Although the location of the layout is set in GWR territory, because the back-story supposes that the line had originally been built by the South Devon Railway, I wanted a station building that was 'different' to the standard GWR design. None of the available kits were really what I was looking for so there was nothing for it but to get to work with Google. Eventually, after many hours scouring hundreds of pictures I stumbled upon Codsall Station, the design of which ticked all the boxes and the arched stone window surrounds really set the building apart from anything else I had found.
Similar to my own hypothetical route, Codsall station was originally built by the Shrewsbury & Wolverhampton, Dudley and Birmingham Railway in 1844 which became the Shrewsbury & Birmingham Railway (S&BR) in 1849. The S&BR then merged with the GWR in 1854 and the earliest photograph I have found seems to have been taken around this time. Little did I realise what I was letting myself in for, particularly as this is to form the centre-piece for the Market Havering area of the layout.
You will see from the later photographs that the station buildings have evolved over time including the addition of a second storey to one part of the building to provide accommodation, presumably for the Station Master, so I have based my building on the pictures taken circa 1953 but with the original, pre-BR platform canopy. The other features which particularly drew me to the building were the tall and very deeply corbelled chimneys.
This is a picture of the front of the building taken around 1952.
And this is it in it's present form. Although the line itself is still operational the station closed to passenger traffic in 1960 and was finally sold off in 1980.
It is now a popular pub and restaurant and is featured in the CAMRA Good Beer Guide.
Although I have built many building kits before, both plastic and card, this was to be my first attempt at a complete scratch build. and the unusual stone arched window and door surrounds immediately presented problems. Eventually the arched window and door surrounds and the stone banding at first floor level have been individually cut from 0.25mm Plasticard. The building itself has been scratch built entirely from card using various Scalescenes scratch building sheets for the brickwork and roofing.
These were my first designs which were based solely on an estimate of what the door dimensions are.
These drawing were produced using the 'Draw' utility within MS Office.
These were then mounted on various thicknesses of card to and cut out to produce this set of parts.
The stone window and door surrounds were a different ball game altogether though and I tried various ways of making them before resigning myself to cutting each individual frame from 0.5mm Plastikard.
The arches themselves were made by using a paper punch to cut a circle and then a single-hole punch to punch out the centre, thus leaving me with a ring which was cut in half to form two arches. The Mullions and cills were cut from the same thickness of plasticard and the whole thing was assembled with Plastic Weld. I must admit I nearly abandoned the whole build at one point when I was trying to mae these frames but, I had nothing else to do, so I eventually persevered.
For the card elements I've used Scalescenes Aged Brown Brick which is printed onto 100gsm 'linen weave' paper which I think adds a degree of relief to the brickwork without the over scale mortar joints that are evident in other modelling materials. These are a few pictures which show the stages of the build.
And now the finished article after approximately 400 hours of work.
The station canopy has been scratch built from Plasticard strips and clear plastic sheet while the etched brass window and door frames, chimney pots, station benches, canopy support columns and etched brass column finials are all from Scalelink. The roof finials were turned in a Dremel from some bamboo cocktail sticks. The main building is illuminated internally with 3mm soft white LEDs and the gentlemen's toilet is illuminated internally with a yellow SMT LED.
I must admit I was quite pleased with how it has eventually turned out, so much so in fact that I decided to enter it into the N Gauge Society Annual Model Making Competition though I didn't really have any great expectations for it. You can imagine my surprise, not to mention delight, when this happened.
To cap it all it also came runner up in the overall 'Best in Show' and was given a Silver Award.
Now that's what I call a result.
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