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NEWTON ABBOT WORKS     by Steve Harrod


This layout project is a recreation of part of Newton Abbot works, to include the main building facade, traverser, and the area later known as the works dump. It is basically 3 storage roads off the traverser where locomotives can be displayed in various guises, in service or withdrawn. As a 9 year old lad I was lucky enough for my father to have taken me to Newton Abbot station in August 1971 (family holiday in Paignton) to see my beloved ‘Warship diesels’, So with this in mind and using the excellent NBL Class 43 from Bachmann, I have decided to re-create what I saw.

Newton Abbot - image on Flickr

So the idea is to model D836 and D851 withdrawn, with nameplates removed, 839 Relentless (awaiting works attention to ‘B’ end Transmission), D838 and D6322 will also make an appearance in a withdrawn state. Within the confines of the works dump are 3 storage tank, used for the works heating boilers, one was for thick oil that had to be heated and the other 2 tanks were for residual oil from the effluent plant which separated the oil form the water.

To get the whole project started I decided to scratchbuild several structures which were to be found around the works area, including this small brick built building which was an electrical sub station for the main off loading points for the fuel tanks. The traverser catenary has been constructed using various brass angle sections soldered together.

The Newton Abbot locomotive works building, showing side wall detail and the front of the building with tie bars added, along with the electrical conduit, fuel pipe and support brackets.

Back in the early 1990s Rob Mabbett and I managed to walk around and through the old Newton Abbot works taking lots of pictures to include this SR style concrete hut. He managed to get all 4 sides in various images captured. Scratchbuilt from plastic card.

The SR concrete store hut now painted. I have also started painting the fuel pump which was situated between the 2 access doors at the works. This is scratch built using brass rod and plasticard.

The conduit retaining straps on the overhead pole were made from foil. I also made the angled support strut that attaches to the pole and the 4 conduit pipes that protrude from the second electrical distribution box. Other tasks left to complete include the wiring loom that comes from the overhead pole, along with a noticeboard on the outside of the control cabin.

This shows the support bar that is located on the side of the control booth where a bell is mounted, which struck when the traverser was in motion. Also showing motor housing, cabinets, conduit and lamp post.

The traverser has been put into primer. The good news is that the real thing was painted grey so I don't need to put any more paint onto it, other than for the wooden decking and some weathering, so it's now almost complete.

The traverser after painting the decking and toning down. The biggest challenge was to get the wooden decking correct, this was achieved by first of all painting two coats of Precision paints brake dust, then using Humbrol matt 98 a kind of 'gun smoke' colour.


In addition to the works itself, here's a few locomotive projects which will grace the scene. D859 was a great challenge to get the weathering correct and this consisted of many different colours to give me the desired effect, this started with a cream white base which was left to dry, then a pink sub base again mixed with cream to tone it down, followed by various shades of blue with a final weathering of roof dirt.

Here's a couple of Dapol models - Western D1015 and NBL type 2 6322, with Heljan Hymek (Mek) D7024.

Then the weathering brushes came out to capture the look of MeK 24 in 1971. The stippled effect to some of the weathering is seen. The emblem is from Fox. I used T-cut to remove the underscored Heljan version.

D847 Strongbow is almost completed (awaiting D851 to be finished) so that they can both receive their final weathering using the airbrush. Again numbers and arrows from HMRS, and using the same bodyside technique as on D851 for showing areas where the prestolith has dropped out. One side of D847s bodyside shows the side scrap damage it received. It's incredible that Strongbow was laid aside at NA dump in March 1971 and then called to Swindon for overhaul, however the decision was taken to scrap the loco instead.

Nick Trudgian, professional military artist friend has been talking to me about the Newton Abbot backscence he is going to paint, which I am sure will add another dimension to 83A. We have been looking at images showing the background and the viewing perspectives. so this will be great to see once completed.