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!

Class 20 rewheel

Popham Depot is sized to be at least a little different from a shunting loco + coal wagons minimum space exercise. As motive power, I have dimensioned the layout for the Bachmann Class 20 I have.

Last weekend I finally finished the job of rewheeling it for P4. I had dropped in the ultrascale wheelsets some time ago, but had been foxed by the brake rodding which fouled the new, wider, wheelsets.

With a bit more modelling under my belt now, a quick bit of surgery with a sharp knife removed the moulded on rods, and I replaced them with some thin plasticard. 20 seconds with some black paint, and a viewer is none the wiser…


As things stand, it’s really the same model that came out of Bachmann’s packaging. Next phase is to research a real loco, and detail this one to resemble it.

A Pair of Buffer Stops

A small project this weekend: A pair of buffer stops.

This is the Springside Models kit, and I’ve assembled one with rail cross beams, and one with a wooden sleeper.


The rail one has card shims behind the rail to provide electrical insulation.

Note to self: I think this would have been easier with a quicker setting glue. Perhaps some 5 minute epoxy, rather than the overnight one I have.

Tornado in P4

Not yet featured here, but a model I’ve invested a lot of time in is Tornado.

After my first attempt at chassis building, I wanted to move onto something more complex. However, there was a conundrum – most of my modelling is of the recent railway scene, and yet the well trodden path for complex chassis is in steam locomotives.

I therefore turned my mind to preserved locos, and then the ultimate preservation loco came to mind: 60163 Tornado. This is a truly modern loco, having been built over the last 20 years or so, entering service as a new build in 2008.

Fortunately, a well regarded designer of P4 chassis – Dave Bradwell – makes a suitable kit, and Hornby have a well regarded 00 RTR model. Combining the two will certainly stretch my skills, but seems within reach.

I started just under a year ago with this:

The start point for my P4 build of Tornado

The start point for my P4 build of Tornado

And a sense of adventure!

Test track

In the area group I attend of the Scalefour Society, we’ve all agreed that this winter is a chance to build test tracks. There were two of us who already had test tracks to be inspired by, and there are five or so under construction (including this one!).

Having enjoyed building locos so far, and being aware that a layout is a big thing to have to hand (mine are stored when not in use at the moment), I was keen to join in and build a test track.

The design follows the track Richard Dunning uses, with a 3’6″ reverse curve to challenge the chassis of a loco, and a straight track to observe the chassis working in a stress free way.

Mine is 300mm x 1200mm in surface dimensions, and I’ve used exactoscale track components to lay the track out.

There is bracing underneath, and a batten all around, to provide protection to the track, and stop things rolling off.

I’ve provided some 00 track to rest a Kadee coupler jig on, arranged so that the rail levels are the same height. That way the proportions the jig checks for will remain the wagons I use, and if I convert RTR stock, the NEM coupler pockets will work as-is (if I wish).

Electrical wiring is above the surface, so that anyone using the board (including me after time away!) will be able to see at a glance how the rails are powered. I’ve provided 4 terminals, so the tracks can be powered by independent controllers if I wish. I don’t know if I will use it much like that, but it gives me a convenient way to use the regular and programming outputs of my DCC controller.





More details are on the Scalefour Forum.

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:

Holiday Possession

Over the Christmas period, the real railway often shuts down for maintenance. I’ve also been making temporary use of the desk space to do some building:

Trackwork under construction

Which has resulted in movements from my loco on finished looking track:

The completed trackwork

I’m very pleased with the result!