Monday, 22 April 2019


Lynton station was built into the hillside way above Lynmouth and in creating the station and yard area a great deal of rock must have been excavated leaving exposed rock and shale.Looking at old photographs I can see  evidence of the rock being just below soil level which is further evidence of the difficulties the contractor faced when building the line. The photograph below of Exe taken to the south of the engine shed is one example showing the level of exposed rock or shale.

Examining photographs shows that this shale and rock was quite visible and exposed right along the west side of the station and that towards the goods yard there was quite a high rock face. Early photographs of the station show that quite a lot of lose rock was still visible at the base of the excavation areas which, over the years, gradually  filled in with soil and became overgrown.
To model this I applied quite a thick layer of Polyfilla over the mod roc plaster bandage land formation and whilst still wet and of a mouldable nature I scribed in an impression of this rock and shale.  

When dry the  " rock " was then painted using very dilute acrylics using a technique called Leopard Spotting. First areas were highlighted with raw umber and then a very dilute wash of black all over. Small rocks were made by breaking up larger pieces of Polyfilla salvaged from the layouts initial rock formations and painted in the same way. This method was repeated all the way along the hillside base. Certain areas will then be grassed over using the basket liner and static grass using old photographs as reference. But here in the photographs is the area around the engine shed.

Sunday, 14 April 2019

Moving mountains

Well not exactly a mountain but the hillside behind Lynton station. The name of this hillside? I should know shouldn't I? Let me find out before the end of this post.
The whole of this hillside has been remodelled so as to allow easier access to the previously  inaccessible electrics ( note to myself - next layout - plan it !).
Three sections are removable and the pictures below show one section being removed.
You can see that I have included areas  for  allotment areas with which this hillside was littered with in operational L&B days although I might reduce their size and number.
A very rough start has been made on the grassland using hanging basket liner. The liner comes in rolls from my local garden centre this being a much cheaper way than model railway suppliers and was the method used on my original incarnation of Lynton. I use this two ways depending on the grassland I intend to reproduce that being either rough side up for more unmanaged grassland or smoother side up for more manicured. Both methods  on my original Lynton were then treated with Javis static grass as a mix of various grades and shades and applied simply with a Noch puffer bottle onto an area initially sprayed with scotch spray. I've recently invested in a static grass applicator and will try this on the new model. Other than that the liner here shown is as applied fresh or as rescued from the original. All of which will be given a fresh application of static grass. At this stage it looks very rough and messy and will require work to improve it more and harmonise the look so we should see a much improved finish to that seen here. The grassland by the bay road is the only area so far having had the grassland treated in such a way. Areas that will show the rough hewn rock are also in evidence.
The transformer sits safely in a Walls Ice cream tub ( keeping the electrics nice and cool of course but I  must add a warning sign ) and you will also notice work has been done on the areas surrounding the track bringing the track formation up to spec.
Oh yes....the hilside doesn't have a name.

Sunday, 7 April 2019

The way of the road

Reading Model Railway magazines never fails to provide solutions to problems........
 Something I'd deliberated over for some time was how to make the road and station approach to Lynton Station. The area could be quite a difficult profile to get right due to the sloping nature of the approach on Station Hill road and the goods yard area. I was considering whether  polyfilla plaster might be the answer but this would add weight to an already heavy structure.
Then helps comes in the form of  the April edition of Railway Modeller and an article by Gordon and Maggie Gravett on their superb Arun Quay.  The solution ( clearly known to any but me) was easy using modelling card. Modelling card is easy to form into subtle bends for slopes and as described by the article also easy to paint with standard household paints with an additional dusting of talcum powder to give that gravel effect. Hang on to that thought as I've fallen onto what could be an even easier method.  So with suitable card already to hand I set about the formation of the road way.
I'd seen Arun Quay quite recently at the Stafford Model Railway show and it is a truly wonderful piece of modelling excellence. If only I'd asked the question then !
Now the views around the Station are I feel ( to my old eyes anyway) starting to look a bit closer to the views seen of the real station in old photographs. So I could not resist trying a few views out as below. Yes there is some remedial work required on that station roof. In my defence the Outback model is not yet what I'd call finished.
You will notice in the background that the hillside has reappeared ( although in a state of build with basket liner thrown on for looks only - for artistic purposes of course)  and I'll post something on that soon. You see .......I did say I'd been busy!

Track work and electricals

All the track work on Lynton has been packed with cork, card or whatever seemed to do the job. I'm not saying the track was bad but these new Heljan locomotives do put it to the test. The track was levelled checking as I went with a spirit level. On the electrical side of things I've moved all the main junctions onto one section of baseboard, the central section. This was quite a job. The reason for this was that the original Electricals were situated at the back of the layout under the hillside that rises behind the station. Many years ago the Electricals were easy to access. However in widening the scene to include the hillside the electricals became almost inaccessible under the hillside. I've now removed all the hillside and moved all the electrical joints and so forth onto just the middle section of the layout. Rather than go to the impossible job of re doing the electrics I've decided   to replace the hillside with removable sections . Renovating this layout has been quite a job. Might have been easier to build a new one from scratch ..... But well....hey ho.

Station buildings in double

I've made some alterations to the original pre Southern station building by making my own roof tiles and pasting these over the painted version. In addition I've now made some useful progress with the Outback model of the station building in Southern extension period. Neither are finished but I've decided to now leave the final finishing until the model is running in a very smooth efficient way and some progress made to the scenics. My order of priority now is 1) - track work and electrics : 2) a start to scenics and 3) finish the buildings. Finally the track will be ballasted.

Tuesday, 19 March 2019


Although it's been quiet on the blog of late I have actually been quite busy. I hope to share a few updates to the blog in due course. I have had a few words with the management in Pilton and voiced my concerns over the lack of progress of late. Seems the staff were getting a little bit bored with buildings and the general procrastination over the final details of the buildings . In effect what we now have are duplicates of just about everything at Lynton station. We have two station buildings , one made from scratch of Pre 1927 Southern extension and a post 1927 version. We have 2 goods sheds ( in 1928 the chimney stack was was increased in height by 10 courses) and we have 2 engine sheds , the original being extended in 1909. Why on earth have we dedicated so much time to making two of everything and what time period is the layout to be ? So that set me thinking about the way ahead. We can sort of say we hit the buffers. So a decision was made that for the time being we park the decision. The decision is on hold and we know at least that we have , well, two of just about everything. Useful , really.
In 1924 the Southern erected two bracket signals ( ah ha ! Two , yes indeed) and I've made an attempt at one so far using Model Signal Engineering (MSE)  parts but mostly I used components from the Ratio L.N.W.R kit square post signals. The reference number on the box being 477. In fact  I had bought everything I needed from MSE to make 2 bracket signals. The Ratio conversion was intended to be a trial effort ( having never made a working signal in my life ) before then attempting the scratch build using the MSE parts. This trial model has become my one and only signal so far. But the good news is that kit 477 has enough to parts to make 2 of course .It's taken ages but quite satisfying.....and it works. What I mean by that is the little arms go up and down like they should. I even employed cocktail sticks for the blobby bits on the top ( Finial)  Not fully painted below but I hope to show more progress soon.
Some little pictures here

Wednesday, 3 October 2018

On second thoughts - the outcome

So track realigned , scenery demolished and rebuilt and now space created for the coal staithes and all the clutter. I've made sections between the tracks as removable card inserts for now. These will be replaced ( he hopes ) with plastic card inserts onto which I can model the staithes and remove insert etc for modelling away from the layout ( the loft is getting colder) .