Friday, 5 February 2016

Windows In

I was pleased to get all the windows and doors added on in one evening session.

It helps that there are at least two completely blank walls and that the doors are relatively simple to do.

If you are puzzled that there are still a couple of blank spaces I should explain that one of them is going to have the bay window added on the front, and the hole which look like a doorway is an opening leading to a passageway / porch where you'll eventually find the front door.

I shall look forward to putting it together next.

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Aperture Setting

Perhaps spurred on by the knowledge that it would the last time for a while the process of hacking the window holes out of the blank sides for the new house wasn't too tiresome.

With them all mixed up like this it may be hard for you to mentally assemble them into a building but these are all the basic components for number 17.

There has been the need for a little improvisation during the process with a few of the holes being expanded or even moved.

How do you move a hole in a big sheet of styrene?

Well, quite simply, in fact, because of the forgiving nature of the material.

The long gallery window was one of those I miscalculated (or cocked up) at the first attempt.

When I offered it up to one of the end pieces with the sloping roof line it became clear that the sill was set much too low, and indeed would be below the slates.

The solution was to slice a long thin chunk away from the the top and bond it on at the bottom.

As long as it's a reasonable fit, if you treat it to a generous dousing of solvent it will melt into place nicely and with some scraping with the scalpel blade or attention from the file you'll hardly see the join.

Monday, 1 February 2016

Shape Puzzle

I started work on house number 17 the other night.

It's not the 17th house I've built - although it feels like it sometimes - that's just its street number.

I didn't actually get that far. After around an hour and a half all I had managed to achieve was to get the basic wall blanks cut out.

The reason is it that I spent quite a lot of time trying to puzzle out how the house all fits together.

It's an usual shape and complicated but the fact that not only is it on two levels and the ground around it slopes, it is also attached to the house to its right but sits a little lower.

This is one of the sketches from the Artistic Director that I'm working from.

Because of these complicating factors I decided the best thing to do was cut out all the walls at this stage so I can be sure that they will all fit together properly rather than cutting out pieces one at a time and finishing them off with window and door details before moving onto the next one.

That's the theory anyway...

Saturday, 30 January 2016

Boogie Nights

We all have our reasons for becoming modellers and one of them, I suspect, is seeking to recapture our lost youth.

I'm pretty sure that is the motivation behind the latest 'outside contract' I've taken on to scratch build a model of the FR tin car 121, not as a workaday tourist carriage but it's alter-ego 'the Disco Car'.

This, by all accounts, was a very riotous form of staff / volunteer social event where the carriage would be stripped of its seats and a rudimentary sound and light system set up at one end and the train would chuff off to Dduallt, or somewhere else safely out of earshot, for a sort of railway rave-up.

I was far too young to ever be involved in this sort of debauchery so I'm relying on what I'm told by other people whose memories may have become corrupted over the years.

Apparetly once they'd arrived at Dduallt the DJ would take requests through one of the windows - and a rather dodgy character he looked too!

The client has issued very specific instructions.

They would like the carriage supplied as near as possible to the condition it appeared on these specials, even down to the sliding bus-type windows to be in their fully-open state.

(Apparently it used to get quite hot and sweaty in there!)

By this time the carriage was onto its fourth and final livery.

Although 121 was the last of the original series of 'tin cars' (if we exclude 111) it was the first to be withdrawn.

Its body was cut up although one of the distinctive end vestibules was saved and auctioned on ebay as a unique collectors piece, rather in the style of the diesel locomotive cabs that were bought occasionally.

The frame was re-used to carry the body of the first 'service car' 124 and today one of the so-called 'super barns' carries the number 121.

It should be an interesting project I'll be getting onto it as soon as I've got the next Oberon Wood house finished.

Thursday, 28 January 2016

Just Seventeen

It's time to start thinking about the next house to build.

This will be the last one for a while.

If I'm honest I'm getting a little tired of building buildings, I think I need to recharge my batteries my doing something else.

I do have something in mind but more of than anon..

Anyway, the next one in line is number 17.

It is similar to the neighbouring house but with added fiendish features.

The most difficult of those features is the bay window at the side which has to be fabricated with great care from styrene strip.

I can take comfort from the knowledge that I did manage to do this relatively successfully with one of the first pair of houses for the scene.

I'm hoping I'll have some progress to report early next week.

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Another One Done

I made such good progress with number 18 over the last few days that I think I can dare to declare it finished.

Well, as finished as it can be until we're in a position to mount it on the layout in any case.

There are a few details like the steps leading to the front door, a handrail and a post supporting the porch which will need to be added on much later.

The things which have been added on since the last post are the brickwork below the render line, the chimney, the guttering (what little of it is there is) and the capping on the top edge of the roof.

It was only after I'd done the brickwork that I looked again at the drawings and the research photographs and realised that this house is attached to the ones on either side meaning that almost nothing of those carefully measured and cut sections of brick on either side will end up being seen.

I've been trying to tell myself that at least I'll have the satisfaction of knowing they're there but it's not working...

Sunday, 24 January 2016

With The Roof On

This latest house has a mercifully simple roof.

Although it might look complicated because it is heading in three directions they are nice simple rectangles with the exception of the section which covers the garage and includes a few slates which form a porch over the front door.

Of course I wouldn't be me if I didn't manage to get the measurements mixed up and I wasted a good third of a sheet of Wills slates on my first attempt at the garage / porch piece - after carefully measuring it up I managed to chop off the bit I wanted to keep!

Next to add some brick courses below the render line.