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Spotlc

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Posts posted by Spotlc

  1. Hello John, some interesting observations there, and  I completely agree with your last sentiment about using paper printed coverings for card buildings!

     

    I've thought for a long time that it's very difficult to justify wall textures in scales of 1/76 or less, unless they are produced with great accuracy, simply because to achieve any degree of realism the mortar joints would be so tiny.  In full size, standard practice for good quality load bearing walls is that the joint should be about 3/8" (9.5-10mm) thick and finished with a concave tool of around half that size, (commonly referred to as the "bucket handle recess", because that's how it used to be done - nowadays a cranked finishing tool is used), around 3/16" (4.5-5mm) deep.

     

    Most railway buildings have, and had, high quality brickwork, and for the most part modern brickwork is also laid to these standards.  A hurriedly built single story building like a small shed, or a garden wall, might have perhaps, 1/2" (12mm) joints to speed up the work, and a cheapskate effort might have just 1/4" (6mm) joints to save on the mortar costs, but they are exceptions.

     

    If we take the 3/16" full size recess as the norm, this translate to a recess 0.06mm deep in 1/76 scale, 0.05mm in 1/87, and a tiny 0.03mm in 1/148. For comparison, a 120GSM paper is about 0.12mm thick, and 90GSM is about 0.10mm, and I suggest that such tiny textures would be almost imperceptible to the human eye, except very close up.

     

    Older, weather worn brick work would of course be an exception, and roofs are a bit different because the bond overlap of the roofing material is viewed to some extent "on edge", but even here, the ubiquitous Welsh slates were rarely more than 1/2" thick - yes, I know,  Delaboles, Brosleys, Marleys and so on, are thicker, but they are not so common around railways!

     

    It's possible that modern resin printing or laser engraving can produce this level of accuracy, but most of the examples I've encountered are woefully over scale in depth, and the same goes for the plastic sheet offerings, but I'm happy to be corrected if I'm out of touch!

     

    Best, Mike

     

    • Interesting/Thought-provoking 1
  2. Hi Joseph, excuse delay in replying! 

    Yes, I'm not surprised, as I said earlier, I think it was only used for storing PW materials anyway, shame though.  I have visited La Jonchere, but years ago, and the goods shed was being used by a builders merchants, and I seem to remember the weighbridge building was quite interesting, but I can't find any pice, though I know I took some!

     

    Best, Mike

  3. IMG_3530.JPG.3237232fdc9296f9bc87b50f9f3936bd.JPG

    Canon Digital Ixus 960is

    This is the view through the disused covered loading bay.  The internal structure of concrete blocks is clearly a more modern introduction - I suspect it was used for storing track maintenance equipment and materials, but I honestly don't know.

     

    IMG_3518.JPG.9424bab1ab48e0769665cea72274c1d4.JPG

    Canon Digital Ixus 960is

    This loco pulled the train from Gueret, it was built in the UK by Vulcan Foundry, Newton-le-Willows. I think most of the British one were built by North British Locomotive during World War 1, this one was built later, I think in 1919.

     

    IMG_3528.JPG.c95b9e0a0197456c2f6d215206064990.JPG

    Canon Digital Ixus 960is

    These slam door all-third coaches were built by, or for, La Compagnie du Nord in the mid 1930's and are of all steel welded construction, notable for the extreme curvature of the body sides. Now part of the stock of CFTLP who restore and run vintage trains, based in Limoges.

     

    IMG_3539.JPG.e9b63222ae4df4369518fd72ef6ebee6.JPG

    Canon Digital Ixus 960Is 

    I was amused to see  the warning panel about not letting the children play with the door lock!

     

    The End?

    61201116_May2019.jpg.cb19429a6127477ac9d2bac5cc2504ae.jpg

    Photo courtesy of France Bleu

    Sadly, less than a year after these pics were taken, the goods shed caught fire in May 2019, and the roof and it's timber structure were totally destroyed. Part of the masonry seems to have survived, but I doubt it will ever be rebuilt, though I could be wrong, because there are plans about re-starting this Bordeaux-Lyon route in the near future:
    https://www.railpassion.fr/reseaux-francais/start-up-envisage-reouverture-de-bordeaux-lyon/

     

    Best, Mike

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    • Like 3
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    • Interesting/Thought-provoking 1
  4. I forgot that I had posted the trackside view of the goods shed in a private message, so here it is:

    img022.jpg.0a3b2cabd5a13ec6e2a28b419de8bb73.jpg

    1983 Nikon L35AF

    Taken at the same time in 2014.

     

    IMG_3523.JPG.3a2a330adc84afb5b86cadf4d54e4f72.JPG

    Canon Digital Ixus 960is

    By  the time I next visited St Sulpice Laurière, in 2018, things had started to go rapidly dowhill!   I'll post a few more from this visit, and then the final, tragic, denouement!

     

    Best, Mike

    • Like 5
  5. 23 hours ago, JeffP said:

    How difficult is film to come by?

    Hi Jeff,

    my reply to David gives a clue!  There are loads of films available, both black and white and colour, but you won't find them in any shops, but loads of online suppliers  As well as the big names like Kodak, Ilford, Fuji, Agfa, and so on, there are plenty of lesser known makes - one of my favorites is Foma, made in Bohemia, but each to his own! 

     

    I don't do wet printing any more, to get an image onto a computer, it's going to be scanned anyway, and in the unlikely event that I did want an exhibition print, I'd send the negative to Aurelien le Duc at Labo Argentique!

     

    Best wishes  Mike

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  6. On 10/06/2021 at 00:06, Pacific231G said:

    I suspect that, whatever the definition,  greater dynamic range may be one reason why film has a different feel from digital.

    Hi David,
    yes, that is certainly one of the reasons, but there are so many possible variables with both film and digital that it is difficult to nail down any single one with confidence.   This is especially true of flm cameras - one of the largest stockists of analogue photopgraphic supplies in Europe is Macodirect in Stapelfeld, Germany, and at present they list 28 different manufacturers of black and white films in many different formats and film speeds. (Silverprint in London, and Labo Argentique near Limoges, will have similar ranges)

     

    Now, any one of these could be developed in dozens of different commercial developers, not to mention countless home brews, so already the variations are enormous. Add to this variations in processing techniques,  the quality of the lens being used, the quality of the negative scanner, (which range from about £200 for my 15 year old Epson V500 up to £2,000 for the cheapest Nikon Coolscan, £10,000 for their top of the range, and a professional drum scanner at about £35,000), and you can see that it is impossible to be precise.

     

    Once the negative (or the resulting print) have been scanned they cease to be an analogue image, and are treated exactly as any digital camera image by whatever software one uses, so in this sense they are now identical.  For me, the fun comes from restoring and using interesting old cameras, dabbling with chemistry, and the special buzz you get when opening the devolping tank to see what you've got, which has never left me, even after sixty years!

     

    There, I'm sorry to have hi-jacked this forum with photographic blah-blah, and I promise not to do it again, unless provoked!!

    Best wishes,   Mike

    • Like 1
    • Interesting/Thought-provoking 1
  7. On 07/06/2021 at 22:42, Philou said:

    Bonsoir et salut! I've only just come across your thread - love the photos!

     

    Mille mercis, Phillip!  Sorry for the delay in replying.  Digital cameras are vastly superior in almost every way, and the top end range of DSLR's like Nikon or Canon have probably resolutions approaching medium format,  but I still like dabbling with film photography and old cameras!  I developed my first film over sixty years ago, and I grew up next to a mainline railway, so I excpect they are both in my blood!

     

    Here are a couple more for Joseph in St Sulpice Laurière:

    img017.jpg.7e7340ebb9b4f09c614dc3bfdc63a9a0.jpg

    1983 Nikon L35AF

    This is the other side of the goods shed, with what I suppose is a PW department vehicle agant the blocks.  What is interesting is that there appears to be no obvious road access to this building - perhaps it was just used for transhipment of goods to and from Montluçon - odd?

     

    img020.jpg.146c0d461ac5bc98906fc0997a1e8f75.jpg

    1983 Nikon L35AF

    A more general view across the northern end of the station,  with more PW vehicles in evidence.  They seemed to keep quite a bit of PW stuff here when this was taken in 2014

     

    Best, Mike

    • Like 4
  8. Since Joseph's interest in Saint Sulpice Laurière has bump started this fairly dormant thread, I thought I might post a few more pics. In truth I've had a number of serious health issues since most of these  were taken and I haven't done much photography recently, so they are all from the "archives"

     

    Continuing with Saint Sulpice Laurière, the northern approach to the station is through a very deep cutting, as this pic shows:

     

    img024_filtered.jpg.430fe4c1c1559dd37b7d01c93d0119d2.jpg

    1983 Nikon L35AF

    Only it wasn't meant to be a cutting at all!   It was originally built as a 290m long tunnel, but at some point in the work the tunnel collapsed, trapping a numbere of workmen inside, who were fortunately literally dug out, and the tunnel converted to the cutting seen now.  The sheer physical effort involved in all this is difficult to imagine, but I suppose that applies to all railway contruction in that era.

     

     

    img023.jpg.06e72aec54716db37248ff45d8f51aec.jpg

    1983 Nikon L35AF

    I am pretty sure this necessarily oblique photo is part of the entance to the original tunnel, and it has been retained as a road bridge which carries the D78 over the tracks.   I've got a few more from this visit, but I'll have to look 'em out!

     

    Best,  Mike

    • Like 4
  9. Jeff,

     the Romans spent a long time here plundering the region's gold,silver, copper, tin and lead, and they would have had the uranium as well, if they had known what to with it!! The Haute Vienne departement produced about 40% of all the uranium mined in France between 1948 and 2001, when all uranium mining ceased.  The legacy of all this has taken, and will take, years, if not centuries, to resolve.  (The half-life of pure uranium is 600 years). Here's a link to a Power Point presentation that has much of the info:

    https://www-ns.iaea.org/downloads/rw/projects/emras/emras-two/first-technical-meeting/fourth-working-group-meeting/working-group-presentations/workgroup2-presentations/presentation-4th-wg2-limousin-sites.pdf

     

    There is a uranium mining museum in Bessines sur Gartempe, or very near, and there is the entrance to an old gold mine on the road from St Sulpice le Dunois, just before you enter La Celle Dunoise.

     

    Best, Mike

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  10. On 29/05/2021 at 18:59, Joseph_Pestell said:

    I had not realised that the X72500s had been used on through Bordeaux - Lyon services.

    When we first came to live in France, in 2004, this Bordeaux-Lyon route was sometimes locomotive hauled at weekends, but only for a year or so.  The entire line between St S-l and Montluçon was closed for ages some years ago to allow complete re-signalling of the line,  so it might become more frequently used than at present. Here is a link to an article of interest:

    https://france3-regions.francetvinfo.fr/nouvelle-aquitaine/cooperative-ferroviaire-veut-remettre-ligne-bordeaux-limoges-lyon-rails-1915264.html

     

    The remains of the junction to Chateauponsac can still be seen from a Limoges bound train. I think there was a nuclear waste disposal unit on the site of an old uranium mine near Chateauponsac, and I have been told that trains to and from there only ran at night.  I don't know if this is true, but it makes sense if you think about it!

     

    Best, Mike

  11. Joseph, there are a few pics of the Loco depot in steam days, like this:

     

    depot-000-rotonde.jpg.e960d6fe79e9da8a7f4969041f95306c.jpg

    No idea when this was taken - the station building is upper right, beyond the junction from Gueret.

     

    And here is an English visitor, seen at the Fête de la Gare in 2018

    IMG_3518.JPG.9424bab1ab48e0769665cea72274c1d4.JPG

    Built by Vulcan Foundry, Newton le Willows.

     

    Good luck with your new house,

    Best,  Mike

     

     

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  12. Nearly There!

     

    This restoration proved to be more effort than I thought at first.  The porch was beyond repair, the chimneys were missing entirely, and the roof had been badly damaged, so  I'm afraid this is more of a pastiche than a restoration of the original.  It's also become the Borough Engineer's offices instead of a police station.

     

    IMG_4512.JPG.9e8735b33d95937b6013d9e8fe06e8f1.JPG

    I remade the porch from 2mmMDF, with the little roof done with Scalecenes slates like the main roof shown earlier, and the chimney stacks are  from wood with turned brass pots. It was obvious that the original stacks were as wide as the flat part of the roof and I thought that just two pots looked a bit meagre, so they got three each!

     

    Otherwise, it's more or less true to the original as to proportions, glazing and material appearance. I did have few sheets of Superquick yellow brick for the chimney stacks and porch sides, but it doesn't match  - I imagine the original has faded a bit with time.  There are still the downpipes to do, and I'm sure the little annexe would have had a fire of some sort, so a stovepipe chimney will appear there in due course!

     

    IMG_4511.JPG.82967caa8c347aa01fff23999b8d4edc.JPG

    The boss's Riley Kestrel is parked outside, a fairly accurate model by Oxford Models, for which I have more than the usual affection, for the following reason.  The registration number of the model Riley is DLA 404, a number issued by London County Council in 1936, and I know this because for two blissful years in the early 1960's, I owned and drove a 1936 Lagonda Rapier, whose reg. number was DLA 121, so the rose tinted specs come out whenever I notice the Riley!

     

    Sorry about the diversion!  I've greatly enjoyed bringing this building back to something like it looked originally, one of the nicest ones they ever made, great shame it was deleted!

     

    Cheers,   Mike

    • Like 8
    • Craftsmanship/clever 2
  13. Well done, Edward!  You have made a fine job of capturing the atmosphere of these attractive buildings.

    About the glue stains, it's best to avoid them in the first place, though it's not always possible, but a few glue syringes with different size nozzles bought on eBay for very little money (search for glue syringes), will make life much easier!

    IMG_4509.JPG

     

    This sort of thing,   but make sure you have a means of sealing the fine tube after use, or washing the whole thing out, else it will dry and become useless (don't ask how I know this!)    You might also consider printing Scalescenes texture sheets onto self-adhesive label paper - no glue, no sticky fingers, and a chance of limited re-positioning if you make a mistake!

     

    As for masking existing marks, any decent matt varnish, spray or brush should do the trick - I live in France, so pointless recommending a local brew, but in the UK, Testors Dulcote is the go-to product, I believe.

     

    Cheers  Mike

     

     

     

     

     

    • Informative/Useful 1
  14. Slowly making a New Roof

     

    Most model buildings are seen from a higher viewpoint than is normal in real life, and so the roofs, chimneys and whatever are subjected to more rigourous inspection than usual!   The arrival of dowloadable texture sheets, in particular roof textures, has made it possible to greatly improve the appearance of any model, and Superquicks are no exception.

    Possibly purists might object to altering the original, but I tend to think of it as an enhancing rather than degrading the finished model, much like curtains at the windows, or downpipes from the gutters.  So here is some progress on a new roof for B25:

    IMG_4508.JPG.7b698e6fc105060b467032d8177cd332.JPG

     

    The core is made from extruded polystyrene flooring insulation, (made from three pieces, because the roof pitch is less than 45°, and since no bandsaw will tilt to more than a few degrees beyond 45°, the angle must be set from a vertical face) Once glued and set, the end pitches were cut on a mitre saw, and the surfaces coverered with 0.35mm card to which Scalescenes tiling guides were glued.

     

    The tiles are printed (here at 75%, like the guides) onto self-adhesive label paper and cut into strips which are then stuck on.  I cannot over emphasise how much easier this is than using glue sticks, spray adhesive or liquid glue!  You just invert each strip and lift the backing paper with the scalpel; some limited re-positioning is possible.

     

    A hipped roof is more demanding to make than a gable roof, but quite entertaining to do, if you have the time!

     

    Cheers,   Mike

     

    • Like 5
    • Craftsmanship/clever 2
  15. Thanks for that, BH!  There is clearly a lot of info out there about these models, makes me feel very ignorant!  At least they are still around, and even some of the earlier ones turn up from time to time:

    IMG_4502.JPG.05ac3a8bcb22de9255e65065a2a5b7e5.JPG

     

    Cheers,  Mike

    • Like 4
  16. 7 hours ago, Roy Langridge said:

     

    Me too. Whilst I don't use them on my layouts anymore, I have a really soft spot for Superquick kits. Probably as they take me back to building them in my childhood.

     

    Roy 

    I totally agree with you both!   I suppose to all model railways are subject to some form of nostalgia - how much possibly depends on one's age!   That said though, there is a lot of fun to be had by combining the timeless designs of Superquick with some of the techniques and materials that were not available when we first built them, all those years ago!

     

    IMG_4506.JPG.0809a15824a1beeffd060b84afd8d52e.JPG

    I've dismantled the rather poorly made police station as far as I think is necessary, without doing untold damage, and I've made a start on painting all the exposed card edges. I had to put a couple of temporary braces inside, to stop it falling apart!

     

    Cheers  Mike

    • Like 6
  17. A good friend of mine who was an avid railway modeller died some years ago, and although most of his models, which were Ho, went to the younger members of his family, his daughter gave me a large cardboard box full of half built or damaged model buildings and some unbuilt Superquicks. At the time, I was fully occupied with building a new staircase for the attic of our ancient house, and the box was put in a cupboard and forgotten!

     

    This thread jogged my memory, and the box was re examined. Most of the buildings are beyond hope, but I think this one will be worth restoring, I think it is one of the original series, the police station, No. B25.IMG_4504.jpg.13f01c6314cf925dced39e4dab5a294e.jpg

     

    It hasn't been very well made, and the years have taken their toll, but I think with a new Scalescenes roof, much internal bracing, and a pair of new chimney stacks it could be restored to grace! It is certainly a very pretty building, but since my models are mostly populated with law abiding people, it will probably become a telephone exchange or the Borough Surveyor's office, or something other than a police station!

     

    Cheers Mike

    • Like 9
  18. 17 hours ago, BernardTPM said:

    It is Superquick. In fact it's one half of the second version of B22, the kit you just built. This replaced the first version in the mid/late 1960s but was itself replaced by the current version in either the '80s or '90s. Both the second and third (current) versions are constructed as two sparate buildings, but the first B22* was always a joined pair.

     

    * Really early Superquicks come with largely black headers. If yours was like that then it is probably closer to 60 than 50 years old.

     

    Here you go, Bernard,  this must be the earlier version - I had no idea there were so many different types, all with the same numbers!

    IMG_4501.JPG.58166696cecb582d90eca120416fa306.JPG

    I've just found the Elizabethan Cottages B28, the single continuous building, and the Greystones Farmhouse B24 with the projecting gable, so i might have a go at those!  Thanks for your useful help

     

    Cheers,  Mike

    • Like 4
  19. Invicta, Bernard, thanks for your interesting feedback!   Since I posted the pic I've found a few more unmade ancient Superquicks, and on the back of one of them there is an advert for the pair with the estate agents, and it is indeed numbered B22, but the other building is not the ones I have built, which is also numbered B22. and is called "Two Country Town Shops"!  I still have the top of the pack (which is printed on black) somewhere, so I'll post a pic later.

     

    Cheers, Mike

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  20. On 19/04/2021 at 12:25, Marly51 said:


    Some of these old books on scratch building are very interesting. I can also recommend John H. Ahern’s book ‘Miniature Building Construction’. I bought my copy some years ago from the Pendon Museum shop, but second hand copies are available through Abebooks.
     

    EC79E371-4A9D-4C9A-8FFC-EBC75F1FB7B3.jpeg.95a7db319cd76ea1023ea8ec18076896.jpeg

     

    Marlyn, thanks for your comment.   This little book has been a kind of Bible for me, for many years, so much so that it's now falling to pieces!  Although it pre-dates computer aided models by many decades it is still full of inspirational ideas and techniques, and the designs are timeless. Here is my take on his drawing for the Duchess of Albany pub - it is in 3mm to the foot scale

     

    IMG_20191106_183903_3.jpg.43977c0932fe98e0f3fd2dc00b2d4b4c.jpg

    The tobacconists is scratch built using Scalescenes papers, and the terrace is a straight forward Scalescenes facade reduced to 1:100, but built using a foam core.

     

    Best,  Mike

    • Like 4
    • Craftsmanship/clever 3
  21. IMG_4484.JPG.ffd7605566828951028c629c10b48cee.JPG

     

    Here's The Peacock and Olivers, posed next to what I think is another long deleted Superquick, the Estate agents shop. I bought this at auction and restored it, but I can find no trace of it in any older catalogues - perhaps it's not Superquick?   The building on the right is from a publication called Making a Model Village, which I seem to have downloaded in 2006, but again, I know nothing about it's origin, publisher or copyright.  I have the whole document, and could email it to anyone interested, but it's a 325mb file and would be a slow old job!

     

    It is in .tif format, which this site will not accept, but I've converted the general view to PDF:

    village.pdf  to give you an idea.  There are nine or ten different buildings with drawings and simplified instructions;  there are no textures, just the outline drawings and a sketch of each building. PM me if you are interested.

     

    Cheers,  Mike

     

    • Like 7
  22. 8 hours ago, Marly51 said:


    Well said, Mike! That is a beautifully rendered image of those times. Our 1950s cities were grubby, gritty, grey places, but my memories of those times are still fond, despite the trials and tribulations our parents had to endure during the post war years!

     

    Marlyn

    Thanks, Marlyn.  Yes, of course, I have very fond memories also of those days, and I confess to wearing a pair of rose tinted specs sometimes, but it's that grubby, grey look that I'm after!!

     

    Best wishes, Mike

    • Like 2
  23. On 12/04/2021 at 01:02, locomad2 said:

    and admit the street scene road etc looks a bit tatty,

     

    But this is not something to apologise for, locomad2 - I like the slightly careworn appearance, in fact it's something I strive to achieve!   It's just a personal opinion, but I think a lot of nice models appear less realistic than they could, just because they are so pristine - people go to endless lengths to weather locos and rolling stock, and then have them run past supposedly 100 year old buildings that look as if the scaffolding was taken down yesterday !

     

    IMG_3603-001.JPG.dd426655314e7989327a7dfe70f31a9a.JPG

    Here's a few Scalescenes "row of cottages", built as pairs, so they can descend a rather scruffy lane towards a paper mill.  I'm some way towards the effect I want, but still more to do.  I grew up in surroundings not too different to this in the immediate post-war years, and from distant memory, those surroundings were pretty grim!  Each to his own, naturally, but I've always tried to avoid the rose tinted specs!  Your Superquicks have certainly stood the test of time - you must have built them well - Bravo!

     

    Cheers,  Mike

     

     

    • Like 9
    • Agree 1
    • Craftsmanship/clever 2
  24. 2 hours ago, Colin_McLeod said:

    Fifty years to build a kit.  Is this a record or are there other kits out there unbuilt for longer? ;)

    Very good, Colin!  Actually, I only bought this quite recently, but it certainly dates from before 1971, when decimal currency was introduced in UK, because it was marked three shillings and threepence!   I did take my time over building it, but not quite the fifty years!

     

    Cheers,  Mike 

    • Like 1
    • Friendly/supportive 1
  25. 2078551529_IMG_4430small.JPG.96ae49a22c68d54b95ca7942965d4176.JPG

     

    Finally  got round to finishing the fifty year old Superquick!  It's more or less as per the instructions up to the top of the walls, but the roofs are strips of Scalescenes slates and tiles, reduced to 75% (The full size print looked a bit too large on this little model), and the chimney stacks are made from wood with Scalescenes brick paper and lead flashing.  the chimney pots are turned from bits of scrap brass rod

     

    1892669306_IMG_4431small.JPG.f61ac4e0b42c7bba99b45b6bf53f9182.JPG

     

    I left off the dormer on the shop building, it looked rather artificial to me, and as I already have an antique dealers, it's become a secondhand furniture shop. The downpipes are from copper wire with "brackets" made from tiny slivers of shrink sleeve, and the guttering is from wet pressed paper.   Just a bit of weathering, and the shop sign glueing level to finish!

     

    Cheers,  Mike

    • Like 12
    • Craftsmanship/clever 4
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