Tornado in P4

Not yet featured here, but a model I’ve invested a lot of time in is Tornado.

After my first attempt at chassis building, I wanted to move onto something more complex. However, there was a conundrum – most of my modelling is of the recent railway scene, and yet the well trodden path for complex chassis is in steam locomotives.

I therefore turned my mind to preserved locos, and then the ultimate preservation loco came to mind: 60163 Tornado. This is a truly modern loco, having been built over the last 20 years or so, entering service as a new build in 2008.

Fortunately, a well regarded designer of P4 chassis – Dave Bradwell – makes a suitable kit, and Hornby have a well regarded 00 RTR model. Combining the two will certainly stretch my skills, but seems within reach.

I started just under a year ago with this:

The start point for my P4 build of Tornado
The start point for my P4 build of Tornado

And a sense of adventure!


Test track

In the area group I attend of the Scalefour Society, we’ve all agreed that this winter is a chance to build test tracks. There were two of us who already had test tracks to be inspired by, and there are five or so under construction (including this one!).

Having enjoyed building locos so far, and being aware that a layout is a big thing to have to hand (mine are stored when not in use at the moment), I was keen to join in and build a test track.

The design follows the track Richard Dunning uses, with a 3’6″ reverse curve to challenge the chassis of a loco, and a straight track to observe the chassis working in a stress free way.

Mine is 300mm x 1200mm in surface dimensions, and I’ve used exactoscale track components to lay the track out.

There is bracing underneath, and a batten all around, to provide protection to the track, and stop things rolling off.

I’ve provided some 00 track to rest a Kadee coupler jig on, arranged so that the rail levels are the same height. That way the proportions the jig checks for will remain the wagons I use, and if I convert RTR stock, the NEM coupler pockets will work as-is (if I wish).

Electrical wiring is above the surface, so that anyone using the board (including me after time away!) will be able to see at a glance how the rails are powered. I’ve provided 4 terminals, so the tracks can be powered by independent controllers if I wish. I don’t know if I will use it much like that, but it gives me a convenient way to use the regular and programming outputs of my DCC controller.





More details are on the Scalefour Forum.


Popham Depot – My P4 inglenook gains a name

I’ve been working towards ‘replicating’ my Phoenix Yard layout in P4, and there have been some early steps documented here already. I’ve been working with the name ‘Twenty and Tanks’ for now, since that’s the rolling stock the layout is dimensioned for. However, that’s not a name that rolls off my tongue.

I want to base the scenery on the Oil Depot at Michledever station, but since I won’t be attempting to replicate it, I don’t want to name the layout directly after it.

Looking around on the map, there is an airfield just up the road – Popham – and it seems sensible to steal the name for the layout. I’m guessing the military may well have had usage at Popham in mind when they built the obviously camouflaged facility.

So, my new P4 inglenook will be ‘Popham Depot’. Set in the 1970’s, with BR blue motive power, and with a fleet of TTA tanks as shunting fodder.