Welcome to the New Hintock Branch

Hello and welcome to Hintock Branch, or welcome again if you are coming back to see the recent changes. I am excited about how Hintock Branch is looking now. When I first thought about putting the story of one of my most enduring and precious model layouts on the web, I didn’t really see how to mesh all I wanted to say with with the structure of a website or the popular content management systems for them like WordPress. [Continue Reading…]

Hintock Branch Where it all Began

When I think back to Hintock Branch where it all began, my mind goes back to Easton Station. This was a time long before I was aware of Peter Denny and my knowledge of model railways was limited to a tinplate Hornby ‘O’ gauge train set. I was introduced to Easton Station, Portland and behind my grandparent’s home its Sheepcroft Yard. At both I spent many a happy hour.  It was at Easton too and when older, I had my first footplate ride (courtesy of a kind driver) the length of the Portland Branch from Easton to Melcombe Regis (Weymouth). Never forgotten. [Continue Reading…]

Improving Model Locomotives – Coal, Crew and Lamps

A key aspect of being the proprietor of a model railway is improving model locomotives. These two images demonstrate how the simplest of improvement can enhance what are now very good examples of particular classes of locos. The first is a Triang/Hornby GWR 27XX half cab pannier that I have possessed for many years. I cannot recall now what exactly I did but it appears I changed the funnel and safety valve cover. The other was to add a crew, coal, vacuum pipes and lamps and a fairly heavy weathering. [Continue Reading…]

Hintock Branch Videos – Now on YouTube

Hintock Branch Videos? As much as a proprietor of a model railway may like to think that other model railway enthusiasts are interested in all details that make the model railway special to him or her, the reality probably is that most people are more interested in reviewing the pictures to see what the model railway is all about. And we are working on new picture pages, with galleries of the best pictures of Hintock Branch over the years. [Continue Reading…]

Model Railway Permanent Way Hut & Water Tank

It took me a long time to find a satisfactory home for the model railway permanent way hut. Initially I had a scratch built one in Hintock Station yard, but somehow it did not  look ‘right’. So I removed it and left the space vacant. (At times one has to resist the urge to fill every square inch.) However, with the addition of Sheepcroft Yard the opportunity came to install a Coopercraft hut (the only kit building on the layout), and as can be seen it suits this location well. [Continue Reading…]

Model Railway Water Tower & Signal Box

Every layout needs a water tower. I built this model railway water tower around 40 years ago. It has changed little since except that it was originally platform mounted so a new foundation was needed. It is of card covered with Slater’s painted plasticard. The hose is a length of boot lace in which a nail was inserted. It was moved to this new location to replace the Signal Box previously sited here and now on the opposite side. [Continue Reading…]

Hintock Branch Videos – Southern Railway

Our inaugural YouTube video featured a Great Western Railway (GWR) train pulling into Hintock Station. You can see it here, another blog post. Now we have another Hintock Branch video. If you’ve been reading about Hintock Branch on the site, you’ll know that it is unusual in that Hintock Branch is a station on a line shared by two railway companies GWR and the Southern Railway (SR). In the video below, we provide equal time to both railway companies with a video of a train of the SR arriving in Hintock Station.[Continue Reading…]

Making Model Railway Trees

The English countryside is full of trees and that is no different at Hintock. So a successful model layout will have trees, and the successful modeler will have a technique for making model railway trees 0f various colours, shapes and sizes as they add so much to the scene. Being an ex-pat and away from the UK now for over 20 years I am always surprised by the photographs I see in magazines of the English countryside how profuse the vegetation is. [Continue Reading…]

Hintock Christmas

Christmas at Hintock? How would one show Christmas or winter on a model railway that is captured in time for the season that the railway modeler originally chose in creating it? Well the simple answer is that one cannot show a model railroad set in winter if one originally chose to model a railroad set on a perfect summer’s day, like I did. But we live in interesting times in that the period for Hintock is the 1930s, when very little was possible in terms of special effects in films and pictures, yet now many films make use of computer-generated images and many pictures are manipulated through the use of image editing software such as that offered by Adobe, Photoshop. [Continue Reading…]

Lemons to Lemonade – How a Computer Mishap Improved Hintock

Have you heard of the idiom, lemons to lemonade? A recent computer calamity left me without the means to frequent the model railway oriented websites that I am a member of (RMweb, YMR, MRC and MRG – some more than others), and perfectly illustrates this saying.

I felt a little bereft. What to do? What more natural then but to return to spending time with Hintock? And that was what I did.[Continue Reading…]

The Back Story to One Hintock Enhancement

One Hintock enhancement expanded: After an extended period of attending to family and personal matters, I was able to spend some time catching up in my role as an author by describing enhancements made to Hintock in this blog post. In thinking over my post, perhaps there is rather too much in it, in the sense that a blog post by definition does not provide comprehensive coverage, and the change to the reverse curve presages a new and important addition to Hintock to be described soon. [Continue Reading…]

Hintock Branch Past and Present

Hintock Branch Past and Present: After getting Hintock Branch on to the web, we were able work on polishing the site, improving the its findability and making sure it loaded quickly. In May 2015, the new Hintock Branch was up and running nicely. Seeing the new theme and redesign on the website made me reach back to when I started railway modeling and Hintock was first published in the conventional way of the day, through a railway modeling magazine.[Continue Reading…]

Enhancing Hintock – Small and Significant Changes

Enhancing Hintock – A touch of creative thought, some imagination and a little effort combined to enhance the charm and operational realism of Hintock. This post also illustrates what I think is simultaneously an unforeseen opportunity and blessing of the modeling process: You can’t just change one thing on a fully developed model railway, and if you follow where the modeller’s sense leads, the changes, though small, can yield significant improvements.[Continue Reading…]

A Hintock Christmas Greeting

It is my treat this year to send a Hintock Christmas Greeting in the form a graphic, a wonderful Christmas card that highlights Hintock in a make believe Christmas setting,  the snow anyway. One of the greatest treats of getting older, besides the additional time to devote to one’s model railway, is enjoying one’s grandchildren. The wonderful graphic card of which I am so proud was made for me my granddaughter, Holly Flann. Would you agree with me that is some talent? And that is not her only talent either.


Hintock Christmas Graphic: Holly Flann; Picture: John Flann

While Hintock is of course set in Dorset, not normally home to coniferous forests, I am very happy for it to be moved to higher and forested climes for this seasonal picture. The snowy forest background also has the effect of channeling one’s view down the line  in a way that emphasizes the intimate nature of a model railway depicting a branch line. As appropriate, I hope Holly turns her hand to more Hintock graphics for us all to enjoy when she has time. Thank you, Holly.

A Hintock Merry Christmas 2017

Again this year I am fortunate to be able to post my granddaughter’s handiwork, a special Christmas present to me, a wonderful Hintock Christmas featuring Port Bredy. The graphic is a lovely combination of a great shot of the railway, snow for that Christmas effect and traditional English Holly, doubly appropriate as Holly Flann is the graphic creator.

A Hintock Christmas 2017