I've now completed the station building apart from the painting. Unfortunately due to the weather it looks as though we won't be going down to Ford tomorrow (celebrating Mrs. D's birthday) so the light and dark stone I was going to get from Gaugemaster will have to wait.
In my last entry I was about to make substantive progress with the roof. The jig I made to cut the tiles (in 5thou Plasticard) worked well apart from the odd occasion when I failed to notice the strip was firmly against the stop which resulted in a slightly narrower tile. Experience prompted me to make another jig (visible in the front of the building in the photo below). This was simply a strip of etched NS waste with a length of bullhead rail soldered to it. The distance between the edge of the waste and the edge of the rail is important as this will be the height of the tile visible. I made sure the first, bottom, row was in line and thereafter the other rows were laid by aligning the edge of the rail to the bottom edge of the tiles already laid. The next row was then laid with the bottom of each tile abutting the top of the etch. This ensured the row spacing was consistent and that they were all in line. As a check I ruled a few parallel lines on the underlying Plasticard base to ensure that as I went up towards the apex of the roof the rows were not sloping one way or the other which would have been disastrous for the appearance. Fortunately the template ensured this did not happen.
In total I think I laid about 600 tiles but with a ready supply of pre-cut tiles and the jig in place I found I could lay a row of 21/22 tiles in 2 minutes or less. I just put some liquid poly on the base sheet and picked up the tiles with the point of a craft knife, in fact it was putting the cement on that was the biggest hindrance to quick progress. As the underlying tiles showed above the jig it was easy to locate the tiles midway over the underlying joint and against the strip of NS etch. I can say that without these jigs I would not have been able to do the roof, I find difficulty in measuring millimetres from a ruler and even the smallest variance in the size of the tiles would have been immediately noticeable.
I thought the ridge tiles would be slate but photographs show conventional rounded clay tiles. This caused a little head scratching but I found a length of thick walled plastic tube of about the right diameter in my "plastics" box. (I also have a "metals" box.) I filed a flat along the length of the tube, actually exposing the hollow core. The core was further filed out which then enabled the length of tube to be fitted over the apex of the roof.
I have only traced 4 photos of the building, 3 of those are taken from a roughly three-quarter angle looking towards the plain end wall and only one is taken, again at a roughly three-quarter angle, of the wall with the extension. This one was taken after closure. I have no photo looking directly at the front (or indeed back) wall. The plan did not show the extension or detail of guttering and downpipes although it appears from the photos that there was guttering along the front and back, as indeed one would expect. I still had a few lengths of fine plastic angle which, if the external right angle is sanded down, makes very acceptable guttering. I must try and get more of this as the back gutter is made up of 4 strips as I didn't have one length long enough. The downpipes were plastic rod which fortunately takes a little bending. There was no sign of the downpipes on the front face of the building so I had to assume they angled in and were fixed to the end wall. Such is the joy of modelling a prototype location but I don't think anyone alive can tell me that's wrong!
One final complication was the chimney. The photo I used for reference showed the chimney lost in a haze but it was only after I looked at another photo did I realise the structure was a good deal higher than I had made it. It was also more elaborate at the top so I spent some time adding further layers. It is interesting to see how ornate chimneys could be when compared with the rest of a building.
A couple of other minor points. The door handles are brass handrail knobs and the gap between the extension roof and the wall of the main building was covered by a strip of 5thou Plasticard to represent the lead flashing. I was quite pleased to see on a better photograph of Clifford station (the other on the Hay extension and with a similar, though larger building) that the lead flashing was prominent; I previously guessed it must have been there without any evidence. For those who don't know the Golden Valley Railway, it is worth mentioning that the branch originally ran from Pontrilas to Dorstone. The stations all had wooden buildings. Soon after opening the line was extended to Hay on Wye with three new stations, Clifford, Westbrook and Green's Siding. The latter was always just a halt but for some reason the other two stations were favoured with a substantial stone structure for the main building even though they contributed less traffic than Dorstone for example.
I can perhaps now make a start on painting the stonework. I found by Googling a colour photograph of an existing bridge on the Hay extension which was useful in determining the colour of stone used. It is clearly made from the same stone as Westbrook station building as the blocks appear identical, and indeed very similar to those on the embossed sheet I used. The bridge is a light brown with what I thought was a slight grey tinge, again similar to that used for the embossed sheet. This type of research is one of the interesting parts of modelling a prototype location and it's always a good feeling to fill one of the holes in your knowledge of the prototype.
This has been an interesting exercise and it's nice to be able to construct something from scratch rather than a kit. Now I have to think about what I do next.