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Spotlc

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  1. Despite my main interest being 3mm scale, I could not resist making a start on the early version of Two Country Town Shops that I bought a couple of weeks ago. Compared to the more recent version that I pictured at the beginning of this thread, they are very slightly smaller, and a bit more complex to assemble. This is because they use two layers of card for most of the outer surfaces, the inner one positioned to form a rebate for the adjoining piece, either a wall or floor . The card is also a bit thinner (though I haven’t bothered to measure it), so it needed a bit of reinforcing but I do this to the current versions as well, not only for strength, but also to make assembly easier. First, once the antique shop walls were assembled I cut and glued a one piece floor from 1.5mm card, which keeps everything square. This still leaves the upper part of the building a little wayward, so a similar false floor was fitted at eaves level, and a horizontal support for the roof ridge between the two gables makes them much more rigid. The Peacock Tea Room is, as they say, “terribly twee”, but it is a lovely little model and deserves a bit of care in assembly, so another false floor was cut, and I cut out some curtains from a spare Scalescenes sheet, to be even more twee! Here it is ready to be united with the other building. This is as far as I’ve got now – the bay window has been glued to the pavement and front wall, and the ground floor walls and floor glued to the gable end. I’ll post some more pics when I’ve made a bit more progress. Cheers, Mike
  2. Continuing on with this thread, I am a member of the 3mm Society, and they sometimes have odd things advertised in their newsletter, and I was lucky enough to buy these three very elderly, un-opened Superquicks. They are the two town shops, the island platform, and the Greystones hayloft. The marked prices varied between 3/- and 3/6 ! They must be very old, because the makers were S. Q. Developments, 4. Drapers Garden EC2, and the trade distributor was E. Keil, Wickford, Essex, presumably they of KeilKraft model planes etc. There were also a few sheets of ashlar stone paper, and a tiny 1/100 scale kit for a tunnel mouth and a low relief house/pub, produced by Nifty Kits of Morecambe, included. so I shall be amused for some time! Best, Mike
  3. John, I took the liberty of downloading your last two pics, and inverting them. Almost any photo or gallery app will have a function to do this, either on Android or iPhones, or on a PC, Mac, or Linux. It's usually in the edit image thingy at the bottom of the picture, have a look, and if you can't find it, I 'll do the rest for you! Nice model BTW! Cheers, Mike
  4. Thanks for your nice comment about the little church, much appreciated! If you do have a go at one, bear in mind that the spire is a bit flinsy, and will benefit greatly by having a couple of generous coats of shellac on the inside, once it has been glued up and fixed to the tower (use a long handled brush!) You're right about the fiddly nature of SQ's - Metclalfe are more like cardboard engineering! Best, Mike
  5. So, the wonderful people at the hospital in Sainte Feyre brought me back to something appoaching normality, and after a month of recuperation at home, I can go on with Alma Terrace! Keith commented that he was surprised not to see a queue of people outside Terry’s chip shop, and of course there will be later, but meantime there are a few customers inside the shop, and the lady serving and the lass at the chip fryer! These had to be put in place before I can fix the building permanently; the figures and units are fixed, but the floor is just placed in position on the tiered base, which was not finished when I took this photo. One of the problems with lighting the interior of buildings is that if they have largish windows they need to have some interior detail visible, and the flat above the shop has windows on two sides, so here is Terry’s mum having a quiet moment on her own! She came originally (unpainted) from China, via eBay, and the Electrolux fridge and 3 piece suite are from Smart Models, who prints them and other interior details in 3mm scale. Cheers, Mike
  6. Well, I am surprised at the interest this has generated, it seems I'm not the only one who dabbles with stuff from an earlier era occasionally! Just to quickly make a few comments on some of the posts: Andyman7 - I'm sorry I didn't compliment you on your efforts with the shops. Good stuff! Locomad2 - I don't honestly know if those are Bilteezi sheets, but they look similar to some I've seen in the past. SteeveyDee68 - Yep, lightly misting almost anything with an off white or very pale grey with the airbrush will have an ageing effect, but gently does it! Colin - yes, I think Merco sheets disappeared ages ago, but I think Superquick still do some texture sheets, I did buy a few some years past, and they were very good, and you can download a bewildering number of textures from Textures.com, but ideally you need to have a graphics program like Illustrator, Inkscape or Corel to transform them into useable sheets. Locomad2 - I reckon there have always been variations in the range, the almshouses are nearer to Ho, and the hotel is similar. They have changed ownership a couple of times - I think they are now owned by a company in Bristol - so different printing/stamping might account for the differences. Again, thanks for all the encouragement and interesting comments. Cheers, Mike
  7. This is all great stuff! Although I am a big fan of teccy developments, I also like some of the older methods of doing things, and these last two pics are just what I like! I am a member of the 3mm Society, and in their list of "scenic delights" they have some Bilteezi sheets scaled down to 3mm, and I have been thinking about getting a few. I remember building one or two in 4mm years ago, and they were excellent, if a little delicate, so these pics have provided the impetus! Thanks Vivian and John. Cheers, Mike Edit: Careless mistake - it is the 3SMR site that has the Bilteezi's, not the 3mm society!
  8. John, I completely agree with you! I have made up a couple of Metcalfe kits and they are more like "cardboard engineering" than Superquick, and for me the huge advantage of Scalescenes (and others) is that they can be easily scaled down to 3mm, which I do a lot of ! Vivian, thanks for your encouragement! Go for it! Locomad, thanks for your interest. Yes, they do have a somewhat dated look that might not be quite right on a modern layout, but in real life there is always a mix of the old and new, and with some careful weathering different styles can all be blended together, much like the real thing! Cheers, Mike
  9. Many thanks for all the kind words and likes! To be honest, it had been ages since I built a Superquick, but I wanted to make a comparison with Scalescenes, which as John says, make up into very nice models. But, - and it's a big but - the amount of effort to complete a similar building using a downloaded file is considerable, regardless of the origin - Scalescenes, Smart Models, Kingsway, or whatever. They also need some experience in cutting and manipulating card and paper, some knowledge of adhesives, and a good quality printer filled with decent inks, not to mention producing or buying realistic windows! Apart from being able to glue things together accurately with PVA, and a few felt tip pens, none of this is needed for a kit. Marlyn used the word "charming" in her comment, and it is exactly the right word, I think it's one of the big attactions of Superquick - the range isn't great but the designs have an almost universal appeal, and with one or two exceptions, sit well in any supposed geographic region. I was curious to see the result of applying some of the finishing techniques and detailing that are needed for a downloaded design to one of these kits. How far you take this is a moot point, and I suspect that at some stage it might be no quicker than a download, but just for fun, here is the little Superquick church I made recently, - a real step back in time for me because I first built one for my sons sixth birthday, and he was 47 last week! I tried putting it in it's own setting, the low walls are MDF with cut down Ratio fencing, with some ballast for the paths, and a bit of greenery. The open end buts up to an adjacent building. I couldn't resist printing the windows from the Scalescenes church on to 60 gsm paper, and putting a little lighting rig inside, but this is just showing off really! But you could take it further - lych gate made from card or MDF, with etched wrought iron gates, weathervane, lightning conductor, stone crosses at the apex of each gable, even gravestones if there was room! In case you wondered, I have absolutely no connection with Superquick! Cheers, Mike
  10. There are many great examples of card buildings on this forum, some scratch built or made from downloaded designs, and some from printed kits, and although not architectural models in the true sense, Superquick card kits have been around for years and provide an interesting range of buildings for someone who doesn't want, or does not have either the time or facilities, to make more elaborate models. However, the name Superquick is misleading, because if care is taken in the construction, and a few minor alterations made to the finishing details, they can be quite time consuming to make, but I think the results justify the effort. I was given several kits some years ago, and they lay hiidden in a drawer until I came across them recently, so I decided to build a couple. There are two shops in this kit, and this is the greengrocers/florist. I discarded the one piece folded mansard roof and made new pitches from card with the correct front ridge overhang, covered with Scalescenes slates printed on self adhesive parcel label paper and cut into strips; the guttering is made from very thin card wet pressed in a little home made mould; curtains from a Scalescenes kit were stuck inside before assembly; the downpipes are made from salvaged 1mm copper wire with little collars cut off a length of brass tube and soldered on. I printed the shop sign on photographic paper. This is the newsagents which had more or less the same treatment, except it has just a simple pitched roof. One of the most common criticisms of these kind of kits is the exposed corner joints, and there is no getting away from the fact that it's the big let down. Careful colouring will help a lot; paper "quoins" carefully cut out and glued works well with some models, or you can use the old trick of distracting the eye with downpipes, as I have done with these. Here they are shown together. I forgot to say that I put in a complete "ceiling" from 1.5mm card instead of the rather feeble triangular corner braces, just below the eaves in both buildings, and that I made no alterations to the rear of the buildings since they will never be seen, and all the exposed edges were touched in with various coloured acrylics. I quite enjoyed this "blast from the past"! Cheers, Mike
  11. I think to some extent it depends on the period of one's interest. Many of the illustrations in the book are of buildings and styles which have disappeared, but which could easily be appropriate to a considerable timespan, say from the 1920's until the 1960's. True, they are largely sketches rather than dimensioned drawings, but there are some accomplished modellers on this forum who have convincingly demonstrated that with careful and sympathetic interpretation these sketches can produce the most delightful and realistic models. The same can be said of card kits, either as downloadable files or pre-printed. With one or two exceptions they are all of generic designs, but they still make up into attractive buildings for a model railway. An exact scale replica of a particular building or group of buildings is quite another thing, and is defined as architectural modelling, which, as you suggest, requires far more detailed information than a sketch can provide. In the past we relied on the printed page, both photographs and drawings, the last often painstakingly produced, but the advent of the internet, high quality domestic printers and scalable vector graphic programs make the task easier now. The printed design book is still a valuable resource, and one of my favourites is EricPlans, by Eric Illett, a series of booklets of scale drawings that were a superb example of the draughtman's art, and a delight to look at still, but I suppose they could also be called curiosities now! (The original editions were published by Photomech of Cheltenham, and are much superior to the rather heavy handed printing of the Peco versions) Best, Mike
  12. "it's fairly coarse, not great to apply, dries too quick, and is a bit crumbly" This is the classic description of what is known as "dead plaster" Caused by the powder gradually absorbing water from the atmosphere, and also all plasters of whatever sort have only a truly active life of about 12 months. They can be used after that time, but will never set properly. Not too important for a model railway, but try doing it on a partition wall!! Best, Mike
  13. We must be careful that Grahame's thread doesn't turn into pages from National Geographic! But here is the Baptistery: Not a stone's throw from St Pierre Cathedral which also has a spectacular facade: Best, Mike
  14. I should perhaps add that this hospital is in a steeply wooded valley, with a lake at the bottom, and this was the view from my window on Christmas day morning! l have also just seen an Heron dive into the lake for an early lunch, so it's not all bad!! Mike
  15. Wrenn, Keith, thank you both for your kind words! I've only got my phone at the mo, and I don't keep pics on it 'cos they take up too much space, but if I have to stay here much longer I'll get Jan to bring in the laptop so I can post a few more pics. But, I'm crossing my fingers that it won't be necessary!! Best, Mike
  16. Nice little city though, Notre Dame la Grande has one of the very few Byzantine facades in France, and has been supebly restored recently, and the Hotel de Ville (town hall) is a tour de force! (And the only model shop for miles around!)
  17. Give it a whirl then! The nearest shop to me that sells it is in Poitiers, which is a 120 mile round trip and they don't have a big selection, so the post is cheaper than the fuel and parking!!
  18. Grahame, out of curiousity I registered with the Redutex site and put a couple of items in the cart. I live in France, and the postage was 8.99 euros, so I imagine that after the Brexit thing it could be prohibitive to post to UK. I have heard horror stories about import duty and UK vat being added to things without warning, so ordering direct maybe not such a good idea after all! Best, Mike
  19. Terry, this is truly inspiring stuff! I've always thought that many of the illustrations in John's book would be great to make, and this is just the incentive I need! Bravo! Mike
  20. Work on Alma Terrace, (and everything else,) came to an abrupt halt in mid November, when I had a pre - planned operation in the University hospital in Limoges. All went according to plan, but four days later I had a massive heart attack! Long story short - pacemaker fitted, 18 days in intensive care got me bump started again, and I'm now in a recuperation hospital learning to walk again! Not quite what I had planned for the festive season, but at least I survived,and although I won't be able to contribute here much for a while, I'll still enjoy reading the various forums. Cheers, Mike
  21. Why not buy it direct from the makers, they have an English language site: https://tienda.redutex.com/en/gaugescaleh000modelingtexture/1094-064ac111-sidewalk-8435570202561.html Mike
  22. Smart Models do a nice download, quite complex to make but very realistic http://www.smartmodels.co.uk/rail18---girder-bridge.html Mike
  23. 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
  24. 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
  25. 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
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