Wednesday, 30 July 2014

World War 1 Centenary

We settled on the year 1916 for our Cliddesden layout because we wanted to model the L&SWR in its later years. At the end of 1916 the track was lifted for reuse in France during World War 1 and whilst the L&SWR continued to own the branch line for many more years no trains ran until track was relaid in 1924 during the Southern Railway period. Summer 1916 was therefore the most recent L&SWR date that we could model. The fact that this was half way through the first world war escaped our interest until we began to research the area and period for the model. Only then did we began to appreciate the influence it had on life at home.

We have a few posts here that relate to World War 1 so, as it is the centenary on August 4th of the outbreak of war then you might like to take a look at these.

Women's National land Service Corps (link)

Remembrance (link)

(A 5 part series - follow the links in postings for each part)


Friday, 25 July 2014

Loading Dock

Our reference book* has quite a good photo of the loading dock with lowmac trucks carrying lorries in the adjacent sidings.

The loading dock is unusual in so far as the raised platform on the right of the siding is very narrow and of no use for loading; on the left is a retaining wall instead of a platform. The retaining wall seems to be there to stop loose materials falling on to the track. The buffer stop is simply a stack of track sleepers.

There needs to be some way of loading lorries onto lowmacs. My initial thought was that the lorries were driven up a ramp over the buffer stop (the top of which appears to be only about 6 inches above ground level) but the model has shown that there may not have been enough turning space there to line a lorry up with the truck.

Another mystery is the long channel between two of the sidings (there is also another one further along and out of view in this photo). Whilst they are clearly visible in photos of this area it is not known what purpose they served. The two ends look like metal square hoops with boarding between them.

This triangular yard  between the black shed and sidings was covered in various materials and this will be populated with such in phase 3 of the project. Beyond the shed is a dump of loose waste material that has already been modelled.

In latter years this entire triangular area is known to have been a dump for waste from vehicle manufacture and that may have always been the case, which to some extent makes sense of the retaining wall.


*  The Basingstoke and Alton Light Railway, Dean, Robertson & Simmonds.

Friday, 18 July 2014


With the ground-works complete around Thornycroft, it was about time we showed you some picture of the tarmac (and cobbles) as well as the outcome of "filling" in the points.

The DAS clay had a sprinkling of fine sand to add depth and texture as mentioned in previous postings, and then coloured with a handmade mix of white and grey tester pot emulsion to create random tone across the layout. This was then further weathered with black and white pastels.

It's possibly ended up a little darker than I was expecting, but it's pleasing to the eye, and looks realistic from viewing distance and close up.


Sunday, 6 July 2014

A Glimpse of Scenes to Come

Having completed construction of Worting Road and the factory boundary, but not the entire layout, it is time to see how our scene in this corner is coming together.

This is the view from Worting Road railway bridge across Worting Road, the palisade fence and hedge to some of the factory buildings. Behind the hedge shrubs and trees will appear in due course to reflect the prototype scene as it was in the 1930s.

In this photograph we get a real sense of the industrial landscape that we are modelling.


Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Applying clay in the turnouts improvisation.

As we were using ready made points, and being n gauge, there was no way we could apply clay above sleeper level as the point mechanism would no longer work. So, a comprise was reached where we only filled in-between the sleepers to the sleepers height. Still producing the effect of being embedded in the surface.

In order to get the clay in-between the sleepers an improvised syringe was fashioned out of the Biro which was previously scavenged for the "cobble former", and a screw driver which fitted the shaft perfectly. This was then filled with moist DAS clay, and applied between the sleepers of the points, using a knife and then fingers to gently press it into place, checking each time that the point mechanism still moved.

Modelling often calls for improvisation, and this was one of those times...

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