Sunday 7 July 2024

A journey from here to there

 personal philosophy 

In order to be a modeller of railways there needs to be a model railway. It doesn't matter if it is a loft or an Ikea box, there has to be a railway, otherwise we are mere collectors of things in boxes.

Occasionally, a thought begins to become a concern, why build a model railway and why choose a particular subject? My obsession, for it is an obsession, is to create something naturalistic that pleases the eye and restores old memories of quiet rural railways of Southern Germany. 

I greatly admire those individuals who devout a lifetime to build a perfect representation of a actual location, set at a specific time/date. Their dedication is admirable but there are constraints, as they can utilise space and have access to information, neither of which I enjoy. By contrast, my world is one of limited to just 5m x 1m and limited information from both the internet and the few books that feature my chosen subject.

My project is based upon a notion that a modest rural line in the Fichtelgebirge had been extended a few more kilometres before funding was finally exhausted and the planned wayside station became a terminus for the remainder of its short life.

The generic trackplan is simple, the only extravagance is a tiny wooden loco shed with fuel+water and the style of the station buildings is typical of the builder. 

Various features (LDEs) from around the location are recycled, all chosen for their similarity to other local features. Colours are carefully chosen from a palette used in the location, mostly natural, a mix of greens + earth, subtle rather than brash. 

The stock was carefully selected with help from local experts, there are no 'special' visitors as everything must have been used on rural lines within 25kms during the timeframe 1950-68. 

The wherefore of operation on Pottendorf
The layout in the shed is small, only about 3,4m of scenic area with four storage roads, this means that it is a shunting puzzle rather than ‘parade’ style layout. Four is the magic number as there were just four trains per day on a typical branch in the mid ‘50s. 
The stocklist reflects the purpose of the layout, just a few wagons and coaches plus a railbus are the four trains that shuffle backwards and forwards. The wagons form two trains, the coaches another with the railbus as the simple shuttle that does not shunt at all. 
Each of the four scenic roads has at least one uncoupler, the platform has two so that after uncoupling from the head of the train, the loco can pick off vehicles from the train and set them into sidings. 
Running through all four trains should take about 25-30 minutes of intense concentration, enough to keep me happy.

I hope that this explains the approach.

Monday 17 June 2024

An alternative station

Much as I like the Pola Agenturgebäude, I think that Pottendorf warrants a slightly more imposing building at the end of the line, maybe a würfel. 

Pola offered a small example of the würfel (dice) building in various forms, I have an unopened example thanks to Mike G. 

It bears a similarity to Redwitz an der Rodach on the line from Bamberg to Kronach, it just needs slight changes.

The same kit has been used before, this is the older Ep2 version of Pottendorf 

I tend not to move too far from my comfort zone, having used the same kit on three different occasions over the past twenty years. Its simplicity lends itself to modification, none of the three stations were identical although I tend to repeat the same rendered finish with subtle washes of raw sienna. It merely reflects my lack of imagination.
It will be an opportunity to add some 'bling' to the station in the form of some nice metal details, a period postbox and a telephone box.


Monday 20 May 2024

Beside the road in Bayern

The location of the layout is Oberfranken, Bayern. There are many features that are common to the region and throughout Bayern, these include artefacts related to the catholic faith of Bayern.

Wayside crosses and wayside shrines bear witness to the piety of the people. For hundreds of years, these small religious monuments made of wood, stone and masonry have mostly been erected and maintained by the wayside, some decorated with flowers and candles.

Pottendorf has two such features.

Wednesday 15 May 2024

A loco shed

I have waited almost two years since starting to rebuild Pottendorf to capture this image.
Other than the station, the other major railway building is the locoshed and its associated facilities. As Leupoldsdorf is lacking a prototype, a simple single road wooden shed was rebuilt from a very old Pola kit
The locoshed has a small coaling stage and corrugated iron flammable store.

 Details such as a water tap outside the locoshed

The water crane is a Spitzner type, copied from the example that once stood at Kempten, Bad Neustadt and similar to the one at Miltenberg

Grey Primer
98 812 receives water in the morning at Bad Neustadt station to be prepared for the next (return) trip to Königshofen, on 01.07.1968.
Older style, unknown location, possibly Endorf
 Some inspiration was gatherered from the old loco shed at Kößlarn as that branchline shared many features with other Bayerische nebenbahnen. The loco shed was at the opposite end of the station yard and was surrounded on three sides by long grass, it still survives despite being abandoned by the DB.

Tuesday 7 May 2024

The cottage

On the latest version of Pottendorf there is a small cottage for the farmworker, it has a couple of fruit trees, vegetable garden and chicken coop.


The Faller cottage has a vague similarity to the Häcker family house from Ergersheim preserved as building 12 at the Fränkische Freilandmuseum in Bad Windsheim. Rather scratchbuilding maybe just the removal of the lower level of fachwerke?


These archive images show the original building and its original proportions.

The building is a timberframe built around 1706 and an external stucco finish on the lower section of the walls .

Link to the museum's description click here

The cottage, below is a new kit that was reworked. There really wasn’t too much scope the lengthen the building as the sub-base of the scene is finished but it has lost the fachwerk (timber framing) below the top of the ground floor windows. It has been carefully stipled with AK Interactive Terrains acrylic, a texture normally used for roads etc.

I am fine with its actual size although it is about 30% too short compared to the Häcker family house but all other dimensions are 1:87 moreover buildings of this size were once common until the '70s when living in a two down one up became unacceptable. 

Although unfinished, the result will be acceptable

 At the bottom of the cottage garden, there are some chickens


Sunday 21 April 2024

Building the layout

The blog is about building a small fictitious terminus vaguely based on other small stations in Oberfranken, instead it is merely an amalgam of features of existing locations in the areaa plausible fiction.

Oct 2022 
It began with four old baseboards that were cleaned and prepared for new track

Mar 2023 Track laid and fully wired

February 2024 
The platform receives a coat of Acrylmasse textured light grey paint and the roads and station yard have been repainted with limestone paint and layer of Acrylmasse.
 All the track has been ballasted, ready for testing
April 2024 
The backscene is finally in place

May 2024
The edge along the backscene is mostly complete, it is patchy were the PVA failed to 'grab' the static grass, the rest of the grass was secured with MattMedium.

Finally, the front edge nears completion, just a few untouched patches to be covered, tomorrow, trains will be running.

Perhaps worth mentioning that 'Pottendorf' represents a station during a rather wet ‘60s late summer and it is in its final months of existence, lack of maintenance has resulted in a general unkempt appearance.

June 2024
Starting to plant the trees, ten in total


At the end of the track
It is a lantern from Auhagen 41618, not easy to assemble nor easy to install. A shallow slot had to made in the trackbed and it is held in place by the white PVA glue. There are six on Pottendorf.

Friday 8 March 2024

Goods for Potttendorf

The goods traffic is based on a small terminus in Oberfranken, logs and sugar beet were loaded in the yard. 


Something is needed to shift the sugar beets into wagons in the yard. The Hanomag wheeled front loader was first introduced in the early ‘60s and was fundamental in the change in material handling. At first it had no weather protection for the driver but regulations changed and a simple protective cab was available from the late ‘60s onwards. 

The image below is a simple upgrade of the basic Wiking model

The sidings would have been used for shifting other actual local products, timber but 50 years ago loading was achieved wiith ingenuity and mandraulics as the only methods. 

A couple of choice images:-

Another local product was ceramics, a local speciality, (Pottendorf is a corruption of ‘village of pots’) these were sent in wooden crates by van traffic attached to passenger workings.

Wednesday 14 February 2024


Fichtelgebirge, the hills and the valleys 

Around the region



Trees make all the difference to a layout, they add height, interest and structure. There are over ten trees available to Pottendorf, most made by MBR. They will be 'planted' in groups of three (one large, two small) with the last single tree behind the barns and hiding the exit.

Two of the smaller trees in the farmyard