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Backscene diversions


5&9Models

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Just a small filler project to sit between the Stables and Greyhound Place at Bricklayers Arms. Bermondsey was the centre of the London leather trade chosen because it was sufficiently south of the Thames for the inevitable stench not to trouble the great and the good, notwithstanding the fact that at that time they had their own stinking cess-filled river to contend with. Apparently, at their peak, the tanneries of Bermondsey supplied one third of all the leather in the country.

 

I chose to reproduce a section of Alfred Hunt's chemical works as it can be interpreted as such or perhaps the back wall of an actual tannery. Either way it plugs a gap and provides a relevant talking point. The building itself is embossed styrene or 'Plastikard', the dray and 'Old Sal' are Dart castings (excellent quality), and the figure is an old Airfix US Marine with his hat filed down and a tissue paper leather apron. The rope for the hoist typically runs round a small pulley and disappears inside the building. I can image it was then tied to a small Victorian boy or two depending on the load!

 

 

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There's still a bit of work to do in terms of bedding in the building itself, a bit of dirt and detritus to add. The only picture I have so far of 'Old Sal' the horse is temporarily posed in from of the stables so I've included that as well. A wider shot beckons when all is stuck down and weathered in.

 

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Better get those barrels in before it chucks it down...!

 

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  • RMweb Gold

Hi Chris, what you consider "a small filler project" is a work of art to me! I note in particular the colour scheme with the variation of browns and subdued red, the textures, and the careful positioning of everything. 

 

Apologies, but here comes one of the usual "where did you get" questions: Those barrels? They don't look like my various Dart Castings types?

 

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2 hours ago, Mikkel said:

 

Apologies, but here comes one of the usual "where did you get" questions: Those barrels? They don't look like my various Dart Castings types?

 

 

Thank you Mikkel, much appreciated. To be precise the barrels are Dart Castings L71 hogsheads, £3.95 for three. I have a mixture of Dart and Langley. I prefer these though, there's something 'old' about them. One thing I did notice whilst looking at old pictures of London docks is that many of the barrels had whitewashed or painted ends with initials and/or numbers on them, presumably to identify owner and contents? It's an obvious requirement really but one that's easily missed.

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  • RMweb Gold

Many thanks Chris, I agree that they do have the right period look. I must get myself some of those with the next order. The painting of ends is a good observation, and could also help disguise that many model barrels don't have the ends done very well.

 

A particular annoyance is model barrels that are moulded without a bottom. "Not necessary and increases cost", the manufacturer will say, but they haven't tried modelling wagon loads with barrels laid on the side...

 

Oh, the hardships of being a railway modeller :D

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Chris,

Does look brilliant.  Especially like the door and the man, and the barrels look just the right amount of dirty.  I will need to check to see how long and how widespread the white lids were.

 

How old is the building?  I know Bermondsey, was quite new in the 1850s, relatively but my recollection of London, pre clean air act was that it was filthy.  The tunnels into Liverpool Street are about the only places that I have seen recently that have to same level of grey/black that I remember.  The rain has washed the dirt off would you believe.  Never went sarf of the River mind.  Norf Lundon boy, funny people other side of the River.

Edited by ChrisN
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5 hours ago, ChrisN said:

How old is the building?  I know Bermondsey, was quite new in the 1850s, relatively but my recollection of London, pre clean air act was that it was filthy. 

 

Thanks Chris. I don’t know how old the building is but by the time this picture was taken c.1865 it looked pretty knackered! I haven’t copied it exactly but used it for inspiration. My version is a bit cleaner being 20 years younger.

 

I’m also slightly spooked.

 

The second image is of people working in a Tannery, only I didn’t upload it. It uploaded itself....! :swoon:

 

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Actually, your building looks really good, and has been done really well.  The building in your picture is more like the condition I saw buildings in, but that was 100 years later.

 

Are they wearing the mid Victorian equivalent of a hard hat?

 

You have to watch these computers.  They always give me trouble when I show them I am in control.  :jester:

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