bottom of the bowl and these could be lightly squeezed, pushed into a corner and shaped to look like rocks or rock falls. There is a 'beck', (the northern version of a bigger stream), Ayton Beck, just outside Ayton Row. This was shaped first around the foundation of the railway bridge from the back to the front around a bend. At the back a 'stairway' of flat stones was built to resemble a waterfall over limestone 'steps'. The raw material came from a real water course. When the base had dried a piece of board was screwed across the end and tins of gloss modelling varnish poured over the waterfall to tumble down the beck bed in the way a real beck would. Not too much was used, just enough to show a shallow pool at the front of the layout and a continuous surface of varnish. Small flat stones had been embedded in the plaster along the bottom of the beck and the varnish ran between these. After about 48 hours I took away the piece of board and was left with a solid watercourse which could be rubbed from time to time to keep dust from settling. As for the rest of the scenery, I had built up bridges over short strips of board, faced with bridging strips from the Wills' range.
Bridge abutments were built up on plain Slaters' plastic card using the coarse stone packs. The actual roadways were made from cut mid-grey Wet'n'Dry sheet, 'roughed up but not rucked up', i.e., laid down nice and flat on wood glue! Pasture and moorland was easy enough. Much of the moorland was covered with a 'bracken' mat, pushed in or laid behind plastic or resin cast 'stone walling' alternating with 'wood fencing' from Ratio and Peco. The odd stile shows where footpaths criss-cross the scenery. Trees of varying sizes and types (Rowan, Silver Birch and divers variations) were bought from the 4D shop, Arches, 120 Leman Street in London E1. Right at the end of the layout is a steep embankment opposite the Derwent Loader, topped by a single Rowan, just as at Murk Mire Moor on the North Yorkshire Moors, except that's wild moorland and not sheep grazing. When I get 'a round tuit' I shall see to adding some 'character'.
The roadway past Thoraldby Station and across the far side of the railway is again 'Wet'n'Dry' , laid up to the crossing. Wills' boarding is laid between the tracks and cut into narrow strips to be laid between the rails, leaving the inner edges of the rails free for the wheel flanges. Then on the outer edge of the trackbed is the crossing ramp, also made of Wills' planking. A tree-edged field lies beyond the cattle dock, undulating ground suitable for a piggery partly fenced with hedging and partly walled as far as the roadway behind the crossing cabin.
In a field behind the station, on the viewing/operating side of the layout is a small field for a bull and a large field for horses and cattle with stile and footpath signposts. This large field slopes steeply down to a marshy area, represented by darker green foliage. I had been meaning to overlay this with a thin layer of varnish to look like it is waterlogged but here again I'm waiting to get a 'round tuit' to finish off the job (they're in short supply, as everyone knows, these 'round tuits'!)
So Ayton Lane shed awaits its turn, when I get... You guessed it...
By the way, since the pictures were taken the front of the layout has been painted, the boards in dark BRNE Region 'tangerine' (the colour of a 'cuppa'). Where work has been undertaken subsequent to original work the tangerine will have to be re-done. The supporting woodwork is in gloss black
[8th November, '13]
Well the round to-it has shown up at last. Work has begun and has been in full sway over the past couple of weekends (in spurts). 'Terra-forma', the plaster-impregnated muslin sheet I bought at the 4D shop on Leman Street, E1 has been judiciously applied to foreground and background - except for track areas - and a tunnel mouth has been added to the shed 'throat' end where the locomotives run into the shed area from the fiddle yard, built up from plastic card and styrene foam. Behind the single-track tunnel mouth is a wall against which stone-faced card has been fixed. A black plastic 'roof' was added to the short tunnel walls, around which styrene foam was placed in layers and 'carved' to shape before the plaster-impregnated muslin sheet was applied. Next stage is using the 'Railmatch' paint spray cans (1402 'Frame dirt' and 1406 'Sleeper grime', although there's precious little difference in the shades) I bought from Howes of Oxford to colour the Terra-Forma. Then it's fun and games time! Scatter, lots of it, different types... Can't wait!
[11th November 2013]
Progress on Ayton Lane Shed is plain to see (I'll see about the availability of funds to buy a digital camera or failing that the availability of Brian Roper to chart progress). The Terra-Forma has been applied - liberally - and painted. The short length at the fore to the left-hand end still needs to be masked and sprayed. A few more trees from 4D to apply to the front - not too many - need to be bought. These will go mainly perhaps around the 'pill-box' (ex-Army concrete defence/observation post), and where the land drops in mid-front to the ruined stone wall. Some may even be added at the back, away from where the ramp climbs to the coaling stage
[28th February 2014]
Vegetation has been added around buildings to the nearside of the shed area as well as fencing and trees. The cattle creep (another one) below the track at the shed 'throat' has been worked on, fine stone ballast used as a farm track surface, gates (footpath and tractor) and fencing added. As the vegetation is being added from the other end, it'll be a little while before this end sees anything near completion. A couple of bridge piers (either side of the track) were put on around the time I began this part of the project. These are to be worked on, an 'occupation bridge' installed to resemble a disused line - a continuation of the abutment halfway along the fiddleyard as an exercise in scenic work. Also at this end a small signal cabin will be added beside track that leads up to the loco coal stage beside the two-road shed.
[16th April 2014]
Not 'ho-hum' by any stretch of the imagination. Work has gone on, not exactly 'apace', but steadily. I've been working along the outside edge from the far end - beside the sand furnace - towards the junction with the fiddle yard. Fencing has been erected, trees 'planted', grass and undergrowth 'seeded'. Most importantly a small coaling tower has been installed near the shed doors. It works as well! There's a nickel silver wire loop on a sliding trap that can be pulled open and shut to allow real coal to drop into the tenders. Well there are only a few of the tenders this can be done on, such as the kit-built engines and newer Bachmann/Hornby locos as the older locomotive tenders don't have removable plastic coal mouldings. Also I've added a small signal cabin to the side of the station throat, with a removable front roof portion. Inside there's detailing and the floor's been painted dark brown to resemble painted wood. There's still a fair amount of groundwork yet..
[29th April 2014]
Coming on in leaps and bounds. A working loco coaler has been added in front of the shed. Lots of jiggery-pokery involved there! I mean to build an apex-roofed coaling stage roof around the back side of it and a pair of 'chutes that would have been used to feed coal into tenders and bunkers to be added next to the tower. At the front of the shed more vegetation has been added, almost up to the hill over the exit/entry 'tunnel'. That's to come next - over the weekend maybe? - and round to the back of the layout past the small yard signal cabin (got to put a name over the end window). More Peco fencing to buy for the perimeter and cattle creep under the shed 'throat' ( don't want sheep getting up the bank, do we?) The front part of the roof on the yard signal cabin lifts to show the glorious detailed interior with its 'illicit' armchair (made from scrap cut-offs). Armchairs weren't standard issue in cabins, being considered likely to induce sleep in overworked signal staff. There's a 'Bundy' clock near the door to issue staffs to engine crew for single line working and at the other end a desk for the train - in this case mainly loco - register, also made from scrap. The shelf over the levers holds several instruments, to telegraphically signal train/loco on line and train/loco 'acceptance' to the next post (i.e., the platform cabin at Ayton Row). [Memo to self: 'must get digital camera'].
(June 1st June 2014)
Took some pictures with the new digital camera (Canon PowerShot A2500) and later added some grass scatter to the siding that the engineers'/breakdown train stands on. Looks the part. Still some way to go yet though. Working on the exit tunnel surround next, having painted a 'rock' face on the viewing side. The job is to make it look convincing..
More pictures, more scenic work around the tunnel end and past the signal cabin (which has a removable front roof panel to look inside). Stone walling follows the back of the mpd yard and loco coaler ramp with wooden fencing and 'vegetation' added. An 'overgrown', ruined structure forms part of the scenic backdrop, perhaps part of an abandoned ironstone mine. More images to come.
Signalling (of a sort) has been installed at Ayton Lane mpd. Around the end of October a two doll post with a calling-on distant arm was added in the vicinity of the signal cabin; not long after that a distant signal was added in front of the tunnel on the 'up' side of the signal cabin. At the weekend (2nd November) a short starter was added to the loco coal wagon ramp to control access to the running line near the depot throat. (As loco drivers are not likely to be in a rush, the signal's in a place where they'll have to look out for it!) Next stage is to install yard lamps, and manual point levers on shunt or slow-running roads before cinder ballasting can go ahead. .
Late November 2014: added a few signals from the Ratio LNER semaphore multiple lattice post kit (R0486 from Model Trains UK) near the mpd throat. One was set facing inward bound traffic/locos, with one arm for the coaling stage shunter, one arm for the shed and a calling-on distant/warning arm for the nearside sidings. A short post has an arm for the coaling stage shunter coming back to the throat, and a balanced bracket distant for leaving the mpd through the short tunnel. Only ballasting and detailing left now.
Started on the cinder ballast in the locomotive depot, Ayton Lane, working back from the short tunnel mouth. A handy tool to get for this job is the 'Poppy's Ballast Box' (web address below), that allows you to lay ballast along lengths of track with an even slope on the outside edge of sleepers. Do fairly short stretches and brush excess along between the rails until it sits level with sleeper tops on main line routes. On branch lines and yards it can be uneven. Take care near pointwork/turnouts, don't use too much of the ballasting material and stop within two-three sleepers then brush lightly towards the sleeper before the tie-bar. Don't get any ballast in here or your point won't work. On the outside ends of the sleepers leave room for the tie-bar to move back and forth and brush any bits clear before dripping adhesive onto your newly-ballasted trackwork.
I use a mix of wood-glue/pva, water and washing-up liquid in a plastic syringe (I bought a set of three at the 4D Model Shop). Mix it so it's fairly runny, drip in the washing-up liquid and stir. Allow to settle. Squeeze the syringe slowly along, or drip in. Watch where points converge in a sharp 'V'. Avoid dripping near point mechanisms or quickly brush away. Keep the rail tops clean, wipe regularly with a piece of cloth on your fingertips. Leave to dry between stages and keep checking the power flow through the points. In tight corners use a small (00) brush to drip the adhesive mix).
The ballasting's been completed, the points still work - some wiping still to do to the rails to maintain power flow - and now there's more weathering to do. White metal, hand-painted detailing's been added in the form of yard taps, trolley with acetylene gas canisters, empties and coiled weld, loco springs, wheelbarrows, loco jacks and men with shovels to clear out the ash pit (half-filled with grey-painted ballast to look like ash), one actually about to set to work, the other stands joking with another workmate (typical!) The shed gaffer (manager) stands outside the office waving at them to 'get weavin' lads, ye're 'oldin' up t' engines!' I've also added oil patches (matt black paint smeared across sleepers and ballast in a line between rails) where engines would have to stand for signals or for passengers at Thoraldby station.
Had a thought about road access one day. After all not everything came into motive power depots by rail. I looked around to see where a gate/gates could be put in without maximum upheaval and decided the stone wall near the sand furnace could be hacked into. I had some gates spare, along with posts and out came the pliers, superglue and paint. The ballasted space in front of the sand furnace was tamped down and, 'hey presto', access was attained. Simple really, I don't know why I didn't think of it in the first place.
Watch this space...
*See more of THORALDBY and other railway modelling features on www.rmweb (see link below), my own gallery, THORALDBY can be viewed by visiting:'Modelling Galleries', go to page 9, scroll down to 'Thoraldby', click the title, then click any image.and work backwards < or forwardss > Click on an image to see the description. There is work by many other modellers on the site owned by the publishers of British Railway Modelling, forums, galleries and blogs.
Enjoy your visit.
RM Web Galleries and blogs
- Redirecting to the RMweb community
Besides my own gallery viewed by entering 'alancaster149' I have a blog. There are many other blogs and galleries to view, maybe even join in discussions.
After the cinder ballasting of 51M Ayton Lane mpd
Aside from his very useful Ballast Box, Anthony Garton produces a range of lineside and wagon detailing in light balsa wood. Look up his stand at exhibitions to appreciate the detail in 4mm and 7mm scales
...And finally: 'ex-works' 63443 with crew and Smiths' scale three link couplings
If you're not quite sure about how to use some model-making materials for your scenery...
This is where I go for adhesives, scatter, scale trees, paints and other modelling materials. Almost all the trees on the Thoraldby layout were bought here.
You can contact 4D Modelshop via e-mail, on the net, by phone or by letter. They have A4 Product Information sheets they might e-mail or send to you, or one of their staff might explain techniques over the phone. If you want, they'll get a Product Information sheet to you.
For water effects:
There are, for example, sheets on using 'Solid Water' (for lakes, puddles or other standing water - FT00091), 'Scenic Fibres' (FT00079) for created the rock formations for waterfalls or riverbanks and 'Scenic Water' (for rivers, estuaries or waterfalls - FT00074), Making Waves.(FT00080 and FT00081). They have Acrylic gel medium 200cl (FM00004) and 60cl (FM00007). Then there's preformed 'water sheet' (RD70069).
PVA (various makes) can be spread onto clear plastic (sheet) to create the effect of still water ruffled by wind or boats.
4D Modelshop, The Arches, 120 Leman Street, London E1 8EU, UK; phone: 0207 264 1288; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org;
Handy City-based source of modelling materials and ideas, books and tools within walking distance of colleges, universities, overground, underground and buses,
More by this Author
In true Blue Peter tradition, here's the 'story' of a short model railway I built for son Robert when he was eight (his birthday comes four weeks after Christmas). It's downstairs now, he's in Germany
Travel down Memory Lane to the early days of British Railways. See yourself in an old teak carriage, deep-upholstered seats ... As your fellow passengers are scale models, don't start a conversation!
Here's an analogy: The English Language is a timeless, living being that has developed over the past fifteen hundred years. It is a breathing, feeling creature that nurtures our minds with new ideas