The Upton Whent Estate Railway - Gn15
Upton Whent is situated somewhere in Somerset. The Upton Whent Manor Estate Railway, to give it it's full title, serves the manor house, one of whose previous owners was an ardent disciple of a certain Sir Arthur Heywood. Sir Arthur, in the early 1900s, was a great promoter of the use of 15 inch narrow gauge lines for industrial use. His Duffield Bank line was a prime example and served his own estate. The present owner is similarly afflicted and a variety of motive power and stock bear witness to this.
I originally just had the large images with comments. I thought I would try that layout for a change but feel that my usual practice of linking the larger pages to the thumbnails, and each other, works better. I added the thumbnails below so you can get a quick overview before going through the larger images, and accompanying verbiage, that now follow below.
Now you have had an overlook, work your way down through the bigger images with their description or go back to the top.
Birdseye view facross the stable yard The layout is 24 x 36 inches and is built on a piece of 1 1/2 inch red foam with a light ply and 1 x 2 inch frame. As a result it is very light. It shows a stable block of the estate. The track layout is simply an oval with one siding. In designing these small layouts it is desirable to hide some of the track from view. This adds some interest for the onlooker. It is amazing how much detail can be packed into a small space. Note how the large expanse of roof has been brightened up with the cupola and perched birds.
Birdseye view across from left rear corner Nearly all the track is visible here. The section running under the overhang at the rear allows me to change stock without it being too obvious to a viewer. Children seem to like looking round the back of the layout and this gives added interest. There is a nice balance between building, paved and vegetative areas. The buildings are surfaced with home made brick paper based on web images. The roof tiles are card strips
Roofs off The inside story! Removable roofs are essential for track maintenance. The buildings and walls are made from foamboard. The final weight of the layout is 10 lbs.
Low level view of forecourt The forecourt of the stables has proven to be a nice setting.The concrete and stone sett surfaces were built up using PolyInstafil. This is a LePage product used for patching large holes in walls. It dries "hard" but can be indented to make the setts, pushed back from the rail face and so on.
Binky and the Erie Peat wagon Binky, my detailed Schomberg Scale Models Winky kit, passes by with a load of straw in a cut down Erie Peat wagon. The blackbirds, and the other birds, are scratch built from Milliput. A copy of an English bird book provided the prototype info. The horses are always a hit with the young girls. Finding good 1:24 figures is not easy. I like the slim ones and an awful lot out there I find too overweight. SLM and Preiser make the ones I prefer. Note how well the detail on the figures shows up.
Side view of Binly with blackbirds in foreground Another nice view of Binky. I was very pleased with the way the paint scheme worked out. Of course, I started out with a black undercoat.
Binky and wagon from ground level Eye level views are always special. I am particularly pleased with this one. It does show that I need to fix the gap between sheets of brick paper on the end of the big building. Still figuring out how best to do it. The later addition of the cupola to the long roof really changed the way one looks at this scene.
The addition of the cupola and the birds subtly brings the eyes down to the centre of interest. The installation of the final version of the cupola made even more of a difference.
The new clock tower The final result. The turret with the clock is based on one built in 1705 at Ruyton Hall in Shropshire. The image came from the net. There has been quite a bit of work done on the buildings and interior lighting has been installed.
Binky heads off with a wagon full of straw Ben, the driver of Binky, is a Schomberg figure and painted up very nicely. Red Fox has come over from the amusement park for some R & R. The grass is some of the remnants from Camelot that I have used on Knotts Wharf, Arches and Red Fox. The supply is getting low. The wall started off with a plain stone top and looked rather dull. The fancy caps made from small beads on a piece of card give it a very manorial look.
Binky returns with empty wagon Binky returns after delivering the straw. The small workshop needs a lot more detail in it and some suitable pictures on the wall. In addition to the fox and the birds there are rabbits, pigs, cats and a dog to keep the animal spotting children busy.
The lister with passenger car Len, on the Lister, gives Phil and Dutch a ride around the estate. The Lister is scratchbuilt to scale and powered by a cut down Bachmann 0n30 trolley mecahnism. The motocycles in the background are 1:24 old Harleys and usually occasion some comment at shows. The point is operated by a slide switch, hidden under the foliage in the forground, to ensure good electrical continuity. The lever is a dummy.
The Hornet The track inset in setts shows up nicely. They were imprinted using a piece of square brass tubing. The whole area was painted black, of course, and then coloured using acrylic washes. The white washed brick inside the buildings is the outside brick paper printed in black instead of colour. The loco is a Sidelines Hornet powered by a Black Beetle unit.
Alister with goods train Alister, a covered Lister type loco built on a Bachmann On30 Davenport chassis, heads by with a string of Sidelines wagons. The Bachmann On30 mechanisms are excellent value, smooth running and reliable. The big tree came over from Red Fox. The foliage is simply Woodland Scenics fibre, draped over the branches, with Noch Lime leaves sprinkled on over a coating of spray adhesive.
Hinges and other things fitted Downspouts are aluminum tubing and the fittings are S & D 7mm ones for waste pipes. Hinges are styrene and the door bolts are brass rod and styrene tube. There should be a second bolt, or foot latch, at the bottom of each stable door as a horse can unlatch the top bolt! The strip of grass running to the point lever hides the piece of rod and the operating slide switch.
Alister at the rear of layout Alister heads along the back stretch. The switches are track section ones. For a small layout the number looks sort of excessive to some people. It enables me to park a train out front whilst I put a new one on and then shuffle the trains along until I can get the old one off at the back. I see I need to cover up the end of the wall with some brick paper to hide the seams. Always something to do.
The latest overall view Upton is pretty well finished now. A start has already been made on the next layout!