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Dry Run

Posted by Mikkel , in Construction, The Depot 21 April 2010 · 2,228 views

Buildings Depot
Following concerns over the slipping time schedule, an inspector was recently despatched from Paddington to review progress of the new goods depot at Farthing station.

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The inspector in conversation with the responsible engineer and builder's foreman. Despite the delays it would appear that some progress has been made on the main structure. That said, this is really just a dry run - little of what is seen here is actually fixed in place.


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I had originally planned for a single large aperture in the rear wall, but a helpful comment by Miss P. made me think again. The three smaller apertures now featured are inspired by the old depots at Reading and Slough, among others. Another suggestion by Miss P. will be implemented later, namely a mezzanine floor for use as a storage area.


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A key design feature on the Farthing layouts is to employ lots of view-blocks and “peek-a-boo” views that can help add depth to these micro-layouts. The apertures for the cartage bays are intended to contribute to this, and the pillars are particularly effective in adding a sense of depth, I think. Many thanks to Pinkmouse for that idea. (EDIT: See comments below on the positioning of the front pillars.) And as for that giant fold in the foam board - don't ask!


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The pillars are modified items from the old Hornby footbridge kit. The ones at the front can be detached from the roof structure, thereby allowing easier access for the camera and my ten thumbs.


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Peek-a-boo! A view through the windows in one of the end walls.


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A perusal of prototype photos showed that, contrary to what I imagined, decks were not entirely level with van and wagon floors. The slight difference in height illustrated here seems to have been common, although some decks appear even lower.


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The decks are made from 10+5 mm laminated foamboard, topped by ready-scribed balsa planking as used by ship modellers. I'm hoping to weather the balsa to an effect similar to that achieved by johnteal on several of his projects. In order to avoid warping of the foamboard (as discussed in this thread) I braced the bottom of the decks with Evergreen plastic strips to counter the 'pull' of the balsa. So far all is straight, although I watch with a certain trepidation!


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So far the hoped-for play of light seems to be working out. Not sure about the window height above ground though. Prototype photos indicate that windows in many depots were set quite high, and I think I may have set this too low...



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The etched windows from Scalelink are excellent. But modelling a building from the inside out poses certain unexpected problems. The etches are only intended to be viewed from one side, so I'll have to purchase a second set to add to the other side.


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This is the alternate side
of the layout, showing the goods shed from the outside. The underlay is from C+L, as described in an earlier blog entry. Slating will be added to the roof. I've decided to expand a bit on the principle that the layout should be viewable from two sides, but more of this later.
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Wow! I love the shafts of light and shadows all over the place, if ever there was a layout to photograph using the dry ice technique, its this one!
That's an interesting idea Will - you mean for a steam effect? Of course, locos were rarely allowed inside depots like this, but I did see a description recently of a loco which did in fact enter Hockley depot and enveloped everything in steam!
Excellent progress, Mikkel, and I agree with Will about the lighting potential this will have. The windows and planked platforms are particularly good, though I'm a little uncertain about having some of the pillars so close to the platform edges. Is there any scope to adjust the track plan to avoid this?

You're right about platform heights. Most photos suggest that they were arranged so that the folded down doors of open wagons provided a slight upward slope from the platform into the wagon, and van doors could be opened without any problems of catching parts of the locking mechanism. Interestingly, the broad gauge structure diagram of 1879 in the original 'Great Western Way' shows goods platforms six inches higher than passenger ones at 3'3" above rail height. Etchings and photos of the Brunel shed and its later replacement at Bristol seem to agree with this showing the surface at or a little below buffer centre height, just like yours.
I like it! When you build the mezzanine, don't forget to add offices for the foreman and clerical staff, with nice big windows so they can keep an eye on those good for nothing work-shy types downstairs. ;)

I'm a little uncertain about having some of the pillars so close to the platform edges. Is there any scope to adjust the track plan to avoid this?

Funny you should say that. Looking at the photos a moment ago I realized that the viewer has no chance of knowing what I have been seeing in my mind's eye, namely that the front deck is imagined to be wider than what we are seeing on the layout (so the pillars are not at the edge of the deck).

My plan was to add a fascia to the front of the layout, and that this would cover the side of the deck that is towards the viewer, thereby indicating that "this is a visual cut-off point and the deck does not in fact end here". But I am getting concerned that this will be too subtle to be noticed. Altering the trackplan would be difficult, as the track and 6-foot dictate the width between the decks, and is furthermore aligned with the roof spans. One drastic option would be to simply remove the pillars at the front, a visual compromise that might be easier for the viewer to take in....?

Some experiments needed. I'm glad this was just a dry run, and all comments are very much appreciated!

When you build the mezzanine, don't forget to add offices for the foreman and clerical staff, with nice big windows so they can keep an eye on those good for nothing work-shy types downstairs. Posted Image



I'm looking forward to building the mezzanine. I imagine it will feature some stored goods and/or a space for storing/folding tarpaulins.

As for the offices I was planning to have them on the front deck at the far left, in order to block views out of the entry/exit. There is a rather pleasing type of office which appears in a number of views from around this period, with plenty of glazing to provide for an interesting little structure. The glazing of course providing yet another means of supervising the workshy types! Posted Image
Hello Mikkel Posted Image

That looks really really really good, I love it! I didnt know that scribed balsa existed so I am going to look out for that, it looks a very useful material (although I will have to think of a use for it now!)

That roof is a work of art! I hope you are fitting appropriate working lights to it too?

Missy Posted Image

Funny you should say that. Looking at the photos a moment ago I realized that the viewer has no chance of knowing what I have been seeing in my mind's eye, namely that the front deck is imagined to be wider than what we are seeing on the layout (so the pillars are not at the edge of the deck).


I suspect that's purely an artifact from seeing the edge of the balsa sitting on the foamboard. Because we see the materials as separate, we naturally assume that's a platform edge too. Dress the front so you don't see the transition and I suspect all will be well. ;)

I suspect that's purely an artifact from seeing the edge of the balsa sitting on the foamboard. Because we see the materials as separate, we naturally assume that's a platform edge too. Dress the front so you don't see the transition and I suspect all will be well. ;)

Agreed. I was certainly seeing it as an actual platform face. if you can avoid that I think it will be fine. I'm not sure where you intend to put the office but, if it is at the front face, perhaps leaving the front end open might enhance the effect and give even more interesting opportunities for photos.

I didnt know that scribed balsa existed so I am going to look out for that, it looks a very useful material (although I will have to think of a use for it now!)


Hi Missy, I didn't know about it either, and was pleased to find it. One issue is that the grooves between the planks are perhaps a little too deep. For 4mm I think it is OK, especially once weathered, but for 2mm you would probably be needing the types with narrower planks, and unfortunately they seem to have the same depth of grooves as those seen here, which looks a bit odd I think...

I hope you are fitting appropriate working lights to it too?

I'm agonizing a bit over that one. I would want the right kind of flicker etc to fit the period, but am not sure if this is possible/feasible? My skills with electrics are very limited, but it would be interesting to learn. You've certainly set the example to follow! Posted Image

I'm not sure where you intend to put the office but, if it is at the front face, perhaps leaving the front end open might enhance the effect and give even more interesting opportunities for photos.



That's a good idea Nick, I'll keep that in mind.

As for the pillars at the front, I will leave them for now and see how it looks once the front is dressed. Thanks both for your input on this. Good to know I now have the backing of the Board Posted Image
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richbrummitt
Apr 22 2010 11:45
I think leaving the pillars suggests a much larger shed, otherwise it might be assumed that only the near wall is cut away (like you are viewing with your back to it). At the present time I personally prefer the viewing from inside the shed. With it's small size it might be best described as a working diorama. The amount of detail that one day will be present inside will probably be more interesting than the wagon movements!

If you haven't read them already (or even just looked at the pictures) the GWR goods services books I think would be indispensable source material for you, especially part 2A. (I haven't bought part 2B yet)
Good points. The front pillars will stay, I think. I hear what you're saying about the viewing too, although the shunting puzzle should help provide a degree of operational interest - well, for the operator at least! Posted Image

I've got vol. 2A of the GWR Goods Services books as well and I agree it's very good. Much of what is featured on this layout is based on a study of that volume actually. I'm saving up for 2B as well, since it will be interesting to learn more about the non-London depots.

BTW, have you seen the excellent series of articles about Hockley depot in the GWRJ - mentioned earlier on here by Kenton and with some great photos. I recently came across some additional interesting photos from that depot, on this website (scroll to first set of photos).
Lovely work Mikkel, I do like the inspection team!

Thanks for your PM, I will reply soon!

Regards,

Nick
very nice, I am guess 00 scale.
Thanks alco and Brinkly.

Yes this is OO through and through. Other scales and gauges are always tempting but at this point I'm happy with OO and still too attached to my existing stock to make a change. Some day maybe!
The photos with the light streaming in through the roof are stunning. Why does this make it look so much bigger than it is?
Hi Kenton, no doubt the very open roof and associated light helps a lot in creating a sense of space. And possibly also the white walls. Which brings up the question of what colouring the walls should have. Prototype photos suggest whitewashed brick…?

Hi Mikkel,
I thought you had been quiet and now I know why, what a superb piece of work.
As for the brick being whitewashed, I have also come across photo's which suggest that. I have also come across what appears to be a two tone effect, dark and light stone perhaps ?

What always strikes me with your modelling are the superb fiqures and the way you use them, I will be studying your ideas closely when I populate my own layout.

Geoff


That's interesting with the two-tone effect Geoff - will investigate. Any chance you can remember what books/locations you've seen that in?

The figures are fun to do and vary. Just realized that the guy on the right in the top photo is a modified version of the bloke on the left. I had forgotten I did that - which is a little spooky, these people are taking on a life of their own Posted ImagePosted Image.
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richbrummitt
Apr 23 2010 21:55
I recall a photo in Stephen Williams Branch Line Modelling books that shows the inside of an engine shed. The lower part of the walls was whitewashed.
Couldn't find that particular photo, but there is one of Bodmin engine shed (p.24 vol.2) which has the whitewash above and a darker colour towards the ground. Maybe that's the one? I guess it would make sense to have a dark colour near the ground in grubby engine sheds. I do seem to recall having seen the lower parts being white in other buildings though, although I can't think where just now.

Looking through GWR Goods Services 2A suggests all-over whitewashed walls in brick built depots around the 1900s - ie the very atmospheric photos from Reading transshipment shed, as well as Newbury and Cheddar. Lesser sheds (eg in corrugated iron) sometimes appear to have something that could be the light and dark stone livery inside?

Seems the whitewashed look is the best bet. To get the right effect, I’m thinking it would probably be best to do the Slater's brick in red first with light grey mortar and individual stones picked out as per normal – and then apply the whitewashing afterwards in thin washes?

I'm agonizing a bit over that one. I would want the right kind of flicker etc to fit the period, but am not sure if this is possible/feasible? My skills with electrics are very limited, but it would be interesting to learn. You've certainly set the example to follow! :)


Hi Mikkel :)

I think it would be worth the little bit of extra effort (but I would say that I guess!)

You cannot do any worse than buying a pack of those battery tealights and start experimenting.

Missy :)

...Seems the whitewashed look is the best bet. To get the right effect, I’m thinking it would probably be best to do the Slater's brick in red first with light grey mortar and individual stones picked out as per normal – and then apply the whitewashing afterwards in thin washes?

Sounds like a good plan. Most of the interior views of early goods sheds that I have tracked down seem to show whitewashed walls. There's no hint of any other colour in the Bourne etching of Brunel's original Bristol shed (though I only have access to monochrome reproductions), and the columns appear to be all white as well, including their bases. In contrast, a couple of rather more recent photos of Newbury in Vaughan's 'Great Western Architecture' show whitewashed walls but the columns have a darker colour over the lower six feet or so. I suspect they might be light/dark stone. However, these photos were taken by Vaughan so are probably post-war. Attractive though it might be, I'd like to find more evidence that the stone colours might have been used like this in the Edwardian era.

Nick
Just found the photos I was looking for earlier :rolleyes: Pages 185-6 of Great Western Enterprise show the shed at Canon's Marsh, Bristol and the interior shots look to have been taken shortly before it opened in October 1906. In the outer part with metal-framed roof, the columns are all one dark colour, perhaps brown or black? Inside the two storey ferro-concrete section they are dark up to about six feet from the ground, but everything else is white. Upstairs in the warehouse/storage area, everything is white.
Looks like some good progress is being made there Mikkel. It's looking very atmospheric even now. Posted Image

You cannot do any worse than buying a pack of those battery tealights and start experimenting.


Hi Missy, now that looks very tempting. Thanks! Posted Image

Of course, this raises the issue of whether the lamps should be oil or gas, and whether they flickered or not. There's a comment by DCC Concepts in this MRF thread which suggests that flickering railway lamps are a myth: http://www.modelrail...?showtopic=8696

Must investigate!

Pages 185-6 of Great Western Enterprise show the shed at Canon's Marsh, Bristol and the interior shots look to have been taken shortly before it opened in October 1906. In the outer part with metal-framed roof, the columns are all one dark colour, perhaps brown or black? Inside the two storey ferro-concrete section they are dark up to about six feet from the ground, but everything else is white. Upstairs in the warehouse/storage area, everything is white.



Fantastic Nick, many thanks for checking your references on this. I had forgotten about the Cannon's Marsh photos. It's interesting with the variation in the colour of columns as you mention. In the three photos on page 185 of Edw. Elegance, there are actually three different schemes as you say - all white, white/dark and if I look closely the bottom one seems in fact to be two darker colour (the stone colours?).

Paddington Goods columns seem to be a light colour, except for the bottom but I can't make out if that's just dirt!

Looks like some good progress is being made there Mikkel. It's looking very atmospheric even now. Posted Image


Thanks R. Posted Image Progress is a bit on/off though, and suffered a set-back recently when a pile of old junk fell onto the foamboard walls - which shows here and there, but thankfully it will all be covered in Plastikard!

... if I look closely the bottom one seems in fact to be two darker colour (the stone colours?).

You're right :o Early morning light in this room is none too good -- at least, that's my excuse -- but it is much clearer now. I still doubt that they are the stone colours, though, as they look too dark to me, even allowing for the large amount of white in the photo.

Paddington Goods columns seem to be a light colour, except for the bottom but I can't make out if that's just dirt!

Is this the photo on p.168? It's very difficult to tell, isn't it? The exposure of that plate is so skilfully crafted to bring out the detail in a very wide range of light levels. The columns could be lightish, but compare their tone with that of the adjacent goods wagons and they could equally well be quite dark in colour :unsure:

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