28 March 2013


Well, I've made a little progress since the last post, but it doesn't look like it much - the shell is still very much unpainted albeit the main building having had a rough coat of "Sandstone", but it still needs going over around all the sills and window reveals. The troublesome right wing has been glued back together with NO NAILS and I've started to assemble the roof structure, which brings me here...

Before I can finish off the roofline, I've got some chimneys to build and install
The foamex chimney in it's all it's unpotted glory

The building will require 5 wide chimneys and 4 smaller chimneys, so I set to with my trusty foamex, using a piece off 5mm thick for the core and wrapping a layer of 1mm around the base. For quickness I used double sided tape  to stick the 1mm to the 5mm, but in hindsight I wished I'd used a strong adhesive as the tape floats somewhat when sanding.. Anyway - cutting a strip of 1mm to the desired depth (already having backed with double sided tape, I laid my piece of 5mm  squarely on top and trimmed down the edge with a scalpel. I then rotated the stack to stick the next piece and trim, repeating all the way around.

For the ridge I cut a 1mm strip of 1mm foamex and repeated the process for the bottom section, but this time using poly cement and waiting for the glue to bond before trimming the excess and rotating. I used an engineer's square to attempt to get the strip level all the way around, and it doesn't look too bad at all. Cruel close up photography shows imperfections in the matching up due to a not-so-square vertical scalpel cut, but a little light sanding and some paint should sort that out. Unpainted you can see the seems where all four pieces meet, but I've scribed over the joins and it wraps around all four sides nicely. I may just try and touch in with some filler to hide the joints better (this is where gluing with something stronger would have been better as the edges could have been filed finer to hide the seams further)

Finally I've adding a capping layer of 1mm, to which I'm going to add some pots made from sliced up biro tubing (the bit that holds the ink) sunk into a bed of either filler or tile adhesive (in the absence of DAS clay as I haven't got any )

"The Workbench" - ie an A5 cutting mat on my desk - other unfinished chimneys set the scene for the task ahead - 3 chimneys have fiddly ridges done, 3 don't . Here you can also see the rough "biro ink tube" chimney pots, unsquarely cut and balanced on top
So, now I've done one - just another 6 to do for the main building before I can fix them in place and build the roof around them. Hopefully next post will show the roof

Happy Easter!


OK - The Perfectionist in me decided that the edges weren't great, so  using a scalpel I scraped the edges flat (carefully) then sanded with fine sandpaper and then scribed back in the mortar courses that had got flattened out. I've given it a very rudimentary paint job using magnolia as a base, just to show that the edges can be corrected, then hidden with paint.

25 March 2013

Station Update

Just a quickie, to show work is still going on -

Now pretty much finished scribing the walls - the main building has had a coat of Sandstone and the stonework is starting to come to life. Left bay has had sills fitted - right bay is missing because it BL**DY WELL FELL APART!!!!@@@, so I think some NO NAILS™ is in order now as this is the third time it's fallen apart using polystyrene cement.

here is a previously unseen angle -the Trackside - just to prove it exists and it's not just a one-sided model...
You can also see here the test fitting of the roof base - making that's going to be interesting...

Well, better leave it at that, as I've just been commissioned to design two websites in the next couple of weeks, so where I'm going to find time to model I don't know... maybe if I squeeze a twenty fifth hour into the day, I might just manage...

20 March 2013

Windows 37

For that is how many windows I'm going to have to make in total...

A few people expressed interest in how I'm going to make my windows, so, even though I'm way off being able to make and fit windows,  I thought I'd make up one and document its construction

What I actually started off with, was a drawing of my actual sash window in Adobe Illustrator - I drew the shape of the frame, the lower window and the top sash window and saved it in a format that could be out put by aVinyl plotter used for cutting vinyl to make signs. I copied this drawing multiple times  as I'm going to be needing a LOT of them...

The plotter literally cuts out the shape you've drawn on a sheet of self adhesive white matt vinyl. What you then have to do, is with a scalpel, carefully pick out the bits you DON'T need, which leaves you with something like this

Earlier attempts at making a window used just 2 laminations, this new, revised version uses 3 - A base layer of the full window frame and panes, a second layer with the frame and top sash, then a third with just a frame.

Once the excess vinyl had been "weeded" out, I put a piece of release paper over the top, which is essentially a large piece of low-tack tape, which sticks to the surface of the vinyl and allows you to take off the backing paper.

Here you can see the vinyl sticking to the release paper  and the backing paper being peeled off. This leaves the adhesive side face out and it can now be stuck onto your window of choice. In this instance I used a piece of flexible cd case.

Once I had the "base" layer stuck down, I was able to then carefully line up the sash layer onto the frame layer, 

I actually forgot a step here and left the base layer on it's backing paper instead of sticking it down to the acetate first. Drawing a box around the window gives you something to line up with
After carefully lining up the layer, I then stuck it down and peeled the release paper off to leave behind the next layer of frame. finally I repeated the process with the frame layer and was left with something like this:

Here you can see the relief that this 3 layer technique results in. The completed frame is now stuck on to the backing paper instead of the window "glass, but no matter, it's now three thicknesses, so is thick enough to stand a scalpel blade sliding underneath and lifting it off to stick on the acetate.

 All that was left to do then was test the window in one of the openings on the unfinished building

Close photography can be so unforgiving. Here you can see some of the verticals are a little, well, not so vertical in the stone courses. I blame a slightly inebriated Apprentice Mason...
Temporarily tacked in place from behind with sellotape. Quite a good fit

I'm going to leave the frames white, but with a wash of dilute grey acrylic to bring out the lines and relief.

I think it's going to take just as long to make and fit the windows as it did to scribe the walls....

19 March 2013

Station Building Interim Update

I'm still hard at work scribing the stonework - the roadside and ends are now pretty much done (apart from the bay modules, which I've still to do (the right hand one having completely fallen apart), but the trackside still has a tiny bit more to do.

Since the last update, I've ripped the sills off (again) and this time cemented on some strips of 1mm foamex, also adding in a little architectural ridge detail at lintel height with the same material. I've now added on a foundation plinth (is this the right term), which will only feature on the roadside face, as trackside - the doors will open at platform level, whereas on the entrance side, there will be a small flight of stone steps leading upwards - hence the rough gap under the door. As mentioned previously, I've had to scrap the earlier version because they don't fit, especially not now with the addition of the plinth. This plinth will be scribed with a heftier course of stones, once it's all dried and sanded.

You might notice that I've bitten the bullet and fixed the three main modules together. This I've done with contact adhesive, then filled in the slight gap between modules, with ready mixed filler. Once properly dry, I should be able to rescribe any filled in sections and lightly scratch away any bumps of filler.  It might have been a rash decision to glue so early, as I still haven't finished the trackside scribing, which is quite tricky on the finished solid building, but there's only a bit left to do, and I was anxious to make progress.

Jumping ahead a little, I've made a temporary roof to see how it's going to fit together. A little annoyingly, the top of the building isn't quite flat, so the roof doesn't sit quite flush with the stone detail on the top of the walls. As I'd hoped to leave the roof as removable so I could possibly retro fit lights at a later date, this is a problem - normally I'd use a quick fix and just fill the gaps, but I'm going to have to see if I can sand the tops flatter.

Almost ready to paint the walls... Almost...

14 March 2013

Scribing and Gluing

Due to a much more ambitious project than the last one, progress has been painfully slow, but progress has been made... I've got the shells of the Bays assembled now and have glued the front, sides and supporting "floor" to the main structure, but as yet am leaving them as separate units until all surfaces that are exposed have been scribed with stonework detail. 
Both bays assembled and test fitted to the sides of the main building , of which the front has been fuly scribed. Work has just started on the roof assembly, which is VERY loosely balanced on top at the moment. Just visible on the right is the right bay, which is now glued together awaiting strenghtening before scribing begins
Scribing on the front face of the right bay complete up to the point where the stonework comes out a step in relief. The odd scribing in the flat area at the bottom are just some freehand test scribes with a jeweller's screwdriver.
I've progressed a fair way with the scribing, having now scribed the front elevation of the main building using a smaller course of stonework than the waiting room building. I've followed the scale of the Wills Dressed Stone Sheets to achieve this, and I don't think it looks half bad!

Scribing has followed the usual process with the horizontal  and vertical courses marked out with a scalpel and then gone over with a small jeweller's screwdriver, which I have found to be a perfect tool. This proved to be rather tedious, and I utilised this method for the main front face, but for the bays, I experimented with just using the screwdriver. This method results in a more embossed effect and indeed looks very good, but looks a little more rustic than dressed stone.

Lintels and sills have been applied to some of the window openings thus far using a strip of Cereal box cardboard, in the absense of plasticard. It's very rough at the moment and there are going to be some gaps that need filling due to not sticking perfectly flush, but I have a plan for this - it's going to need a lot of patience.

Anyway - enough for now - on with the scribing (as and when time allows as ll of a sudden my Freelance Graphic and Web design services seem to be much in demand, up to the point where I have to sneak in the odd 10 minutes scribing here and there and indeed a little bit in the lunch time break at work)

the side wall on the left bay has been scribed has the side wall on the right....

If you're wondering where the steps have gone - I've decided that a rebuild is in order, due to not being quite square with the building,  so they've been scrapped.

12 March 2013

The Layout

Forgive the poor photo and the background clutter, my "Railway Room" has to share with the kids' bike store and general dumping ground that garages tend to become
 I've  been asked a couple of times about the layout I keep mentioning, well here it is, or such that it was 12 months ago. The double track upper level that I intended, has now turned into an elongated figure of eight that rises and falls on each long edge, the intention being that it gives the trains a good long run. The passing siding that you can see on the right hand side is now going to be ripped up to allow for a more scenic- friendly cutting. The two platform structures are from Scalescenes, but as much as I rate them, as with the retaining walls I ripped out, these are going to follow suit, as and when time allows, to be replaced with a finer, example (hopefully) which will suit the Station building in progress.

As the layout lives in the garage, over winter it is under wraps most of the time, so as the weather gets nicer, I'll hopefully get out and take some new photos of any updates.

08 March 2013

My Scalpel finger hurts!

If any of you are cross reading blogs, you might have read that I had a bit of a rethink about the thickness of the walls and thus the window reveals. As I was using 3mm foamex and intend mounting the window frames behind the outer shell, this will result in a scale depth of 9 inches. Whilst I wanted a more chunky feel for this building, the more I drove around to and from work, looking at the architecture around me, the more I felt that 9 inches was way too deep. Wanting to make use of materials to hand, namely offcuts of foamex at work, I was lucky to come into a pile of 2mm foamex, which would mean a scale depth of 6 inches. Now I think this is just about right for what I wanded.

And so, upon finding this, I proceeded to cut out a brand new set of fronts, deciding that I could still use the supporting structure and not have to start completely from scratch.

All apertures now cut out - let the scribing begin! (please excuse masking tape used to hold it all together for the purposes of photography.

So, now having cut out ALL the window and door apertures, not only from the part of the structure I'd already done, but also the two wings at either end, my scalpel finger is very sore, but it was a lot easier and quicker than cutting through the extra 1mm.

Higher view shows scope of new building - it's now 550mm wide. The steps are missing, being sat on the kitchen shelf at the moment

It's a good job I hadn't got too far with the scribing on the main fascia, otherwise starting all over would have been a complete disaster. As it was, this has only been the work of a few hours.

Oh the roof is going to be so much fun!

01 March 2013

Over 1500 Views Now

And to celebrate, here, my loyal readers is a little progress on the new station building.
There has been a lot of cutting out with the scalpel on this one, and after a scaling scale (I was worried it was looking a bit small, I have added a bit of depth to the wings and the main building.

It's changed a bit from the kit of parts in so much that I've chopped off the gables, deciding to go back to the hipped roof design, so at the moment it's looking a bit like a couple of boxes. Also I decided to change what I was doing with the Chimneys, so they've gone too - to be built separately, later.

After studying the photograph, I built up a set of steps leading to the main doors. Whilst doing this, I noticed on the photograph, that there was a side door leading into the right bay, so I cut an aperture while I was at it.
It's starting to take shape now, and I'll continue with cutting out the windows from the platform  facing elevation next.
As there is a major inset to the building where the steps come in, I'll be scribing the stonework on the inside faces separately this time as opposed to my usual technique of scribing once the structure is glued together.

Started scribing the stonework on the Street-side wall. Last week I bought a pack of Wills Dressed stone and am quite impressed with it, so copied the scale with the scribing here... so far, so good...
Ignore the glue blobs on the steps - I've only just glued it together, but it will be cleaned up before painting