GET THE WET LOOK
So, what is wet weather going to look like on a layout? Clearly we can’t use real water. For a start, it does not scale down. Wet weather changes the look of buildings and road surfaces by making them look darker in colour and making them shiny. A good flat, wet surface or a puddle of standing water will reflect its surroundings and, for the original MRC photograph, the wet look was created with glycerine. For a more permanent and less messy wet look on a layout, gloss varnish is the obvious answer. I used Humbrol gloss enamel varnish and Railmatch gloss varnish on the platform and roof of my diorama, but a brushed-on varnish would have been equally suitable. It is not possible to model or represent actual falling rain, although for a photograph one could try a suitably treated piece of transparent material placed in front of the camera to simulate the blurred effect of failing rain.
The first job was to position track and stock as it was in the original picture. Some tracks at Bristol Temple Meads were widely spaced, and this was useful in placing the background coaches further away from the locomotive.
The original scene used gently curved tracks in order to avoid a ‘head-on’ photograph. Few real stations have straight platforms which, in model railways, are really a leftover from train set oval track layouts.