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Circumstances have contrived to dramatically slow progress on Hebble Vale in the last few months, but I've managed to buid the pair of abutments that will support the large girder bridge forming the scenic break at the right-hand end of the layout. It follows the same pattern of construction as the main retaining walls, being made up from Wills Coarse Stone sheets. The cut ends and joins between sheets have been remodelled by scribing and filing etc., before being made good with Milliput filler. Here we see the completed structures in a base coat of Humbrol enamel (No 121 Pale Stone).

The two bridge abutments now painted. First, a blackish-grey wash of thinned paint, which was then wiped off the surface of the stones, leaving just the dark mortar corses. Then the stones were picked out individually using a mix made up of more Humbrol 121 with varying amounts of 72 (Khaki Drill) and, very sparingly, 93 (Desert Yellow), plus 62 (Leather) being used for for the 'rusty' looking stones. A final toning down with a weathering mix will now follow to match the existing stonework. I'm hoping that the bridge deck itself will be completed in time for the layout's appearance at the Shipley Model Railway Society exhibition on the 20th & 21st of September 2014.



The planned redevelopment work at Morfa Bank has seen the scrapyard cleared to make way for new scenic work, brought about by the layout's new home and surrounding area.

This is the site of the old dry dock, which until recently was covered in large piles of scrap metal and associated processing equipment.... now relocated to another site close by.

A view showing the demolition gang finishing off and getting ready to go home! No doubt Wimpey will already be planning an ‘exclusive development of modern family homes’ for the site…



On to the work bench comes a Heljan Brush type 4, destined to become 1516. The moulded cooling fan / grill assemblies have been cut out ready to accept etched brass detail parts.

A section of roof from a vacuum braked bodyshell (earlier Heljan version) has been cut out which features the Spanner boiler exhaust port suitable for dual braked 1516. Roof fan and grill parts shown ready for fitting.

The roof section containing boiler port fitted in place and ready for painting.



Whilst having Wibdenshaw set up at home I've always had to put up with viewing the scenic section from the operating side, and only glimpsing the best side when it's away at exhibitions. Seeing that Hornsey Broadway has been built primarily for home operation, a conscious decision was made to have the scenic section face inwards due to the limited space available. As this arrangement is not suitable for exhibitions, the layout and control system has been designed so that the scenic section can be rotated 180 degrees in relation to the storage yard. With this in mind, the control panels can be located either side of the main scenic boards using 8mm steel rods secured into the panel framework.

The 'Down' control panel is seen here slotted into the front facia of the layout (home arrangement), with the rods going through into the baseboard stretchers to provide a solid fixing arrangement.

The anti-clockwise storage yard panel is located on the exposed steel rods of the Down panel, giving full control of trains in this direction, and electrically connected underneath with a 25-way D plug & socket. The existing Gaugemaster controllers connect into each side of the panel by means of DIN plugs.

The Down panel is now seen slotted into the back of the baseboard at the same distance from the end (away arrangement), this time with the clockwise storage yard panel being connected to it, and the anti-clockwise panel connected to the 'Up' control panel at the same distance from the other end of the layout. Additional slide switches are fitted to the side of the panel to correct the change in direction experienced with the controllers.

A view of the underside of the panels with the left hand image showing the anti-clockwise panel plugged in (home), and the right hand image with the clockwise panel connected (away).



Box sections for the interior walls and floors of the office block have been fabricated from 40 thou' and 60 thou' styrene sheet, then painted with Humbrol enamels using dark tones of grey and green.

Shop fronts have now been added, these being each cut out in one piece from 010 styrene sheet, then painted with Tamiya’s enamel XF-23 Light Blue, and finally laminated onto the clear plastic surface.

The bricked pillars dividing the shop fronts were added as each shop face was fixed in place. The exterior of the building is still to be finished off, including an awning to be fitted above the small row of shop fronts.

I have added just a couple of people in the corridors of the building to suggest some life, standing at the windows looking out, probably observing the goings on below in the railway yard. The model humans were sourced from an inexpensive bulk bag of 100 plastic people, each one has nine identical siblings! The chosen ones were painted using various enamel paints.



D4 Great Gable (Bachmann) has been part of the Shenston Road scene for some time now, and has recently been in the workshop for further detailing and weathering.

Number 4 was unique in having footsteps at the bottom of the nose sides and grab handles on the bonnet top, presumably as an experiment for train crew access, hence the OHLE plate.

D218 is one of the latest locos to enter the fleet. Another Bachmann product with additional detail and weathering to suit the early 1970s period.

The following vehicles were recorded in a southbound parcels train formed mostly of pre-nationalisation stock. First off is an ex-Southern CCT.

Another ex-Southern CCT in green livery.

A trio of SPV vans (ex fish traffic).

Ex-Southern PMV.



Ex-LMS full brake in blue / grey livery.

Another LMS full brake.

Ex-Southern (Van C) BY.

BR mark 1 Royal Mail stowage vehicles.

Ex-Great Northern full brake.



Sort this lot out! Letters for the layout name sign have been printed from the computer in a slightly modified standard font. The letters were then cut out and glued onto 5mm artists foam board, arranged so that not too many cuts were required.

Once cut from the foam board they have then been bonded onto a thin ply backing to produce a near life-size replica of the cast-iron street name style found around Gloucester Docks. End framing details and paint will see this item finished.

The top floor of the R&W Pauls building has windows on all sides so a basic interior has been made using plastic sheet and section.

Along with discarded sleepers, grounded van bodies were a common feature of the era modelled. This ex-GWR body has found further use as the P-Way gangers store.

A second example, this time ex-LNER from the Parkside kit, is in use as a lamp and oil store near the enginemen’s cabin.

With the buildings in position, the dockside industrial scene begins to take shape.


May to August 2014
  October 2014

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