How To Model A Concrete Viaduct & The History of The BR Logo

How To Model A Concrete Viaduct & The History of The BR Logo

Morning Gang!

How's things? Happy Star Wars Day if that's your thing! What have you been up to this week? It's been a right old mixed bag of weather down here. Blummin lovely when the sun is out and freezing when it rains!  

It's been another week full of fun and frolics here at HQ, with the rather sad news that after nearly 4 years, Kate is moving on to pastures new. She's off to fulfill her lifelong ambition of doing something in the world of accountancy… So she'll be leaving us at the end of the month to start her new position with an accountancy practise in Meva. We'll be sorry to see her go and wish her all the very best in her new career.

So on Tuesday we popped out for a spot of lunch at the Heron Inn in Malpas as a bit of a leaving do for her, which was rather nice indeed. Great to just be able to sit and chat with everyone about anything and everything outside confines of HQ and avoid the temptation of just talking about work!

And while we were there it was mutually decided that it was the ideal time to get a photo of the new SMS staff lineup as it will be from the end of May. And with Jess and Scott joining us recently, it gives you the chance to put faces to names. So here we go…

From left to right… Jess, Sam, Scott, Carl, Stu, me & Tina

Unfortunately Lola isn't in the pic as she spent the day at the vets having some dental work done. So she's spent the last few days resting at home looking rather down in the dumps and feeling sorry for herself as she had to have a few teeth removed! But she's recovering well and hopefully will be back on top form after the bank holiday. 

And once again… huge thanks to everyone that's sent in photos for the catalogue this week. We're still blown away by the amazing work you're doing with our kits. It's going to be more a celebration of your work I think rather than a catalogue! Which is no bad thing at all if you ask me.

Product Development - Latest News

This week, Stu's been finishing off a few bits and pieces on the micro-packs and helping with some website stuff.

Sam's been getting to grips with some new social media templates as well as revamping a couple of textures (TX148-OO & N are now much improved over my versions). As well as tinkering with more Ghost Signs for a special project Jess is putting together.

I've not had a huge amount of time at my desk this week as I've been trying to catch up on some training (it's taking me all week to watch a 1 hour video would you believe) and get content together for Jess's project (there's no way that apostrophe is in the right place… not a chance!) but I have had a few minutes to finally get a version of the AX030-OO Palletised Bricks done without the shrink wrap. So if you've been waiting for those to fill up your Palbricks wagons, these are an option at least. I'll look at doing a variation asap as soon as I've managed to get some reliable dimensions. 

That's about it really this week on the updates…

In the meantime, it's over to young Sam for this weekend's videos.

Good morning! I can't believe it's May already. It feels like yesterday that it was getting dark at 6 pm. I hope you have had a good week and will enjoy the weekend. This week I've been working on more ghost signs and textures (keep an eye out for those), the usual social media posts and general customer service stuff which has kept me busy.

Like last week, I want to thank all of you who have submitted images for the catalogue. There have been some brilliant submissions so keep them coming! If you have used some of our products, please send them via the help desk or my email: and . You can also upload them to the club and tag me (@sam).

It's time for some videos!


For the first video I've selected, I've gone with a video by the one and only Model Railway Quest (at this rate she's in this Newsletter every week!). In this, she goes to MOBEXPO 24 in Sint-Niklaas, Belgium. She briefly hires a French cameraman, Pierre but Grumpy Cameraman doesn't seem too happy. I love her channel as she always makes an effort to make these videos unique instead of the usual "Here are all the layouts with no further explanation".

There are so many breathtaking layouts at this show, some highlights for me are "Ode aan de modelbouwer" which features model trains within a model, "Rhätische Bahn Station Langwies" which is a HOm layout with so many details and moving parts and "Fantasia Zoo" which incorporates many zoos from around Germany.

However, My favourite layout has to be Monthermé. The back scene to this is incredible and gives a sense of scale. Another part which adds to this effect is the tree-covered hillsides which rise 3ft. The whole layout has such an aura that I haven't seen before.

She also interviews Erwin Stuyvaert, Club Chair of Belgium's biggest model railway club (ModelSpoorClub). Like all of her content, this is worth watching. 

How To Build A Concrete Viaduct

Next, we have a video from Fos Scale Models. This channel is owned and operated by Doug Foscale who was born and raised in New York City. He has an art education in architecture and graphic design which plays a huge part in his model making. Fos Scale Models have been building and manufacturing kits for over 20 years, since 2002.

In this video, he builds a HO Scale concrete viaduct for his 1970s Brooklyn - Queens-themed layout. Using foam, Doug first marks out the areas he needs to cut away and plans where the arches will be. From here, he cuts it down and then builds it back up with weathering and layers. He uses something which I haven't seen before - "Crackle Paste". Have you had any experience with this before? Let me know. Anyway, this video is full of some great techniques which I'm sure you can apply to your modelling. 

The History of the British Rail Symbol

This video isn't modelling related but it's still to do with railways. Coming from Jago Hazzard, we have "The History of the British Rail Symbol". In this, he covers previous designs of the logo, goes over a brief history of British Rail and shows how it is still used today.

Looking at some of the previous logos gives you a good sense of the designs used during the time and the thought process behind them. It's interesting how logos and design in general have become minimalist. I don't want to spoil too much for you so check out the video - it's a quick watch coming in at 11 minutes.

Put Yourself In Your Model Railway

Finally, we have a video from Jennifer E. Kirk who I've seen before but haven't featured in this Newsletter. Jenny has been creating model railway content since 2012. Before this, she studied philosophy at Durham University and worked in broadcasting and journalism. She also wrote several books from 2002-2011. Her channel has over 1.6k videos so it's worth checking out her channel.

I'm sure you have heard of ModelU. They have some incredibly detailed models of people, animals and accessories. In this video, Jenny visits them at a show where they scan her and make a 3D model of her. This was back in March of last year. Now, you can book an appointment, get scanned and get a 3D model of yourself. You also have the option of it to get it painted professionally for an extra charge. However, they decide to paint them using acrylics. In my opinion, an airbrush should have been used but none of the less, they look pretty good.

That's it from me. There's a range of videos for you to check out above. As always, feel free to leave a comment on this blog post telling me what you think. You can also contact me via the help desk or over at where my username is @sam. Have a great week. 

New Stuff

Right then… it's time for links to the new & updated stuff…

And here's this week's new micro-packs for those that are building smaller layouts & dioramas.

Right… that's about it for this edition of the weekly news. We're off to take Lola out for a walk and see if she'll cheer up for a bit. Then I'm off to Charlestown for a catch-up with a friend over a coffee before we get on with some other projects… Still not fitted the door on the kitchen cabinet yet.

Have an amazing weekend folks… And of course…

Keep on shunting…

Justin, Tina, Elizabeth, Lola & The Team

P.S. This weekend's header pic comes from Dave over on the RailwayModellers Community with this brilliant shot of his layout, showing some of his swag from last weekend's Key Model World show at the NEC. Did you go? And how was it for you?

The eagle-eyed among you may spot a couple of SMS best sellers in the shot too:

P.P.S. Missed a newsletter? You can read all of our recent newsletters online here.

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I thought the video on the BR symbol was very interesting - I hadn't realised that the 'double arrow' was originated by a design amateur, as it were. I admit that my enjoyment was enhanced by the presenter's well justified dislike of the horribly over-used word 'iconic'.

Hi Justin,

Crackle past is an artists' acrylic medium. It is used to make modern paintings look old by introducing lots of cracks in the paint layer.

Best wishes


Hi Justin,

Fascinating video re the BR symbol. Thanks for sharing.

Be well. Be safe