|DBS 66106 passing Treviscoe. Photo by kind permission of Sicco Dierdorp - his super photo stream is here|
The first problem was to research the structures- slightly difficult, because security is tight around the plants. Luckily a few intrepid photographers had included glimpses of the Dries in the backgrounds of their shots. The photo at the head here is from Sicco Dierdorp's photostream on Flickr, showing a class 66 shunting at the now disused Kernick Dries. It shows a modular steel structure, clad with corrugated asbestos. At first glance, it would seem a fairly nondescript thing to model, yet a closer look reveals a wealth of detail and texture, bristling with many of the characteristic features of China Clay facilities. The most obvious would be the sheer size...my customer required a structure to sit at the rear of the layout, so straight away, some selective compression would be needed; but this had to be done carefully, so as not to destroy the character of the building. The canopies, stretching over the full width of the wagons, are another feature along with the very heavy duty raingoods to get rid of runoff away from the clay. There's a lot of rain in Cornwall. The loading platforms are high...in this case I had to allow 35mm in 4mm/foot scale to give an appropriate height against the ballast and track, but they look to be a good 7' high from the photos. Nowadays, the wagons (and road trucks, I'm afraid) are loaded by JCB bulk handlers, hence the girders at the edge of the platforms, to mitigate against occasional loss of concentration by the loader drivers...
After I had scoured the web for information and pestered my long-suffering customer for scans from his books, I was ready to sketch some ideas out.
We've shuffled things round a little since; the old boiler house is going to appear at the left hand end now, but otherwise the scheme is roughly as you see here, but with three bays and slightly wider canopies.
I've been experimenting with ways to represent the corrugated asbestos/breeze-block construction and the textures of the walls, which will be interesting. Petra and I spent time studying the effects of weathering on asbestos roofs in Porthmadog -oh, yes...I know how to give a girl a good time. Considering that we normally spend our weekends underground, exploring mines this was a slightly safer and brighter way to spend the morning.
At the end of the dries there is a hint of an earlier structure, perhaps some foundations, built over or left. The ends are faced with cement over breeze block and this has flaked off over the forty or so years of it's life, leaving some fascinating textures.
I'm using Wills breeze block sheets and corrugated asbestos here, fixed over .040" styrene sheet, infilled with Das clay (I wonder if there's some China Clay in that?)...so far the results are interesting. In the next installment I will show some early attempts at weathering and more of the construction. It's going to be a lot of fun. Who said modern image structures aren't interesting?
DBS 66156 @ Treviscoe - another of Sicco Dierdorp's super photos from his photostream here.