Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Getting stoned

In the last post on the station building I'd decided to cut out recesses behind all the windows to take the frames to a suitable depth. It took a while, but once complete I assembled the walls around the core of walls and floor.

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The next step - following the small practice pieces - was to start scribing the stonework. For this I simply used a 0.5mm propelling pencil, which gives a suitably fine mortar course. I used some photos of Dartmoor buildings to give an idea of size, shape, and irregularity. Even so I had to concentrate on making the stones look realistic, not like graph paper or the strange "squashed cushions" it is all too easy to end up with. I was given some good advice by Daniel Caso on the NGRM forum - "draw the stones, not the mortar lines" - and by ensuring I drew around every stone I found they looked much better.

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Did I say this took ages? Short bursts in evenings worked best, but it was over 2 weeks until I finished all the walls.

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Next up was the roof - and it turned out to be a tricky shape! I used black plasticard, and made it in one piece with lots of bracing. It will be glued down eventually, but it will need to be removable for a while yet. The dormers were, er, challenging...

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Finally, I've made a start on the painting. I've made a start with a coat of grey acrylic mixed with PVA glue, the aim being to seal the surface and strengthen it, and also ensure no white shows. The plan now is to dry-brush colours over the stones, and possibly lighten the mortar with a light wash, but to be honest I'm making it up as I go along, and hoping it works!

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Saturday, 3 February 2018

Panel games

Here's another of my control panels. Not one of my layouts though, but the latest project by the Sussex Downs 009 group - and at about the size of an A4 sheet of paper, the largest I've made.

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The principles are the same as most of my layouts though, DC "cab control" (two controllers) through colour-coded sections, which are mounted along with point switches on a mimic panel. The panel is a sheet of 2mm aluminium onto which is mounted a printout of the diagram, and covered with a sheet of clear plastic - 20 thou sheet in this case due to the size, but thinner packaging plastic does smaller panels. So, now we just need to wire it up.

Friday, 26 January 2018

Foam walls

It's been a while since there's been any actual modelling from me on here, but things are picking up after a slow period. I actually made a start on the station building before Christmas, and cut all the main walls out of the foam. Marking out was done by laying the drawing over the foam and sticking the point of the scalpel through at the corners of the windows etc. Much easier than trying to mark out on the foam, there's no rubbing out possible here!

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The foam is from a pack by, I think, Busch - I bought it years ago from goodness knows where, and found it in one of the many boxes of things that will come in useful one day (see?). It's about 3mm thick and has a stiffened back, a later of paper I think, though it still seems pretty flimsy for making buildings. I considered making a foamcore board inner but the walls would be waaay to thick, so I've gone for a core of walls and a floor to give strength. There can't be a ground floor as I'll need to put windows in later.

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(The card around the edge is because as first cut, despite my measuring and calculating, it didn't fit in the walls right!)

Talking of windows, I got some rather fine ones from Smart Models - I think they're laser cut. They come in 3 layers to make a sash, though in the next couple of photos I hadn't stuck them together so they may look a bit wonky.

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However the thickness of the foam sets them too far back, it didn't look right to me. The wall thickness may be prototypical (probably less), but usually windows are closer to the outer face of the wall. So on this test piece I cut out a recess from the rear about half way through the foam, putting the window nearer the outer edge - it's fiddly, trying not to cut right through the foam and get an even recess, but the result looks so much better.

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You can see my practice stonework too, though I'm thinking that is too regular and square for Dartmoor stone.

So here goes, cutting recesses for every window and door. I used a piece of plasticard as a guide to cutting straight and consistent slots.

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More soon...

Monday, 22 January 2018

Thakeham Hudson Hunslet article

In print again!

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The latest issue of Narrow Gauge & Industrial Railway Modelling Review has my article on building the Hudson Hunslet Diesel - a model of the prototype used at Thakeham. It's always an honour when my work is worthy of making it into print, and especially a magazine featuring such high quality modelling as this one. The editor, Roy C Link, has done a great job of presenting the article, and the rest of the magazine has some top class articles too.

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