Two for the Road

Photographs by Petra Brown

These little sheds in the yard on my Tetford model were meant to be “quickies” to add a little atmosphere. I’d seen a lovely article about a yard building in the July 1962 Railway Modeller: “A Merchant’s Office”. (I’m lucky enough to have a large collection of bound volumes, inherited from me dear old Dad.) The writer concerned, M. A. Randall, managed to imbue his models with lots of atmosphere, yet all with an economy of means- and his work has long been a favourite of mine.

The sheds in situ on Tetford Station.

 Pretentious? moi?

The construction of the first office is really very straightforward,  but as usual, I became a little carried away and gave the structure more pretensions than it should have, thinking that it should really match the style of the station buildings. I hope the result is fun- possibly the local agricultural merchants were very important locally, (or they thought they were). It must be the first goods yard office that looks like it was designed by Vanbrugh- although there were certainly examples of stations looking like stately homes- Stoke comes to mind, looking for all the world like a marvellous accessory from Henry Tudor’s garden railway.  

At any rate, I made the shell of the building from Wills brick sheet. As this is a small structure, issues about warping of the plastic were not so worrying, although I did brace the structure afterwards with some more plastic. The most notable thing is the window style- using some lintels from one of the superb Howard Scenics kits, which for some reason remained unused in my scrapbox. Some hacking and dremelling was required to fit the lintels above the windows and get them to sit properly, but determination won in the end. Quoins were added from the excellent Ratio packs, and I made the windows themselves from some thick plastic, scribing and then polishing with Brasso. As the Brasso dries it can be wiped off, but a residue stays in the scribed marks rather nicely, showing sharp cream lines.  The trick is to scribe deeply, but not too deeply!

The other little hut was made from scribed card and was adapted from an old model found while prospecting in the scrapbox. I didn’t make the model- but it was looking a little sorry for itself so I restored it by re-roofing and adding little bits of detail. Very enjoyable.

Those window reveals are a tad deep- never mind!

If at first…

I positioned them wrongly the first time. My partner, Petra, did her usual thing and weathered the area with pastels, setting the structures beautifully into the scene with grass, bushes and sundry herbage; thus killing off the dreaded black line between the building and the base.  She stepped back to admire her finesse and announced (with some mischievious glee, I thought) that the huts were in the wrong place.  She was right, of course. In my eagerness to get the station completed, I had put my brain on neutral.  I took a couple of photos of the yard area from several angles and re-imagined the scene. It took a little earthwork removal but I eventually got them in the right place. I’m always in too much of a hurry, but many people make card mock-ups of buildings and place them in situ for a while to see what they will look like. It seems like a good idea to me, although I did see an article in the Model Railroader where some chap had built his whole layout as a clay mock up…that man has too much spare time! Could be a delaying tactic, of course, the last ditch attempt to stay in the armchair. Maybe we will see a new magazine soon- Model Railway Model Modeller?


  1. There is a magic about your work Iain. Its a great pleasure to read how these beautiful scenes were made.


Post a Comment