Category Archives: Miscellanea

Posts without a better home

Getting ready for Missenden

For the last two years, I’ve been going to Missenden Abbey’s Model Railway weekend. Initially, it was a distraction when Richard was away in Kentucky, but the appeal now is the friendly crowd and the regular kick-start to my modelling.

For the last two years, I’ve been building locos. This year, I want to experience using an airbrush so I can finish some of what I have started!

I’ve just ordered some paints to take along next weekend, and now I need to rummage around the internet for pictures of the stock I plan to run on Popham Depot. That way I can work from images of what the wagons and locos look like after they’ve been in traffic for a while.

If you’ll be there too, see you in a week at Missenden!

Micheldever Fuel Storage Depot

It seems I’m not the only person who finds the Micheldever fuel depot interesting. Since my last post on the topic, there have been several people who have documented explorations of the site.

It seems it was last in use in 1995, which would tie with my memories of it seeming active while I was at university (1992-1996).

Anyway, lets start with a historical pic from Subterranea Britannica:

And then some more recent explorations @ 28dayslater:

These all look like great sources of info and inspiration!

Popham Depot – My P4 inglenook gains a name

I’ve been working towards ‘replicating’ my Phoenix Yard layout in P4, and there have been some early steps documented here already. I’ve been working with the name ‘Twenty and Tanks’ for now, since that’s the rolling stock the layout is dimensioned for. However, that’s not a name that rolls off my tongue.

I want to base the scenery on the Oil Depot at Michledever station, but since I won’t be attempting to replicate it, I don’t want to name the layout directly after it.

Looking around on the map, there is an airfield just up the road – Popham – and it seems sensible to steal the name for the layout. I’m guessing the military may well have had usage at Popham in mind when they built the obviously camouflaged facility.

So, my new P4 inglenook will be ‘Popham Depot’. Set in the 1970’s, with BR blue motive power, and with a fleet of TTA tanks as shunting fodder.

Other places I’ve posted Modelling

I’ve recorded my modelling in a couple of other places online. I started on the RMWeb Forum as jhmcaleely. I’m still on the newer ‘community‘, but only as a reader (to date).

Notable threads I started there:

I am also a member of the Scalefour society (since 2008), and post on their forum under my own name.

Threads there include:

Paper becomes wood

I recently changed projects at work, and took advantage of that to have a few days of modelmaking therapy.

I decided it was time to build some baseboards for my next layout, which I tried to build in model form previously.

I’m very pleased with the result:


Seen in front is my current 00 layout, and I’m just trying out the boards to see if the track plan still fits!

Paper Model 2

Following on from Paper Model 1, here is a second go around: Paper Model 2 Paper Model 2

The scale is the same, with one square being 50mm.

I’ve re-assesed the size of the concrete oil bunker, using this photo. if I assume the grid visible is 8’x4′ panels, then it appears to be about twice the height of a railway wagon. So the new model is only 500mm tall, which should be much more manageable.

I’ve also dropped the backscene panel on one side, so that the model is viewable from two edges.

Food for thought – it will still be considerably larger than Phoenix Yard, so I need to think about whether it should be possible to split it up for storage. The fact that the pointwork is in the centre of the plan will make this awkward at best.

You can see that on this model I printed off a trackplan from the Templot plan I have. The wagons seem a tight squeeze, so I will need to check the sidings have enough space in them for the 5/3/3 inglenook I want this plan to be.

Paper model one

In planning my next model railway, I want to improve on a few things from Phoenix Yard. One surprise I had in building that from just a trackplan was how much of the model I had to subsequently improvise. So this time I’m going to try to build a scale model first.

This is my first cut at a 1/10th scale model of my 1/76 model:

A paper model of a model railway

A paper model of a model railway

The gridded paper has a grid that will be 50mm on the ‘full-size’ model. The near vertical pieces are intended to be chalk cliffs, and the lozenge/bunker object in the corner is intended to be the concrete oil storage facility – inspired by Micheldever.

This has already been a useful exercise. I had to reject the configuration ‘in my minds eye’ as it simply couldn’t be constructed. This design then emerged, from my attempts to scale off the photos of Micheldever I found online.

There is a clear problem with this model if you measure it off – the vertical dimension will be 90cm, and easily a meter once I’ve allowed for under track space for bracing, etc.

Hard to pick out is a small tent shape in front of the oil bunker – that is a scale representation of a TTA tank wagon.

If I want a more compact and manageable model, I clearly need to rethink my design.

Micheldever Oil Terminal

I’m in the slow process of planning a successor to Phoenix Yard.

Having enjoyed the operation of the inglenook format, I want to stick to that. However, I do want to draw some scenic inspiration from the real railway.

Thinking about locations that had a simple lineside set of sidings, I remembered Micheldever Oil Terminal:

View 51.187521, -1.258965 in a larger map

I travelled past quite frequently in the 1990’s, and it seemed to be sporadically active. More recently it seems to be used for occasional storage of surplus stock.

The facility seems to be a large concrete bunker built into a chalky hillside. There is a handy photo at Geograph, which I’m using to understand the relationship of the concrete bunker to the surrounding chalk hillside.