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!
Usually as a modeller when doing research we tend to look at books, photos and if we’re lucky enough some actual 1:1 scale items up close. While researching things for South Heighton cement works I was reminded of some paintings of another cement works up the Ouse Valley.
Eric Ravilious was an English painter, designer, book illustrator and wood engraver. He was born in London in 1903 and studied at Eastbourne School of Art and the Royal College of Art. His early work is mainly of the countryside in the South East with the odd urban london scene. He later went on to do designs for Wedgwood and became an official war artist during World War II. Unfortunately he was killed in 1942 when the RAF sea rescue plane he was aboard crashed near Iceland.
He used to stay at Furlongs near Lewes and painted lots of local scenes, one of those being the cement works at Rodmell. (Also know as Asham or Beddingham works)
Paintings and modelling are both forms of creative expression and I don’t see why you can’t using paintings as reference material. Paintings may not be as accurate as a photo or scale drawing but they can give you ideas. Its down to these paintings thats some Narrow Gauge will be present on South Heighton and a small 009 layout that I have starting drawing up some plans for.
I’m sure there are a fair few paintings and models based on the same subject matter. Modeller and artist Troels Kirk
has taken things a step further by painting a couple of pictures of his models. Here is the painting
and Here is the model.
Tarring Neville is back home after a very enjoyable weekend at the Uckfield show. Thank you to Adrian and the team at Uckfield MRC for putting on a excellent show and looking after me all weekend and thanks to all the people that read the blog and came to say hello. There were some lovely layouts like “High Stamley” and “Sub Wealden Gypsum Co.” but the simplicity of Maurice Hoppers superb S gauge “Tresparrett Wharf” really did it for me.
People were interested in Tarring Neville’s slightly quirky design, the lighting rig and the height it is set at. They were also intrigued that you will be able to view the layout all the way round.
Being there gave me a chance to test out how it will be to operate at shows and if there are any bits that need changing. Happily there is plenty of interest shunting the layout but final placement of buildings and other objects will have to be thought about carefully so that coupling and uncoupling is still able to be done. Like I discussed with a few people, it might make operating easier if I changed the 3 links for an automatic coupler but they never look as good and it would also mean changing all the stock for Herstmonceux too which is something I don’t want to do.
You might notice in the pictures (thanks Chris), apart from a few more building shells that another Terrier has appeared. This one was the Brighton works pet but it did get down to Newhaven from time to time so that’s the excuse for it turning up at Tarring Neville. I have managed to get a little work done to it already by cutting the sandboxes off the footplate, adding lamp irons and some extra pipework. It still needs a crew and I need to change the number to 337S or DS 337 for the era I model but finding transfers is a problem at the minute.
A finished Tarring Neville will be back out at the Uckfield show next year. Herstmonceux is off to Tolworth in a couple of weeks.
Whats this all about then? Well for a while now I’ve had an itch to do something slightly different but still based in Sussex. One thing I’ve been looking into and planning is some 16mm narrow gauge in the garden, but apart from building a few items of rolling stock and knocking up a couple of points the rest is a long way off yet.
Back in the real world of 4mm I have toyed with ideas of doing a cement works or something loosely based on Newhaven harbour. The problem I found is my plans always ended up a bit bigger than I wanted and I’m still building stock etc for Herstmonceux so didn’t want to start another largish project. Basically I wanted something small that I could set up at home and shunt some wagons around but designed to be able to take it to shows if needed. It had to be interesting to operate and I would use it to test out some new techniques and ideas.
I spent some time drawing some plans and writing ideas down. A rough size of 5ft x 2ft was decided by seeing what would fit in the car. The board had to include the fiddle yard which I was going to use the small cassettes from Herstmonceux but I’ve changed this to a traverser as it will fit better in the space. Thing is when it comes to it I prefer to just start building and let the planning naturally progress so here is where I’ve got to with the board. It’s mainly been made with off cuts of ply that I had left from building Herstmonceux.
The large square hole in the top left corner is where the fiddle yard will be. Along the left hand side is going to be a slight embankment and the cut out on the bottom right is for a small quayside/wharf. The idea is that you can view the layout from all sides. The next picture shows my rough track plan with a few buildings doodled on. Placement of the buildings will hopefully block the view into the fiddle yard at certain angles.
- This will be a hollow building to house switches etc
- Undecided as yet and possibly not over the tracks
- Also undecided but will only be half a building with detailed interior. The idea is that you can look through it to the rest of the layout.
Next i’m going to sort out some templot plans to make sure it all fits how I want and also try out some ideas for the light rig. Oh and come up with a name…..