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.


  1. The chimneys are looking great. Modelmaking takes time, lots of it and that's before we even allow for the clusterf*ck factor. I think you have made these in record time...and don't forget, it's supposed to be fun! The amended chimney stack looks perfect to me. Yes, have a lovely easter!

  2. Blimey, that's a lot of chimneys :-)

    They look great. I like the biro chimney pots, this kind of use-what-you've-got-around-you kind of modelling is really pleasing.

    The basic idea of wrapping/adding layers on top of each other in order to create relief in buildings/structures seems to simple once you're on to it. But I remember that it was only when this basic concept dawned upon me that I suddenly realized it might not be so difficult after all to make my own buildings.

    BTW I googled the issue with the lightbox/pop-up pictures, and found a Blogger page saying this was a known recent issue and that they're working on it etc. An additional issue has sprung up in the meantime, namely that you can't edit link lists. They're also working on that too, they say.

  3. Iain - it IS fun, just time consuming. I keep having to train myself to be patient - I'm itching to get onto the roof, but because it's a hipped roof, I'm having to sort out the chimneys first.. I also haven't finished scribing the smaller of the two bays - I realised that I'd missed the end!!

    Mikkel - I can't remember where I found that biro idea from, but it works quite well. I quite like the look of the Scalelink pots that I found a link to from your excellent blog - I'm slowly working my way back through your archive - especially enjoyed the track comparison posts.

    Right - time to sneak in a cheeky half hour of scribing!!

  4. Scribing can be cheeky? That's what I call a positive attitude :-)

  5. I can see just how versatile Foamex is when used with skill. That's one lovely looking chimney stack.

    It's strange isn't it how one can be impatient to crack on with the next stage and the next but when it's all done there's a sense of wishing it wasn't?

    Oh, by the way, I received some slates from York ModelMaking yesterday stiffened with ...... Foamex! Time to experiment! Happy Easter.

  6. Mikkel - sometimes you've just got to scribe a course or two of stonework whilst waiting for the kettle to boil, or grilling some sausages...

    Chas - thank you - I can't wait to see what these slates look like - I might hold back on slating my roof until I've seen them.

    Speaking of York, I'm hoping to go to the York Model Railway Show this Easter....