Friday, 2 May 2014

Making a Scratch Built N Gauge Platform Shelter

N gauge class 47 D1500 pauses at a rural station halt with a short passenger train
 
Many of the tiny, sleepy hamlets tucked away in the heart of the British countryside were not lucky enough to have the type of attractive and well maintained railway station which many market towns and villages boasted in the 1950s and 1960s.

Instead, sparsely populated habitations dotted along railway branch lines were often provided with a simple station halt, usually with a short, narrow platform to facilitate passenger movements.

If a platform shelter was present it was often a wooden structure, in many ways similar to a bus shelter, offering the minimum of passenger comforts.  The most basic station halts had no shelter at all to offer protection from the elements.  In the years leading up to the closure of many branch lines some wooden shelters in need of repair were removed leaving even more bare platforms.

Some of the rural station halts had wooden platforms.  The Scenecraft 42-005 Market Hampton Halt is a good example of this type of structure.  Whilst restoring an old N gauge model railway layout I left a space next to the track for this short wooden platform to provide an excuse to run rural passenger trains, detailed in my blog post dated 03 December 2013.

A miniature example of a pagoda building made from corrugated iron and typical of many owned by the Great Western Railway was meant to sit on top of the wooden platform, but alas, I did not have one.  I could have left the platform bare but thought that building a platform shelter would be an enjoyable exercise.
 
 
Wooden station platform with the shelter base placed on to test fit
 
I decided to create a wooden platform shelter which would fit the space at the rear of the platform halt but would be removable so that I could use it on other N gauge model railway layouts.
 
 
Cardboard base for the scratch built N gauge platform shelter
 
The base of the structure was a piece of cardboard which measured 39mm x 17mm x 1mm thick.
 
 
Platform shelter base clad with plank effect styrene sheet and rear wall added
 
I covered the top surface of the cardboard using styrene sheet which had a surface moulded to represent wooden planks.

A piece of the plank effect styrene sheet which measured 40mm x 15mm was used for the rear of the platform shelter and fixed to one long edge of the cardboard base using impact adhesive.
 
 
Front wall of the N gauge platform shelter with the doorway cut out
 
Another piece of styrene sheet which measured 40mm x 19mm was cut for the front of the platform shelter.  The aperture in the front was cut 15mm high x 14mm wide.
 
 
Platform shelter sides cut to create a sloping roof
 
Two pieces of styrene sheet which measured 19mm x 17mm were cut to create the sides.  The sides were then cut so that they sloped from the front down towards the back of the platform shelter.
 
 
Sides and timber framework fitted to the interior of the platform shelter
 
The sides were glued to the ends of the cardboard base and strips of 1mm x 1mm section styrene added inside to represent the timber framework of the structure.
 
 
Platform shelter interior painted before fixing the front wall in place
 
I chose to paint the interior of the platform shelter before fixing the front in place.
 
 
Exterior timber components fitted and platform shleter roof cut to size
 
After adding the front of the shelter, thin strips of cardboard were cut to create exterior timber components.  I added strips to represent timber boards added to the corners which protect the end grain of the wooden planks from the elements.  I added strips around the opening at the front which serve the same purpose and fascia boards fixed under the roof.
 
Styrene sheet with a corrugated iron effect moulded into the surface was used to create the roof of the shelter.  The roof measured 45mm x 22mm.

I painted the underside of the roof and the exterior of the platform shelter with a few coats of burnt umber.

The roof was fixed to the top of the shelter using a blob of impact adhesive at each corner.
 
 
Metallic grey base coat applied to the platform shelter roof
 
The upper surface of the roof was painted with a base coat of metallic grey.
 
 
Washes of brown paint applied to create a rusty appearance to the roof
 
When the metallic grey base coat was dry washes of watered down brown paint were applied to create the appearance of old, rusty corrugated iron.
 
 
Finished N gauge scratch built platform shelter placed on the wooden halt
 
The platform shelter is typical of some of the most basic structures which were once common all over the railway network before rationalisation.