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Fordhampton Kits

Modifying The Fordhampton GM406 Loco Depot Kit

Terry Smith

TERRY SMITH looks at how to customise this versatile kit from the Gaugemaster Structures range.

GM406 Fordhampton Locomotive Depot

Finished GM406 as supplied

The finished Depot as supplied.

At first glance this looks to be solely a diesel era loco depot but this kit is much more versatile than it seems. If one was to build the model GM406 as it is, itís a perfect depot for any era of diesel traction. However if you remove the doors and some of the modern looking roof vents we can start to see it being used in the post war steam era too. A quick look through railway books or Google will reveal many brick based buildings with corrugated sides housing steam locomotives. I would in this case paint the lower brick courses with red brick paint and make sure you suitably weather the structure especially to replicate the soot that would have stained the panels about the entry points.

Steam Era

The Shed during the Steam Period.

If one felt creative you could fabricate out of plastic tubing those huge round black vents that were often seen on sheds and factoriesí during the steam period. These buildings could also be used as sheds for coaching stock and with the centre pillar removed, and GM407 Fordhampton Carriage Platforms installed down the middle of the shed the effect would be very realistic. Of course you can install extra units end on end, which would suit the carriage shed application, or side by side in the case of a larger engine depot.

Carriage Shed

The Structure as Carriage Sheds.

Another use for this kit is modern warehousing, and many a depot could be constructed by moving the end doors to the sides of the building and installing windows and doors for either your bits box or from manufacturers such as Dornaplas. To show you just how easy it is to move the doors I have performed the task to show you. Firstly you need a cutting mat such as the great value GM602 A4 Cutting Mat. A steel ruler like the Modelcraft PRU1012 and a GM616 Sharp Cutting Knife are the next requirements and we are ready to go with our scale building alterations.

What we are going to do is move one of the up and over doors to the side. Although this is a simple matter of cutting out the walling on the side, it has to be done accurately as we need the removed walling to replace the door opening. By using one of the doors as a template carefully score the sidewall in the desired location. Then firmly make the cuts making sure that you donít slip and score the walling as we need the removed section to be as intact as possible. I would suggest that you attach the lower brick work first so you can get the height of the opening correct to match the door.

Removing part of the walling

Removed walling.

Once removed you can offer up the door and attach the supplied hinge parts to the inside of the side wall and the door. To fill the gap at the end you need to use the removed piece of walling and the best way to attach it is to stick a Plasticard lip to the rear of the cut walling. Finally you are ready to decorate the building with you preferred company logos which can easily be downloaded and printed at home. With so many wonderful commercial vehicles available from the Oxford Diecast range itís easy to pick vehicles to tie in with the building, and you have created a unique modern day scene which could easily fill a corner of a layout.

Royal Mail

The shed is now a Royal Mail distribution depot!
OD76FT002 Ford Transit Van (New) L.Roof Royal Mail
OD76FTC001 Ford Transit Connect Royal Mail
OD76DAF002 Leyland DAF FT85CF 2 Axle 40ft Box Trailer Parcelforce

Hanger

Another alternative use is to convert it into an aircraft hanger!
OD72TM001 RAF DH Tiger Moth

GM407 Fordhampton Carriage Platforms

Carriage Platforms

Carriage platforms are seen all over the rail network, anywhere that coaching stock is stored. They are used by railway staff to access the carriages for cleaning and replenishment purposes. They are often found on the approaches to terminus stations, and are also found not only near through stations, but between them as well. The platforms can also (as shown above) be used inside maintenance and coaching sheds. The following modern era shot shows a real life example of staff cleaning one of Southernís Electrostar units.

Carriage Platforms

The kits are very straight forward to put together and although moulded in shade close to the colour of concrete, can be easily weathered with a dark brown wash to give them that well used look. If modelling them as outside platforms don't forget to add moss and short grass growing through the ballast underneath them for extra realism. I have always liked the idea of fully modelled fiddle yards as I feel operating space of a layout should always be scenic to the maximum space available. The use of carriage sidings is a great way of modelling your a fiddle yard and the addition of the GM407 Fordhampton Carriage Platforms is a great way to pull off the effect.

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