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Halle Marchandise en bois

Simon Cox

03 Oct 2014

Narrow Gauge Railways

Halle Marchandise en bois

A plaster model kit of a classic French wooden goods shed.

French meter gauge goods shed

I was invited to display one of my layouts as part of the celebrations at the Froissy Dompierre Light Railway in France a few years ago. Whilst there I picked up a plaster cast kit of a classic wooden goods shed often found on the meter gauge lines with the idea that I would build a small layout for the La Meuse locomotive. The kit is from the artisan manufacturer Colinter Productions based in Verdun, Northern France. The kit is HO but I will be using it at 4mm to the foot so it might appear to be a little small to some people. I will claim artistic licence for any that mention it.

My French is abysmal. However the kit was straight forward enough - the plaster casting needing only a minor clean up to remove flashing and unwanted cast residue. The roof is corrugated cardboard - this could be substituted for better looking wiggly tin or a proper tile roof but I built my version as is. One side of the roof is larger than the other - I thought this was a mistake until I found plenty of prototype photos on the web.

I have not put together a plaster kit before so experimented with PVA and ended up using Evostick Ultra which appears to have done the job. There are 4 walls and the office that go on the base so the bulk is quite simple. The roof takes a little bit of thought and almost caught me out as it is actually deeper on one side - I had to check photos of prototypes online to make sure this wasn't a mistake. The roof trusses and beams are from the supplied strip wood and rest of lintels on the side walls.

I have applied a first paint over the black undercoat using mostly dry brushing techniques and need to consider the details for the final finish before I get this project back on the work bench.

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