Tag Archives: get the picture

Dartmoor, Down Under

I found this interesting and very nice layout of Princetown, situated in Australia where the general standard of railway modelling seems to be very high.

So I thought I’d post a link and give myself something to aspire to.

Snowplough awaiting the blizzard at Princetown
Snowplough awaiting the blizzard at Princetown

Unfortunately, the write up doesn’t mention the creator’s name, but thanks whoever you are.

British Railway Modellers of Australia | Princetown

On the way to Princetown
On the way to Princetown

Ordnance Survey: 137 – 1928 edition

OS137 - 1928
OS137 – 1928

By sheer chance, quantum pairing, or harmonic convergence if you like, some years ago I was fortunate enough to receive a 1928 reprint Ordnance Survey “Contoured Road Map”, one inch to the mile, number 137, linen-backed, as a present. Very nice.

This covers an area bound by Launceston – pronounced, “Lanson” – and Callington, Cornwall, and Okehampton and Tavistock, Devon, the very epicentre of the legendary, and somewhat ethereal Boltorr branch.

OS Map 137, 1928
OS Map 137, 1928

The "B" side
The “B” side

It turns out this includes the very focus of the railway which exists only in my mind’s eye.

If you’d care to examine the entire map – click on the image for a larger version – you’ll find the location of the Boltorr branch somewhere along the Tavy, by-passing Okehampton, on its way from Tavistock to Moretonhampstead and, eventually, Exeter.

PS: I dare say this is extremely well copyrighted so please only use as an item for review or education. Thank you.

Build a Road-over bridge

Impermanent Ways - volume 6... Noodle Books: 978-1-906419-99-8
Impermanent Ways – volume 6… Noodle Books: 978-1-906419-99-8
I had hoped to find a laser-cut bridge kit somewhere on the interwebs, but nothing looked quite right.

My DAS chip method is tedious, but it looks so good. I think I’m committed to it now, if only to maintain a “look” across the layout.

I looked around Google images for a bridge to base Boltorr’s on, but didn’t find an example which fitted Dumnonia’s needs better than the one illustrated on the cover of “Impermanent Ways v6“. So I’m not certain the rights’ issues involved here, but buy the book! The whole series is a huge resource if you model in this area.

The real issue when building a model bridge which never actually existed, is getting the arch right.

The image is on the oblique and needs to be adjusted
The image is on the oblique and needs to be adjusted

The photo of the bridge on the cover is on the oblique, so I used an image editor to square the perspective and match an ellipse to the arch.
I adjusted the perspective then constructed an ellipse to match the arch
I adjusted the perspective then constructed an ellipse to match the arch

I then reduced the image to black & white to produce a template. I’ll jiggle with the width of the bridge and the chord of the road deck to fit my location.

In Boltorr’s case, this means spanning the branchline, a siding and possibly an extension of the platform under the bridge. I will also have to adjust to accommodate the road level above.

I reduced the image to b/w to use as a template
I reduced the image to b/w to use as a template

The northern exit starts its evolution
The northern exit starts its evolution

At this point, I’m not considering a hi-tech solution. It’ll be a combination of printer settings and a pair of scissors.

For construction I’m going back to 2mm MDF with appliqué stonework courtesy of DAS. This provides the most stable foundation.

Boltorr Dam and the rail bridge abutments were built using foam-board which tends to take a form of its own if it possibly can. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but for engineering elements it’s a problem. MDF resists the urge to distort far better.

More Nostalgia…

A slideshow of images on the Marsh Mills- Launceston branch in 1962.

The Boltorr branch would have split off, north-eastwards across Dartmoor.

Around that time I was lucky enough to visit a few times the Tavistock Junction signal box. The signalman was Fred Morrish, a friend of my dad’s.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kgkN5V4y9cY

These are the books what I have read…

A bibliography, which has inspired me, but in no particular order. They’re all good:


    The Princetown Branch

    The Princetown Branch

    The Princetown Branch
    Anthony R. Kingdom
    Oxford Publishing Company – 1979 – isbn 86093 004 1
    I found this one on eBay from a bookseller in Vancouver


    Panoramic Dartmoor
    Panoramic Dartmoor

    Panoramic Dartmoor
    Adrian Oakes
    Halsgrove – 2010 – isbn 978 0 85704 039 8
    If you need an inspirational vista…


    Impermanent Ways - 4
    Impermanent Ways – 4

    Impermanent Ways – The Closed Lines of Devon – v4 Devon
    Amyas Crump
    Noodle Books – 2012 – isbn 978 1 9064 19 76 9


    Impermanent Ways - 6
    Impermanent Ways – 6

    Impermanent Ways – The Closed Lines of Devon – v6 Cornwall and West Devon
    Amyas Crump
    Noodle Books – 2013 – isbn 978 1 9064 19 99 8


    Backtracking Around Friary, Laira and the Plym
    Backtracking Around Friary, Laira and the Plym

    Backtracking Around Friary, Laira and the Plym
    Bernard Mills
    Pen & Ink Publishing – 2013 – isbn 978 0 9569858 4 2


    Backtracking Around Millbay, Saltash & the Tamar
    Backtracking Around Millbay, Saltash & the Tamar

    Backtracking Around Millbay, Saltash & the Tamar
    Bernard Mills
    Pen & Ink Publishing – 2016 – isbn 978 0 9934818 3 9
    A new volume covering from Tavistock junction and up the Plym valley, is due in 2018. Let’s hope.


    Creating a Backscene
    Creating a Backscene

    Creating a Backscene
    Paul Bambrick & John Ellis-Cockell
    Ian Allen Publishing – 2016 – isbn 978 0 7110 3842 4


    Creating Cameo Layouts
    Creating Cameo Layouts

    Creating Cameo Layouts
    Iain Rice
    Wild Swan Books – 2016 – isbn 978 0 953877 17 1
    This, along with the tiny layouts of Chris Nevard, is a huge influence


    Modelling Grassland and Landscape Detailing
    Modelling Grassland and Landscape Detailing

    Modelling Grassland and Landscape Detailing
    Gordon Gravett
    Wild Swan Books – 2013 – 978 1 908763 06 8
    Gordon Gravett has two more books on this imprint, “Modelling Trees…”, pt1 – broadleaf, and, pt2 – conifers. The best

I’ve also found Model Rail’sIdeas for Layouts – 2017” – Bauer Media, UK, to be very useful