Wednesday 11 December 2019

Hotchpotch Rd & Little Smoke Junction

Back in the summer I built this little customer layout to fit in 3 of those popular plastic storage crates that are a little under 3 feet long and around 10 inches wide and deep.

I was supplied with detailed plans of what should go where by my customer stipulating buildings and track required. Due to his excellent planning it all worked a treat, as well as being great fun to build. I tip my hat to you sir if you read this post.

The build time of this fun little layout was 87 hours spread over a month or so.
A run around loop allows for a short train and small tender loco, the loco here being a Hornby J15. Much use was made of ready made items, this can be a more affordable option than scratch or kit-building for those on a limited budget.
Photo copyright Chris Nevard.

Looking through to the terminus - Hotchpotch Road.
Photo copyright Chris Nevard.

Both scenic boards - the scene here is around 5 feet long split over two boards.
Photo copyright Chris Nevard.

'The Smoke Junction' - the recent run of exciting ready to run smaller locomotives being ideal for a layout like this.
Photo copyright Chris Nevard. 

'Hotchpotch Road' - the buildings are from PECO and Ratio kits, the track is PECO set track. The wonderful laser cut sign on the signal box is from
Photo copyright Chris Nevard. 
The layout can be stored in 3 boxes, the left hand box being used for the fiddle yard and storage.
Photo copyright Chris Nevard.
Polite Notice!
All photography copyright Chris Nevard. Unauthorized use may incur legal action. Apologies for posting this, but frequently I find my photography on third party and often commercial pages without prior consent. If you need to use an image, drop me a line - I don't bite, unless of course you don't ask.

Sunday 31 March 2019


On the pick-up goods, Guildford shed's No. 33019 simmers in the goods yard at Porth Emmet Railway Station - click to enlarge.
Recently I was commissioned to build a traditional 5 x 4 foot trainset. I've wanted to build such for some time, so this build was going to be even more fun than usual. I have a feeling that even the most serious diehards of the hobby secretly crave a traditional trainset, though they might not mention it to their peers!
5 x 4 feet of roundy-roundy trainset joy. Operation is surprisingly fun, with much of the charm being to simply let a train run round and round and round and round and round and round.... Click to enlarge.
Design wise, seeing what could be shoe horned on to a dining room sized board without cramping things was going to be fun. With the sharp set track curves, I could have packed a lot more track in, but then I fear any lean towards 'realism' would have been compromised.

Part of the brief in addition to the set track, was to use as many pre-made items as possible, partially to keep the cost down (because I wouldn't need to charge for scratch building), but also to achieve a speedy build if to demonstrate that model railways don't have to take years. However, whilst all the tricks of the trade were embraced for rapid result, I wanted the scenic treatment to be at the same level as my more serious model railway builds.

The layout took just 11 working days, spread over a two week period. This layout will be on permanent public display at Kernow Model Centre's new Guildford store from May 2019.

Day 2 in to the build, two 5 x 2 foot boards allow the layout to be split down the middle for ease of transit. 5 x 4 feet is quite a big area to cart about as one piece. The laser cut baseboards were supplied by

Sunday 10 February 2019

Combwich look-a-likey

I’m currently building a OO Gauge layout based on Combwich for a customer. It’s using a mix of secondhand buildings and kits. Size is around 9 x 7 feet scenic in a L shape. The build so far has taken around 4 months. I hope to deliver and install it in its new home in just a few weeks. We have decided to call the layout Combwich West.
Combwich West Station , as a train from Bridgwater arrives. 
The morning service has just departed Cannington Halt and is passing the timber yard Sidings. 
Combwich West Level crossing