Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Old now, but unbowed...Lantern Yard

Finally, I put the old girl on the ether.
Lantern Yard.  A 7mm scale set-piece intended to show off my model of Heather Bell, our old historic narrow boat and a few of the model cars I've made the masters for over the years, not that I have many of them.
Now, this has been in damp, unfriendly storage for 6 years, as long as I've been back"On the Bank" in fact.
I knocked it together in gaps between working on the boat. You really don't want to see underneath!  But that doesn't matter.
It represents a bit of the Welsh Marches area, Montgomeryshire/Welsh Canal, for which our boat had been specially built in 1937.

It's made of 6mm plywood, with a few landscape formers in same and a weave of cornflake box strips to describe the topography, prior to Modroc plaster bandage, except 6 years ago it went into the damp storage and there it has remained except for the odd application of Polyfilla and a try out with my favourite grass system, medical lint.  So the remains of the card strip has been chewed by meeces here and there.  Now it's in the proper workshop again, I'll shellac it. The old ways are the best.

On dragging it out, I see that the roadway has started spiling off and there are a few cracks around.  I also seem to have cut into the hillside for a few small buildings.  I can't remember that!  I have also given my son the buildings for his 1/43rd scale slot racing hillclimb track and I don't think they'll be coming back, except for photography and description, if he can find them. He works in a worse mess than I.
The various bits of paint are not modelmaking, just thinking out loud, which I tend to do when I knock up a quick set-piece.  It'll more likely as not be quite different when it's done.
The basic plan is that Heather Bell will be in the arm, just beyond the lock, waiting for orders.  On the wharf will be an 18" gauge mineral line from a local estate cum quarry/sawmill.  Usual fiction.  18" gauge gives me enough space, whilst maintaining 7mm scale.  10.5mm gauge, a loop and a headshunt/engine shack should do it.  The railway then disappears under the bridge in the corner.

The buildings will be a blacksmith's cottage and an old Nissen hut workshop, wherein these days he does a bit of motor repair.  Set into the retaining wall where the vehicles drive down from the road will be a small cafe, which has become the Saturday club for the local old car and bike brigade.  Attached to the engine shed is the yard office, euphemistically known locally as The Depot.  

And that is or will be, Lantern Yard.

More anon.


  1. I look forward to reading of progress on this, when you have time. I imagine it will be flavoured with Stokes' "Upham's Boatyard" as per those old Railway Modeller articles... very promising. Nice, too, that this project has been on the go so long and you are coming back to it...there's hope for me after all :-)

  2. Iain,
    You've got me taped! If there is just the least bit of Stokes to it when it's done, I'll be a happy man.