The Burford Branch

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Suffolk Dave
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Re: The Burford Branch

Postby Suffolk Dave » Sat Feb 18, 2023 7:21 am

Hi Martin

I always enjoy your updates and 'sporadic' is absolutely fine.

Inspirational work as ever and I'm looking forward to seeing photos of the illuminated bell foundry interior.

The theatre poster is rather nice touch. Can you point us in the direction of your source for it?
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Terry Bendall
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Re: The Burford Branch

Postby Terry Bendall » Sat Feb 18, 2023 9:15 am

Noel wrote:if it was a church or school bell it would be bell metal, which, like gun metal, is related to bronze,

Out of interest I looked up the content of bell metal which according to the on-line source I found is a type of bronze that contains about 80% of copper and small amounts of zinc and lead. It also contains about 20% of tin so a yellow/tending to red colour would be about right, Ships' bells would of course would vary in size depending on the volumn of sound needed. Phosphor bronze is probably the nearest commonly available metal and a typical composition would be 90% copper, 9.5% tin, and 0.5% phosphorus.

Surpirising the amount of detail and interesting diversions that come up in the hobby. :)

Terry Bendall

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Re: The Burford Branch

Postby Noel » Sat Feb 18, 2023 6:13 pm

Terry Bendall wrote:Ships' bells would of course would vary in size depending on the volumn of sound needed.,_Portsmouth,_50_Naval_Commission_and_Warrant_Candidates_Are_Living_on_the_Same_Messdeck_As_Nelson%27s_Men_of_Trafalgar._HMS_Victory_Is_Being_USED_A14564.jpg
Terry Bendall wrote:80% of copper and small amounts of zinc and lead. It also contains about 20% of tin so a yellow/tending to red colour would be about right

martin goodall
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Re: The Burford Branch

Postby martin goodall » Sat Feb 18, 2023 8:57 pm

To answer Dave’s question, I bought the plastic kit for “Hoardings with Bill Poster” from the Wills ‘00’ Scenic Series (Ref. SS 21) solely in order to obtain the paper theatre and cinema posters that came with the kit. These posters were credited to W&H Models. The theatre poster was too large for the pub wall at the top of Station Road, so I copied it at 80% on my colour photocopier and, as the poster was still too long, I unceremoniously cut two acts from the bottom of the bill. It only remained to mount the poster on a board (20-thou styrene sheet) with a painted frame from styrene strip.

The two prototype photos of the old Waggon & Horses in London Road, Cirencester show (c.1912) a poster advertising the re-opening of Cirencester Hospital and (in 1915) two posters advertising various entertainments including a Circus. So I thought a bill for a variety performance would be a reasonable approximation to the sort of events that might be advertised on such a poster.

Turning to the question of bells again, I painted the models of ‘real’ bells inside the bell foundry a colour which seemed to me to represent the actual colour (based on colour photographs) of newly cast church bells. A mix of ‘Brass’ and ‘Gunmetal’ appeared to me to give the best approximation to this colour. As I have explained, this does not apply to the replica bell hanging outside The Bell Inn, which I have assumed would have been a lightweight brass-coloured reproduction, rather than a real bell.

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Re: The Burford Branch

Postby martin goodall » Thu Mar 16, 2023 7:10 pm

Slow progress

After a further enforced pause, I have been working on the chimneys for the Bell Inn. I had redrawn the design for this building shortly before starting the model in 1993, giving the building taller chimneys than I had originally proposed. However, I had doubts about this when I came to the construction of these chimneys a week or two ago, so I mocked up the chimneys in card.



This proved conclusively that my misgivings were well-founded. They were far too tall. So I went back to the original photos and re-calculated the height to these chimneys. Ironically, this more or less matched the original drawing that I had made in 1988. I didn’t bother to make further mock-ups, but got on with building the actual chimneys.



Without the roof mock-up in place, the chimneys still looked rather tall, but I was satisfied that they are now the right height.




The colouring on the stone chimney is too light and will have to be adjusted. The brickwork on the other chimneys will also have to be toned down with soot weathering. All except one of the chimney pots are still in grey primer and have only been propped in place for the moment while awaiting painting and fixing.

In the meantime, I have also done some further work on my ‘Burford’ auto-couplings, having now settled the design of an etched hook to supplement the previously designed etched brackets. This will speed up the assembly of these couplings.

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Re: The Burford Branch

Postby martin goodall » Mon Apr 10, 2023 8:23 am

As you will have seen from numerous posts in this thread, most of my model-making time is devoted to the construction of my layout. But I do break off occasionally to work on rolling stock for the layout. Some years ago, I commissioned Karl Crowther to build a model of a 517 Class 0-4-2T for me from the Malcolm Mitchell kit. He made a splendid job of what he admitted afterwards was a challenging kit and, at my suggestion, he wrote it up in MRJ 221 and 224.

However, through no fault of Karl’s, the paint job went wrong due to the use of Teroson etch primer which proved to be almost uncontrollable as it emerged from the nozzle of the spray can, covering the model far too thickly and obscuring the finely etched rivets and creating a meniscus effect in internal angles and corners. This was my fault for having specified this particular primer, and so Karl and I agreed that the model would have to be stripped back to bare metal. By this time, I felt that Karl had been involved in far more work than he had originally bargained for, and so we agreed that I would deal with the repaint.

As with rather too many of my model-making projects, it took me quite a long time to get around to tackling this job, but I eventually managed to find the time to deal with it. This time, I decided to use U-Pol Acid #8 etch primer from Halford’s, which proved to be a far better choice, giving a fine spray that can be thinly applied so as not to obscure detail or deposit paint where it is not wanted. In fact, as these photos show, it is not necessary when using this primer to achieve complete coverage of the metal.



IMG_8024 (2).JPG


I left plenty of time (in fact several months!) for the primer to dry before spraying the top coat of Phoenix Precision GWR Loco Green enamel from an airbrush. I then left the model for several more weeks for the paint to dry and harden thoroughly before brush painting ‘Dirty Black’ enamels on the cab roof, running boards, tank tops and the interior of the bunker, etc. My mix for ‘Dirty Black’ is roughly 2 parts of Humbrol #29 Dark Earth enamel to one part Humbrol #33 Matt Black. I quickly abandoned my initial intention of masking off green-painted areas of the tanks and bunker, and relied instead on a steady hand and reasonable care, resorting to masking tape only around the boiler barrel immediately behind the smokebox. I had forgotten to mask off the brass whistles before spraying the primer, and will have to scrape these back to bare brass later.





This still leaves the buffer beams, vacuum pipes and various other details to be painted, plus adding the number plates to the tank sides, and polishing the copper top on the chimney, before final detailing with coal, crew, lamps, etc. and fitting the couplings.

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Re: The Burford Branch

Postby martin goodall » Thu May 11, 2023 12:01 pm

I had hoped by now to report the completion of the group of buildings in Station Road opposite the station but, despite the time input over the past seven or eight months, these models still remain unfinished. It is a clunky old cliché to say that “the devil is in the detail”, but in the case of these models it is literally true.

When I last wrote about these models in mid-March, I had just built the chimneys for The Bell Inn (minus their chimney pots), but the roofs still consisted of card mock-ups and so the next step was to build the roof structure of The Bell Inn from 30-thou styrene sheet.


The roof of the Bell Foundry was next. In order to avoid any risk of this large roof sagging, I inserted a massive purlin, and also took the opportunity to introduce a shallower angle to the lower part of the roof.



The front plane of this roof was then added but, because of the steepness of the roof, the back cannot be seen, so I omitted this. After building the chimneys at either end of The Three Tuns, the roof of that building was also erected, leaving cut-outs for the dormers that were to be incorporated in this roof.




The two dormers were built next. Their dimensions departed from those of the prototype on which this model was based in order to make use of a couple of etched casement windows I had to hand.



However, when these windows were stuck in place, I felt that the dormers were too tall. This was purely an aesthetic judgement, as there was no reason why I should have stuck to the prototype dimensions, and yet they seemed to me to be out of proportion. So I may decide to replace them with dormers that are closer to the proportions of the prototype.



In the meantime, I have applied Welsh slates (laser-cut slates from York Modelmaking) to the roof of the lean-to extension at the right-hand end of The Bell Inn, and have stuck lead flashing (paper strips painted light grey) along the top edge of the roof and the around the chimney at this end of the building.


I shall surface the other roofs with Cotswold stone slates, while I make a final decision about the replacement of the dormers on The Three Tuns.

martin goodall
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Re: The Burford Branch

Postby martin goodall » Mon Jul 17, 2023 3:55 pm

Another two months have gone by, and the Station Road group is still not finished! The main reason for this is that I have spent quite a bit of time recently fitting couplings to rolling stock (not to mention repairing or rebuilding a number of wagons that were badly damaged when I dropped the box in which they were being carried). But I have found time in the past week or two to do some further work on the roofs of the Station Road buildings.

When I last wrote about these models in May, I was considering how to deal with the dormers on The Three Tuns, which looked too tall. I was thinking about their complete replacement, but then I had a ‘light-bulb moment’ that would save me the time and trouble of doing this. I decided to replace their gabled roofs with flat roofs instead. The Arts & Crafts movement (who were great enthusiasts for Ye Olde Cotteswolde vernacular tradition) would not have approved, but before the introduction of modern planning laws with their listed buildings and conservation areas, etc. there was nothing to stop this sort of thing being done.

With the dormer roofs removed, I took the opportunity to add curtains to the dormer windows, which I had previously omitted to do.


The flat roofs would have been covered with lead sheet, which I chose to represent with real lead foil (from the back of dental X-ray plates, kindly donated by my dentist). The foil is a shiny silver colour, but brushing over it with phosphoric acid both dulls it and darkens it. Over time, lead exposed to the air tends to get lighter, so I brushed a thin mix of light grey enamel over it (seen below).

With the dormers on The Three Tuns sorted out, I could then get on with laying limestone slates on the roofs. As I have explained before, the Pendon method of applying tiny individual paper slates to the roof would have been impossibly time-consuming, so I resorted once again to the expedient of colouring a sheet of hand-made rag paper and marking in the slates on it with a sharp pencil. The colouring is done by applying a watercolour wash to a thoroughly wetted sheet of the rag paper.

The photo below was taken with a raking light across it to show the texture of the rag paper.


The colour of limestone slates can be variable, and they can weather to quite a dark grey colour over time. I confess that my method produces somewhat hit-and-miss results so far as the actual colour is concerned (although repeated watercolour washes can be applied to get the right shade). I chose to portray quite a dark colour on the roof of the Bell Foundry.


On the roof of The Three Tuns, the slates are a fairly even shade of brown, which suggests that they have not had so long to weather down to a darker colour.


Various details remain to be added, such as lead flashing (including a lead apron under the dormer windows), as well as mortar fillets around the stone chimneys and along the join with the ridge slates, which currently look as though they are not properly bedded down. The slating of the roof on The Bell Inn also remains to be dealt with.

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steve howe
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Re: The Burford Branch

Postby steve howe » Tue Jul 18, 2023 5:08 pm

Thanks for the update Martin,

Your modelling puts me very much in the mind of the late Illife Stokes, totally capturing the 'spirit of place'.

Lovely work


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Re: The Burford Branch

Postby martin goodall » Wed Jul 19, 2023 8:35 am

Thanks, Steve.

I certainly admired the work of Iliffe Stokes, but an even greater inspiration for me has been John Ahern's Madder Valley Railway, which displays some wonderful models of a wide variety of vernacular buildings.

I believe the key to creating atmosphere lies in the colouring and weathering of the models. I have paid quite a lot of attention to this and, whilst it is time consuming, it does help in producing a 'realistic' appearance (at least in artistic terms).

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Re: The Burford Branch

Postby martin goodall » Tue Aug 08, 2023 9:52 am

The buildings in Station Road are still not quite finished, but in the meantime I thought I would share with you this view up Station Road from the station entrance.

IMG_9141 (2).JPG

In the next two weeks or so I hope to be able to complete the last few details that need to be added to these buildings, and I can then move on to other parts of the layout that have been awaiting my attention for too long.
Last edited by martin goodall on Tue Aug 08, 2023 10:57 am, edited 1 time in total.

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jim s-w
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Re: The Burford Branch

Postby jim s-w » Tue Aug 08, 2023 10:35 am

looks great Martin.
Jim Smith-Wright

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Re: The Burford Branch

Postby MPR » Tue Aug 08, 2023 11:46 am

That scene looks lovely!

martin goodall
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Re: The Burford Branch

Postby martin goodall » Sat Aug 19, 2023 8:24 am

I have finally finished the buildings in Station Road (at last!).


These buildings were the first non-railway buildings on the layout to be started (in October 1993), but after the basic shells were constructed, very little further progress was made on them until last September, when I decided to make a definite effort to get these models finished. But I never imagined that a further 11 months would elapse before they were finally completed.


When I last reported on work on these buildings a month ago, the main roof of the Bell Inn had yet to be slated. To start with, I got the colour of this roof too light. I was also dissatisfied with the colour of the roof on The Three Tuns. I was going to apply a further watercolour wash to both of these roofs, but I hit on an alternative solution quite by accident. In removing a splash of paint that had landed on the roof, I found that when the turps I used had dried, that part of the roof had been slightly darkened. So, rather than attempting to deal with this stain, I brushed turps over the whole roof. Not only did it hide the stain, but the whole roof ended up slightly darker, which was exactly the effect that I wanted.


This left just a few extra details to complete these models. I felt that a mortar fillet was needed where the roof of the Bell Inn abutted the taller gable end of the Bell Foundry. Quarter-round plastic rod didn’t look right, so I removed it and replaced it with strips of the hand-made rag paper I had used for the limestone slates on these roofs. Although this is concave rather than convex, it does have a more realistic appearance.


I used the same method to reproduce the mortar fillets around the stone-built chimneys on two of these buildings.



The other item that was still missing was the gutter and rainwater pipe on the Bell Foundry. [The gutter on The Three Tuns is hidden behind a parapet, and I decided that the Bell Inn did not need rainwater gutters, but would rely simply on eaves-dropping.] I used my usual method, learnt from Gordon Gravett, fashioning the gutter from rectangular styrene strip with one corner rounded off. The 4-inch RWP is 1.3 mm styrene rod from Plastruct, with holder bats and a shoe from Modelu.


Here are a few more shots of Station Road in its completed form.






The roofs in Station Road were not the only ones that were originally too light. Some of the roofs in the Donnington Brewery group were roughly the same light tone as the roofs of the background buildings standing against the backscene. I really wanted to maintain the aerial perspective (‘perspective in colour’) that I had adopted with the backscene, and so I attempted to use the same method for slightly darkening the roof planes of the brewery buildings that I had used on the Station Road roofs. However, in this case, when the turps had dried out, the roofs retained roughly the same tone as before. The answer was to mix in some Humbrol No.72 ‘Khaki Drill’ enamel to produce a weak solution or suspension of colour in the turps. This did produce the slight darkening that I was aiming for.

This photo shows the difference between the light tone of the roofs of the Builder’s Yard group next to the backscene, and the slightly darker tone that has now been given to the roofs of the Brewery buildings.


I would like to get on with the remainder of the buildings at the right-hand end of the layout, but first there is work to be done on the permanent way, which has been neglected to the danger and discomfort of passengers for some time.
Last edited by martin goodall on Mon Aug 28, 2023 11:29 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The Burford Branch

Postby philip-griffiths » Sun Aug 20, 2023 9:02 am


I showed my wife, Joanna, this page of postings from yourself. Her comment:

‘he is too hard on himself, this is beautiful, the way the postbox is blended into the ground is exquisite. The foundry is wonderful.’


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Re: The Burford Branch

Postby martin goodall » Sun Aug 20, 2023 9:28 am

Thanks, Philip (and also Joanna).

I am certainly not a perfectionist, but I suppose we are all acutely aware of the mistakes, fudges and compromises in our own models.

The pillar box is an example of my insistence on planting buildings and other structures in the ground, rather than plonking them on the ground surface. For this postbox I had to excavate a hexagonal hole in the pavement (an interesting challenge in itself). I still couldn't get it to stand upright, and so I then drilled a smaller and deeper round hole below it and inserted a piece of stout wire in the base of the model to slot into that hole, while the base also locates inside the hexagonal recess in the pavement, so that the pillar box is now guaranteed to stand upright, and not slouch against the wall as it was prone to do originally. I lightly dry-brushed some Dark Earth enamel on the lower part of the model to reproduce the dust that always seems to settle here.

I really enjoy this sort of model-making, whereas I hate all the faff involved in getting locos to run smoothly, not to mention having to fight with locomotive valve gear (fortunately not so often a problem on the GWR, who usually hid their valve gear away inside the frames).

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Re: The Burford Branch

Postby martin goodall » Sat Sep 23, 2023 8:22 pm

In April of this year, I described and illustrated my painting of the 517 Class 0-4-2T that Karl Crowther built for me, having taken delivery of the model stripped back to bare metal. I have now managed to finish the job (except for adding some couplings). I felt that Karl had made such a good job of this model that it deserved to be properly detailed. In the period in which this loco is portrayed, small engines like this seem to have been festooned with rather more gubbins in the way of fire irons, buckets and various other tools than they were later, so I had to devote quite a bit of time to this exercise. But it was well worthwhile. (I think the red on the buffer planks and the headlamps should perhaps be toned down a bit, with some judicious weathering of those items. I have weathered the frame and the nether regions of the firebox only lightly, and I might give them a slightly heavier dose of weathering.)







The engine is portrayed in the form in which it was photographed by Bill Kenning at Radley in 1916, when it was working on the Abingdon Branch. It remained in this form until the mid-1920s, after which it acquired wider tanks and a much enlarged Collett-style bunker. It is ear-marked to haul my 1920s branch passenger set, although it won’t be in service on the Burford Branch just yet, as the track in and around the station is currently awaiting the serious attention of the permanent way gang, as I mentioned in a previous post.

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Re: The Burford Branch

Postby MPR » Sat Sep 23, 2023 8:42 pm

That is a very, very good looking locomotive.

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Re: The Burford Branch

Postby martin goodall » Tue Oct 10, 2023 4:51 pm

For some time, I have been aware that the passenger weighing machine that stands on the platform under the Train Shed roof at Burford lacked the handrails that these machines usually had. So today, at a modelling day organised by Robin Gay for the Bristol (BS4) group, I took along my round tuit, and got down to modelling these handrails.


My initial idea was to mount the wire on loco handrail knobs, resembling the arrangement on the protype, but this didn’t work, and the simpler expedient of bending the wire and supergluing it into pre-drilled holes in the base and onto the sides of the machine proved to be the right way of fixing the handrails in place.



These weighing machines were often given a silver-coloured finish, and so I had left the whitemetal casting (from John Piper) unpainted. The casting has now dulled down, and so I may have to give it a coat of silver paint to restore the desired finish before it is stuck back in place on the platform at Burford.

martin goodall
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Re: The Burford Branch

Postby martin goodall » Fri Nov 24, 2023 6:00 pm

Another one of those pauses that seem to be an inherent feature of this layout project has delayed further progress over the past few weeks. This has enabled me to take a step back and review next steps, while doing some ‘pottering’ jobs to catch up with a few minor items that have been awaiting attention until I finally got ‘a round tuit’.

I have now given the passenger weighing machine a coat of silver paint and stuck it back in place on the platform.


I have also touched up the paintwork on the parcels scales, to give this a slightly ‘tired’ look. The bright green paint that these scales originally had looked too clean and new. It took only a couple of minutes to dry brush some patchy lighter green on the scales to produce the effect I was after.


I still haven’t got around to adding a couple of chocolate machines on the platform, but this is another one of the ‘pottering’ jobs on the To Do list.

Meanwhile I have been working on a batch of my ‘Burford’ auto-couplings. The photo below shows the various subs-assemblies stuck to double-sided tape preparatory to spraying them with self-etch primer and then painting them a sort of dirty underframe colour, following which they can be installed under various wagons and other rolling stock.


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Re: The Burford Branch

Postby martin goodall » Thu Dec 07, 2023 9:19 pm

Little by little……….

I am still pottering about, adding small items of platform furniture. The latest addition is a Nestlé’s chocolate machine.




The shots above were taken with the Train Shed roof removed. I have to admit that the chocolate machine can hardly be seen in the gloom when the roof is in place, but it was just a bit of fun to see if I could reproduce the old Nestlé’s logo this small.


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