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A Duchess at Carlisle II


The latest pics of progress.  The roof is complete and a backscene of joined, white mounting card has been erected.  Just a small section of some platform buildings and a LCut footbridge to install.  I also need to get a printout of the real citadel building seen to the rear of the station - this will be pasted to card and placed in the correct position on the backscene.

 

 

 

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The above looks a bit like a painting in a way.  There is no photoshop trickery here - the photo has been merely cropped.  Taken by a Fuji Bridge, F11, 1 sec exposure, ISO 100 with a slight adjustment on the white balance to prevent washout.  I've used my homemade lighting rig cobbled together from an old overhead projector.   A mirror has been placed at the end of the roof section to make the station look much larger.

 

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Just under the screen - again, a cropped Fuji shot.  Note the reflection of the inside of the end screen in the distance.

 

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This picture was actually taken at night using a spotlight and a diffuser box powered by a LED 100 watt equivalent bulb (see pics below).  I got the spot from a man who used to be a projectionist many years ago.  The spot is as old as the hills but works brilliantly and it only cost me around £10.  I was trying to emulate streaming sunlight, but, as my wife pointed out, it just looks like someone shining a torch through the roof.  Some more thinking required.

 

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Another night shot - this time with my Panasonic Lumix shoot and go camera.  I used the 'Starry Night' long-exposure setting - placing my hand over the lens after about 4 seconds to prevent white out (the camera only goes down to 15 seconds exposure on this setting).  

 

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The cheap spot with my own version of a beam splitter taped to the front.

 

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The LED diffuser box.  It is just a simple cardboard box with tracing paper front taped over an ordinary bulb holder.

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  • RMweb Gold

Extraordinary views and modelling, Mike.

 

I especially like the shot with the lone individual in the great railway cathedral, damaged glazing and all, very nicely done.

 

For me the only immediate give-away is the cleanliness of the loco, but that just shows how effective your colouring of the rest is.

 

And I now understand how you achieve this excellence. It's all driven by your wife's high standards! :)

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Blown away again by this :swoon: 

 

Stunning modelling and photography. The mirror works so well and if you clipped the second photo down it would just take out the loco.

 

Am quite liking the lighting myself - your wife is a tough critique! If that was her only comment then it’s testament to the rest of the modelling as that roof structure is superb.

 

Really liking the detailing including the various shades of grime on the glass and the broken panes.

 

As Mikkel says the shot without even a train in sight is stunning.

 

Look forward to the next instalment...

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17 hours ago, Mikkel said:

Extraordinary views and modelling, Mike.

 

I especially like the shot with the lone individual in the great railway cathedral, damaged glazing and all, very nicely done.

 

For me the only immediate give-away is the cleanliness of the loco, but that just shows how effective your colouring of the rest is.

 

And I now understand how you achieve this excellence. It's all driven by your wife's high standards! :)

Thanks, Mikkel.

 

Well she holds the purse strings so all consultation starts with her first!  Joking aside,  I actually respect her view on most things as she’s not given to false flattery and also has quite a fair and balanced opinion of things in general.  Whilst initially taking umbrage, as always, I did actually see her point after pondering for a while. She’s actually the better photographer in reality and I always encourage her take charge of the camera on holiday.  With my layouts, however, that’s a different matter and so she’s only allowed to critique!  

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11 hours ago, bcnPete said:

Blown away again by this :swoon: 

 

Stunning modelling and photography. The mirror works so well and if you clipped the second photo down it would just take out the loco.

 

Am quite liking the lighting myself - your wife is a tough critique! If that was her only comment then it’s testament to the rest of the modelling as that roof structure is superb.

 

Really liking the detailing including the various shades of grime on the glass and the broken panes.

 

As Mikkel says the shot without even a train in sight is stunning.

 

Look forward to the next instalment...

Thanks for the glowing praise, Pete.  However, if you were employed as a 4mm scale consultant engineer then you’d condemn the structure immediately.  There’s loads of wonky bits and if you were able to put your eye along the beams you’d see just how out of true parts of the roof is.  I’m also not totally happy with the screen, it’s all down to rushing a bit and the choice of materials out of economy.  Believe me, if I had the cash I’d have the roof parts etched separately before assembly and the screen laser cut or printed.  That was if I could use CAD or the like!  Thanks again for the comment.  Mike.

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Hello Mike,

 

I've been coming back to your latest photos for a couple of days now and I have to say that I think  your "Starry Night" long exposure shot without the train is the most realistic model photo that I've ever seen. The screen is really well done but the roof with it's dirty glass and missing panes is perfect, as is the placement of the single figure at middle distance. I rather like the sunlight shot too - in fact I like all of them.

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Just a few pics showing how the wire roof was constructed for anyone interested.  These roof structure may look very complicated but they are relatively easy to make once you break it all down into its respective components etc.  As a builder, I've a bit of understanding of how they are constructed in real life - this knowledge has helped enormously.

 

 

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The bundles of wire are seperated into seperate strands.  These are then G clamped to either end of a furniture clamp - the clamp is turned in reverse to stretch the wire straight and introduce a little tension.  I've already ruined one furniture clamp (on previous schemes) as they are obviously not designed to work in reverse.  It took about 230 x 3ft lengths of wire to make this structure and a lot was used up by the circular Truss design.

 

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I studied a lot of pictures of the prototype and carefully drew out the Truss design onto a piece of plaster board.  This holds the wire firmly in place during soldering.  For such a large 3ft by 3ft structure I needed 78 of these.  Soldering them all up in the same jig ensures repitition.

 

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The circles were easy to make by using a broom handle.  This was for the smaller outer circles - the big central one was made by using an old postal tube in a similar fashion.

 

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The six beams were the next job.  They required two sides a piece - this differs from the prototype in as much as the bottom plate is a single 2 inch thick piece of flat steel.  I had to double up because they would been far too wobbly to work with and they needed to be as ridgid as possible.

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The next job was to tie the structure together.  An exact plan of the roof was drawn out onto a piece of flat ply and the beams placed precisely into the positions determined by the walls.

 

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The Trusses were soldered together - note how they line up with the beam positions.

 

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The trusses were then soldered to the beams.  I used a Dremel to cut the top of the beams and slid the trusses down into place.

 

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Once everything was throughly washed down it was onto the cardboard ridge and valley sections.  Note how the metal bars used to join the trusses have been covered over with card spacers.  These were cut to the same pattern and they nicely hide the join.  Once I was happy, the whole thing was sprayed Matt Black from rattle cans.   Unfortunately, no matter how accurate you try to be you will always get deviation from perfect true so there has been a lot of McGuyvering since - cutting out a wire here and cutting or adding cardboard there etc.  The test photographs have helped me identify areas where things look a little lumpy etc - still a bit of fiddling to go yet.

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29 minutes ago, Alex Duckworth said:

Hello Mike,

 

I've been coming back to your latest photos for a couple of days now and I have to say that I think  your "Starry Night" long exposure shot without the train is the most realistic model photo that I've ever seen. The screen is really well done but the roof with it's dirty glass and missing panes is perfect, as is the placement of the single figure at middle distance. I rather like the sunlight shot too - in fact I like all of them.

Gosh, Alex, that’s a real compliment. Thank you and it provides plenty of encouragement for me.  Making these roofs, and I’ve done a few now, has been a long learning process.  I guess, because I made this, then I’m aware of the wobbly bits so having others appreciate the work is very gratifying.  I understand that bits of wire and cornflake box card is not everyone’s idea of proper modeling, but it is surprising what you can achieve using humble materials.  Necessity is the mother of all invention, so they say, but if I had the cash I’d certainly would use brass and have things laser printed etc.  Many thanks again, Mike.

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Don't worry about the wire and cornflake box thing Mike, proper modelling is about ending up with the best possible model for the desired result and you certainly  do that. I was told a long time ago that a good modelmaker would use materials appropriate to the desired result, whether brass, wood, card (or etching and 3D printing for that matter). It's quite natural, I find, to be hyper aware of the wobbly bits - when I've finished a model I can't bear to look at it for a couple of weeks, all I can see are the mistakes and bits that I should have done better. The important thing is that you improve from project to project.

regards,

 

Alex.

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Thanks for the breakdown on how you constructed the roof Mike - absolutely fascinating :yes: 

 

As you say it could have been 3D printed, but that would take away a lot of the fun of the build as well as those odd moments where you drop hot solder on yourself ;) 

 

Don’t beat yourself up over the front screen either - I think it works really well...

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  • RMweb Gold

Just a minor comment on the Duchess, and in no way intended to detract from the marvellous modelling on display - when I reworked my own Margate-era Duchess, I came to the conclusion that the original model has a design error in that the footplate slopes down from back to front. I think you can see this in the way the parallels on the tender don't line up with those on the loco. Every Margate Duchess I've seen in photos seems to have this slope, but I've not seen it otherwise commented on. For mine (which is now back in pieces) I cut away a portion of the cab floor so that the back end could sit a bit lower.

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4 hours ago, Barry Ten said:

Just a minor comment on the Duchess, and in no way intended to detract from the marvellous modelling on display - when I reworked my own Margate-era Duchess, I came to the conclusion that the original model has a design error in that the footplate slopes down from back to front. I think you can see this in the way the parallels on the tender don't line up with those on the loco. Every Margate Duchess I've seen in photos seems to have this slope, but I've not seen it otherwise commented on. For mine (which is now back in pieces) I cut away a portion of the cab floor so that the back end could sit a bit lower.

Cheers for the advice, Barry.  Know exactly what you mean.  I’ve got a later early BR version that looks much better and that’ll appear in later pics once the layout is finished.  In the meantime, I’ve merely used a black piece of card behind the Margate version for taking pics - this helps hide the hideous gap between rear bogie and the incorrect footplate profile.  It just shows how far the manufacturers have come over the last few decades.  I doubt we’d put up with now what was available then - even Hornby’s Railroad Range is superior to the early stuff.  Many thanks again.  Mike.  

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