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The station building: Walls and gables


Mikkel

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Here’s an update on Farthing’s main station building, modelled on the 1910 prototype at Newbury (see this post for details). This post summarizes work on the walls and gables. There have been other developments, will update on those later.


 

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Although the structure at Newbury is still with us there have been numerous detail changes over the years. Above is a selection of those I have spotted. Most changes appear to have been made after the station was built, so I’m going with the original GWR drawing.

 

 

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The GWR drawing was imported and re-drawn in Inkscape, allowing me to cut the brick sheets in my Silhouette cutting machine.

 

 

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The Silhouette can’t cut styrene deeper than 10 thou, so it essentially scribes the outline on the back of the brick sheet (not the front, too bumpy) and I then cut through with a scalpel. 

 

 

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The brick sheets are SEF. They aren’t ideal for the Newbury brickwork, I had planned to use Slater’s, but the first batch of Slater’s crumbled in my hands and the next batch didn’t cut well in the Silhouette.
 
 

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The outer “skin” for the sides were then ready.
 

 

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A first inner layer was added, using 1mm Foamex from Green Stuff World. The Silhouette cuts this well but again only partly through, so more scalpel work followed.

 

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The first layer of Foamex fitted behind the brick skin. I gave up replicating the prototype’s bullnose bricks and subtle profile around the window edges.  I did try, using good advice from RMwebbers, but couldn’t achieve a convincing look. 

 

 

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Instead, the brick edges around the windows were simply indicated by indenting the foam with a suitable tool from a scribing set. It’s the biggest compromise on the model but I can live with it.

 

 

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The basic sides and ends, a DIY kit of sorts.

 

 

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I then set about adding the Bath stone embellishments.  Here, different types of styrene rod have been joined to represent the profile of the lintel bands.

 

 

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The lintels were cut on my Silhouette, with decorative parts fashioned from triangular rod and small “V’s” cut from Evergreen sheet. 3D prints would have been more accurate, but I enjoy piecing things together on my own – despite the compromises.

 

 

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The prototype stone sills had an overhanging lip, replicated with laminated strips of styrene. Try not to get too excited by these riveting photos :-)

 

 

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The parts were sprayed with Plasti-kote primer, and later painted Dark Sand (Vallejo 70.847).

 

 

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The walls were painted using a new approach I hadn’t tried before. Will post separately on that.

 

 

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Next the roof bands were stuck on.


 

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Then the lintel- and sill bands were fitted (or is it “string courses”, my vocabulary fails me here).

 

 

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The plinth, with the blue bricks that were such a distinctive feature on 20th century GWR structures.

 


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And finally the lintels were stuck in place. I cheated as they should be flush with the brickwork, but that would have entailed some very tricky cutting of the SEF sheets which I think wouldn't have looked neat. The vertical ornaments help conceal the dodge.

 

 

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I then set about decorating the gables. Won’t take long, I thought.

 

 

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But there followed much faffing about with bits of styrene, combining various shapes to compose the ornamentation. 

 

 

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The faux gables including raised brick courses above the lintels, and the ornamentation coming together.

 

 

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The decorative “pinnacles” (what's the word?) were tricky, being hexagonal yet slim. I first fitted strips of brick sheet on a hexagonal Plastruct rod, but the thickness of the SEF sheets made them overscale.

 

 

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So instead I just scribed the hex rod directly to indicate mortar courses, as seen here. Far from perfect, but it blends in OK. Decorative balls were made from pinheads, stolen at night from my wife’s sewing table. She knows, but pretends not to.

 

 

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There were two gables, so it took a while. If deconstructed each gable would consist of 101 separate bits. Probably not unusual for a scratchbuild, it’s just that normally we don’t count!

 

 

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An overview of all the brick sides. My camera exaggerates the colours. A few final details (downpipes etc) will be added later.


 

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The Bath stone was looking a bit plain (bottom), so was lightly weathered (top), though the camera doesn't show it well. I want the structure to look new, i.e. within a few years of construction. [Note to self: Vallejo Pigments Natural Sienna 73.105 + MIG Panzer Grey Fading P035].

 

 

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At 83 cms this is the longest structure I have built. After years of happily snapping small layouts, I’m struggling with the photographic challenges of such a long structure.

 

 

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First passengers have arrived! (click image for larger size). I had planned to divide the structure into 2-3 separate sections for easy storage but am now thinking it’s easier to just build it as one whole unit.

 

 

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A dry run with all sides in place. The windows are almost ready to fit, and parts are being cut for the interior carcass. More on that later.

 

Edited by Mikkel

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I think you should award yourself several bites for the building so far (and several more when it's done, I dare say). 

 

 

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This is fantastic!

 

you said “More on that later” referring to painting the brickwork.  Do please post on that too!

 

cheers

Simon

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Excellent as ever Mikkel, a lot of work in a building that size. 

 

Your nomenclature is correct . Finials at the top, the linear stonework would be described as string courses and the supports below the stonework as corbels. 

 

I also use the silhouette to scribe the rear of embossed styrene, makes cutting through with a scalpel very accurate. 

 

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Mikkel, I am smitten by the header image - the carriage, driver and two lady passengers creating a tableau with the building frontage. A perfect composition! The gable ends are magnificent, and the whole thing is already tremendously evocative. Looking forward to the next instalments you have teased us about…

 

Nick.

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I can’t believe how accurate the build is - everything lines up perfectly both horizontally and vertically.  That’s so hard to do in 4mm and yet you also found the time to worry about the bullnose effect around the windows!  Personally, I can’t see any problems with that - the scribing of the foam works perfectly and those stone headers, lintels and intricate details are just unbelievable.  The finials are also a touch of brilliance.  More precise, excellent craftsmanship from a person who carefully plans and then patiently follows that plan - museum display quality as usual.  Knowing you, those interior details are going to be unbelievable too.   As your ‘small bites’ get bigger at Farthing you are going to have to learn how to do photographic stacking to accommodate them.  I have never been able to master the technique unfortunately and stick to the old F8 and you’re there rule!  

 

 

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Wow wow wow! Mikkel this is fantastic and a real inspiration, not to mention very useful pointers. 

Fantastic modelling as always, some real discipline and excellent use of the Silhouette Cutter. 

Looking forward to the next stages as well as finding out about your new method for brick painting.

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Mikkel,

That looks brilliant.  It is over twice as long as my station which I thought was quiet big.  Fortunately my one is fairly plain.

 

If you decide to make it separate parts, then you will need to work out how to fit them together and make sure that they do not move.  I am working on that with my platforms as I have made it with cardboard it needs to be removed if the layout is packed down. (Shh! I am working on it not being.)  It will need something so that the parts fit together and then do not move.  If not you will need a very long box.  🙂

 

Vocabulary.  Building vocabulary is a whole separate study, which most English speakers will not know, but never fear, Lady Google is never far away.  It is 'string courses', but not sure about 'pinnacles' as these are on the top of buttresses.

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Very impressive Mikkel.

You have definitely captured the design and look of the prototype.

 

Nice work on the detailed elements and stonework.

 

 

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This is a real tour de force, although I felt quite exhausted just reading about it.  All that detailing of the string courses, buttresses, finials etc!

 

I hope you will take a very well-earned break for Christmas 🙂

 

Mike

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Impressive and inspiring work Mikkel, as ever a great combination of artistic and engineering skills. 

Well worth the effort for the sharpness of detail and sense of place.

 

Rob 

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20 hours ago, eastwestdivide said:

Finials? Not 100% sure. 

 

19 hours ago, Dave John said:

Excellent as ever Mikkel, a lot of work in a building that size. 

 

Your nomenclature is correct . Finials at the top, the linear stonework would be described as string courses and the supports below the stonework as corbels. 

 

I also use the silhouette to scribe the rear of embossed styrene, makes cutting through with a scalpel very accurate. 

 

 

Thank you both. They seem to be purely ornamental rather than structural, which is why I have been confused about the correct term.

 

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20 hours ago, kitpw said:

I think you should award yourself several bites for the building so far (and several more when it's done, I dare say). 

 

Thank you Kit. I'm sorry that I couldn't honour your very clever suggestion on how to do the bullnose bricks and profile around the windows. There were three problems: (1) My skills; (2) the thickness of the brick sheet relative to 4mm scale; (3) I had already gone too far in the the build - if I had thought about it earlier I could have cut the window apertures over-width, allowing me more options. I was getting bogged down with the problem so decided to simply move ahead.

 

 

20 hours ago, Dunalastair said:

Looking very good. Reads as if you are rising to a significant challenge at that size.

 

Walls and gables? Hopefully you will get further than the current condition of Invershin on the Far North line.

 

 

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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Invershin_railway_station

 

I thought it was a closed station at first look! So this means I can prototypically start running trains into the main platforms 🙂

 

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20 hours ago, Simond said:

This is fantastic!

 

you said “More on that later” referring to painting the brickwork.  Do please post on that too!

 

cheers

Simon

 

Thank you Simon, and I will. I'm trying to limit the length of these blog posts a bit, so will do a separate one on recent experiments with paint and weathering pigments. It's rather crude and not without problems though!

 

 

20 hours ago, magmouse said:

Mikkel, I am smitten by the header image - the carriage, driver and two lady passengers creating a tableau with the building frontage. A perfect composition! The gable ends are magnificent, and the whole thing is already tremendously evocative. Looking forward to the next instalments you have teased us about…

 

Nick.

 

Thank you Nick. The carriage scene is something that I look forward to making, inspired by photos such as the one below at Truro. That, incidentally, is of another and better known GWR station design style of this period. I actually like this style better than the Westbury/Newbury style, and initially considered transposing the Winchester variant to Newbury. But I eventually decided that the other design was more appropriate for the Berks & Hants extension, where Farthing is located.

 

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19 hours ago, PaternosterRow said:

I can’t believe how accurate the build is - everything lines up perfectly both horizontally and vertically.  That’s so hard to do in 4mm and yet you also found the time to worry about the bullnose effect around the windows!  Personally, I can’t see any problems with that - the scribing of the foam works perfectly and those stone headers, lintels and intricate details are just unbelievable.  The finials are also a touch of brilliance.  More precise, excellent craftsmanship from a person who carefully plans and then patiently follows that plan - museum display quality as usual.  Knowing you, those interior details are going to be unbelievable too.   As your ‘small bites’ get bigger at Farthing you are going to have to learn how to do photographic stacking to accommodate them.  I have never been able to master the technique unfortunately and stick to the old F8 and you’re there rule!  

 

Thanks very much Mike. I will have to disappoint you on the interior details though, as I'm hoping I can get away without them!  I very much admire the interior details that others do, but I'm trying to cut some corners as I have bad experiences from the past of getting stuck with overly ambitious projects. And I have my weighbridge hut below in recent memory - none of the (admittedly sparse) interior details are visible from the outside, despite windows on two sides.

 

So I'm hoping that if I put up enough interior walls to block views and light I can manage without interior detail. But I would be interested to hear what others have experienced in this regard with larger structures.

 

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Edited by Mikkel
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20 hours ago, Bluemonkey presents.... said:

Wow wow wow! Mikkel this is fantastic and a real inspiration, not to mention very useful pointers. 

Fantastic modelling as always, some real discipline and excellent use of the Silhouette Cutter. 

Looking forward to the next stages as well as finding out about your new method for brick painting.

 

Thanks Matt! I doubt I would have undertaken this structure without a Silhouette, it really is a big help. Although in some respects it is already old technology. Like others, I suspect, I'm trying to find my place with all the recent advances in modelling technologies - a world where almost everything is possible. I'd like to find a balance somewhere between the traditional approaches and the new ones. The way you are mixing approaches is very inspiring.

 

 

19 hours ago, ChrisN said:

Mikkel,

That looks brilliant.  It is over twice as long as my station which I thought was quiet big.  Fortunately my one is fairly plain.

 

If you decide to make it separate parts, then you will need to work out how to fit them together and make sure that they do not move.  I am working on that with my platforms as I have made it with cardboard it needs to be removed if the layout is packed down. (Shh! I am working on it not being.)  It will need something so that the parts fit together and then do not move.  If not you will need a very long box.  🙂

 

Vocabulary.  Building vocabulary is a whole separate study, which most English speakers will not know, but never fear, Lady Google is never far away.  It is 'string courses', but not sure about 'pinnacles' as these are on the top of buttresses.

 

Hi Chris, and thanks. I have pondered the style differences between Newbury and Traeth Mawr, the first being rather busy and arguably pretentious, the other a bit more serious and God fearing (I mean the stations, not the modellers! 🙂). Perhaps a reflection of their parent companies, also?

 

Thanks for the good points about sections vs a single unit. If I go for a single unit it would fit in one of these, interior measurements are 92.5 x 33 x 17 cms. 

 

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https://www.plasticboxshop.co.uk/home-storage-c1/bedroom-and-bathroom-organisation-c16/underbed-storage-boxes-c42/pack-of-3-55-litre-extra-long-shallow-under-bed-storage-boxes-with-lids-p1721

 

 

19 hours ago, Nick Gough said:

Very impressive Mikkel.

You have definitely captured the design and look of the prototype.

 

Nice work on the detailed elements and stonework.

 

Thank you Nick, I'm pleased that you think so as you have photographed the station (thanks again for all the photos!). The fine details are really representations rather than exact scale copies, but they work reasonably OK for the overall impression. I'm currently looking at the canopy brackets on the approach side - they are going to be a challenge, but at least they are not as ornate as some!

 

Edited by Mikkel
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18 hours ago, MikeOxon said:

This is a real tour de force, although I felt quite exhausted just reading about it.  All that detailing of the string courses, buttresses, finials etc!

 

I hope you will take a very well-earned break for Christmas 🙂

 

Mike

 

Thank you Mike, the detailing did become a bit dull in the end. But then I think of those modellers who have built even larger structures with just a scalpel, ruler and card or similar. Iain Robinson and Allan Downes for example. Truly impressive.

 

Incidentally, the loss of images in this thread is particularly sad, I remember thinking "we should download these images for the future", but alas never did.

 

 

17 hours ago, MrWolf said:

Impressive and inspiring work Mikkel, as ever a great combination of artistic and engineering skills. 

Well worth the effort for the sharpness of detail and sense of place.

 

Rob 

 

Thanks Rob. If it can convey an impression of Newbury I'm happy! And thanks again for your info and suggestions on the bullnose bricks. Perhaps on a future build I can honour them better. 

 

 

17 hours ago, Neal Ball said:

Terrific work @Mikkel, I'm looking forward to seeing it progress.

 

Thanks Neal, I'm going to take a break with this build and finish a coach now - seeing all your coach builds is very inspiring.

 

 

 

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Mikkel,

I would never say you were pretentious.

 

Boxes:  They will need some type of packing to stop it rattling around.  (I think we have something similar which we keep wrapping paper in.  (Somehow we still buy more each Christmas and birthday.)

 

Interiors:  You know I love interiors, which is why I do not fix my roofs on as it is the only way they can be seen, unless you fit internal lights.  I am not keen on lights.

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15 hours ago, RCP said:

Where did you get the original GWR drawings from?

 

They are reproduced in one or two publications on the DN&SR, including C.W. Judges "A historical survey of the Didcot, Newbury & Southampton Railway". They are only overview drawings though, with frustrating references to "see detail drawing" which is then not reproduced. Here is part of it, with only the wording adjusted to Farthing.

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15 hours ago, stevel said:

Mikkel, I am Gobsmacked, this is looking stunning, incredible words fail me.

 

Thank you Steve! Though worth keeping in mind that there are definite compromises. E.g. as mentioned the SEF English bond brickwork isn't quite as "tight" as the Newbury style. Then there are those window surrounds, and the mortar courses are arguably too light, etc etc. But the various dimensions follow the drawing fairly slavishly, and I think that does help. 

 

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4 hours ago, ChrisN said:

Mikkel,

I would never say you were pretentious.

 

Thank you 😀 But Newbury station is a bit, I think. The GWML Route Structures Gazetteer (direct PDF download link here) describes it as "free Jacobethan style" and dryly concludes:

 

"As a large, well preserved example of Edwardian GWR station design, Newbury Station is of medium architectural and historic interest (but no archaeological or artistic interest)."

 

4 hours ago, ChrisN said:

Interiors:  You know I love interiors, which is why I do not fix my roofs on as it is the only way they can be seen, unless you fit internal lights.  I am not keen on lights.

 

Yes, and I take great pleasure in watching your interiors (now that sounded odd!).  Regarding lights, I am on the fence but...

 

 

 

Edited by Mikkel
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I think this is c 1933.  IIRC, the majority of the bricks were London yellows. The two shops are a coal merchant and a tobacconist.

 

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Ah yes, very nice. The basic principle with two flat-topped towers at the sides appeared in different shapes and forms at various locations:

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Southall

 

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Ross on Wye

 

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Winchester Chesil - the most balanced composition if you ask me.

 

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