I started Herstmonceux back in 2012 wanting to recreate a sleepy Sussex station and two years later took it to Tonbridge show for its debut.. Since then it has done 10 shows and picked up a few awards but its outing to Epsom & Ewell MRC exhibition in April will be its last for the foreseeable future. I have been lucky to have a good team of friends to help me take it out on the road the last six years and we’ve had some great times at the shows we have done. It has also been good to meet readers of my blog that have followed its progress and make new friends along the way.
Well its been a while since I have done an update and thats mainly due to my Mum passing away at the begin of the year. As you can imagine life has been pretty hectic as a result. Unfortunately it also mean’t I had to pull out of the Alton show with Herstmonceux but I did take Tarring Neville along to the Canterbury show. It was a welcome distraction for me and was good to be around friends. We ended up in a small layouts/industrial corner with Oly’s Six Quarters,
Kirkmellington which was great to finally see in the flesh,
and Saint Amis Sure Mer from Belgium. This I was really looking forward to seeing as its design/presentation was similar to Tarring Neville’s.
A start has also been made of the next part of the cement works trio. Originally I was going to build South Heighton next as this will join to Tarring Neville but another loco kit and the urge to build something for it to run on has swayed me to build the 009 chalk pits feeder line next. The idea is to end up with 3 small(ish) layouts ( Tarring Neville, South Heighton and the unnamed 009) these can be joined together to make two medium sized layouts (Tarring Neville and South Heighton or South Heighton and the 009) or one bigger layout using all three.
This is the plan for the Chalk pits feeder line so far. It’s roughly 5ft x 2ft and will be viewable on three sides like Tarring Neville and will also have a cantilever lighting rig. The right hand end is going to be a fiddle yard and the spur off at the bottom left will be to South Heighton when they are joined together. The idea is that a loaded train will exit the fiddle yard and enter bottom right and either go to South Heighton or go round and back to the fiddle yard via the hidden loop. This will then return the opposite way as a empty train. The scene itself will be set in a older chalk pit with a works building/ loco shed. This was based loosely on a building that was a Rodmell cement works.
As can been seen in the plan, I have almost got all the point work made which will be operated by wire in tube. I have also made a start on a water tower/coal stage to go next to the shed so the next step will be to cut some wood and get the board made. The loco roster is now up to three with a Nigel Lawton O&K added to the Ruston and Kerr Stuart. The O&K was interesting to build and I modified the way the motor sits to hopefully make it perform better. I plan to add another couple of loco for variety plus need to build a load more skip wagons!
So before Manchester show a few weeks ago I wanted to get Tarring Neville’s sign finished. I was very lucky to have a good friend surprise me by making a sign for Herstmonceux and so it was decided that Tarring Neville would need one too.
The idea was to make something that looked like it had been mounted on a building but had been found years later looking a bit worse for wear. Fortunately we had just replaced the bargeboards on the house and I kept back a few bits of the old ones that had a lovely pre-weathered look. A rough size was worked out and I glued and pinned three bits together and added some edging. I then scored along the bottom edge and snapped it off to represent some damage.
The lettering was pencilled on but changed my mind after this picture was taken and put YARD OFFICE instead of just office. Once the sign was paint I started to distress it with some sand paper a hammer and a knife. The newly distressed areas were given a wash of dirty brown/black paint to make it look slightly rotten and aged. Some mounting holes were drilled in it with one being opened up a bit more to look like it had been ripped off the wall.
The last thing to be do was make a miniature one and mount it on a building on the layout.
Really enjoyed Manchester show again and was good to chat with so many people. Tarring Neville picked up an award for “Best scratch built model” for the partially demolished building by the loading dock. Was good to see Black Lion Crossing at last and had a good chat with Geoff Kent about his Conflat L’s which I’ve been looking to build a couple of.
Merry Christmas to all the readers of the blog and best wishes for the New Year.
With Herstmonceux packed away after its trip to Brighton show the other week attention is now on getting Tarring Neville ready for its trip North to the Manchester model railway show.
As I said in my last post there are some new items of stock. The wagons in the picture above are a new rake. These are based on various internal user wagons found at Swanscombe cement works. Strangely they have no brakes! They were simple enough to knock up using some Cambrian and Parkside underframes I had knocking about and some bits of plasticard and microstrip etc.
Another rake of wagons I have been working on (although i’ve only finished one) is some RTmodels wooden contractors wagons. These I have modified to be like some that were again at Swanscombe.
I shortened the original dumb buffers and added a buffer beam from some plastic rod and buffers from Lanarkshire Models. Just need to get the others finished.
A new loco has also been added to the fleet in the form of a Hornby Sentinel which has had a bit of work done to it and some weathering.
Strange goings on at Herstmonceux
A busy few weeks coming up with a couple of shows to end the year. First up is Brighton MRC 40th show next weekend 17th-18th November with Herstmonceux. The show looks like it will have a nice local feel to it with Herstmonceux, Plumpton Green and Sub Wealden all being Sussex based.
Then two weeks later its the Manchester Model Railway Society Show 1st-2nd December with Tarring Neville. It will of been just over a year since Tarring Neville had last been out so will look forward to running some new stock and there is also a few new items that have been added to the layout which there will be more about after the show.
Just a quick post to say its Uckfield show this weekend. Always a good show and this year is helping celebrate the HFS150 with the Colonel Stephens society..
More info here