Firstly, thanks to everyone that commented on the first post, and the wide range of thoughts, suggestions and help that those comments contained. Its one of the aspects I do love about rmWeb, people are happy and willing to share their knowledge and help modellers to achieve better end results. In my case, its appreciated and has spurred me on a bit.
So, as I said last time, the first module to be built will be Forge Gate Goods Warehouse. The intention is that this will be a three-story large building that would dominate any area of the ‘big layout’ if I ever get to that position. In the short to medium term, this will be part of a working diorama, with one side of the building created, but made removable so that people can see inside at what happened within these giant goods facilities. To get an idea of where I am going, think along the lines of this building https://www.warwickshirerailways.com/lms/mrls308.htm. Ideally, I would have liked to have gone down the square(ish) footprint, like this but it would just be too big, as I estimate the building would scale to around 23 inches square.
The board for this will be three foot by one foot, positioned on a 2”x1” frame to lift it up. I am thinking ahead to the next board which will contain the pointwork to access the various sidings and the servos that need to be placed below the board. 2”x1” should provide enough lea-way to accommodate the servo vertically and give some protection. Working on an approximate basis of one inch per track, this is being built to 2mm Finescale standards, that should provide enough space inside the building for three pairs of tracks (six sidings) each of which capable of holding around 16 wagons (based on three taking up around 5.5 inches including couplings). Two of the tracks (nearest the open side) will be around 6-8 inches shorter, to allow more view into the inner workings of the warehouse, giving a total capacity of around 86 wagons. Now as I currently only have two (neither of which are suitable for being inside this building, given they are private owner coal merchant vehicles!) I have some wagon building tasks ahead!! Interestingly the Warwickshire Railways website reports that when the Midland Railway opened Lawley Street Goods Warehouse it had nine roads, accommodation for 88 wagons, so perhaps these ideas and plans are not too far away from reality.
This close up image gives a good view of the detail around the windows, although I am a intrigued as to why one window (presumably stairs?) is lower on the middle floor than it is on the top? Anyone any ideas?
For most of the general buildings, like houses etc, I'll probably follow Roger Beckwith's ideas that he used on Wrenton (which if you haven't seen, is well worth a some time spent exploring his website) which revolve around plasticard cut on a digital cutting machine, such as a Silhouette Portrait. The results are stunning, and again if you haven't seen it, check out Roger's overview of building a cottage. However, for the goods shed, because of its size and three levels, my current line of thinking is that the building sides will be laser cut out of 1mm Birch Ply, with the brickwork detail etched onto the sheet, as a friend has access to a laser cutter. This will then have windows added to the inside out of 0.5mm Rowmark plastic, with 0.5mm Acrylic for the windows, and finally an inner skin of 1mm Ply. It will mean that the building walls become some 3mm thick, but should make the whole structure solid, given that there are two inner floors to be fitted and the roof, none of which will be supported on one of the longer sides. The various cast iron lintels over door ways I’ll make from plasticard.
Looking at photographs of the inside of various goods warehouses, both Midland as well as Great Northern and Great Western buildings, I am thinking that the roof detail will follow this style of approach - https://www.warwickshirerailways.com/lms/mrls432.htm - with either plasticard or possibly small etched brass detailing for the strapping. I am thinking that the cast iron beams that are visible in the roof area of the lower floor (https://www.warwickshirerailways.com/lms/mrls306.htm) may best be represented by some 3D printed beams, and I suspect the column will be best produced the same way, then sanded smooth before painting.
However that last image raised another question, one of the cartage area, which leads me to two real options going forward, one is to remove a pair of the long roads, which would release two inches, plus a further two inches for the platform, creating a cartage area that is four inches wide, or to extend the width of the baseboard from 12 inches (one foot) to 18 inches, allowing a cartage area of some 18 inches to be created. I am tending towards the latter somewhat, but perhaps with a five inch cartage area, allowing an inch outside of the building to be created. However I am not sure whether this will be able to be blended in with the board next to it, whatever it may be, and whenever it is created.
I am also trying to investigate how Goods Warehouses in the late 1910s/early 1920s would have been lit internally, I suspect gas lamps would have played a big role, but some of the images seem to feature electric light, but it could be that it is a later picture of course.
In terms of cartage, Langley Models produce some nice horse-drawn carts, many with horses, that could be adapted quite easily. One of them (https://www.langleymodels.co.uk/awd1/index.php?route=product/product&path=216&product_id=4897) looks very like the MRC branded cart in this view https://www.warwickshirerailways.com/lms/mrls308a.htm.
Again, it all spurs me on to actually get started, but I know I need to take my time with the plans and get it right, although having only built one model building before in my life, there is something of a learning curve involved! I also promise I'll try and make these blog posts shorter in future.
Happy Modelling chaps!
Header image: Mikey from Wythenshawe, Manchester, UK, Used under Creative Commons use, CC BY 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons.