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Posts posted by Spotlc

  1. Chips with Everything!   Terrace nearing Completion!



    For all sorts of reasons, I didn't take many pics of building the chip shop, but it is just the standard Scalescenes Corner Shop, which has several usage options - chip shop, greengrocer, pub, etc, and can be built in either right or left hand versions.  This was printed out at 76%, and built more or less as per instructions, but I made the roof section removeable, so I can detail the interior later, and there will be lights in the shop and in the flat above.    I ommited the rear yard and shed for reasons of space, and  I used card that was far too thick for the signs and facade in this scale at the first attempt, so I've altered them to a thinner card, and also gave the shop a new name.


    The original Scalescenes download showed the terrace with two-storey party extensions at the rear, but I ommited these because this row were originally intended to form  part of a low relief background - luckily as it transpired, because they would have been too large for this little diorama otherwise. I had to improvise a four flue chimney stack for the centre pair from a scrap of wood, the pots for this and all the others are turned up in the lathe from bits of scrap brass rod.


    The roof tiles are printed on self adhesive label paper, then cut into strips and stuck to 0.4mm thick card, trimmed to size and then a moulded paper gutter is glued to the underside, before the whole thing is glued in place on the foam core.  I have always found this far easier than trying to work on the single piece of thick card, and the eaves overhang has a better scale thickness in 3mm scale.


    Cheers,  Mike





    • Like 3
    • Craftsmanship/clever 3
  2. Lower Down



    The front wall of this model is removable, so I was able to get the camera almost at ground level, which produced a rather different view of the yard. Taken in natural daylight.




    I’m no great lover of flash photography for models – it often produces harsh black shadows – but it does have it’s uses and one of them is to produce artificial night shots like this, almost the same scene as above but taken using the camera’s built in flash, and a very brief exposure.     Both pics 75mm lens on Sony A-100


    Cheers,   Mike


    • Like 5
  3. Photo Play



    The pannier tank has pushed a few wagons into position in the yard. Taken with  a 75mm lens on Sony Alpha.



    Here's the same scene, but this time in monochrome and taken with a 105mm lens from the same position.



    Just for fun, the cold winter morning version!


    Cheers,  Mike

    • Like 5
    • Craftsmanship/clever 1
  4. I seem to be on a bit of a photograph roll with this model, which I haven't really done much with since it reached a useable state over a year ago.  At least, nothing to improve it, but I have had a lot of fun discovering what it's limitations are! 


     I feel much more at home with still photos than videos, so I'll gradually put up a few more pics taken at various times and with various digital cameras. They are not razor sharp in every plane, or super detail revealing, and that is deliberate  -  I don't mean to sound pretentious here  -  but I've tried to use the model as the basis for a series of little portraits of a model railway, rather than concentrate on the finer details.


    Come on, Forks!



    This was a very common sight in small yards and docks in the steam and early diesel era - trucks being loaded or unloaded alongside railway wagons,  early forklifts or front-loaders straddling tracks, frustrated yard foremen wondering how  much longer it was going to take!   


    Cheers,   Mike





    • Like 8
  5. Hi Keith, 

    thanks again for your encouragement!   You are too kind - it looks better in the pic than it actually is, and you don't want to know how long I really spent faffing about with it!  Your effort for the Cakebox challenge looks excellent, and I'm enjoying your revival of Union Station.


    Cheers,  Mike

    • Thanks 1
  6. Keith, many thanks for your kind words!  

    Given the right equipment and a bit of experience it's possible to create many different impressions of the same scene - if you want to produce realistic pics of model trains it's best to use a medium telephoto lens, say 75 or 100mm equivalent on 35mm film, and keep the camera near track level.  Having said that, I mostly don't bother, and use either the camera on my cheap Chinese phone, or a little Canon Ixus, simply because it's easier!  You need very small apertures to keep everything sharp with a 75mm lens, so the exposure times are long, so you need a tripod, and so on!   Photographing model railways is not that easy!


    Cheers, Mike



    • Informative/Useful 2
  7. Grim Little Place II


    Thanks for the likes!   Colour photography only became widely used in the UK in the 1960's - until then most photography was in monochrome, so I thought you might like to compare these two otherwise identical images.



    I quite like the colour version - the slight haze evokes the reek of diesel exhaust as the Gronk rumbles past, not helped by the Ford Thames Trader having been left with the engine ticking over!  No - you wouldn't want to work here!




    I de-saturated the colour pic completely, and gave it a bit of gentle warming to simulate the colour of the Kodabrom photo papers of the era.  This is in some ways a more "authentic" image, but only because our visual perception of immediate post-war Britain is largely based on black and white photos!


    Taken with an elderly Sony Alpha DSLR with a 75mm equivalent lens, and photo-finished in Gimp.


    Cheers,  Mike


    • Like 5
  8. On 23/10/2020 at 16:00, Kevin Johnson said:

    Mike I like the way you have made the terraced houses, great modelling.:D

    Hi Kevin, thanks again for your kind words!   I started do do these because although I love the Scalescenes designs, It isn't always necessary to have all the elaborate detail of the building's interior, so I have tried to combine the  best of the facades and roofs with a quickly made support core.  In fact, it's not that quick, and I need to do a bit more work to get it right, but worth going on with, as my Dad used to say!


    Cheers,  Mike

    • Like 1
  9. Grim Little Place!


    This model was built largely as a platform to try out different construction techniques, and I never paid a great deal of attention to the overall appearance, but I suppose deep down I wanted to get away from the "perpetual summers day" look, and capture  some of the more workaday atmosphere of the small railway yards that I remember from my youth.


    I was born and grew up in the City of Gloucester, which had locomotive depots of both the former GWR and LMS companies - these were great places for boys to to prowl around, and I did!  There was much to fascinate a growing lad, but almost without exception, everything was filthy, and from memory there were very few bright colours.


    So here are a couple of pics of the model that reflect those memories, though of course, it isn't of anywhere real!






    Also, I am quite fond of panorama pics!

    Cheers,  Mike

    • Like 8
  10. 1212618026_pic31.JPG.b7319bc7b25208a2540ccddbaec9ce8a.JPG


    This gives an idea of how the terrace is assembled - the foam cores are glued between the walls, a strip of pastel coloured paper is glued into the window recesses, and then the front wall, complete with glazing, door, curtains, blinds, etc is glued in position as a single unit. On the right are base wall templates cut out, ready for the printed brick covering to be stuck on, and the window sills to be fitted.


    I used Prittstick, or similar glue stick, for a long time  to stick the cover sheets on but I am increasingly printing the cover layers on the self adhesive paper that is sold for postage labels.  You can get this in A4 size, a bit more expensive than ordinary inkjet paper, but far, far easier to align with the base sheet.   It sometimes needs a bit of extra adhesive when folded behind a recess, especially if the return fold is narrow, but this applies to glue sticks as well.  Other advantages are that the adhesive layer is very thin, and far more evenly applied than I have ever managed with a glue stick, and it doesn't make your fingers sticky either! 


    Cheers,  Mike

    • Like 3
    • Craftsmanship/clever 1
  11. 6 hours ago, brossard said:

    If I were making Scalescenes in 4mm, I would go for the Brassmasters windows and doors.

    Thanks for your encouragement, John!  Yes the Brassmasters  windows are very good and ideal for 4mm, but sadly they don't exist for 3mm!   To be honest, this is a fairly tedious way of doing it, but the results are very satisfying, and it beats the pants off printing black windows on OHT film! Oh for a printer with a white ink cartridge, which would make this almost redundant!


    Your 7mm building looks lovely - I've always been afraid of 7mm - it would show up my failings to easily!


    Cheers,  Mike

  12. 7 hours ago, Pandora said:

    Do you buy Shellac ready to use or mix your own?

    Shellac is a time-proven  traditional material made from insect secretions dissolved in alcohol and deserves a bit of study.

    .Please tell us more about your knowledge and recommendations for Shellac.

    Hi Pandora,  thanks for your interest.   I've always mixed my own, but you can buy it ready made in UK as "Button Polish", French Polish", or "Sanding Sealer"  I'm sure there are other suppliers, but in UK I always bought shellac flakes from either Fiddes in Cardiff, or Industrial Plasters in Chippenham. Rough proportions are 100g of flakes to 1 litre of alcohol for a light lacquer, 200 g/litre for medium and 300g/litre for a heavy brew!  Crush the flakes before dissolving in alcohol, which takes a few hours - and best left overnight.  Any transparent alcohol will do - methylated spirits or iso-propyl alcohol, but needs to be 90% or more, and the proportions are not critical for model making. Either brush or dip, the medium brew will transform card into an almost plastic like material, and prevent ragged edges etc. Curiously, although called French polish it is extremely hard to find in France!


    Cheers,  Mike

    • Like 1
  13. 712138801_pic29.JPG.336f1c45be61b03112e57289f3da6882.JPG


    Here is one way of making realistic windows any size you want - the frames are first printed on self adhesive label paper, which is then stuck to a thin transparent plastic, - can be anything that comes to hand as long as it is flat and can be cut.   Then comes the hard bit - each "pane" is carefully cut out with a scalpel, then the tiny piece of paper lifted with the tweezers, leaving the glazed frame intact ready to be fixed inside the window aperture.   I set out of the graphics in Inkscape, using a layer taken from the original wall template, and here I have printed the whole set for two houses at one go.


    I should emphasise that  I learned this technique by reading articles and threads  by Doug Dickson ("Chubber"), a brilliant  architectural modeller, in the Card Modelling forum here on RMWeb, and that the forum is a showcase of inspirational work for anyone interested in making more varied buildings than commercial offerings can provide, although I often feel rather inadequate when I see some of the great stuff on there!




    Just for comparison, these are the panels cut to size, the one on the left is ready to glue up, the one on the right has yet to have the "glazing" revealed.


    Cheers,  Mike

    • Like 3
  14. Nice idea, Kevin!  The grounded coach was probably ex GER and I exoect hard to find, but there is a very similar GWR all third coach kit in the Parkside catalogue: PC610.  Not identical, but does have five doors as your prototype pic seems to show. Anyway, good luck!


  15. Thanks for your encouragement, T-A!  And for the tip about the URL,  I'll leave this one as it is, then use your suggestion on any new vids I put up.


    As for the slow speed control,  it's that which made me try out battery power and R/C, and although it is sometimes frustrating to find solutions, it is the very precise control at low speeds that make the effort worthwhile!  I'll try and do a video of very gentle coupling and uncoupling,  which is where low speed control is most important.


    Thanks again,  Mike

    • Like 1
  16. After what is a huge gap since I posted anything on here, I finally got round to making a little video of a simple movement of a Siphon G.  Rather out of my comfort zone with the video thing - not even sure if the link will work, - I'd appreciate it if someone could explain how you get make the thumbnail picture the actual link, rather than having the URL link underneath!



    Loose shunting at New Prospect Lane


    Cheers, Mike

    • Like 4
  17. 2 hours ago, brossard said:

    Always good to see what others are doing on the Scalescenes front.  3mm does seem to be thick for 1/100 but in the photo they look good.

     Hi John,  yes, you are right, they are a bit meaty for 3mm scale,  - for all sorts of reasons I ran out of 2mm MDF,  but I'll pretend they were built to a high standard, and had 13" party walls!  I wanted to compare cutting them out on the bandsaw with cutting out in card - dimensional accuracy, surface finish, etc,  so I pressed on regardless!


    I have used 3mm foamboard for 1/76th models, and again you are right, about it being far easier to cut than thick card.  I did have some issues with the open cut edges showing through the paper cover sheet sometimes, and the idea of these foam cores is to allow, as far as possible, the use of 1mm, or less card for the facades, but the jury is still out!


    Cheers, Mike

  18. Bob the Builder.  A Diversion!


    I apologise again to the railway enthusiasts here, because this diversion is about model buildings rather than railways, but since buildings are often part of micro layouts and dioramas, I hope I am forgiven.



    I had already made the row of terraced houses, which are from an old, now discontinued Scalescenes download, again reduced to 1/100.   I used a similar foam core technique that I had played about with in New Prospect Lane, but modified to take account of the smaller 3mm scale.  This poor photo is the only pic I have of them when first built, but there are some better photos I took whilst I was putting them together.



    The foam cores were made from 30mm thick high density foam glued up to make 60mm blocks, then cut out on the bandsaw in batches.  I found out the hard way that transparent windows against a solid background  will not work, so these have two full height 15x10mm recesses cut where the windows and doors are on the front face. These recesses were cut out on a bench router, but the whole thing could have just as well  been done with a hot wire foam cutter with far less noise and mess!



    The gable ends and party walls were cut out of 3mm MDF, a bit over scale thickness for 1/100, but not too noticeable, and then the paper covers stuck on with Prittstick.


     An aside now,  nothing to do with the model  but just for interest, an  explanation of the origin of this particular design -  the use of party walls rising above the roof line dates back to Victorian times, when unscrupulous builders would often omit the party wall above the second floor bedroom on the grounds of economy,  leaving the loft space of the entire terrace  as a huge fire corridor, threatening all the houses, even if only one of the houses caught fire.  Legislation was eventually passed to stop this practice, pioneerered in part, I think, by the London Fire Brigade, and this style of terraced house with a visible party wall was the result.


    Cheers,  Mike

    • Like 2
    • Informative/Useful 2
  19. The two parts of the building were first glued together, back face down on the suface plate, then the support ribs behind were added. 



     To make sure everthing was properly lined up, the roof section was joined to the base in-situ,  and to prevent  the whole thing ending up stuck to the frame panels, I used the old trick of  kitchen clingfilm as a mask, which is only a few microns thick, and forms the perfect barrier to almost any kind of adhesive.




     This shot "across the rooftops"  gives an idea of what the finished thing might look like - still a lot to do - weathering, lighting, painting, and so on, but for now I'm reasonably happy!  I'll have a little break from the new build now, and instead show a few pics of building the houses, which I did last year.


    Cheers, Mike



    • Like 7
    • Craftsmanship/clever 1
  20. 14 hours ago, TechnicArrow said:

    Some incredibly tidy card modelling there, sir! If I tried that it would have gaps and rough edges everywhere... 


    I love watching you build these A4-scenes, especially your use of height to get the most out of the small area - something many tend to forget about, it seems. I can't wait to see this one finished!

    Hi TA, many thanks for your kind words!  I've always enjoyed making card models, but 3mm scale is quite small for the aged mitts, so I often make blunders which then need ages to repair, which just slows things down!

    Cheers, Mike


    11 hours ago, Kevin Johnson said:

    Really nice card modelling Mike, it’s all starting to come together nicely.

    Thanks again, Kevin, I think I am getting close to a "stage" with this, but it seems to be taking some time for such a tiny model!

    Cheers,  Mike

  21. Thanks again four your encouragement, Kevin, much appreciated!


    Now, made a bit more progress; I decided on the sunken roof and parapet, which I made up as a separate item yesterday, here it's just lodged in position before I assemble it to the two buildings:



    All from 1mm thick card with paper coverings, and you see what I mean by funny angles! - the next thing will be finally marrying the three bits together!


    Cheers,  Mike


    • Like 4
    • Craftsmanship/clever 4
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