Cattle Dock

The Cattle Dock for Modbury is based on a type that was prevalent across the system, being built of disused rail sections. The upright posts were of an old type of flat-bottomed rail, bolted to which were horizontal lengths of bridge rail. The gates were typically five or six-bar wooden ones with hinges on the top and bottom rails of the gates.

Cattle Dock 1
Strips of "engineering brick" edging
Cattle Dock 2
Example of how dock constructed
The cattle dock itself has been built up around a base of 0.040" plastic sheet, the shape and size of which catered for the walls of the dock being made from more 0.040" plastic sheet which was faced with a further strip of Slater's embossed stone (0.020" thick), that is to say that the length and width of the base took into account that 0.060" (1.5mm) had to be taken from each side and end.

The height of the wall surround also took into account that I wished to top the walls with blue brick pavers (also 0.040" thick). The pavers were skrawked onto a sheet of black plastic card, which was then cut into strips the length of the pavers. This gave me several sections of edging strips that could be attached to the top of the walls. One side of the strip was then filed slightly to give the impression of bull-nosed pavers.

The surface of the dock was from a sheet of 0.030" plastic sheet, and to provide support for this strips of 0.040" were cut to the height of the wall surround (minus the thickness of the edging pavers). These supporting strips were also cut to ensure that the wall surrounds were perpendicular to the base.

Cattle Dock 3
Filing head of flat bottom rail
Cattle Dock 4
Finished Bridge Rail section
The pens of the cattle dock needed a fair amount of Bridge Rail, but because this section of rail is not available in 2mm scale I had to produce my own.

After a feasibility experiment, I realised that a fair representation of bridge rail could be produced by filing down the head of the 2mm Association's Flat Bottom rail. Therefore I knocked up a little jig that would allow me to reduce the rail head consistently. The jig is simply two pieces of 0.020" nickel silver sheet sweated to a further pair of sheets of 0.010" sheet such that the 0.020" overhangs by a mm or so. These two halves of the jig were super-glued to a wooden base so that the flat bottomed rail could slide and fit snuggly between them, it's foot being held by the overhangs of the 0.020" sheet.

Once a length of rail had been passed through the jig and had it's head reduced, it was cleaned up by sanding the filed surface and a pre-set Vernier calliper slid along it to find any high spots (which were treated accordingly) to produce bridge rail lengths of a consistent height.

Cattle Dock 8
Etched gates
Cattle Dock 6
Flat bottomed rail posts ready for use
Cattle Dock 5
Producing upright flat bottomed rail posts
The gates for the pens were from my own artwork (included on my etch of 6 wheeled coaches), and are a double lamination of 0.010". I included narrow gates for entry / exit of pens and also larger gates that I thought I would use too at the entry of the cattle dock but in the end elected not to.

The upright posts of flat bottomed rail were simply cut from Association flat bottom rail, a short mounting peg of 2-3mm was filed on the end of each post before the posts were cut and filed down to 10mm length (5'0" long).

Goods Shed 7
Assembled panel of fence for the rear of the pens
It was then a "simple" matter of soldering the various components together to produce panels of fencing / gates that could then be assembled into the final set of pens.

As I assembled the panels, I drilled mounting holes in the platform surface for the post pegs. An initial solder tack was made at the tops of the posts with final soldering taking place "off-site" to prevent damage to the cattle dock itself.

Once the fencing had all been soldered together and cleaned it was given a spray of white primer - in the period of the model, pens were painted with a white lime wash so I had hoped that simply spraying them white would be acceptable. In reality, it was obvious that the white paint, although probably prototypical, looked far too stark in model form. Therefore the fencing was toned down with a couple of varied washes of Precision Paints Light Rust, and further varied washes of Track Colour. These washes were applied in various strengths of colour to build up a rusty look. Finally further washes of Humbrol Matt White were applied to build up the lime wash effect whilst still giving an undertone of rusty rail. The result is certainly far less stark, and I am quite pleased with the final look.

Goods Shed 9
The finished dock once screwed to the layout and bedded in with DAS and scenic treatment.
Goods Shed 10
The finished dock looking from the road at the back of the layout.