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Grantham’s Coaling Plant in 2mm (Part 2)

by Jeremy Stone

Having made the main body of the coaling tower it was time to start adding some detail.  First of all, I decided to make a start on building  the coal hoist rails.  There was a skip on these rails that took the coal from the tippler pit up to the top of the tower which I will try and reproduce.  However there are very few close ups of it so it will be made as close to the prototype as possible despite the limited information available.

After a rumage through the 'box of bits' I came across some off cut pieces of copper wire which would be ideal for the hoist rails.  They are about 0.5mm in diameter and are a close enough match to the prototype. These rails were attached to the side of the tower by way of brackets.




The completed structure offered into position on the tower. I'm quite pleased with it (although it may be about 2mm too wide!) and will look the part once painted up.


Next came the the handrails.  There is no etched kit available in this scale to model handrail so I set about making my own as it looked like they would all be different sizes anyway.  Various techniques were tried and tested for making these.  First of all, I blu-tac'ed the parts to a pre drawn handrail on an off-cut of ply. With all the pieces in position and a dab of solder paste on each join, I applied the iron.

Well, while some sections stuck ok, others didn't and when I returned with the iron the piece which was originally nicely soldered together came apart.  With the swear box suitably filled up I set about attempt number 2.  This entailed predrilled holes in the sheet of ply, in which to drop in the posts and then solder on the railings.

While this technique was a little more successful, the posts became stuck in the pre drilled holes and the subsequent breakage of the structure when trying to remove it was inevitable ...swear box number two was then filled up!

The third attempt was far more successful, and some lessons learned from the previous attempts.  I first superglued the brass posts into position (made of 0.5mm brass wire with the cross rails being made out of 0.25mm brass wire).  Once dry, I carefully added the rails, again with a dab of solder paste, doing one side first then the other side with the minimal touch of the iron on the solder - just enough to form a join.  Hey presto, I had my first handrail!!!  While this melts the superglue a touch, it seems to work well and a second handrail was added into position.


Next up, I built the observation cabin which controls the wagon tippler and skip hoisting machinery.  Many thanks to the guys from the Tracks through Grantham website for their assistance on information and the excellent close up photos of the coal plant and its buildings.  These have come in very handy for the build of the model.  I just need to add the door frame, door and steps and this little building will be finished.  The roof is angled to one side as per the prototype.


Last up was the lifting beam situated at the top of the coaling plant which was occasionally used to hoist machinery up the tower in the event repairs needed to be carried out.  It is built using a small piece of H-section plastic with the 'H' filed down a bit and then some strips of 0.5mm micro strip to form the other supports. It's not quite finished yet and still needs some support struts added.

Grantham Aerial

The Graham Farish A1 will be renumbered to 60149 Amadis.  Here are a couple more images of the tower before painting and weathering.

P1120008 P1120019

Link to Part 3.

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1 thought on “Grantham’s Coaling Plant in 2mm (Part 2)

  1. john turner

    I am in the process of building a coaling tower on a Cambridge layout where I spent a lot of time as a young lad at Devonshire Road, Cambridge on the foot bridge near the engine sheds. Some of the rail workers would tell us to clear off, but most of the firemen and drivers would chat to us, that is me and my friend John Web.


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