For the next issue of Model Rail, I've been tasked with creating a believable 'OO' goods yard diorama for UK-outline layouts set before BR's rationalisation in the 1970s. With a 3ft x 2ft space to work with, a simple two siding arrangement has been laid out and an array of suitable structures assembled. This project has provided a perfect opportunity to try out some new ballast packages from Hatton's Model Railways.

Branded under the Hattons Constructor label, a range of ballasts is offered, in terms of grade and colouring. As real stone is employed, they're ultra-realistic, easy to use and economical. I've used the Medium Grey, fine-grade ballast for the main branch line, but mixed in some 'coke' chippings for the sidings, to give them more of a lived-in look. Indeed, as well as stone chippings, the Hattons Constructor range also includes wagon loads such as coal, coke and limestone, all created from the real materials and available in various grades to suit different scales and applications.

After a few days' work, the track has been laid and ballasted, the landscaping completed and most of the buildings assembled and painted. A cattle dock is being included (because I love cows!), using the excellent Ratio kit based on the cattle facilities at Yeovil Pen Mill. The main goods shed is a Townstreet Models plaster-cast kit, which I built way back in 2005, but recently repaired and repainted (see HERE and HERE for more info), so it'll be great to see it finally being put to good use. As for the signalbox, that's another structure built for a previous magazine feature (see HERE) but the maroon paintwork will have to give way to Western Region brown to match the rest of the diorama.

The freezing temperatures are making life difficult, with work in the garage only possible in short stints before I lose the feeling in my legs and hands, despite the heater being on full blast. Drying time for the ballasted track has also been slow, so I'll have to get cracking before the magazine deadline begins to loom large...
The Ratio cattle dock will look at home in the far corner of the goods yard. The kit provides track overlay panels to represent concrete drainage channels.

Progress so far... the track has been ballasted, painted and weathered, along wth the yard's groundwork. Next jobs include laying the grass and foliage and finishing the various structures.


  1. Woah! From rare postings to full-on daily posts! And a site makeover too! Some standard to maintain... ;-)
    P.S. No way to comment on your last post-makeover post (if you see what I mean).

    1. Hope you like the new look. The comment feature stopped working for a while, but I think I've fixed it now. Sorry if anyone else has been wondering why their comments haven't appeared.


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