17 May 2013

Station Update 3

Just a quickie, so you know I haven't lost sight of the Station... Tiling has progressed on the roof and is complete on the right bay, with just the chimney to repaint, after i'd got it covered in primer...

I was struggling a little to get the tiling to overlap the roof enough for the guttering to sit right, as I'd intended to fit the guttering after but then I figured that it was a lot easier to fit the guttering first, then position the first row of tiles on top of this. Painting the completed portion of roof was a lot of fun and comprised an undercoat of cheap Poundshop grey primer, washed over with dilute black acrylic, then dry brushed with a mix of grey and magnolia emulsion with some blue artists' acrylic mixed in to give it that Slatey tinge..

I've also started to weather up the stonework, but now wonder if I've gone too black...?

11 May 2013

The finished 'Box

Well, it's finally finished - apart from, of course, detailing the interior (I've left the roof removable to allow this) and to add a figure, perhaps, at a later date.

I was working on adding some scenic material to the base and thought, like the brilliant Cowes box by Iain Robinson upon which this model is based, it required just a couple of extra touches to bring it to life. I'd already built the lamp hut as you know, and thought it could do with a couple of oil barrels next to it. I originally hoped to make my own, but experimentations failed in this respect and I thought I was going to have to order some from Langley, but then last night whilst sticking yet another row of slates on to the Station roof, I had a Eureka moment.... About 25+ years ago I was really into collecting Airfix  1:72 scale model soldiers and associated military vehicles. I had grand plans of creating World War 2 Africa conflict dioramas and had Eighth Army and Afrika Korps armies, Tanks, Guns etc. Amongst all this stuff, which I've still got in the loft, I had a recollection that I had an Italieri Diaroma kit, still half on sprue, that I felt sure had some barrels. A quick delve into the loft garnered fruit! I was right! I unearthed 8 barrels, unfortunately poly cemented together by my 11 year old self, but I hadn't done that bad a job on them, so a quick sand down, a spray of undercoat (Matt grey from the Pound Shop) and a dry brush with light grey, followed by a thin wash of black and a final dry brush with Humbrol Rail colour rust, and Robert was indeed your Mother's Uncle.. Planted in place with a dab of UHU and a sprinkling of scenic scatter and course turf around the base of the buildings and I was done!

I had the dilemma, having made the downspouts from undersize diameter wire, having seen a thread over on RMWeb discussing downspouts, of whether to pull then off and start again. But in the end, I don't think they look too bad, so I decided to keep them... Maybe the builders had run out of the correct gauge pipe?...
Oh, one last thing - I added a nameplate, printed of on photographic paper and weathered down with a thin wash of dilute black, then blotted back with a sheet of Kitchen towel.

All in all I'm very happy with this. It started as an experiment with Wills sheets and ended up as my most complete model to date. Now, where to put it...

...And the station? Well, I'm 50% of the way through tiling the roof, but I've run out of Evergreen Half-round until payday, but I've some fiddly roof bracketry (don't know the right term) to add under the eaves to keep me occupied. Maybe I'll photograph some progress shots in the next couple of days...

03 May 2013

The Joy of Sheds

Well, not sheds, huts. Lamp Huts to be precise.
And yeah, I nicked the title off Iain Robinson... I'm sure he won't mind, but yes I can totally see the joy in sheds and little huts.

I decided what my (unfinished) Signal box really needed was a lamp hut, and having researched a little came up with the dimensions for the hut - 6ft wide by 9ft deep. Now, all I needed were the materials to build it...

The core is the trusty 2mm foamex with sides and ends cut and superglued together. To provide a bow roof, I superglued a piece of 10 thou to formers glued between the walls for strength. For the corrugated  iron, I could have used styrene sheets -fine for the walls -but what about the roof? Again I am indebted to the wonderful Iain Robinson who suggested fashioning corrugated sheet out of Kitchen foil embossed over strips of wire. A quick search on youtube resulted in a great video of a guy making 1:50 scale corrugations using cocktail sticks...wrong scale, but right technique.

Off I went down to the local Pound Emporium to find their foil was very flimsy, but what they did have were some foil serving trays - absolutely ideal - thin enough for scale thickness but rigid enough to accept embossing. A trip next door to Asda resulted in a coil of garden wire for the embossing. This stuff is stiff wire with a plastic coating -as it comes, it's ideal for scale soil pipes - the 6inch stuff, but for corrugated iron embossing would need to be stripped - and then it's ideal for downpipes! This stuff is a bargain at just a pound.

Getting it home and making a start on the jig, I encountered difficulties in getting the wire straight enough for purpose. I just couldn't seem to get enough of them dead straight, so I abandoned that idea and looked again to my trusty pvc foam board for help. I printed off a set of lines I'd drawn in Illustrator 1.5mm apart and stuck them to the piece of pvc foam. I then used a ball point pen (rounded tip you see) and a ruler to heavily draw lines into the foamex and leave an imprint. After I'd got my imprint, I taped a piece of trimmed tin foil to the jig, small enough so I could see the lines top and bottom and followed the lines on the foil with my pen. The result is a believable piece of corrugated tin.

Here's the little fella with a blast of Poundshop grey primer. Hinges and catch made from 10 thou plasticard

Another view of the Primed hut next to the Signal box steps. (Signal box steps still need final painting and gluing to the box. I've thrown away the door again. Mark V will be glued in the open position...

A bit of dry brushing over the primer grey with a light grey gave a good base decoration

Rust was liberally, but subtly (this is not a completely rusted to hell hut as yet) applied using Humbrol Rail Acrylic Rust colour with a dry brush

I really like this view. I've now got added incentive to finish the steps and get the whole mini diaroma sceniced up

And the hut in it's solitary glory

I'm really really pleased with how this turned out, and there's nothing else to do on it now, but bed it into a base. One of the most pleasing things for me was the top vent. I cut a piece of plastic tubular lolly stick I'd been saving for modelling purposes, and cut 3mm off the end. I then superglued this to a piece of 2mm foamex. Once stuck solid, I trimmed the foamex roughly around until I was left with about 1mm of material all the way round, then I took a sanding block and hand sanded around the edge until it was mostly circular. Then, here came the fun part. I put the lolly stick end in the chuck of a battery drill and tightened it up leaving the rough side up, switching to top speed I fired it up and then introduced the sanding block to the foamex, sanding it circular. Then I could angle the block to shape the conical top - voila. Then it was simply a matter of supergluing to the roof and priming.