My railway modelling began in the 1970s with the construction of a K's white metal kit for a G.W.R. 14xx auto tank. The model was rather crude by today's standards and was sold long ago. However I also scratchbuilt a 4mm scale model of the station building at Tintern in the Wye Valley after taking many measurements of the building in its derelict state at the time, and also the platform frontage, shelter and nameboard of the halt just down the line at Netherhope. My modelling was then put on hold for many years but these structures survived a number of house moves and are now incorporated into my fictitious 1950s Western Region branch layout.
The small end-to-end DCC layout is constructed on two main baseboards and a small extension board at one end primarily to house the electronics for the working level crossing gates which are described here. Construction is in 4mm scale with Tillig Elite 00 trackwork and turnouts controlled by Tortoise motors. A plan of the layout is shown below:
The control panel has three circuit boards. The main one has a mimic diagram with switches for operating the Tortoise turnout motors, the direction of throw being indicated by green and red LEDs. A switch is also provided for isolating a part of the track for use as a DCC programming track. The second board has a bank of switches for operating the working semaphore signals constructed from MSE components, with bicolour LEDs for indication. The third board is for operating the level crossing gates by means of an on-off switch and a momentary contact DPDT switch with associated green and red LEDs to show whether the gates are open or closed to traffic.
G.W.R. Railcar W18W constructed from a Westward kit. The model is powered by a single Black Beetle motor bogie and is fitted with Kadee couplers for pulling a trailing load. Behind is the station building based on the prototype at Tintern.
The following photographs show the main features of the layout and stock.
Collett Goods 2249 started life as Bachmann Cat. No. 32-305 2217. A new chassis from High Level components has allowed a Mashima motor and decoder to be hidden in the firebox area. New chimney, safety valve cover, handrails, smokebox door, lamp irons etc. have been added and Kadee couplers are fitted as they are to all my stock. The level of the footplate of the Bachmann tender has also been modified to match that on the loco and a fall plate added. Real coal has been placed in the tender. A new paint job, number and shed plates from 247 Developments, new transfers and slight weathering completes the model.
A heavily modified Hornby G.W.R. 14xx 0-4-2T. A new chassis from High Level Kits together with a Mainly Trains detailing kit, new handrails, lamp irons, etc. were followed by a repaint and new identity as 1445. Chewton was the birthplace of my Great Western Railwayman great grandfather.
1445 with A30 auto coach W194W. The auto coach was one of my early models from the 1970s made from a BSL kit, seen after a refurbishment and repaint. The water tower at the end of the platform is from a Ratio kit.
The level crossing and garage with the gates in the foreground leading to the goods yard. The garage buildings are constructed from a Wills kit and a Scalescenes kit. The Red & White Bedford OB coach is from an ABS white metal kit, the Morris 8 (which I learned to drive in) from John Day, and BR lorry from Road Transport Images. The A35 (my first car) is a Classix model (EM76852).
The signal box is from a Ratio kit and the working bracket signal is constructed from MSE components.
Bachmann Cat. No. 32-126 4560 was given new handrails, smokebox door handles and real coal in the bunker and after renumbering as 4555 was given a repaint and weathering.
G.W.R. W5 cattle wagon from Cooper Craft kit no. 1010W and a G.W.R. 12 ton box van from Ratio kit no. 565
A G.W.R. O29 open wagon from Ratio kit 564 and a B.R. 13 ton open from Parkside Dundas kit PC02A.
Twin coupled G.W.R. railcar set W35W and W36W. The Diagram E146 brake composite W6582W sandwiched between them was used in B.R. service. The twin set was also constructed from a Westward kit and powered by a single Black Beetle motor bogie. The E146 brake composite was constructed using sides etched by Worsley Works with underframe, roof, ends etc. from Comet Models. All three cars are coupled together with Keen close couplers and screw couplings are fitted to the driving ends.
The compartment side of E146 W6582W sandwiched between W35W and W36W.
Dean Goods 2538 constructed from a superb Martin Finney kit.
Collett C75 non-corridor 3rd and D117 non-corridor brake 3rd built from Comet kits and awaiting their running numbers.
Dean Goods 2538 with a short freight in front of the halt. Behind is the engine shed from a Ratio kit and the 2-6-2T 4555.
BR 13 ton goods wagon and a 16 ton coal wagon from Parkside Dundas kits.
A view of the goods yard with the cattle dock and goods shed constructed from Ratio kits.