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BUILDING CONSTRUCTION:QUESTIONS, ANSWERS, TIPS.





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#1 allan downes

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Posted 13 March 2013 - 15:59

Alanscathedrals003.jpg


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#2 allan downes

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Posted 13 March 2013 - 16:10

Since joining RMclub I've had a really wonderfull reception here and I must thank everyone who has responded for that - it's just great to feel that I might still have something to offer even if I have retired and no longer active.

 

So after having a word with ANDY, our Site founder and gentleman to boot! - I thought that it might not be such a bad Idea if I set up a Thread where Hopefully I might be able to share methods of construction, choice of materials, texturing - and what railway modelling is really all about - and anything else that might prove helpfull.

 

Therefore folke, please feel free to fire in your questions and, who knows, I might even be able to answer a few!!

 

My sincerest regards to all.

 

Allan.


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#3 allan downes

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Posted 13 March 2013 - 16:14

STEELWORKS3.jpg
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#4 ball2

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Posted 13 March 2013 - 17:20

Hi Allan.

 

First off ! could you give a little detail on how you achieved the rust / effect finish to Steelworks

 

Thanks in advance

 

Dave Ball



#5 aberdare

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Posted 13 March 2013 - 17:50

Hi Allan

 

For me it's windows, The one thing I am never fully happy with is the glazing bars more than anything, trying to cut them thin enough with a consistent width, the other issue is curved glazing bars like on one of your seafront buildings. How did you do yours.

 

Jim



#6 Removed a/c

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Posted 13 March 2013 - 18:04

Gobsmacked ! 



#7 allan downes

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Posted 13 March 2013 - 18:39

Hi Allan.

 

First off ! could you give a little detail on how you achieved the rust / effect finish to Steelworks

 

Thanks in advance

 

Dave Ball

 

Hi Dave.

 

I don't want to sound to 'arty' over this but when colouring anything that be can seen in one fell swoop I try to keep it all harmonious by using a  'texture theme'  throughout as with the steelworks and for this I sprayed ALL the plant with RED OXIDE PRIMER then to take the edge off it, I DUSTED it over with several light passing coats of MATT BLACK  (acrylics)

 

When Colouring a large Townscape, I try to keep the variation in colours suttle and pleasing to the eye - forget what the Real World looks like where you can only see everything by part and not,as with a model railway, everything as a whole, and one must remember that in real life we view everything from the ground upwards and therefore never see it as a whole whereas a model railway is viewed from above looking down where you can see everything, compare everything and nothing is left to the imagination.

 

So, colour everything to suit the eye, not the Real World.

 

Anyway, hope that helps Dave. 

 

Allan.


Edited by allan downes, 13 March 2013 - 18:58 .

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#8 allan downes

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Posted 13 March 2013 - 18:54

Hi Allan

 

For me it's windows, The one thing I am never fully happy with is the glazing bars more than anything, trying to cut them thin enough with a consistent width, the other issue is curved glazing bars like on one of your seafront buildings. How did you do yours.

 

Jim

 

Hi Jim.

 

Back in the dark old days windows was on of the truly neglected area of scratchbuilding accessories - I used to buy Superquick Kits by the truckload just to use the screen printed windows! - then I put my own out - DOWNESGLAZE - but now all I ever use is SCALELINK brass etched windows and available in all scales, all types and all sizes but that's not all - their range of brass etched products is  unbelievable and their catologue is an absolute must - in fact, if you are going to get serious about scratchbuilding, than ALL the catologues are an absolute must - in other words Jim, surround yourself with all the right materials - THEN start. 

 

So, all the windows you see on all my work,are from SCALELINK -  telephone : 01747 811817 ask for Bob Wyatt.

 

Hope that helps Jim.

 

Best regards.

 

Allan.


Edited by allan downes, 13 March 2013 - 18:55 .

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#9 tender

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Posted 13 March 2013 - 20:35

Hi Allan
Wonderful stuff,
My question, being a card structure novice is how do you get a clean cut in the card for a round top window. I'm about to embark on a scratch build of an LSWR station building and your reference to Scalelink windows might come in handy. I have a supply of photographic mounting card which I hope to use, is the the sort of card you use for the main structures.
Ray.

#10 aberdare

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Posted 13 March 2013 - 20:51

Thanks Allan

 

It does answer the question thanks, I had looked at the scalelink and often thought it the best way to go now I know. I just hope that there is one to match whatever prototype window I come across or else it will be careful cutting.

 

Thanks for taking the time to answer.

 

Jim



#11 allan downes

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Posted 13 March 2013 - 20:52

Hi RAY.

Mounting card I believe is about 1mil thick - so reasonably easy to cut - WITH the right knife!

This of course Ray is all about what you are most comfortable with, but personaly I only ever use a Stanley Knife for absolutely everything and because of the substantial grip allowing for perfect control this is what I would use to cut out ANY window apertures in ANY thickness of card.

It's best I founf to attempt it in two or three cuts depending on the thickness of the card, so I would gently cut around the arch with the first cut, follow that cut around with a second heavier cut then,if nescessary, a third and final cut and the waste should now drop out - just go at it slowly and after a while you will be suprised how efficient you become then I'll be asking you how to do it! - but if you're not sure, practice it on a waste section first.

So best regards Ray and let me know how you get on.

All the best.

Allan.

Edited by allan downes, 13 March 2013 - 20:58 .

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#12 allan downes

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Posted 13 March 2013 - 20:57

Thanks Allan
 
It does answer the question thanks, I had looked at the scalelink and often thought it the best way to go now I know. I just hope that there is one to match whatever prototype window I come across or else it will be careful cutting.
 
Thanks for taking the time to answer.
 
Jim

Jim, Scalelink also do sheets etched window panes of every size imaginable and I'm sure there will be a size to suit your requierments.

Allan
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#13 Grafarman

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 00:25

Hi Allan

Thank you for taking the time to be here and answer questions this way.

 

Mine is on avoiding the visible line or gap between buildings and the ground beneath - do you extend the walls below ground level to 'bed' them into a pre-defined shape in the landscape, or is the land around the building built up to the walls?

 

Thanks again

 

David



#14 trisonic

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 00:43

Really appreciate you sharing Allan. I've got so many questions I dunno where to start!

 

Howzabout: Any chance of doing a step by step build with piccies? Doesn't have to be a vast project - just covering your basic techniques?

 

Best, Pete.



#15 allan downes

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 10:18

Hi Allan
Thank you for taking the time to be here and answer questions this way.
 
Mine is on avoiding the visible line or gap between buildings and the ground beneath - do you extend the walls below ground level to 'bed' them into a pre-defined shape in the landscape, or is the land around the building built up to the walls?
 
Thanks again
 
David

Hi David.

I never permanantly base buildings in case I decide to move them elsewhere when the scene is finished, so really where most buildings are concerned, they need to be perfectly flat and likewise the area where they are to sit.

With country cottages however, I spread a bag of flock powder out over a clean flat board the string a light fillet of EVOSTIK IMPACT GLUE around the base then 'dip' the base into the flock and hey presto - instant weeds! and when dry, just lay the building loose, or fix down permanantly.

Hope this helps David.

Best regards.

Allan
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#16 allan downes

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 10:28

Really appreciate you sharing Allan. I've got so many questions I dunno where to start!
 
Howzabout: Any chance of doing a step by step build with piccies? Doesn't have to be a vast project - just covering your basic techniques?
 
Best, Pete.

Hi Pete.

Doing a 'step-by-step' aint exactly easy.

First you need to set a camera up, then as you build each phase of the building, photograph it then move on to the next phase and maybe 20 phases and a week later, you have a 'step-by-step'!

Anyway Pete, what I will try and do later, is to provide some 'how-to' diagrams which I hope will explain things far better than I could ever hope to describe them!

Best regards.

Allan.
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#17 BRealistic

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 10:31

... but personaly I only ever use a Stanley Knife for absolutely everything and because of the substantial grip allowing for perfect control this is what I would use to cut out ANY window apertures in ANY thickness of card.

That's very, very interesting to know Allan... as I reckon most folks use Swann Morton scalpels... having been advised to do so over and over again.

#18 trisonic

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 10:51

Hi Pete.

Doing a 'step-by-step' aint exactly easy.

First you need to set a camera up, then as you build each phase of the building, photograph it then move on to the next phase and maybe 20 phases and a week later, you have a 'step-by-step'!

Anyway Pete, what I will try and do later, is to provide some 'how-to' diagrams which I hope will explain things far better than I could ever hope to describe them!

Best regards.

Allan.

Allan,

 

I think that is a good idea - I realize "step-by-step" is a pain....

 

You don't have to take what we suggest "on board" - "No" is understandable!

 

Btw have you had a chance to check out "USA and Canada Railroads" yet? Some nice stuff in there. Try starting with the layout "Sweet Home Alabama", by Englishman Jon Grant.

 

Best, Pete.


Edited by trisonic, 14 March 2013 - 10:53 .


#19 Grafarman

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 11:12

Hi David.

I never permanantly base buildings in case I decide to move them elsewhere when the scene is finished, so really where most buildings are concerned, they need to be perfectly flat and likewise the area where they are to sit.

With country cottages however, I spread a bag of flock powder out over a clean flat board the string a light fillet of EVOSTIK IMPACT GLUE around the base then 'dip' the base into the flock and hey presto - instant weeds! and when dry, just lay the building loose, or fix down permanantly.

Hope this helps David.

Best regards.

Allan

Excellent thanks Allan; I guess the challenge then is to get everything 'perfectly flat' :o :scratchhead: good tip with the cottage though...

Edited by Grafarman, 14 March 2013 - 11:14 .


#20 allan downes

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 11:29

Example of 'bedded' cottages.

The scene was build as a removable module and part of the Woburn Abbey Layout in the 70s

IMG_0081.jpg
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#21 PaternosterRow

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 17:33

Allan,

 

got to ask about that magnificent Cathedral.  Is it based on a real one or did you just conjure it up out of your head?!!  Is it all card etc and is the inside detailed.  More importantly, how long would a build like that take etc?  Also, what are your thoughts on forced perspective (smaller scale at the back etc) and does it work for you.  I can imagine you building a whole town back to a forced horizon - if you've not done so already.  Have you ever written books on modeling as I'd like to get my hands on one?

 

Mike



#22 allan downes

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 23:09

Allan,

 

got to ask about that magnificent Cathedral.  Is it based on a real one or did you just conjure it up out of your head?!!  Is it all card etc and is the inside detailed.  More importantly, how long would a build like that take etc?  Also, what are your thoughts on forced perspective (smaller scale at the back etc) and does it work for you.  I can imagine you building a whole town back to a forced horizon - if you've not done so already.  Have you ever written books on modeling as I'd like to get my hands on one?

 

Mike

 

Hi Mike.

 

The front was based on RHIEMS and the rear on NOTRE DAME and the middle and interior was just left up to me.

 

It was built mainly out of card for the carcass but plastic was also used extensively.

 

It took about six months to build but I was a full time modelmaker.

 

Forced perspective only works if you can ONLY view the model from the front - The late Jack Nelson back in the 70s ( Railway Modeller) was the absolute master at it.

 

Yes I have 'written' books about modelling but they were more Plan Books than anything else and titled DOWNESPLANS 1/2/3 published by PECO PUBLICATIONS but are now long out of print albeit they do pop up every now and then on Ebay.

 

Best regards.

 

Allan


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#23 LMS1938

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 14:42

Hi Allan,

The cathedral is very impressive!

Is it 4mm scale?

Did you use any casting to produce the repeated details, or is it all fabricated?

 

Thanks.

 

Francis



#24 allan downes

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 17:21

Hi Allan,

The cathedral is very impressive!

Is it 4mm scale?

Did you use any casting to produce the repeated details, or is it all fabricated?

 

Thanks.

 

Francis

 

Hi Francis.

 

It was built at 2mil to the foot for a 4mil layout otherwise it would have been far to overpowering but since there could never be a 'standard' size for such buildings, well it could have been built at almost anything to the foot, so more a question of it fitting in with its surroundings more than anything else.

 

Many masters were made for the repeated detail work and in particular, the windows.

 

These were then used to run off the white metal castings whenever they were needed in fact, it was a Nun that made the masters for the gargoyls!

 

Regards.

 

Allan.


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#25 faulcon1

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Posted 15 July 2013 - 21:49

Hi Allan, I've seen your work before in Model Rail magazine to which I was once a subscriber and the videos. I realised at once on reading this thread that it was by the genuine Allan Downes as I seen the cathedral and the inside of it.

 

I have a question for you if I may, how does one create the vertical bricks in Will's plastic card for arches in viaducts, or in my case of the arched entrance to a GW coal stage and the windows in the side walls.

I'm on the other side of the world so some 'cottage' businesses in UK won't take credit cards. They will take a bank cheque in pound sterling but if the price of the material is say in aussie$ is $10 the cheque cost $30.

So is it a case of scratch building the arches.









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