Sunday, 10 May 2020

GWR Coaling Stage

I think I've made my decision on the next project...

Ever since I designed the first Polbrock Engine Shed track plan, which was heavily influenced by plans in E. Lyons 'An Historical Survey of Great Western Engine Sheds 1947', the desire to build an engine shed layout has remained. The main barrier was always having enough P4 locomotives to populate the layout and so justify building one. Well, fortune has blessed me with acquiring a few BR(WR) Locomotives from another P4 modeller who has decided to cut back on his collection. These locos along with a few buildings purchased a couple of years ago mean this project is now possible.

When drawing the plan featured in my previous blog, I discovered that the length of the incline up to the coaling stage, along with the building itself  (and the track extension beyond), had a big effect on the space required. To finalise the layout I needed to know the track height at the coaling stage. I could then work out what would look correct and be feasible for a loco to propel four coal wagons up the incline. So I made a start on the coaling stage kit.

Coaling Stage structure
This is the Timber Tracks kit which I believe is based on the one at Didcot. So far, it is going together extremely well. The only deviation I've made from the very comprehensive instructions is not gluing the internal wall sections into place before painting them. Photos I've seen of the internal walls of most of these coaling stages show white walls but with a band of black around the bottom. When offering the internal wall veneer sections into place I thought it would make it difficult to paint them once installed.

First attempt
I first tried painting the walls white but as can be seen in the above on the right, this did not look very convincing. The next thought was to paint the bricks first with a brick-ish colour before painting over with white. The result of this test is the top left in the above. This seemed a better idea as it gave some depth of colour to the wall.

Stage 2
I next choose what I thought would be suitable colours. I use Vallejo Model Colour (acrylic paints for my wargaming miniatures) so these were the first I turned to. I chose: Cavalry Brown, Red Leather, Flat Brown, Desert Yellow, and Dark Flesh. These were individually dry brushed over the brick structure in a random fashion to try to give a varied colour base. A little more focus will be required when working on the external walls but think the initial result is acceptable as an undercoat for the whitewashed internal walls.

Stages 3 & 4
The top wall in the above photo is stage 3 before a black wash is applied. Though I'm not wholly satisfied with the lower wall (stage 4) after applying a black wash, I think it is a fairly acceptable result, especially as it will be difficult to see once the coaling stage is complete and installed on a layout.

One minor amendment/addition I've made is the inclusion of what I think is a water pipe in the centre of the building. Now the building is complete I'm not sure this addition has been worthwhile, but hey-ho...
Coal tubs need completing...
A few weeks have passed since I started writing this post, and as my proofreader and I have been preoccupied with our new foster placement, progress has slowed on this build. That said the below pictures show its current state.

It still needs the platform on the side of the water tank along with its access ladder. As these items seem fragile I'll not be installing them until the building is fixed on a layout. Painting of the building will take place once the Sand House and Engine Shed are built so that they all get similar treatments.

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