Sampson Vale


(10th layout)

A year later, we went back to Chelmsford with another layout for the "Narrow Minded" competition.  The rules that year were that the layout should be within a size of 30" x 20" and should have a French theme.  

I didn't really intend to enter the layout challenge that year and when I decided to do it time was limited and I just threw the layout together in a couple of months, again with my wife helping me on the scenic side.

I chose to model it on a (fictitious) Channel Island.  The layout had a central back scene and featured three distinct dioramas, a port quayside with ship, harbour building and a Guernsey style Martello Tower on one side, a village scene on the other, and on the end, a rocky "bluff" with a small bridge, stream and a wooded area acting as a view block.  We used cut up calendar pictures for the back scenes.

I loved this little layout, and the central back scene idea would actually be taken forward several years later on "Longstone".

The Port 

"Leader" (Chivers/Ibertren) by the goods shed and harbour building, with the engine shed area in the foreground.

"Llew" passing the Martello Tower, which was modelled on one in Guernsey was basically a crisps tube with with a black inner tube and stone paper.

This looks like "Leo" coming through the port entrance arch.

The complete "port" area.  The "Oriel" ship was a wooden under-scale ornament on a plinth bought in Wells-next-the-Sea, Norfolk.

The Bluff

Bagnall wing tank "Leo" (by Paul Windle) and goods train leaves the village and starts to round the bluff.

0-4-0 "Llew" (modified Jouef/Egger Decauville) leaves the port through the entrance arch.

Another photo of "Llew" rounding the bluff.

Another goods train crosses the bridge.

The Village

Railcar "Loyalty", a modified Egger Bahn "Western" coach running in a 4-wheeled Kato tram chassis, is at the village station platform.  The Council Office is on the corner of the street behind.

"Llew" and wagons about to leave the goods shed siding.  I used reflective card on the end scene boards to give the layout a little more depth. 

"Leo" and goods train shunting the goods shed siding.

Here "Llew" is in charge of a passenger train at the village.  The coaches are re-painted or modified Egger-Bahn items.

A view of the "village" side of the layout.

Sampson Vale plan.

At the competition that year (2002) we were pleased to get 2nd place with the layout.