About the blog

The concept of the layout is a rural station in West Dorset on the proposed direct Dorchester-Exeter route during the first four years of British Railways from '48-52.

Monday, 26 July 2021


If I had space for a BLT, it would be the K&ESR if only so that I could join the Col.Stephens Society and have this on the layout

A Terrier, an Adams radial and Beattie Saddleback set in '38

A dreamer of beautiful dreams - Mr. Valentine

Sunday, 25 July 2021

Bogus but nice

This rather lovely model is due to emerge from Hattons sometime this year, it is supposed to be a pre-grouping full brake. Despite looking at every (not many) available sources, a prototype is elusive but it is cheap(ish) and would look rather nice stuck at the end of a siding, with its paintwork somewhat care and weatherworn.


For those would want something special, Hornby are offering a departmental vehicle, which is rather lovely, perfect for that breakdown train.

Just in case you need some inspiration 

That appears to be the exLBSC brake van from Hornby

Wednesday, 21 July 2021

Flags or field iris

 These look interesting:-

However, I would describe them as flags or the common field iris, a dab of purple helps

And just like the real thing, these will spread all over the layout.

Monday, 19 July 2021

Ratio Ferrocrete Van

 Many years ago, Ratio released some rather nice ready painted versions of their GWR Iron Mink, this is one of the most colourful - a Ferrocrete van.

Unfortunately, their rarity and appearance has made them rather collectable, I have never encountered a kit, just one overpriced examples and I admit that I bought it..........

 Ferrocrete is a higher early strength Portland cement, the brand is currently owned by Blue Cicle. Ferrocrete is used to construct relatively thin, hard, strong surfaces and structures in many shapes such as hulls for boats, shell roofs, and water tanks. Ferrocrete originated in the 1840s in France and the Netherlands and is the origin of reinforced concrete.

Wednesday, 7 July 2021

Bulleid upgrade?

Upgrading the venerable Bachmann Bulleid coaches seems rather pointless if the forthcoming release of a 'super' version is imminent - however opening boxes isn't really modelling and these ideas will result in a unique three car rake that should cost less than one of the new coaches.

First consideration, the existing Bachmann coaces are pretty good, they look right, so, just a gentle upgrade rather than a full-on rebuild.

These coaches are destined to be used on a home-layout, not for show but to be used.

Lessons learnt from the last set of upgraded Bulleids

  • The SEF flush glaze kits are awful and a waste of effort, instead carefully paint the inside of the window aperture  brown (this is an option)
  • Wheels must be replaced, Hornby are good value.
  • Couplings, replace with micro-magnets at each end of the rake.
  • Corridor connections-use black paper connectors
  • The outer finish needs polishing, use Brasso/Autosol with a Q-tip
  • Finally, a coat of Lifecolour frame dirt on the underfame
 George Dent did a really good job of his upgrade. 

Tuesday, 6 July 2021

Wagon hoist

The wagon hoist from Bachmann looks OK for use on the Purbeck diorama.


Monday, 5 July 2021

Sorry (not sorry) pedants

Going against the flow - 
There are just two rakes of coaches on the layout because I foolishly sold the rake of Bachmann Bulleids.They had been upgraded, ran beautifully and looked rather good because the Bachmann models were accurate from the get-go.
Rather than waiting until Bachmann repeat the trick, another rake of Bulleids will go through the workshop. 
To complete the rake, a Maunsell open in SR green, which will need some weathering and subtle changes to lettering but it is a perfect companion to the newly built Bulleids in '49

Sunday, 4 July 2021

Wagons on a Sunday

 A trio of kit-built wagons, nothing special, just wagons

And finally

A lovely exMidland 8t wooden underframe van from Slaters

The goods sidings have finally reached their capacity, full of mundane stock that might have been found running on Southern lines in the West Country at the end of the '40s. The temptation to acquire oddities has been resisted, every vehicle has been noted in archive images.


Verwood Crane

 As many of the features on Beaminster Road are inspired by the SDJR it was almost inevitable that  a kit for the Verwood crane would be of interest.  

These images belong to Neil Berrington of the Modelling the Southern Region FB group to whom I am extremely grateful.


More info:- click here and click here

Friday, 2 July 2021

Two opens and a van

Really impressed with the quality of these Cambrian kits of exSECR opens.


Look at the detail on the 7-plank wagon prior to painting - incredible.

It is no surprise that Cambrian models are well represented on Beaminster Road.


Sunday, 27 June 2021

Gardening in miniature

 There are some really lovely examples of miniature gardens,  at least an attempt should be possible. This was inspired by our back garden, the colour is Wickes Majestic Mounta dabbed onto foliage that was previously painted white.

And at the bottom of the garden - a gazebo, the Lloyd Loom chair is missing, somewhere in the 'round tuit' cupboard.

Brighton brake van

 Modelling, for a change.

This poor old model is a Hornby R6144B and has been part of the Hornby range for at least thirty years.  It is based on this:-


LBSC 20t Brake Van DS55907 built Lancing 1922, it was reduced to Engineering Departmental stock in 1960. Black livery at Three Bridges 24th July 1965, withdrawn 1970 as the last original LBSC Brake Van 


Another exLBSC brake van, designed by AH Panter, they were based on the LBSC diagram 50 that were built during 1923 similar to those produced in 1922 but with steel lower sheeting rather than fully planked sides. They became SR Diagram 1576, some lasted in to British Railways days although some were converted to departmental / ballast use.

They would have either stayed in faded SR brown, Red Oxide (SR departmental) or possibly might have ended up in BR Grey or BR departmental liveries.

However it is a reasonably accurate depiction of an exLBSCR Diag 1576 brake and needs minimal work to improve both appearance and performance. The all too obvious locating holes need attention as does the underframe.

It costs a third of the lovely exLSWR brake from the same stable, Iain Rice likes them therefore they are worth a punt.

Thursday, 17 June 2021

T14 - coming soon

 A bit of a misnomer - the exLSWR T14 'Paddlebox' is coming from Paul Hill at PDK but not to Beaminster Road, even though it is one of those locos with a 'wow' factor, it is too big for Beaminster Road.

 Just a few images of what to expect.

The T14's were the most successful of Drummond's abysmal 4-6-0 designs for the LSWR, though they still displayed the old, costly liabilities of heavy coal and water consumption on a railway that did not employ water troughs, which was combined with a high frequency of hot axle boxes. Both were complaints that had afflicted all his previous 4-6-0s, and did not endear them to locomotive crews.

In service, all were based at Nine Elms from new and were used exclusively on expresses to Bournemouth and Salisbury. However, the class struggled on these 'racing stretches.' This was especially true in the case of the tightly timed Salisbury workings. With intermediate stops at Surbiton and Woking, a D15 was the preferred motive power because they kept better time than a T14.

Consequently, they were utilised on the LSWR 'top link' for only 8 years, and were promptly replaced upon grouping in 1923 by Maunsell's N15s as they became available. However, their potential in secondary duties gave Maunsell the opportunity to attempt to right the problems associated with the original design. Superheating helped to solve the problems of efficiency in terms of coal and water, whilst the removal of the splashers meant ease of access to the wheels and airflow to the axleboxes.

The first withdrawal took place in 1940 with 458 suffering air raid damage at Nine Elms shed. The rest continued into public ownership in 1948. However, the remainder continued to be withdrawn from November 1948, and the last one surviving until June 1951. As a result, none were preserved.

Sunday, 13 June 2021

Rural redevelopment

Following a recent field trip along the proposed route of the Dorchester and Exeter (D&E) Coastal Extension the tiny hamlet of Whitchurch Canonicorum revealed a number of surprises, not least was the style of local homes.

Finding something similar resulted in this rather attractive resin model from Hornby. It will need some work to backdate it to the late '40s but it has potential.

The doctor's stone villa has been removed together with its foundation and this space is sufficient but needs alteration.

The original scene started life some ten years ago and has been carefully restored with added detail, the cottage is being tried for 'size' so that alterations can be made. A cut here and there should be sufficient but the gaps around the base really need attention.

This looks better, the final details of new flowers that hide the numerous gaps and weathering to the building will finish the job.

Sunday, 6 June 2021

Old Airfix open


There are a fair number of RTR wagons on the layout, Mike thinks that this rather old Airfix open is possibly one of the best. It has received modification to the couplings as it is the convertor between the 0395 and the rest of the Kadee fitted stock, whilst we use Dapol's truly excellent metal RP25 spoked wheels as a standard upgrade.

Out of the box

 Sunday morning fun

The weathering is subtle and it is a very worthy 'swapmeet' purchase.

Thursday, 3 June 2021

no words needed


Rural redevelopment

The recent field trip to West Dorset to trace the intended route of the Dorchester and Exeter line we passed through Whitchurch Canonicorum, once a typical isolated hamlet now a collection of holiday homes. It would have been the location of Beaminster Road station albeit depending on the local topography of steep and frequent hills.

A couple of images of the village provide a 'feel' for the place.

The thatched, low rural cottages are relatively common within the village whilst the old New Inn (last image) was a new build in the '20s by Palmer's Brewery of Bridport. 

To try to replicate a thatched cottage, this ready built model appears to be a suitable beginning for a mild reworking.

The current appearance of the buildings is rather too gentrified rather than the workaday reality of the '40s when life was one of agriculture and rural poverty. A thin wash of green will be the first step towards realism.