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Cutting the cake




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#1 Andrew Cockburn

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Posted 13 December 2017 - 17:56

So having completed my second cakebox project, and had time for “a breather”/to gather my thoughts, I’ve come up with an idea for my “mark three” cakebox entry. This will be entitled “Cutting the cake”, pun intended, because it will feature part of a line in a cutting/tunnel, inspired by a former goods line in my own place of origin, namely Sunderland, Tyne & Wear. And for those not too familiar with Sunderland, or at least it’s former/present railways, the goods line in question is that which used to branch off the Sunderland/Durham main line at Fawcett Street Junction, and ran via Mowbray Park to the South Dock at Hendon. There was also a rather clever/unusual arrangement incorporated, as the goods line actually ran over the top of Sunderland South tunnel, through which passed the other goods/passenger main line out of Sunderland Central Station. The goods line itself also had to run through a tunnel during it’s latter years, Burdon Road Tunnel to be more precise, this was necessary due to the construction of the car park adjacent to Sunderland Civic Centre, both of which were completed circa 1970, Burdon Road itself running alongside both these structures. See following link: https://www.derelictplaces.co.uk/main/underground-sites/26274-burdon-road-tunnel-sunderland-june-2013-a.html. The interior photos of the tunnel show a rather unusual feature, i.e. longitudinal concrete roof beams, although I will not be incorporating these on my own version! I did actually model rough representations of Burdon Road Tunnel & The Civic Centre Car park (a low-relief version) on my N Gauge layout “Fawcett Street Halt”, which is featured elsewhere on this site, but back to the present, and below is a plan/rough sketch of what the diorama will hopefully look like once completed. I hope to start work on this latest project during the coming weekend, I dare say it will help keep me busy over the Xmas hols (assuming I’m not too taken up with Xmas shopping etc.), watch this space for further developments ….

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#2 Andrew Cockburn

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Posted 23 December 2017 - 19:21

Its been a short while since my first post re “Cutting the cake“, when I outlined my inspiration for this particular task/how I hoped it would turn out. Unfortunately in the week or so since, I’ve not had much of a chance to make an awful lot of headway due one or two other other commitments, not least of which festive preparations, i.e. the purchasing of several “prezzies”. However, yesterday/today I’ve managed to complete some of the diorama’s “fundamentals” as it were, ie scenic substructures, as can be seen in the pictures below (unfortunately as you can see, I’ve been a bit messy with the PVA glue!) The large vertical section at the rear is basically to act as a support for the low-relief car park once this is completed, while the “building blocks” will act as supports for embankments, roadway and path, and will also help form the tunnel. “Cutting the cake” is possibly my most ambitious/most complicated Cakebox project to date (even though it is only my third) in terms of scenic structures, in which case I can see it lasting into the New Year, though I still look forward to some enjoyable construction time/seeing how it turns out. Further updates then in due course, meantime can I wish other BRM readers/modellers a very happy Xmas, and hope that Santa is kind to you all, possibly with something model railway-orientated …. :) 

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#3 Andrew Cockburn

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Posted 25 December 2017 - 18:00

Well in between scoffing mince pies & turkey, also opening Xmas prezzies, I’ve managed to do a bit more work on the new project, ie I’ve added some wooden embankment formers at either side of what will eventually be the cutting, and also a single length of track. The actual real-life goods line was originally double track, but was eventually rationed down to a single line during it’s latter years, until it’s eventual closure in 1984. My next immediate task is to add the interior walls of the tunnel, followed by track ballasting again, in the tunnel area, its necessary to complete these two tasks before fixing in place the base for the road/low-relief car park, in fact while I’m at it, I may as well complete all of the ballasting. More then a bit later ….

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#4 Andrew Cockburn

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Posted 26 December 2017 - 21:20

Well now that the Xmas celebrations are over for another year, it’s more or less business as usual re the construction of “Cutting the cake”. The tunnel is now starting to take shape, on the original/real life line, this particular section originally ran in a cutting/under a road bridge, but once Sunderland Civic Centre and it’s accompanying car park were built, the latter over the cutting itself, the line had to run in a tunnel, while the road bridge formed the tunnel entrance. That explains why in the picture below the stone walls only recede a certain distance into the tunnel, i.e. the width of what will eventually be the road, the remainder of the tunnel walls were constructed from concrete, this will be represented on the model by a suitable shade of Humbrol paint. Also, as far as I’m aware, the entrance/former road bridge was an all-stone affair, however, I thought I’d construct the fascia from stone and brick. I’m not sure whether or not this is prototypically correct, but a bit of modeller’s license does no harm, while I feel that it does make things a bit more interesting/offer a bit of a contrast. The piece of black card fixed at the rear of the tunnel is to try and give the impression of darkness/the tunnel depth, this will hopefully look more effective once the tunnel roof is in place, notice also the abandoned sleepers for additional effect. Next task is to paint the track, before the rather onerous task of track ballasting. I’ll let you know how I get on in due course ….

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#5 davefromacrossthepond

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Posted 27 December 2017 - 00:51

I like your concept - should work well with the size of the box. Ok, I have to add - good thing this isn't a cheese box challenge.
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#6 Andrew Cockburn

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Posted 05 January 2018 - 14:20

Well, a (slightly belated) happy new year to everyone, hope you also all had an enjoyable Xmas, and here is another progress update. I’ve now completed the tunnel (which I must admit, does look just a shade spooky!) and it looks as if one or two local “graffiti artists” have been at work, though I guess this adds to the realism. The track has also now been ballasted/painted, while I thought I may as well add some green flock powder to the abandoned track section to represent grass/weeds etc. And if anyone is wondering what the “sticky-up” bits are on the left-hand side of the cutting, these are imitation brick supports for a length of plastic tube, which will represent a water, sewage or whatever pipe. Next up is work on the cutting, using good old paper mache, then comes the really interesting but tricky part, ie the low-relief car park - should be fun! A further update then in due course ….

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Edited by Andrew Cockburn, 05 January 2018 - 14:23 .

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#7 Andrew Cockburn

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 19:41

Its been a short while since my last update, this was mainly due to the fact that I’d hoped to complete further work on the cutting, but unfortunately the “paper mash” which will form the embankments has taken longer than usual to dry (not helped by the cold weather), and at the time of writing is still not quite 100% dry, to thus enable painting etc. Therefore, I hope to further develop the cutting next week, but in the meantime, rather than sit twiddling my thumbs, I decided to make an earlier than planned start on the “tricky”/civil engineering phase, ie the low-relief car park. As can be seen from the pictures, a fair degree of progress has been made, ie the basement section, also the road surface/pavements, next tasks are to paint the road surface a “tarmac” colour, also to construct some entry/exit barriers for the car park, before I commence work on the next level up. Not sure just how many levels I’ll have, maybe three/four, all will be revealed in due course, while another progress report will appear in due course ….

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#8 009 micro modeller

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 20:58

I particularly like the framing created by the cutting shape and the sense of dereliction from the remains of the second track. Can't wait to see more of this.
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#9 Andrew Cockburn

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 21:37

@ 009 micro modeller

 

Thanks for the feedback, I'm happy with the progress made on the model so far, and hope to have it completed sometime near the end of the month. :)



#10 Andrew Cockburn

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Posted 20 January 2018 - 19:26

Well, work on “Cutting The Cake” has been somewhat restricted during the last week or so, mainly due to the fact that my garage/workshop took on “refridgerator-like” conditions, making it rather uncomfortable/cold, even in warm clothes i.e. fleece etc. However, they do tend to say that “Rome wasn’t build in a day”, and I have managed to make some progress, i.e. the cutting now has an “earthy” look to it (see pic below), though as the paint is not quite touch-dry yet, I’ve not as yet been able to add the “grass”, bushes etc from scatter/clump material. But this will be done shortly, while I also hope to re-commence work on the car park sometime soon, I’m looking at a completion date for the whole project at being possibly the end of this month/early February, further updates then in due course ….

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#11 Andrew Cockburn

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Posted 24 January 2018 - 12:02

At last, the cutting has undergone some landscaping, though I still need to add a bit more grass along the bottom of the newly-erected stone wall on the left-hand side, as well as some bushes, weeds etc. using foliage/scatter material. The “road crew” have also been busy laying “tarmac”, I’m a bit undecided as to what task to complete next, but all will be revealed shortly ….

 

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#12 Andrew Cockburn

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Posted 26 January 2018 - 20:07

Time then for another update. I’ve done a bit more work on the cutting, ie added some shrubbery, bushes etc., you may be wondering why I’ve only covered one side, this is because the plastic tube representing the water pipe on the left-hand side has had a coat of gloss black paint, and is still waiting to dry, therefore I’ll tackle this side over the weekend. I’ve also added a relay box next to the track, some barriers on the ground level of the car park, while the other picture shows the beginnings of what will eventually be a small car park attendant’s hut. So I think the project is finally starting to like the part, still a fair bit to do ie the low-relief car park, I hope to do a bit more on this over the weekend, in addition to more work on the cutting, so watch this space for a further progress report ….

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#13 Andrew Cockburn

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Posted 03 February 2018 - 13:05

Can’t believe it’s the 3rd February already, the year seems to be flying by, in which case time for another update. I’m now concentrating solely on the architectural aspect of the project, namely the low-relief multi-storey car park, in particular the different decks/levels. And with the ground level now complete, I’m currently busy with the first floor level, one of the pictures shows this loose-fitted in place, the “sticky up” bits are off-cuts of plastic tube designed to represent concrete support pillars. This section now needs to be painted in appropriate colours before being glued into place, while there are also two more decks to go above. The other picture shows one or two smaller details which I recently completed, i.e. road markings, also some flowers (formed from foliage material) in section which represents part of a public park. Still a fair bit to be accomplished, but I’m looking hopefully at a completion date of sometime towards the end of next week, a further progress report then in due course ….

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Edited by Andrew Cockburn, 08 February 2018 - 14:53 .

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#14 Andrew Cockburn

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Posted 08 February 2018 - 14:52

Work is progressing well on the low-relief multi-storey car park, with the third level recently added. The second level is now fully completed i.e. with the addition of one or two cars (these can just be made out in the darkness), but a bit more work still needs to be done on the aforementioned third level, i.e. the addition of some concrete support pillars also a “paint job”, while the fourth and final (top) deck also needs to be constructed and installed, before the addition of small details such as signs, lamp posts and of course a “population”. I’m hoping to have the project more or less completed by the weekend, if not then maybe early next week, when a further report will appear ….

 

 

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Edited by Andrew Cockburn, 08 February 2018 - 17:06 .

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#15 GeoffinOz

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Posted 08 February 2018 - 22:20

It is probably a bit late to suggest this, but have you looked at Scalescenes multi story carpark kit (T035) it has a good top deck with parking bay markings.

Do the bushes hide to much of the graffiti on the bridge walls or is that just the camera angle. I think you should look around your area, because out here in Oz the graffiti artists try to get their tags on the actual span of the bridge.

I think this could be one of the good models when finished, keep going.


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#16 outcastjack

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 21:44

This is really starting to come to life nicely. Out of interest is this going to be a stand alone bit of work or will it go into a layout? I feel like I want to discover the scene around it.

#17 Andrew Cockburn

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 22:32

@ outcastjack

 

Thanks for the feedback/comment, and to answer your question, this particular model is intended as a stand alone, although it may well provide the inspiration for a layout/part of a layout in the future. Although having said that, a similar sort of scene did in fact form part of a former layout of mine entitled "Fawcett Street Halt", pictures of which can actually be found on another thread on this site. But back to "Cutting The Cake", and it is now more or less 99.9% completed, just a little bit of scenic work left to do before the "grand unveiling" of the finished model, hopefully in the next day or two, so watch this space!


Edited by Andrew Cockburn, 14 February 2018 - 09:01 .


#18 Andrew Cockburn

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Posted 15 February 2018 - 10:35

Well after two months of work/steady progress, I can now unveil “Cutting the cake” in it’s final finished form. Probably my most ambitious “cakebox” effort so far, particularly re the low-relief car park, which was perhaps the most challenging aspect of the project, i.e. the concrete support pillars were individually formed/placed in position, and had to be spot on in order that the structure would appear realistic. But I feel overall that the effort/time that has gone into the project’s creation has been worthwhile, though viewing it from a slightly critical angle, perhaps the roadway & pavement could have been a bit wider, while the concrete support pillars in the low-relief car park are perhaps a shade overscale, but generally speaking I have to say I’m happy with “CTC”. And now I intend to take a short break from actual “cakebox production” to gather my thoughts with a view to my next effort, details of which will appear in due course ….

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#19 ShildonShunter

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Posted 15 February 2018 - 10:48

Andrew a great layout full of character with the graffiti and waste pipe along the embankment all coming together nicely.
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#20 truffy

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Posted 15 February 2018 - 17:14

I'm afraid that the background to the top story of the car park doesn't work for me. There's no way for the cars to get there, and they'll fall off the edge.



#21 009 micro modeller

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Posted 15 February 2018 - 18:25

I think it's looking great. I do agree about the car park backdrop though but I'm not sure what else you could do with it.

#22 GeoffinOz

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Posted 15 February 2018 - 21:25

I suppose you could go up onto a real carpark and photograph the top and use that as a backdrop.

That way you could get the angle right.

I do like this one, but needs more graffiti on the bridge.



#23 Andrew Cockburn

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Posted 15 February 2018 - 22:01

@ truffy ….

 

I see your point re the backscene and the cars accessing & exiting the top storey/“falling off the edge”, but I've experienced a similar sort of problem/dilemma before, and it is quite difficult to come up with a satisfactory solution. So bearing in mind that the car park is low-relief, what I’ve done seemed to be the only solution I could think of at the time, ie it was a matter of letting one’s imagination take effect/trying to create an illusion of sorts/a suggestion of what is there. In which case, and re one of my other interests, namely watercolour painting, one of the things I was taught with this particular medium/hobby is that “less is more” i.e. you don’t paint every single leaf on a tree, but just create an impression of what is there, and I think the same rule applies to model making, for backscenes and/or low-relief buildings are, to my mind at least, meant to create an illusion without being the focal point of the actual layout, model or whatever. For in the case of this particular model, again in my view at least, the focal point is really the railway aspect of matters. Although having said that, I suppose it may just be possible, somehow, to create a perspective of sorts i.e. of the remainder of the car park top section, as GeoffinOz suggested ….

 

 

 

@ 009 micro modeller ….

 

Thanks for the comment, and re the backscene as I explained to truffy, on a model of this sort the issue of a backscene does pose a bit of a problem, but then again, there may be solution of some sort, possibly what GeoffinOz pointed out ….

 

 

@ GeoffinOz ….

 

Re the backscene, that may well work, or maybe I could just paint some walls, buildings or whatever onto the background sheet in order to give the impression of distance etc, but I would need to get the perspective to spot-on, which really is quite difficult, for what may look correct when looking at the model straight-on, may not look quite so correct when viewing the model from an angle.

 

I also take your point re the graffiti, maybe I could remove part of the shrubbery to reveal a bit more of the “decoration” on the outside walls of the tunnel, while there is actually some on both of the inside walls of the tunnel.

 

And I agree the tunnel parapet may be enhanced by the addition of some graffiti, though as I’ve ran out of graffiti transfers, I may have to paint some on by hand!

 

But having seen graffiti on real-life railway overbridges, I’ve often wondered how “graffiti artists” manage to actually “decorate” this particular area in the first place. I guess in the case of a plate girder bridge it wouldn’t be so hard, as there is of course a ledge (albeit rather narrow) on which to stand, but re the type I’ve modelled here, where there is no ledge, the only way I can think of would be by leaning over the parapet from the road side, but in all truth, either way would seem a bit dodgy, particularly if express trains pass under the bridge frequently!

 

Anyway gents, thanks for the feedback, always appreciated ….


Edited by Andrew Cockburn, 15 February 2018 - 22:11 .


#24 009 micro modeller

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Posted 16 February 2018 - 00:20

I once had a similar issue on a diorama looking along a street. I couldn't make the street on the backscene match the model or taper correctly into the distance so I used a mirror. However, I don't usually use these and probably wouldn't in future as I didn't like the way the backdrop then became an exact reflection of the scene. One option for me might have been to have no backscene, but on your model I really like the sense of height contrasting with the low level railway line, something helped by the backscene and the car park.

#25 GeoffinOz

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Posted 16 February 2018 - 01:54

Only photograph the model from the angle of the middle two pictures and then the perspective is irrelevant.

The distance is hidden by the wall.

I really like this model, it is well thought out and seems true to life from what I can remember of similar areas.

Try weathering the walls to hide the white areas on the joints and then some rubbish, (old bike, shopping trolley) in the cutting.