Alan’s stunning layout

“Hello Al,

like a lot of other modellers, I like building things rather than spend all the time running trains. I like tweaking things to make improvements, so I thought your followers might like my latest project.

I live in the UK and in the 1950’s, where my layout is set, milk was collected from the dairy farms in churns by lorry. Each farm had a small platform or stage at the farm entrance where the churns were placed ready for collection each day. They were then transported to the local creamery and after treatment sent by rail to the towns & cities. I’ve explained this as it might not have been the same in other countries.

Anyway, I bought a set of DAPOL workmen, and selected one to be a lorry driver collecting the churns. He originally had a shovel in his hands, so I cut this off with a scalpel blade and glued a milk churn in it’s place. I hope you like the result.

My new loco needed a crew, but instead of the fireman shovelling coal like all my others, I decided to take advantage ot the more open cab arrangement and have him watering down the coal to keep the dust down.

To do this I removed the pick from his hands and carefully drilled through his fists using a mini drill. I then got the smallest diameter wire I had and threaded it thro the holes, stripping a length off and tinning it to represent water. I am very pleased with the result. You do need Patience!

Thanks Al, a great site
















A big thanks to Alan. Some of you must have the patience of saints!

If you’d like to try your hand out at some simple scratch building, my boy’s sill offer ends tomorrow: you get 3 buildings for $6. I’d bag it while you can – it’s here.

(Personally I think he’s gone soft in the head.)

Anyhow, please do keep ’em coming.



PS Heading off to ebay? Latest cheat sheet is here.

30 Responses to Alan’s stunning layout

  1. Nice!

  2. Hi Alan,
    Man that takes me back. In Western Australia in the fifties the milk and cream was collected exactly as you depict here. Congrats you’ve done a beautiful job.

  3. Merit/Modelscene do/did a railway porter figure moving a milk churn…

    Clever adaptations though!

  4. Great detail in the modifications to the figures. Works very well in the scenes depicted.

  5. Hello, Alan
    Thanks for posting all the latest project results on your layout. I’m just like you, as I much prefer to spend most of my time working on structures, scenery, and layout detailing. I get a little more fun and satisfaction out of that. I hope to share some of my layout work with subscribers soon on this thread. You did a remarkable job with your layout theme. I hope you post more in the future.
    Paul G.

  6. I southern Hio in the 50’s milk was picked upthis way . then after the refrigerated tankers its pumpef from refrigerated holding tanks on dairy farms and dairy farms have gotten bigger now some milk 100 to 200 hundred cow.s
    ..Really big operations .

  7. thats OHIO not Hio I missed the O

  8. Great conversion, really looks the part. Remember these when I was younger in Kent. Colin K.

  9. I also remember milk was collected from the dairy farms in much the same way in Ontario in the 50’s, although the ‘milk cans’ were of a different style. The figure adaptations are remarkable. Many ‘kudos’ to Alan for his patience, his attention to detail, and his photography – – – Bullfrog in Ontario

  10. Very impressive Alan and food for thought for when I eventually get to build my layout.

  11. My ex-husband hauled milk in the 1950s in Central California close to the same way. The milk cans looked a lot like the ones you have in the front of the truck/lorrie with the straighter sides and a little shorter. However the truck/lorrie was completely different as it had racks in which the cans were swung from the dock up to an upper deck when the lower deck was filled. I love these little scenes that model railroaders like you show and it brings it alive…things like the hose and remaking the figures. I’m still in the basic layout stage of my model trains but I will have several scenes…a stock yard with cowboys unloading cattle, farm scenes, etc. That is the fun part, thanks Alan.

  12. Fantastic eye foe detail. I can remember seeing churns on a stand made out of
    Old sleepers at the end of the farm lane . Great to see that on a layout

  13. Holy Cow!

  14. Great imagination and attention to detail. That is what I call modeling, keep it up.

  15. Some very nice detail you have added Alan

  16. very nice to see,some ideas thank you IAN

  17. Ingenious!!! Well thought out and executed.

  18. Nice.

  19. Impressed ….. seriously impressed. 10 out of 10.

  20. Absolutely brilliant, Alan! The detail and realism of your layout is just wonderful. Absolutely top notch! Super job!

  21. great work. the detail is unbelievable. i dont have the patience.

  22. Congratulations,

    That is genuine modelling, loads of atmosphere. Well done.
    Recreating the atmosphere of an era, present and bygone, is the essence of railway modelling and Alan has caught it remarkably well.
    I respect and admire all those who want it absolutely right down to the last rivets, even those hidden from view, but without the atmosphere, they become showcase models.
    Raymond Bove

  23. Awesome! Great detail and vision!

  24. Nice work Allan,

    Where did you get the cars and trucks?


  25. That’s a great use for these figures. Good idea painting them before releasing them, much easier to handle.


  27. Indeed modelling at its best when you are able to create in miniature a past era in all its detail.

  28. I remember the trains that traveled for durban to joeburg used to stop at just about every station on the way to pick up milk cans, oh my and were they slow. Seems so long ago now.

  29. wow unbelievable detail and interesting ‘scratch painting’ ideas for workmen…
    ….I’m designing a large county jail/prison (who’s got one of those??) with a rock quarry to my layout and all the ‘inmates’ will need to be ‘clothed’ in stripes, etc…..that will take some painting patience I wager….!!
    I’m thinkin the milk pickup truck should have stake-bed sides tho, to keep from ‘spillin’ the milk’…haha….jes sayin..!!
    wanna see more of your detail…how about an over-all shot of the entire layout
    …… and keep on runnin…!!

  30. Beautiful job, keep it up.

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