7mm Llangunllo to Bleddfa Road

Discussion in 'Layout Progress' started by Geoff, 27 September 2019.

  1. Geoff

    Geoff Western Thunderer

    This time last year I was seriously looking at 7mm scale modelling, alas my experiments came to nothing but the itch just wouldn't go away. Come Easter 2019 I finally came up with an idea and layout plan that would not only satisfy my simple needs, but would also fit in my modelling den. The only problem was that my old layout Llangunllo was in the way, after much soul searching I threw caution to the wind and dismantled the old layout. The baseboard frames being salvaged and modified to suit my new and first 7mm scale project. All the old buildings and rolling stock along with my 4mm scale EM diorama Llanbister Road were placed in store up in the loft and a new modelling dawn began.

    Those of you who followed my old Llangunllo and Lugg Valley saga will be aware that flood waters undermined one of the bridges across the River Lugg, severing the line just east of Llangunllo. The closure of the dairy a few months earlier had already put the lines future in doubt, but the flood damage put the final nail into the coffin. But what happened to the remaining section of the line between Presteign and the damaged bridge? Well the line now terminates a few miles on from Presteign at Bleddfa Road to serve a local quarry, passenger services have been withdrawn but there is a rumour circulating about a limited service being restored. So much for fiction, now for a few facts, the village of Bleddfa actually exists but no railway line ever reached it. The fictional Bleddfa Road station being some miles away from the village, and more for the convenience of the quarry rather than for any would be passengers.

    Location Map

    Luug Valley Map.jpg

    Bleddfa Rd. Plan.jpg

    The layout plan is a mix of Llansilin Road on the Tanat Valley, Soudley No2. Crossing on the Severn and Wye and my imagination. The line should actually curve to the left but to fit the layout into my modelling den I had to drop that idea. Yes it is ever so simple and operationally lacking but the whole project is an exercise in landscape and architectural modelling. I want to know if my less is more ideas can work in the larger scale and needed a fresh challenge. During the planning stages I built the shells of the station building and goods shed from 3mm thick Palight. They will eventually be clad in corrugated iron sheet. Despite the station being in Mid Wales both are being modelled on the rustic corrugated iron buildings which once stood at Llanrhaiadr Mochnant. The layout measures 11ft 9" x 20" in old money but looks far longer than it is, I think its the curve that creates the illusion of length as the whole layout cannot be seen in one go. Instead the eye has to follow it around. The backscene which I intend painting myself this time will be placed further back from the layout in an attempt to create more depth to the scene, in fact the plan is to secure it to the room walls on a sweeping curve.

    Early Ideas.

    Bleddfa Road ideas 1.jpg

    Track is being made from Slater's ply sleepers, n/s rail and C&L plastic chairs.


    After reading many 7mm layout topics here on the forum and picking the brains of fellow members, thanks chaps you know who you are, I decided to use 0-MF track standards. S7 looks brilliant but after years of modifying '00' stock to EM standards I have had enough of wheel conversions and time isn't really on my side now anyway.

    As well as starting the buildings I made this Peco 'Toad', weathering will be carried out at a later date. According to my research the real van was based at Tondu, how it ended up on the Lugg Valley is a mystery? The Kington transfers are a custom job by Railtec, the remainder being stock items.

    Well that is all for now, another update will follow in due course.

    Last edited: 27 September 2019
  2. NHY 581

    NHY 581 Western Thunderer

    Hi Geoff.

    This all looks very splendid indeed. I shall be keeping a particularly beady eye on proceedings to gather tips for a possible 7mm meander of my own.

    Last edited: 27 September 2019
    Muddysblues, john lewsey and Geoff like this.
  3. Jordan

    Jordan Mid-Western Thunderer

    You have my attention with that connection!! :)
    In fact even at this early stage the station buildings have something of the "William Eassie/Forest of Dean" look about them, albeit if they didn't have canopies. :thumbs:
    Anyway nice layout, will follow this one!! :)
    Geoff likes this.
  4. Alan

    Alan Western Thunderer

    I am glad to see I'm not the only one starting out in 7mm. As usual Geoff a splendid start.
    Geoff and 76043 like this.
  5. Jordan

    Jordan Mid-Western Thunderer

    I think 'less is more' definitely works better in the larger scales, as the size of the models means lineside viewing feels much more like being next to a real railway, plus the use of scale couplings helps slow down operations to a realistic pace. :thumbs:
    LarryG, Wagonman, Alan and 1 other person like this.
  6. Geoff

    Geoff Western Thunderer

    Thank you Ron, I'm still finding my feet with this 7mm lark but am really enjoying my modelling again. A word of warning though, if you buy a wagon kit you will be hooked! :) You can find more about my exploits so far on my blog. Off The Beaten Track


    Cheers Jordan,
    It was two lovely photos of Soudley No.2 in 'BR Steam In Dean' by Ben Ashworth and Ian Pope that whetted my appetite for modelling the crossing.


    Thanks Alan, I don't know whether to blame you, or Dapol's forthcoming 14XX for my latest folly:)


    I'm beginning to see what you mean on that score Jordan.


    Right a few more WIP photos and I will leave you all in peace:)


    The Pannier is standing on the quarry siding, new plates have arrived from Narrow Planet and she will soon be renumbered 7416.


    This was the state of play a few weeks ago, the point and track work on this part of the layout has since been completed, wired and tested.


    Work has also started on the scenery.........

  7. Brian T

    Brian T Western Thunderer

    Ooooh,very much looking forward to this.

    I know you`ve said it`s 'operationally lacking' but with a couple of wagons placed on the good`s shed siding/runround,i`m sure you`ll be able to get yourself in a pickle...especially if they have to be put back.

    Just outa interest,how long are your cassettes?.

    Geoff likes this.
  8. paulc

    paulc Western Thunderer

    Hi Geoff , two things in common . Avatar is a dog (surprising how many are) and started 7mm buying a Toad and in my case a yard of track .
    Less is more works , just look at the sheep chronicles .
    Geoff and NHY 581 like this.
  9. Geoff

    Geoff Western Thunderer

    Hi Brian,

    My main cassettes are 34" long (86.36cm), at the moment only one has track. I also have two shorter cassettes measuring 17" long (43,18cm) that serve the quarry siding.

    As for the siding loop causing problems, well the way things are going it shouldn't be long before someone produces a kit for a remote controlled shunting horse:rolleyes:

    So a 'Toad' was your downfall as well Paul :)

    Less is more certainly worked for me in 4mm scale so I live in hope.

    Pencarrow and AdeMoore like this.
  10. Brian T

    Brian T Western Thunderer

    So That`s a pannier tank/3 wagons & a toad,my idea of a nice branch freight,and ideal for pootling about the yard with.

    As for the shunting horse,could be interesting ,but i would`nt want the enviromental 'benifit`s' that go with them as well!.

    Alan, Geoff and Jordan like this.
  11. Jordan

    Jordan Mid-Western Thunderer

    Never bothered gardeners in the Old Days.... :rolleyes: ;) :D
    Geoff, Dog Star and Brian T like this.
  12. Brian T

    Brian T Western Thunderer

    Never really been into gardening myself,more of a bush man......;)

    Probably explains too why i like weed covered /untidy trackage also. :)

    Jordan and Geoff like this.
  13. Geoff

    Geoff Western Thunderer

    Yep, something slightly longer than this which was a common sight during the last days of the Presteign branch.

    Pick up Goods.jpg

    Doesn't bother me these days either, you should see my vegetable plot and apple trees! :D

  14. NHY 581

    NHY 581 Western Thunderer

    All a bit Ben Ashworth.

  15. Geoff

    Geoff Western Thunderer

    Yes indeed, Ben and Geoff Bannister's superb photography is my main source of inspiration.

    NHY 581 and Alan like this.
  16. Alan

    Alan Western Thunderer

    Mind too.
  17. john lewsey

    john lewsey Western Thunderer

    This does look very Very nice
    Geoff likes this.
  18. LarryG

    LarryG Western Thunderer

    B&R Video (Volume 99 I think) do a neat video, part of which covers activities on the Presteign branch.
    Geoff likes this.
  19. Geoff

    Geoff Western Thunderer

    Spot on Larry, I've had my copy for years and never tire of watching it. As a matter of interest more photos and info. about the line can be found in this book by Michael Clemens, whose father Jim shot the original film. https://www.amazon.co.uk/Years-Steam-Around-Central-Wales/dp/1781553122

  20. Geoff

    Geoff Western Thunderer


    Time to have some fun and take a break from track construction and carving Styrofoam, I am rather enjoying this 7mm scale lark and shunting with loose couplings :)