Model railway power station scratch build

Barry’s been in touch with his model railway power station scratch build:

“Hi Alistair,

As an avid reader of your e-mails, I thought it was about time I added some material.

I have a high detailed sub station with transmission towers but nothing to feed it power, so I decided to build a power station, and what more iconic than the Battersea power station.

Couldn’t find any suitable kits, so I decided to scratch build one.

I got hold of a set of the original plans and proceeded to scale them.

After wasting a couple of days building the towers, I realised they they were way too flimsy even with reinforcing, so second attempt I used stiffer brick card and machined timber formers for the top of the towers to save all the cutting.

Model railway power station

Model railway power station

Model railway power station

Then I started of the laborious task for marking the windows and cutting them out.

Then it came to glazing them all with some nice windows I managed to scam off Metcalfe Models. Dressing the top of the towers and gluing the front and rear walls to the towers. Then came to side walls completing the main building.

For the smoke stacks I used a suitable wooded dowel and tightly would and glued regular reflex paper.

Model railway power station

Model railway power station

I then found a suitable striped cement pattern on the web and printed that and glued onto the paper tube. Next I had to figure out how to make the conical bases for the chimneys. I tried making the out of stiff card, but a dismal failure, I really needed a lathe, so I went and bought one! I had all my old lathe tools from my engineering days, so turning them was easy.

Next was the final assembly and all went well. You can see all the progress photos in the photos along with the final finished model. It just needs some weathering on some of the edges.

Model railway power station

Model railway power station

It’s a large model, but pretty well to scale, and 400mm wide and over 400mm deep.

Just waiting on a couple of Heng Long smoke generators to connect to tubes going up the chimneys.

Enjoy the photos.



A huge thanks to Barry – can’t wait to see the weatherd version of his model railway power station.

It’s wonderful seeing what you all get up to and how you overcome the issues of your layouts.

That’s all for today.

Please don’t forget the Beginner’s Guide is here if you want to get going on your own model railway adventure.



PS Latest ebay cheat sheet is here.

19 Responses to Model railway power station scratch build

  1. Dale Hogan says:

    Hi, when reading about the building of this power station I could not find what scale it is, I take it this power station is in HO scale? I model N scale so if I decide to construct something similar, I’d have to make the appropriate design changes. It looks like a good looking model building.

  2. Peter Bayley-Bligh says:

    Quite a masterpiece – looks great.

  3. Terrence Duffey says:

    Now all you need is a scale pig balloon.

  4. David Howarth says:

    Nice work Barry …looks very good

  5. Harold says:

    Great job. Please show us the sub station you have built. I’d like to see how you managed the transformers, cooling fans and wires. I have plans to build a sub station for my layout in order to hide (in plain site) the wiring for the set.

  6. Stephen Hill says:

    Way cool , put up a flying pink pig and it’ll look like that Pink Floyd album cover . Love it ! Too awesome

  7. Don says:

    well done & the building look so real. awesome work.

  8. Rob McCrain says:

    The power building is very nice. I particularly like the modern touch, with the different and slightly modern end-wall windows. Rob McCrain

  9. Robert Brady says:

    It actually looks like Elmira reformatory in upstate New York . Good Job
    The Critic

  10. george zaky says:

    I have taken a position where if you dont state the scale -I will shut up even though I had something to add and the work was astounding. It really matters.
    Technically the scale shouldnt matter but it does. I think you did a smashing job on that plant and you really have to dirty it up. The clever use of materials is duly noted and appreciated.
    I really had to laugh when you said the flues needed a lathe so I bought one. I bought a mini lathe because I needed to make small parts for Gizmos I would conjure up in my twisted mind and thus began a small journey into small machining. Then came the mini mill, grinders, tools, materials, etc, etc. when the wife said stop already. The train hobby started a second one which I also enjoy.
    Big Al
    Much thanks

  11. Alan Chynoweth says:

    An extraordinary model! Now all you need is to model the neighbouring railway bridge over the Thames, and Victoria Station!
    No doubt you had to make some minor simplifications and one missing item is indelibly imprinted on my mind. Back in 1943 I was taken on a tour of the power station by a friend;s father who worked there. At one point we went through a door high up on the wall facing the Thames and I immediately found myself on a ledge, perhaps about 5 or 6 feet wide and with a sheer drop down to the ground, no guard rail!. Understandably, that ledge is missing frrom your wonderful model.

  12. JOHN BULLOCK says:

    Barry… WOW! I can’t imagine the power generation that plant will be capable of!

  13. Mike Balog says:

    Great Results Scratch Building this Power Station. It reminds me of the one right near the Big E Fairgrounds in Amherst, Mass where the New England Model RR Show is held every year in January. The Power Station looks very similar to the scratch built one in this article… Great Job. Wish you had shown the plans as well. ~ Mike in N.H. U.S.A..

  14. robert dale tiemann says:

    very nice. good tips.

  15. Malcolm says:

    Very nicely done. A reply to the comment that scale doesn’t matter. It matters a great deal. Detail is extremely visible in O and HO, less so in N and Z. In fact, if you see rivets in Z scale they are probably way out of scale. Also, if you want something in HO you can find it without much trouble. Not necessarily true in other scales.

  16. Andrew Aves says:

    Wow! Barry, What a great model of an iconic building. Very well done.
    My estimate is N gauge 200 feet at- 2mm to the foot so still requiring a very large layout to accommodate the building.
    As a child I remember seeing tug boats bringing coal barges to the adjacent wharf in the River Thames. The funnels on the tug boats were hinged so they could be lowered when passing under some of the London bridges.
    So thank you also for the trip down memory lane.
    Andrew in Oz

  17. welder dave says:

    Every one beat me to it about a pig balloon tethered to the stack If it not been for that album cover I wonder if it had been preserved ???

  18. barry says:

    Hi to those who mention scale. In mt description I said “I got hold of a set of the original plans and proceeded to scale them.” unfortunately I should have said it was 00 scale 🙂

  19. Norm Stafford says:

    Great job. Can’t wait to see the smoke generators working.

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