Thursday 28 February 2013

Polbrook Gurney Colliery Backscene

I'm currently working on the backscene for Polbrook Gurney Colliery (see link to right) which will be light, misty and distant. The original is 7 x 2ft and will feature wrap around the ends thus avoiding sharp corners in the sky. It has been created photographically as per my recent feature in Model Rail magazine.

2ft is quite high, to me this is important which means that photography, even when looking up at the colliery buildings you'll still see the backscene behind the layout rather than room the layout is in.

This combined with bright even neutral illumination (yet to be decided, but it won't be spots which are dreadful!! LED might be an option btw.) should give a good airy spacious feel which hopefully will disguise the 4 x 2ft footprint and fool people into thinking the layout is much bigger.

Deadline, end of May at Railex!

Polbrook Gurney Colliery will shortly be featured in far greater detail in Model Rail magazine.

Saturday 16 February 2013

One Hundred & Eighty!

Model Rail 180 out 21 Feb or before..

Dapol 'OO' Western class diesel-hydraulic
Metcalfe 'OO' stone station building
Mallingford 'N'
Stoating Bank 'OO'
Amberton 'OO'

Annual wish list
Network Rail stoneblower

Gilbert Barnatt on operation
Inside the World's largest model railway

How to ballast track (GD)
Create a Euro Class 66 (GD)
Cast stone low relief shops/LNER hopper wagon kit (George Dent)
Grow your own sea foam (Peter Singer)
Build a simple etched loco kit (GD)
Station buildings in card and in DAS clay (CJL) -Bishopstone/Oakworth
Improve a grain wagon (Chris Nevard) the regulars including Q&A, George's Diary, Exhibition Diary, Backscene.

Click on the photos below to enlarge, 

Amberton 'OO'
Photo © Chris Nevard/Model Rail
 Mallingford 'N'

Photo © Chris Nevard/Model Rail
 Stoating Bank 'OO'
Photo © Chris Nevard/Model Rail



Tuesday 12 February 2013

Track Down

Polbrook Gurney Colliery update...

All the track is now down and copper clad sleepers gapped. Temporary wiring confirms it all works. Next stage will be cosmetic chairs on the point in the foreground, cosmetic fishplates, painting and weathering.

The sidings are code 55 flatbottomed rail and the track there will be ballasted to represent fine clinker. The 1 in 20 grade into the colliery is shown off well from this angle.

The wall the colliery pithead building stands on will be clad in stone to match what's there and will be coloured accordingly to blend in. A still to be built loading screen will extend out over where the wagons are and will be based on what used to be at Writhlington Pit.

Just 3.5 months to go before the first show - RAILEX in Aylesbury.

Sunday 10 February 2013


120527_railex12_DSC_5185 by nevardmedia
A bit bigger than a 7x5!
I don't normally promote a competitor's mag, but Paul Marshall Potter is a good beer drinking mate of mine and this follows on quite nicely from my piece on how to create your very own photo-backscene which featured in January 2013 Model Rail.

In the forthcoming Railway Modeller article, Paul will illustrate a neat way to put a photo backscene into use which will put an end to tatty joins, air bubbles and how to keep it pristine when not in use.

The excellent Albion Yard will be appearing in Model Rail in 2013 - it will definitely be worth keeping an eye out for with some seriously eye-catching photography (I had to say that because they're my photos). 

  • Model Rail back issues obtained for a few sovs by calling one of these numbers Missed it? 0844 848 8872 Overseas +44 (0) 1858 438 828

Friday 1 February 2013


Here's a proper shot taken of today's track laying which has finally commenced. It's code 55 flatbottomed on the colliery lines for that industrial feel. You can see how Polbrock fits into the scene over there on the left.

Up near the distant loco in the middle, the switch rails and frog still need to be fabricated. The crossing in the foreground may be lifted or simply turned into a non-road access. Note the 1 in 20 gradient going up into the colliery, not an uncommon thing with the real thing which could often be very steep and frequently steeper than this. Only a few wagons at a time will go up here so not an issue.