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Brookhall Mill Workbench

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Patrick Davey
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My current project is a 'micro' layout (48in x 18in scenic area) called 'Brookhall Mill', based on a fictional location on the Great Northern Railway of Ireland, in Co. Antrim.  The project is steadily turning into a tribute to the distinctive work of the GN's first Chief Engineer William Hemingway Mills, who was with the company from 1876 to 1910 and left a legacy of incredible buildings including stations, signal cabins, engine sheds and many others.  His most memorable architectural style is often referred to as 'polychromatic' in that it uses different colours of brick, with either yellow or red being the predominant colour, relived by contrasting courses of black and either red or yellow.  Thankfully a good number of Mills' structures survive such as the yellow brick station buildings at Lisburn, Dundalk and Ardee, the red brick station buildings at Stewartstown, Ballyroney and Dunleer, the signal cabins at Moira, Ballyward and Irvinestown, and numerous station houses including those at Balmoral, Fintona, and Victoria Bridge.  For my layout I have already built a station house, signal cabin and platform shelter in Mills' style so I thought it was time to tackle something in yellow brick, and I decided on a small office building.  The inspiration for the building is the small building which stands beside the running shed at Connolly Station.

Here are a few photos from the build - the main material is plasticard, with brick embossed plasticard for the outside walls, and the distinctive and authentic GNR(I) windows are a brass etch from Bill Bedford.  There are a few other detail items too such as white metal chimney pots and doors from York Modelmaking, and the over-window mouldings are laser printed in strong card.  For this build I decided to make more of an effort on the interior, and things got a bit carried away.....ah well!!

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  • 2 months later...

A small build over the last few days - a small boiler house to house the chimney I bought recently, with a water tank to service the locomotives at the mill. This has been a useful exercise as it has given me some ideas for the main mill building which needs to happen soon...... the water tank came from a water tower I made years ago but I had to respray it in red to match the prevailing colour scheme at Brookhall Mill.  The blank wall on the right will house the station name and the chimney will hopefully also display the name, in ‘ghost’ lettering.  The chimney is removable, to facilitate transport of the layout in the future. This building will be located tight against the backscene so the rear wall is just plain card.

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7 minutes ago, Galteemore said:

They are terrific. One of the ‘tests’ of a model railway is how identifiable it is with all the rolling stock removed..,,your layout clearly says GNR. 

Thanks GM - the main mill buildings will be a total rip-off of the GNR's Dundalk works so non-GNR fans of a nervous disposition should probably look away...... 

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  • 9 months later...

On the workbench this week was a Silver Fox C class locomotive body shell, finished today as the class leader No. 201.  A nice kit and I think SF deserve our gratitude for supporting the Irish scene for so long 🙂

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Edited by Patrick Davey
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Not come across this maker before - they look nice models and getting the overall shape right when producing castings can't be easy.

 An excellent tip with all road vehicles is to file a small 'flat' (my spell checker suggested the word 'goat's for some reason) on the bottom of each tyre. It makes the vehicle sit properly on the ground and for such a small action, makes a real difference.

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