Updated date:

Rites of Passage for a Model Railway - 19: Buildings & Structures, Scratch-Built, Kits, Kit-Bashed or Ready-Made?

Kit-built, scratch-built, kit-bashed and weathered out-of-the-box in evidence (more at the foot of the page)

Ayton Lane's coaling tower kit needed modifications to fit in its location. Right foreground: Hornby 'Skaledale' water tower based on Goathland; left is entry to scratch-built two-road loco shed, Mike's Models water cranes; track now cinder-ballasted

Ayton Lane's coaling tower kit needed modifications to fit in its location. Right foreground: Hornby 'Skaledale' water tower based on Goathland; left is entry to scratch-built two-road loco shed, Mike's Models water cranes; track now cinder-ballasted

Looking the other way, with a Class J21 awaiting its turn under the post-WWII coaler - beyond that is the open end of the decrepit, war-damaged loco shed. An ash pit has since been added on the middle road (Peco Inspection Pit)

Looking the other way, with a Class J21 awaiting its turn under the post-WWII coaler - beyond that is the open end of the decrepit, war-damaged loco shed. An ash pit has since been added on the middle road (Peco Inspection Pit)

Goods shed - straightforward kit you might say. Wrong. The basic kit is out of the packet, the loading bays and struts are add-ons, as is the slate roof (Wills'), the chimneys modified, goods platform arrangement, doors and goods crane also extras

Goods shed - straightforward kit you might say. Wrong. The basic kit is out of the packet, the loading bays and struts are add-ons, as is the slate roof (Wills'), the chimneys modified, goods platform arrangement, doors and goods crane also extras

On the same mini-layout ('Thorpe Carr'), the coal depot is scratchbuilt, using Wills' coarse stone and cobbles for cells, decking and floors, Evergreen for deck structure across the cell wall tops - real coal crunched up in pliers

On the same mini-layout ('Thorpe Carr'), the coal depot is scratchbuilt, using Wills' coarse stone and cobbles for cells, decking and floors, Evergreen for deck structure across the cell wall tops - real coal crunched up in pliers

Wills' manual goods yard crane, can be made to work with a little manual dexterity - this one does, after a fashion with a weighted hook (recycled from the 'Kirk Rigg' layout to be used on the 'Ainthorpe Jct' layout

Wills' manual goods yard crane, can be made to work with a little manual dexterity - this one does, after a fashion with a weighted hook (recycled from the 'Kirk Rigg' layout to be used on the 'Ainthorpe Jct' layout

Options open to modellers for buildings are the same as there are for locomotives and rolling stock,

insofar as you're only limited by your own imagination, observation and skills. You might ask, 'How's that?' In creating an impression of reality, your skills are all that limit your output. Observation is key to replicating a scene from any era you choose in the history of the railways from Richard Trevithick's Cornish tin mine routes or George Stephenson's railways in Northumberland, County Durham, North Yorkshire or across the Pennines between Liverpool and Manchester.

You need photographs, preferably colour images, this obviously applies to railways from the 1930's onward - lots of them and from different viewpoints - as well as your powers of observation and your modelling skills. You have the option of buying ready-made buildings available from Hornby, Bachmann and Ten Commandments, for example. There are also buildings available through Bachmann that are sourced from other manufacturers, such as the .Birch Hall Inn at Beck Hole near Goathland (of 'Heartbeat' fame) as well as the 'Aidensfield Arms' hotel and bar. In the 'Skaledale' range there are the Goathland Station buildings, a station shelter from Grosmont and lamp standards for the platform as well as out on the street.

In addition to these more recent additions to the Hornby and Bachmann proprietary ranges there are older buildings in the Hornby and Rovex range that could either be used as bought or modified. I remember the Rovex factory at Margate in Kent brought out a series of buildings in different styles, such as the booking hall and waiting rooms for Grantham in Lincolnshire. (I don't know that they were all that accurate, it was just a name for them to use for modellers of the East Coast main line) with stairways, underpasses (you could modify them with either plastic brick facing from Slaters or card from any number of manufacturers), footbridges, signal boxes and crossing keepers' cabins. There is also the equally effective Hornby range available now, with structures, platform fencing and nameboards etc.

Complete plastic kits are available for many building styles from Ratio and Dornaplas, for example, although Ratio's range is more wide-ranging in scope and style. There are signal boxes, lineside and station buildings suitable for most regions, with a bit of 'tweaking'. Wills have a small range of complete building kits, but their main claim to fame is the range of materials packs and their buildings etc packs that need more skill to complete and are therefore unsuitable for young hands. Some imagination is necessary to convert these kits for regions not generally covered by kits, such as the Great Eastern, North British and North Eastern Railways amongst others. The exploded diagrams included in the packs should be studied closely - and materials gathered - before you begin assembly.

Next you can find card kits with plastic additions, such as outside staircases for signal cabins and so on. These may need thin balsa or plastic reinforcement to keep them square. Manufacturers include Metcalfe, Modelyard and Street Level (who also produce card scenic backing that can be 'doctored' in different ways). You also have the option of having your panoramic photographs printed large and mounted for backscenes. I did that for my 'Reeth' layout a long time ago in the mid-1980s, which appeared in RAILWAY MODELLER. You can also buy low profile building kits that can be assembled for urban scenes. They take up little room on the layout, lending a 3D illusion of space. Card or plastic kits can be modified to 'bleed off' the background onto the backscene, but beware of angles when photographing your handiwork!

And then there are the plastic bits and pieces you can get from various sources to make structures or buildings more suitable to your own chosen area. You can use parts from kits, too - this is 'kit-bashing' with a vengeance - to modify an available kit and create your particular building/structure. Plastic strip, window, door and drainpipe mouldings, shapes, plain or moulded sheet can be bought from Peco, Slaters, Evergreen or Wills for the construction of girder or truss bridges, buildings, platform and so on. Finally etched brass sheeting, window and door frets, square or round tube can be bought from Scale Link, 4D (a large shop under the Fenchurch Street railway line that caters for architectural students and modellers), Langley and (if you can locate them, D&S window and door etches, and other shapes for all types of North Eastern Railway buildings. Many dealers have boxes of spares from manufacturers who no longer exist or from discontinued production lines).

As far as the Wills' Craftsman series kits is concerned, a good grounding in putting together straightforward buildings kits is desirable. I would go as far as to say they are advanced, almost on the level of 'scratch-building', but the end result is rewarding. Generally, some things go together like a dream, others need more work and it can be fiddly. I've found myself cursing my ancestors sometimes with some of the simplest but fiddliest kits I've put together! Scale Link used to produce some good etches, but they weren't cheap. Square-topped, arch-topped factory windows and doors, Then there are D&S kits around (if you've got the time to trawl through boxes of etches at your local model shop. I think I've emptied the Engine Shed's supply of D&S NER signal cabin windows and doors. The alternative is trawling through e-bay. Danny, the owner retired many moons ago and the line wasn't bought by anyone else. His main claim to fame was his range of NER carriage and wagon kits (many of which appeared on the famed 'Bramblewick' layout), but I found the detailing packs for buildings as useful.

Each 'medium' has its own merits for the modeller. Etched kits are good on detail, and you can produce a passable plastic kit. Add etched brass window frames and such like instead of the plastic mouldings that come with plastic buildings kits. That's the beauty of kit-bashing. Experiment, judge for yourself what the results might be just tacking on etches with mouldable adhesives. You'll find you're onto a winner. I've produced plastic buildings with Wills' plastic window frames, D&S etched brass window frames and with Peco window and door mouldings. It's what you feel comfortable with, after all. The point is to enjoy yourself or see it as occupational therapy after a hard day at work. It might seem like hard work at first, but persevere and you'll begin to enjoy your 'therapy sessions'!

In the way of 'street furniture' such as pillar and wall or post-mounted posting boxes, phone kiosks, telegraph poles, switching boxes, platform furniture etc., there are countless plastic, white metal and brass kits advertised in the model press. Your pocket and your imagination, observation are all that limit you. So get out and look, take photos, buy photographs of structures or locations no longer available to take photos of. I shall add a list of web or e-mail addresses and phone numbers to the bottom of this list as well as the usual picture gallery.

The greatest return in satisfaction is from creating buildings to specific plans and dimensions, or modifying them to suit your particular needs/space available. There are many layout builders who settle on a particular location for their modelling projects, and you might see parties of people with cameras and tape measures in locations that are no longer operational railway stations. I remember going to Picton near Yarm-on-Tees (now within the district of Stockton) to take pictures of station buildings, the nearby station hotel and an even further removed chapel. There were structures I couldn't get near to and had to rely on black and white photographs supplied by C&G (out of Neville Stead's extensive collection, many having been taken by the renowned Jack Armstrong, a founder member of the North Eastern Railway Association, NERA) in the 1950s-1960s of closed lines and now scrapped locomotive stock). Next I obtained a track diagram from the publishers David & Charles, who provided a service for would-be scratch builders and railway modellers. Picton would have taken up a lot of space, had I gone along with it. As the railway group I started for the purpose did not have the skill level or enthusiasm for the project. It lay on a shelf, gathering dust. The layout would not only have been a station but also a junction for one of the Whitby branches, initially the North Yorkshire & Cleveland Railway to Ingleby Junction (Battersby) leaving south-eastward off the Leeds Northern Railway. The model would have included cottages in the junction (towards the first halt, Trenholme Bar), represented probably as 2D against a scenic break. I had previously figured on producing a model of Marske Station (in the Redcar district), much more modest in dimension, and had a track diagram, photographs obtained from C&G as well as others taken by yours truly on site. Again it was a project too big for one, but there was no interest locally (I live in London, remember - anything north of Hertford is foreign country). Hence the creation of Thoraldby, a one-man operation. See the Thoraldby page for more.

Not forgetting, good luck with the model-making!

Buildings, structures and 'platform furniture'

Scalescenes downloadable set of workshops for free - other products are paid for before downloading. Looks convincing if you're doing an urban scene. Cut out the parts and reinforce them with stiff card. Good scope for kit-bashing and modification

Scalescenes downloadable set of workshops for free - other products are paid for before downloading. Looks convincing if you're doing an urban scene. Cut out the parts and reinforce them with stiff card. Good scope for kit-bashing and modification

The Metcalfe low-relief terraced shops and flats in stone finish completes a layout where a spare corner needs to be filled

The Metcalfe low-relief terraced shops and flats in stone finish completes a layout where a spare corner needs to be filled

A single road branchline loco shed awaits its allocation. Although it's already fairly complete an able modeller might enhance it, bring it to life with a few personal touches from observation

A single road branchline loco shed awaits its allocation. Although it's already fairly complete an able modeller might enhance it, bring it to life with a few personal touches from observation

Metcalfe Models' viaduct kit can be added to - make it look like the real thing with lichen and a few touches here and there.

Metcalfe Models' viaduct kit can be added to - make it look like the real thing with lichen and a few touches here and there.

Peco girder bridge sides can also be 'pertsonalised', add rust touches, verdigris, whatever. 'Take it to the limit', as the Eagles sang.

Peco girder bridge sides can also be 'pertsonalised', add rust touches, verdigris, whatever. 'Take it to the limit', as the Eagles sang.

A realistic looking rendition of the Ratio GW 4mm scale water crane

A realistic looking rendition of the Ratio GW 4mm scale water crane

Another Ratio product you'd find anywhere from Penzance to Perth, a sleeper-built platelayer's hut with brick chimney stack. Go to town on this one, 'distress' it, make it a ruin if you like, on a modern layout or paint it as new in period setting

Another Ratio product you'd find anywhere from Penzance to Perth, a sleeper-built platelayer's hut with brick chimney stack. Go to town on this one, 'distress' it, make it a ruin if you like, on a modern layout or paint it as new in period setting

The Ratio 2mm scale GW signal box in a realistic setting

The Ratio 2mm scale GW signal box in a realistic setting

Wills' Craftsman kits are the bees' knees when completed well, a cross between scratch-built and kit-built. This is CK11 Semi-detached terraced housing, ideal for railside, railway workers' cottages etc

Wills' Craftsman kits are the bees' knees when completed well, a cross between scratch-built and kit-built. This is CK11 Semi-detached terraced housing, ideal for railside, railway workers' cottages etc

See description below

See description below

revor Booth shows you how to give your layout the 'local' look with structures illustrated in this book or similar - adapt, adopt - and bring an air of rural pace. There were many differences between town and country, aside from the lush vegetation and presence of farm animals, mostly reflecting in the appearance of stations and ancillary buildings along the trackside - or over and under.

Double O Gauge Association (DOGA)

  • The Double O Gauge Association
    The OO Gauge Association - promoting higher standards in OO Gauge models; be a member of an association without bounds, distance is no impediment if you've got an e-mail address and like to stay in touch with fellow modellers

Kits, kit-bashing, bits and 'bodges'

Provender stores replaced decrepit or burnt-out goods sheds to provide storage for animal foodstuffs or farm supplies with access for returned milk churns. Ratio kit painted and weathered with BOCM hoarding this end, Silcock's at front (later merged)

Provender stores replaced decrepit or burnt-out goods sheds to provide storage for animal foodstuffs or farm supplies with access for returned milk churns. Ratio kit painted and weathered with BOCM hoarding this end, Silcock's at front (later merged)

Looking down on the gate cabin roof. Window frames are sliding North Eastern type, D&S etched brass, as also supports for cabin-front walkway, (half-etches bent to support the painted plastic 'planking'). Crossing gates are Ratio, planking is Wills'

Looking down on the gate cabin roof. Window frames are sliding North Eastern type, D&S etched brass, as also supports for cabin-front walkway, (half-etches bent to support the painted plastic 'planking'). Crossing gates are Ratio, planking is Wills'

Goods depot roof was bought assembled. Pillars, side awnings and laddering applied to fit the location. The water tower and platform shelter are from Hornby's Skaledale range based on Goathland on the NYMR

Goods depot roof was bought assembled. Pillars, side awnings and laddering applied to fit the location. The water tower and platform shelter are from Hornby's Skaledale range based on Goathland on the NYMR

Assorted lineside detritus, plastic axles and wheels painted to resemble rusted steel. At the back is a pair of Ratio sheds fixed together,  painted and weathered to look like creosoted timber

Assorted lineside detritus, plastic axles and wheels painted to resemble rusted steel. At the back is a pair of Ratio sheds fixed together, painted and weathered to look like creosoted timber

Ratio again, this time the cattle dock with two pens to fore and room for two horseboxes at the end after modifying cattle pens down to two. The far end ramp is also useful for unloading farm machinery (WWII tank ramp)

Ratio again, this time the cattle dock with two pens to fore and room for two horseboxes at the end after modifying cattle pens down to two. The far end ramp is also useful for unloading farm machinery (WWII tank ramp)

More ratio - the bracket distant bottom right from a kit set - a junction signal from the same kit is just out of view here beyond the small signal cabin

More ratio - the bracket distant bottom right from a kit set - a junction signal from the same kit is just out of view here beyond the small signal cabin

Thoraldby buildings in glorious technicolor! - see the Thoraldby page in this series of Hub-page articles

Coal depot, scratch-built with Wills' 'timber' decking, double-thickness plain plastic cut to cell wall size, overlaid with Wills' stone. Timber wall by the slope is also Wills', cut to measure.

Coal depot, scratch-built with Wills' 'timber' decking, double-thickness plain plastic cut to cell wall size, overlaid with Wills' stone. Timber wall by the slope is also Wills', cut to measure.

Thoraldby Station booking office, waiting rooms, SM's office, lamp room-cum-store. Scratch-built with Slater's plain plastic card and moulded stone sheet. Bus shelter is Peco, platform structure Wills' sheet on thick plastic card former

Thoraldby Station booking office, waiting rooms, SM's office, lamp room-cum-store. Scratch-built with Slater's plain plastic card and moulded stone sheet. Bus shelter is Peco, platform structure Wills' sheet on thick plastic card former

The work area. Reference 'Library' above (bound magazines, paperbacks, preservation info, NYMR and WR share certificates). Other books below, tools & materials, cutting board etc

The work area. Reference 'Library' above (bound magazines, paperbacks, preservation info, NYMR and WR share certificates). Other books below, tools & materials, cutting board etc

Here's a project for scratch-builders: a ruined bothy (workshop)

As I strode along the old trackbed of the Whitby & Pickering Railway, abandoned in the early years of the 20th Century, I crossed a small pedestrian/bridle bridge and took this and the following pictures for a project.

As I strode along the old trackbed of the Whitby & Pickering Railway, abandoned in the early years of the 20th Century, I crossed a small pedestrian/bridle bridge and took this and the following pictures for a project.

Views around the 'bothy' would be useful, I thought, for a project - scenic backdrop or 3D structure in its own right close to the railway track. The old building might have been there when George Stephenson's navvies first worked on the line

Views around the 'bothy' would be useful, I thought, for a project - scenic backdrop or 3D structure in its own right close to the railway track. The old building might have been there when George Stephenson's navvies first worked on the line

It would still have been pretty dark inside even with the three small windows - two front, one rear .

It would still have been pretty dark inside even with the three small windows - two front, one rear .

It doesn't look as if there was ever anywhere to put feed and the doorway's too narrow or low to lead animals such as ponies

It doesn't look as if there was ever anywhere to put feed and the doorway's too narrow or low to lead animals such as ponies

It's also too small for a family home. A labourer or two might live here, but not for long, and it's out of sight of any farm buildings.

It's also too small for a family home. A labourer or two might live here, but not for long, and it's out of sight of any farm buildings.

Metcalfe Signal Cabin and Modelyard North Eastern Goods Shed modifications

I've been working on the modification of a Modelyard 4mm scale North Eastern type goods shed (there's a novelty!), having finished the modification of a small signal cabin for Ayton Lane motive power depot (mpd).

These two card kits had languished in one of the drawers downstairs, apparently unwanted or unloved. Eventually I gave in and brought one upstairs - the free Metcalfe LNER signal cabin from a Railway Modeller magazine I bought in 2012/13. OK, I thought, let's see how this one goes then maybe...

Metcalfe Signal Cabin: Ayton Lane Yard

One problem with card kits is that the walls warp or splay out, break apart even with frequent handling. I had begun the kit with the space below the operating floor unsupported, followed the instructions to the letter, although one way or another, from the word 'go', I had ideas about modifying the structure/interior or both.

There were a few components I junked, such as the short staircase. I would eventually create a plastic landing and steps from parts in stock. The plinth, interior, chimney stack and roof took priority. The card roof was discarded and Wills' plastic slate roof sections were cut, with the space for the chimney stack cut out but only the back part of the roof was attached. More on that later.

Also the card cabin floor, the operating surface, was discarded and replaced by a small, measured sheet of Evergreen grooved siding that looks like floor planking, and that rests on card formers attached to the insides of the base. I had a box of Wills' signal box interior detailing, including lever base, instrument shelf (to stand over the lever frame) and a single line staff dispenser to take the engines to the next section at Ayton Lane. An armchair, train register desk and step down to the outside landing were made from scrap plastic, as the original contents of the kit box were used on the Thoraldby Gates cabin. I had an etched brass set of signal levers that I'd bought separately, so there was no shortage there and there were enough block instruments etc left over after finishing Thoraldby Gates cabin to adorn the shelf. One figure i'd 'recycled' from one of my locos was put in the armchair and another stands at the levers with one arm raised to a repeater box on the shelf.

The landing was made up from a set of Evergreen steps and planking/siding, supports and a board with brass wire hooks inserted for fire buckets. Below the landing is storage for coal for the cabin's stove, a white metal casting from the Wills' Finecast box (turned out to be a little box of 'gems'). After painting another pre-painted white metal figure with a haversack over his shoulder was fixed on the landing, a signalman gone off duty, like at Thoraldby Gates. I kept the card chimney stack, but mounted a hollowed-out Springside chimney pot instead of messing about with the card version. Painted up to look like a pot one, a basic coat of matt red-orange, over-painted in matt anthracite and black enamel it looks more realistic..

Ayton Lane MPD (Metcalfe Models) signal cabin on the Thoraldby layout

What started out as a Metcalfe card kit (free with Hornby Magazine) became a hybrid with elements from a Ratio signal box kit, D&H NER window etchings, Evergreen siding painted to look like wood planking on floor and walls and Wills slate roof

What started out as a Metcalfe card kit (free with Hornby Magazine) became a hybrid with elements from a Ratio signal box kit, D&H NER window etchings, Evergreen siding painted to look like wood planking on floor and walls and Wills slate roof

The same building has been 'bedded in'. All that remains is a Ratio LNER type trellis signal (distant) to add in front of the tunnel mouth, and the Poppy's ballasting box is ready for use

The same building has been 'bedded in'. All that remains is a Ratio LNER type trellis signal (distant) to add in front of the tunnel mouth, and the Poppy's ballasting box is ready for use

Modified Modelyard North Eastern goods shed

The goods shed looking along from the office to the loading doors (sliding doors) seen on the work table - card kit modified with moulded plastic section, etched brass and white metal parts kits, and white metal figures (see Thorpe Carr page)

The goods shed looking along from the office to the loading doors (sliding doors) seen on the work table - card kit modified with moulded plastic section, etched brass and white metal parts kits, and white metal figures (see Thorpe Carr page)

An overhead view of the shed showing the weigh office window facing the wagon entry/exit point  a weighbridge would be added under the track

An overhead view of the shed showing the weigh office window facing the wagon entry/exit point a weighbridge would be added under the track

The two loading bay doorways looking from the nearside (roadside) corner. Note the closure poster and 'enamel' signs. Lichen at the corner represents weed growth from a damp wall

The two loading bay doorways looking from the nearside (roadside) corner. Note the closure poster and 'enamel' signs. Lichen at the corner represents weed growth from a damp wall

See description below

See description below

If you live in a flat, or have a room in your parents' or relatives' houses do not despair. Nigel Adams has the answer for you. 'Layouts for Limited Spaces' offers many solutions. You can even build a model railway (in 'Z' Gauge) on a coffee table or pizza plate. Try building a 3.5/4mm (HO/OO) layout in a box file as several members of the OO Gauge Association have done.

Go to exhibitions, ask questions, see what tradesmen have to help you achieve your aims. Enjoy your model-making!

A project from scratch

Front walls being applied to 'skeleton'. Brick sheet still to be applied to chimney breast formers. Peco doors and Wills' windows were  inserted into cut-outs. The walls have been applied to the base for the gents' toilet at the far end

Front walls being applied to 'skeleton'. Brick sheet still to be applied to chimney breast formers. Peco doors and Wills' windows were inserted into cut-outs. The walls have been applied to the base for the gents' toilet at the far end

 Porch added after raised stone sheet applied to the base - Wills' greenhouse kit with bits from their conservatory kit, clear plastic sheet applied before assembly

Porch added after raised stone sheet applied to the base - Wills' greenhouse kit with bits from their conservatory kit, clear plastic sheet applied before assembly

The station building, gents at the end. At left is staff/porters room, ladies' room, booking office and general waiting room far right

The station building, gents at the end. At left is staff/porters room, ladies' room, booking office and general waiting room far right

End view with poster and timetable board (maker: Trackside Signs)

End view with poster and timetable board (maker: Trackside Signs)

Suppliers forum

Bachmann Europe plc................ .www,bachmann.co.uk

C&L Finescale Modelling Ltd...... www.finescale.org.uk

Harburn Hobbies..........................www.harburns.co.uk

Scalescenes................................www.scalescenes.com

Warners Group Publications plc www.model-railways-live.co.uk

Langley Models.......................... www.langleymodels.co.uk

Metcalfe Models & Toys Ltd .......www.metcalfemodels.com

Ratio Plastic Models....................Ratio House, Wardle Way, Buckfastleigh Devon TQ11 0NR, ph: 01364 642764 fax: 01364 644466

Superquick................................ www.superquick.co.uk

Wild Swan Publications Ltd......... 1-3 Hagbourne Road, Didcot, Oxon, OX11 8DP,

ph: 01235 816478 (a series of quality card-back modelling publications and periodicals)

Wizard Models.............................www.wizardmodels.co.uk (model signal engineering and scenic modelling)

Detailing, kits, kitbashing and out-of-the-box (remember the Modelyard NE goods shed above?)

The goods office of the depot seen above, complete with Dapol 'customer' in the doorway. Weigh office opposite is an unmodified Arch Laser Co. kit, the weigh deck from Scale Link - the car is Oxford

The goods office of the depot seen above, complete with Dapol 'customer' in the doorway. Weigh office opposite is an unmodified Arch Laser Co. kit, the weigh deck from Scale Link - the car is Oxford

That timber station building you saw above in situ, scratchbuilt with Wills' timber walls, chimney stacks, slate roof, 2 x greenhouse kits for portico, Peco windows, doors, slot machine and wall box (staff phone)

That timber station building you saw above in situ, scratchbuilt with Wills' timber walls, chimney stacks, slate roof, 2 x greenhouse kits for portico, Peco windows, doors, slot machine and wall box (staff phone)

The view along the platform to the Ratio signal cabin (minus lamp room and steps). Platform is Wills' Victoria Stone, track is Peco Setrack and Streamline - travel poster from Trackside Signs

The view along the platform to the Ratio signal cabin (minus lamp room and steps). Platform is Wills' Victoria Stone, track is Peco Setrack and Streamline - travel poster from Trackside Signs

Signal cabin with open door and porter leaning in (lamp in hand) to speak to the 'bobby' ; Wills' (signalman); Interior detailing added. Wills' dressed stone wall (behind) and brick platform facing on pine framework; Mike's Models NER water crane

Signal cabin with open door and porter leaning in (lamp in hand) to speak to the 'bobby' ; Wills' (signalman); Interior detailing added. Wills' dressed stone wall (behind) and brick platform facing on pine framework; Mike's Models NER water crane

'Skaledale' water tower, the only element straight from the box underwent little change other than painting woodwork blue (B R Eastern & North Eastern Region)

'Skaledale' water tower, the only element straight from the box underwent little change other than painting woodwork blue (B R Eastern & North Eastern Region)

Scratchbuilt occupation bridge made from Wills' coarse stone walling,

Scratchbuilt occupation bridge made from Wills' coarse stone walling,

The view across the bridge - Wills' girder sections either side, road is wet & dry fine sandpaper, Ratio fencing and goods depot gate (far end)

The view across the bridge - Wills' girder sections either side, road is wet & dry fine sandpaper, Ratio fencing and goods depot gate (far end)

North Eastern slotted post signal kits are from Wizard Models. Intricate assembly but worth the effort when they work! This 'home' stands close to the semi-distant.. A starter is needed for platform end, and Ratio ground signals to complete

North Eastern slotted post signal kits are from Wizard Models. Intricate assembly but worth the effort when they work! This 'home' stands close to the semi-distant.. A starter is needed for platform end, and Ratio ground signals to complete

Underpass is made up of Wills' coarse stone, scribed on the back and bent over to form the tunnel between 2 X 1 pine wood block offcuts

Underpass is made up of Wills' coarse stone, scribed on the back and bent over to form the tunnel between 2 X 1 pine wood block offcuts

Part of the 'carr' (marsh) beside the coal depot inclined road; two modified plastic yard building kits make up the scene. Coarse stone wall below the road is Wills', of course.

Part of the 'carr' (marsh) beside the coal depot inclined road; two modified plastic yard building kits make up the scene. Coarse stone wall below the road is Wills', of course.

Addendum:

Scenic scatter came from a variety of sources, the ash ballast was bought in a plastic jar at an exhibition, the trees from the 4D shop in Leman Street, London E1; backscene is a cut-down from sheets supplied by 1D (no connection with the 'boy-band'); telegraph poles and fencing from Ratio.

If I can think of anything else i'll add it here...

A few more images before you go and tackle a project...

Recycled from the 'Kirk Rigg' layout, the station house, booking offices etc made using elements from Wills' kits, window and door units, plastic facing and - invisible here - a lot of plain plastic structure

Recycled from the 'Kirk Rigg' layout, the station house, booking offices etc made using elements from Wills' kits, window and door units, plastic facing and - invisible here - a lot of plain plastic structure

The goods shed from the same layout, using the same detailing sources, split pins and brass wire for door 'hinges', Ratio chimney. The door was made up using strip planking.

The goods shed from the same layout, using the same detailing sources, split pins and brass wire for door 'hinges', Ratio chimney. The door was made up using strip planking.

The modified Wills' forge kit with lean-to shed (left) from their 'grotty huts and privy' kit... These structures will be used on the 'Ainthorpe Junction' layout in my cellar

The modified Wills' forge kit with lean-to shed (left) from their 'grotty huts and privy' kit... These structures will be used on the 'Ainthorpe Junction' layout in my cellar

Comments

Alan R Lancaster (author) from Forest Gate, London E7, U K (ex-pat Yorkshire) on April 11, 2012:

Thanks Davesworld. The answer to everyone's prayers: mitreing. I've spoken with one or two modellers whose specialisation is in buildings. At the Alexandra Palace exhibition at the end of March I met someone who gave me an insight into a new way of scratchbuilding buildings - including derelict buiidings. David Wright, the owner of Dovedale Models, www.dovedalemodels.co.uk, also told me of his dvd @ £18 inc p&p, in which he outlines his techniques with card structures.

Davesworld from Cottage Grove, MN 55016 on April 10, 2012:

Nice work. I always used to have a devil of a time with the corners - well done.