My model railway projects, buildings and scenery

This page has hierarchy - Parent page: My model railway projects - Child pages: Airfix/Dapol engine sheds

There is nothing like a challenge, and rather than buy a new signal box, ready made or kit, I am using an old cast metal Hornby model.


To me it’s a nicely designed Art Deco signal box, it’s a good casting, which I believe was an early aluminium casting, what it is based on remains a mystery although I have found similar pictures of brick built versions of this in the old ‘Southern region’ such as Kent.

Covering with brick effect plastic card or paper could be one route, but I do like the rough cast effect.


But first I need to dismantle and strip the casting, below you can see the six rivets holding on the orange roof sections.


I used the caustic soda method for stripping but had a major reaction, not sure whether it was the black primer coat or the aluminim but pulled the castings out what was left of the caustic soda mix, I would  warn anyone thinking of doing this, DO NOT USE CAUSTIC SODA unless you are constantly going to watch it, find another way to strip it.


A quick clean left the black coating intact so had to remove this with rotary brass wire brushes.


The station is also an old Hornby Dublo casting the platforms extensions go for silly money if you can get them so rather than use the platforms I decided to make my own, these were my Dad’s building so would be nice if I can make them part of my layout.


The original platform will only take one coach so ideally my new platform should be at least three coaches long.

The new platform blanks are made from MDF it works out the same height as the old Hornby Dublo one’s, it’s handy having a joinery workshop and access to lots of machines.  They are now over 3 foot long. Next will be stripping the castings of the old paint.


The platforms will be detailed and covered, the MDF is just the base blank.

In the mean time the signal box has got a new upper floor and a complete new curved roof.


Next the long task of making window frames, now done and the backing board fitted


These tiny LED’s will be fitted on the roof of the upper floor to light the signal box, then next the painting and interior detailing can begin.


I recently acquired a couple of old Airfix engine shed kits, ideally I need four, although hard to find, Dapol now make this kits with, I believe, the old Airfix tooling so may just buy two new one’s to complete the old part of my depot building.


I have had to order two new Dapol one’s as even my model shop is out of stock.

What I want to do is build a shed two units deep by two units wide, the kits doesn’t allow for this, but does give you extra parts to build a two unit wide OR two unit long.

This won’t be a straightforward kit build so once the two Dapol kits arrive I will be progressing with this.

To see the progress of the engine shed Click Here


Another kit I have waiting in the pile is this Knightwing girder crane.


When I actually got around to it this kit was easy and straight forward to build, another item ready for painting.


The only building so far I have planned as ready made is this Hornby Skaledale Traction shed, so with only a week before I  start the base board and track layout, I picked this up today so I have the footprint of it.


Overall it’s an ok building although the painted finish is not up to my standard so will get a bit of a makeover.


As with other buildings, any alterations should be done on the  inside first, this stops any damage to outside fittings or paint if you did the outside first.

So far the only progress is fitting the main inside  lights  to the depot building.


The third shed I picked up cheap in the summer, It is a Hornby unit but I guess intended more for the younger model railway market, this was already made up but not well, that said is a good basic shed shape although painting that yellow plastic is a must.


The up and over doors have huge bracket, these will all be removed and the base will need removing.


That’s now three shed that need painting


Another kit progressing is the Ratio oil storage tanks , these have been re-planned in a long narrow configuration rather than ‘side by side’ to fit the space I have for it.



So far the basic set up is done again to allow the footprint to be marked on the layout board.


Done a bit more to my oil storage tanks tonight, as my layout will be an up to date preservation line I was thinking about oil tank laws and how they should always be bunded, that is a containment for spillage or leaks of the fuel, most new plastic tanks are double lined but metal tanks usually have a low wall surrounding the tank or tanks, been scratching my head what to use then today as we were clearing one of my jobs we were throwing out loads of Corex, this is about 3mm hollow core plastic sheeting we use to protect floors from building work, is was perfect, now the tanks follow up to date storage laws by having a low wall surrounding them.


With a bit more detailing the painting has begun and progressing well.


Oil storage tanks finally completed.

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