Making a small loading dock for Valdieu-Lutran

I was going to be using the European Station models by Bachman for Valdieu-Lutran but, when I tried them in real life rather than as appearing on the track plan, they appeared far too big for such a narrow baseboard, especially against a train. The goods shed especially was too wide and needed to be raised by 10mm to allow locos and rolling stock to pass under its awning. This meant it needed a platform for it and I felt that it overbalanced the look of the layout.

Bachmann Continental station buildings set


Fortunately I also had a Hornsby Skale French station building and toilet block, and this looked right and fitted the baseboard better. I looked for a commercial model of a suitable goods shed but they were all too large. I therefore decided that, as this is a small French station, I would just have a small unloading platform instead of a goods shed.

To start I cut out a piece of 5mm foamcore board to act as a foundation. I then lined the outside edges using wooden coffee stirrers.

Loading dock with 5mm foamcore base

The loading ramp was then clad with coffee stirrer ‘sleepers’ and the ramp made.

Loading ramp showing construction method

Using a centre punch I pressed into the planking where I wanted to simulate bolts etc. These depressions were then highlighted by using a propelling pencil to darken them. The planking was then trimmed and then sanded to make a smooth finish before I used Games Workshop shades, Agrax Earthshade, Athenian Camoshade and  Seraphim Sepia to tint the planks followed by a coat of Nuln Oil to dirty the timber. 

The loading dock was then masked with low-tack masking tape and a white warning edge to the dock spray painted onto it.

Underside of loading ramp showing construction method