A look around the locality....
The character station building, with it's fine ‘arched’ stone chimney stacks. The Suttons Seeds enamelled signs were to be seen all the way up the Golden Valley line to Hay-on-Wye, and the artwork was re-touched from one of the surviving originals now at Arley. Some of the passengers read while they wait, and the quiet ambient sound loop provides atmosphere as the birds sing in the trees of Callow Hill Wood opposite the entrance. This backscene section required quite a slim profile, and the meadow just visible between the road and the woodland had to be made nearly vertical. Photo Steve Flint/Railway Modeller
The baseboard width at the station left us with a certain space limitation, but as the lines and sidings converge further along, we found a little more room for some backscene features. John Cooke’s ramshackle forge stands at the roadside, surrounded by the usual clutter of broken farm implements, buckets and bedsteads, William Prosser’s cart from nearby Kentchurch (not to be confused with Kenderchurch) is being repaired, while a sturdy ploughing horse is re shod at the post. Photo Steve Flint/Railway modeller
This inset view is the longest rear panel, with a village aspect, and a diffused light source on behind it, Chris’s forced perspective hedge in the foreground is done at about 6mm scale, and the layer behind that is again relatively smaller and so on. The far horizon is broken by the tree line in the centre which is probably something like 0.6mm scale. When you do backscenes in 3D, the reference images dictate the relative sizes of the relief models.
The up line to the north east of Pontrilas has a row of lineside trees, and this is the sort of view you would have had briefly from a carriage window in the summertime. There are a good many more wooded areas at certain points along the lineside, and these were made of multi strand battery cable, superglued for strength. The foliage material was colour mixed very slightly different for each of the many trees that went onto the backscene near Kenderchurch. The Golden Valley branch line can be seen diverting away from the main lines at this point, and I had a bit of room to play with alongside this slightly narrower section of the layout, just a pleasant place to relax and watch the trains go by. At Bucks Hill you never know what is coming along next, which is part of the fun.
The tiny stone hill church of St Mary at Kenderchurch on the backscene, with view blockers to either side. Even the backscene took up a serious amount of ground cover material, never mind the miles of it on the scale layout itself. The chapel survives to this day, and appears quite clearly on the horizon in many photographs of Pontrilas station at the turn of the last century. Seen here through a gap between some of the larger trees, it had already started to disappear from view by the thirties. This representation was made in semi relief within a forced perspective grid. Photo by Barry Norman
An overview of the yard, with the main line platforms in the foreground. There is a fair bit of activity taking place, but the scene somehow still retains an air of stillness and quiet. An open cab pannier buffers up to a van in the goods shed, the yard crane is in use loading a flat trailer, and a steam roller has arrived with a horse drawn water tank. The panels had to be very close to the model here because the width of the baseboards would overbalance the lighting supports. Photo by Barry Norman.
Every detail of this railway is very carefully considered & studied, and so the landscape had to reflect the same level of attention. The middle distance and horizon wouldn’t really have looked convincing as an endless linear depiction of fields and old hedgerows, as this part of Herefordshire did show all the signs of a busy rural community in the 1930s. Typical features e.g. farms, roads, barns, etc had to be represented, but not in such a way that they attract any attention from the layout viewer.