The Layout Part One – The Creation of Hintock

3300 Creation of Hintock

3300 The LHS of Hintock, looking towards Port Bredy.

In the creation of Hintock, my general philosophy is theatrical performance: in this case ‘Trains at Hintock’. The baseboard is the stage, the trains the cast, the fiddle yard the wings, the operations the story line, the impresario who made it all happen the layout’s builder, and the audience the viewer. Exactitude is unimportant. All I seek to achieve is a representation. You could say the layout builder is putting on a show. This is mine.

My show recreates the magic of Dorset, and the GWR/SR country branch of when I was a boy that I remember still. That I have attempted by a measure of imagination, knowledge, observation, practical skills and artistry. I think of it too as would an artist composing a landscape painting.  Putting this successfully into effect is the trick. And here perhaps too I am fortunate in my early professional life in working in the Estate Department of BR (LMR)[1. see BackTrack, Vol 19, August 2005, Reminiscences of a BR Surveyor], and of my experience as a surveyor in having the ability to absorb the sweep, scale, nature and detail within large areas of land.

The track plan is straightforward.  I have in my mind at the start what I want to do and for a track plan, a sketch on the ‘back of an envelope’ suffices  for me.  As complete, it basically comprises two reverse curves, along one of which is the station. This immediately  present a pleasing appearance and that spread-out look. Trains enter dramatically through a bridge onto a straight length, and then by way of a fairly easy curve, they leave gracefully back along it. There is a loop, several sidings, and a private siding.  All as would be found in many a country branch terminus.


3301 Hintock viewed from LHS, looking towards the curve and staging yard

The buildings and structures, bar one, are scratch-built and follow no particular prototype except as might be found in a small Dorset town, most are of the local stone, worn and weathered as befits their age and usage. None is strictly to scale for I consider proportion to be of greater importance. The surrounding scenery is straightforward; the back scene is a simply painted blue sky, the handmade trees of different heights add colour, life, and depth. Little clutter and few people are present. Too much and too many detract, and in truth little and few were about. The stock, small locos, coaches and goods wagons are representative of GWR/SR usage and lightly weathered to simulate wear and tear.


A-004 Far RHS of Hintock, after the curve, staging yard behind screen in the forefront

Everything is of a piece. It did not happen all at once, but in three unplanned phases. As I completed one phase, further opportunities presented themselves, and those I was able to grasp. I had no computer drawn grand plan, that back of the envelope was  enough and many a false step was made along the way.

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