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I'm going to have to stop reading this layout as Castle Achtung...

 

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Would this help?

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Edited by Edwardian
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This looks a very promising start, I shall join the small but vocal band that will hassle you for progress reports :)

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Welcome aboard and thanks to you and to everyone who has viewed or contributed.  All contributions very gratefully and humbly received, including those of a 'motivational' nature, and in turn I will endeavour not to slack off or disappoint!

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If you want some real hills you could relocate it to Wales and call it Castell Poen (according to the internet, not a Welsh speaking human!)

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I absolutely love the name you have chosen - creates all sorts of mental images (are you familiar with the Castle Rackrent layout?) -

 

http://highlandmiscellany.com/2014/06/03/last-train-to-castle-rackrent/

 

And of course it also sounds to have the likely whimsical touch of the Madder Valley - already aided by the buildings you have produced so far.

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According to Kelly's Directory of Norfolk, 1912. Castle Acre had the following commercial premises:

 

 
Archer James T. insurance agent
Atmore James, farmer
Bayford Henry, blacksmith
Barrett Augustus, grocer & draper
Benstead Frederick, Rising Sun P.H
Clarke Thomas Walter, beer retailer
Eagle Charles, Ship P.H. & carrier
Eagle Martin, carrier
Elvin Henry & Sons, agricultural engineers, agricultural implement agents & threshing machine proprs
Elyard Thomas, beer retailer
Everington Wm. farmer, Lodge farm
Fisher Christopher, blacksmith
Gaze Richard, Ostrich P.H
Greef William, cycle agent
Green & Kerridge, butchers
Greeves George, saddler
Hannant Frederick, cycle agent
Highe Alfred, builder
Howard James, shoe maker
Howard Waiter, farmer
Jennings Thomas, Albert Victor P.H
Jennings William, coal dealer
Joplin Robert George. hair dresser
Keith Edward Charles, farmer, Wicken farm
Keith James, farmer,. Manor farm
Long Frederick, baker
Middleditch Charles, farm bailiff to Edward Charles Keith esq
 
Food for thought, 1904 directory also available on the same site - http://specialcollections.le.ac.uk/cdm/compoundobject/collection/p16445coll4/id/218286/rec/12
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Well, John, I am not short of hills in my adoptive county, here in the Land of the Prince Bishops, and though not so well off for mountains, we seem equally well off for rain and there seem to be quite as many sheep!

Edited by Edwardian

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Mike, thank you, that is of course far too kind.  I am not alone in finding MVR an inspiration, but it is certainly the inspiration behind Castle Aching.  In particular I warm to the whimsy in Madder Valley and if my efforts convey any sense of that, I'm genuinely thrilled.  I admire many layouts I see, but only a few also make me smile.  Madder Valley does, and I think it is that slightly whimsical skew.  I find it also in Gainford Spa, by Cornamuse of this parish (over in 'Boxfiles...'). 

 

And yes, I do recall seeing the quite stunning Castle Rackrent in the press, though I am happy to have a web-link, thanks. If someone made ready-to-lay 21mm gauge track and some RTR locos to that gauge, I'd probably emigrate to nineteenth century Ireland!  It is, of course, from Maria Edgeworth, who I have always intended to read, but never have.

 

Bedders, now that is useful.  The 2 cycling shops stand out.  Now I had already planned to have a blacksmith (by the village pond, obviously), and, if room, part of a yard for agricultural engineers/contractors (to explain the presence of ploughing engines out of season!), so that is interesting. Insurance agent, though I doubt he had a shop front as such, but no book seller or photographer!  I will check out 1904, which is probably going to be closer to period.

 

Ostrich still open, I note, but the Albert Victor is now a private house.  But, splendidly:

 

"There is a house in Castle Acre they call The Rising Sun, it's been the ruin..." 

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"There is a house in Castle Acre they call The Rising Sun, it's been the ruin..." 

So you need a casino, a tailor's shop, and police station/court that's a bit behind the times and transports prisoners by train wearing a ball and chain!

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Tripe & Cows Heel Emporium. Offal I know but very popular affordable amongst the starving working classes.

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Bedders, now that is useful.  The 2 cycling shops stand out.  Now I had already planned to have a blacksmith (by the village pond, obviously), and, if room, part of a yard for agricultural engineers/contractors (to explain the presence of ploughing engines out of season!), so that is interesting. Insurance agent, though I doubt he had a shop front as such, but no book seller or photographer!  I will check out 1904, which is probably going to be closer to period.

 

 

Ostrich still open, I note, but the Albert Victor is now a private house.  But, splendidly:  "There is a house in Castle Acre they call The Rising Sun, it's been the ruin..." 

 

Edwardian:  As one of my other interests I am the Marque Specialist for SUN Cycles for the Veteran-Cycle Club.  I have lots of period advertising material for SUN and other makes if they would be of any use to you?  A lot of the currently produced 'enamel signs' are for 1930's cycles, not, of course, appropriate for your period.

 

Oh, and high-wheelers (Penny-farthings) were distinctly passe by that time too!!  PM me if I can be of any help.

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HeeleyBridge

 

I could be wrong, but tripe and cow-heel sound like a very "Up North" and/or urban version of the diet of the poor.

 

Gut feel(!) is that in a rural place in the south, east or west, cheap protein would be more likely to come from liver and kidneys, eggs, cheese, rabbit, fish, and,best of all, poached pheasant, although I know that trotters were in there somewhere, too.

 

Maybe we should start an 'Edwardian Economical Cook Book' thread?

 

Kevin

 

PS: this one might come in handy if you are short on cow heel:

 

Rook Pie

 

Young rooks, flaky pastry, a little butter, flour, stock, salt, pepper.

 

Pluck draw and skin the rooks and remove the backbone, which is bitter. Season with salt and pepper. Stew in a little water. Place the birds in a pie-dish and cover with stock, thicken with butter and flour. Cover with pastry, and bake for 1 1/2 hours in a moderate oven 330F (160C).

 

(Presumably, this is then "Set before the King".)

 

PPS: Somehow I forgot the pig, except its trotters. Many people kept one, fattened it up, then ate various bits of it in varying forms. Even a cottager might smoke their own ham/bacon, and there was disgusting stuff that my Grandmother used to make called brawn, which I think is basically the head, boiled in a pot for an incredibly long time. I think sheep's heads used to be boiled up too.

Edited by Nearholmer
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How about a cidery (hope that's the correct spelling) orchards and cider are quite common in that part of Norfolk or a pottery

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If you want to get in more occupations than you have premises, then publicans were often also in the coal business (see the various volumes of Turton) while I can see the agricultural engineer also selling cycles, which were really the latest thing at that time. Also saddler and shoe maker seem compatible. If not the publican then the owner of the village grocery store is a likely candidate for coal merchant.

 

But no pharmacist. A pity as the window would be very attractive.

 

I modern source of inspiration might be St Fagans Folk Museum near Cardiff which is effectively a home for old buildings, including some rural stores. Building materials and styles are different but i suspect that the shop windows etc may be useful: http://www.museumwales.ac.uk/stfagans/historic-buildings/

 

Jonathan

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There will certainly be places to imbibe, if not manufacture, such drink, but I fear I might struggle to find space for industrial premises.  A line-side Orchard is a possibility to bear in mind.

 

Now, cycling, there is a Pastime of the Age!  My knowledge of the subject is limited, but I thought that the essentially modern bicycle was a thing of the 1890s, in time for the Edwardians to pick up on cycling in a big way.  Castle Acre, as a barometer of its rise in popularity, shows 2 premises for the supply of the machines in 1912, but neither seem to have been there in 1904.  Thanks again to Bedders for the link to Kelly's Directory.

 

Cycling is, therefore, one of the markers that helps to set the period.  When it comes to populating Castle Aching, my plan is to utilise Andrew Stadden's exquisite figures.  Fortunately, I already have some of these.

 

In due course, I would like to purchase some of his HO - 1/87 scale versions to plant further towards the back because I am making the buildings a little smaller towards the rear of the layout.  I plan for there to be a stretch of visible road at about HO and my idea was to complement the Stadden figures with some Preiser cyclists (see picture below). 

 

So, Adams442T, some period cycling ephemera would be vastly appreciated, thanks, and I will drop you a PM.

 

The Directory is great fun, BTW.  I notice there is a "beer retailer" called Mr Pitcher.  Less apposite, but glorious all the same, is the bricklayer, Jabez Whiskerd, while over at Castle Rising, was a gamekeeper called Samways.  If I am not careful, I might be tempted to follow Chris N's example of populating the layout with named characters with personal histories.

  

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Jonathan, great link, thanks.  The general store is splendid (and clearly rather lucrative, not many people got to swank around in a touring car in 1912!), but I also like the tailors, one of those often forgotten little wooden shops that were all over the country at one time.  They are seldom modelled.  If memory serves, there is one modelled on the Rockingham P4 layout.

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Those figures are wonderful! Are they available in late 1930's style? Figures for that period are hard to come by as most readily available figures are set in the 50's/60's.

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Yes, I have a number of the Stadden Edwardian figures.  Not only are they exquisitely sculpted and posed, but they resist the 'scale creep' that has afflicted many nominally 1/76th scale figures.  I have some Mike Pett figures that are enormous in comparison.

 

Ian, the pictured cyclists are pre-painted HO figures, so a little small, though many modellers still use them front of scene.  Most of Preiser's figures are post-war or Edwardian, the latter being the minority.  They do, however, produce an unpainted set of 1/72nd civilian pilots, ground crew and airline passengers for the 1920s period.  Some of these are quite adaptable.

 

Having an interest in modelling the '30s as well, I would say that some of the Edwardian Stadden figures, particularly the workers, could pass with little or no modification for figures in the inter-war period.

 

Albums of photographs of manual labourers in the '20s and '30s suggest that the garb of working men changed relatively little during the first half of the Twentieth Century.  To some extent this may be due to the use of old or second-hand clothing as work clothing and to some extent because the trade or occupation defined the dress. Mainly people worked in older, scruffier versions of everyday clothing.

 

I have two albums of published photographs taken by the Titshall brothers between the wars.  They show rural life in Suffolk and are notable in concentrating on people in everyday or occupational dress. Many, I might say most, of the workers could pass as a generation early. 

Late in the inter-war period the occasional pair of rubber Wellingtons crop up.  After the Great War there is a noticeable amount of old British army uniform clothing being worn to work. Other than that, the workers could easily pass as their Edwardian counter-parts.

 

The best source for inter-war figures I have sampled is Monty's/Dart Castings.  I have not yet tried the Scalelink range. 

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I can dig some out, photograph and measure them for you later today.

 

In the meantime, please remind me of the scale for S, is it 1/64th?

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Cheers for that. I just looked at the Stadden website and I am sure I can adapt some of them to fit the part. I have looked at Dart / Monty's as well so when the time is right, I am sure I can put together a suitable population. The 3mm (1:100) figures I used at the back of my layout came from Preiser and easily fitted in. BTW - I found 18 Preiser sheep so now I can truly reflect the Pennine's! Just need to put a few on the road blocking traffic to make it more convincing!

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Just purchased the Mr Staddens exquisite Edwardian Workmen set for £10! 10 figures @ £1 each is great value. Now I need tips on painting pewter figures to do them justice. Usually used pre-painted plastic figures so this will be a first.

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I will pass this technique on, with no claim to having invented it, and no memory of who taught it to me (my youngest brother maybe; he was a bit of an ace military modeller years back):

 

- prep and degrease;

 

- overall coat of Matt black or very dark grey (I think the latter works better), ideally a thin spray coat;

 

- set aside for a few days;

 

- semi-dry brush on the colours of clothing, flesh etc, ensuring that shadow areas like folds in skin, pockets,creases in trousers etc, remain in the base colour;

 

- pick out details (buttons, eyes etc) very sparingly (too much picked-out detail looks toy-like);

 

- less is more with the colours, you can always add a bit more, but if you overdo it, the shading is lost;

 

- use flat (chisel?) brushes, not round ones, and use the flat side of the brush to lay on the paint, nearly but not quite dry-brush.

 

It is a very quick method, and amazingly successful, giving a much more realistic affect than either the "traditional railway modeller" approach, which leaves no shadows, or the three-shade approach used by some military modellers, which (to me) ends up looking "cartoony" on very small figures.

 

I've only used it with traditional Humbrol Matt enamels, so can't speak for other paints, and I didn't varnish afterwards, because I've found it really hard to get Matt varnish to come out without a soft sheen, which is fine on locos, but all wrong on people.

 

Try it on a cheap plastic figure first - I think you will be pleasantly surprised.

 

Kevin

 

Edit: by poking around in the cupboard, I've found the only chap that I've still got who I painted by this method, a 16mm engine driver, not a great example, because he's gone a bit shiny over the years due to being basted in steam oil, but if you bear in mind that he took c10 minutes (really) to paint, once the dark base was dry, not bad, I think.

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Edited by Nearholmer
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Congratulations, Ian,

 

Well, the resident expert in this parish goes by the name of The Purple Primer, and his figures are stunning.  He has posted pictures of a number of the Stadden figures that he has painted.

 

My take is this:

 

  • I undercoat with grey Halfords primer.  You can spend a fortune on modelling-specific products, but this bogo paint at £7.50 a can does the work.
  • Why grey? Black is often recommended as a primer for figures.  This is because of the technique of starting dark and building up the lighter colours on top, covering less of the model each time so the recessed areas like creases stay dark or even black.  This works brilliantly on larger figure scales like, say 28mm (1/56th?).   I find that a small figure does not need so many layers and there is no need to build up from black in this scale.  Others will find it works well for them to undercoat in black, however.
  • White primer I would avoid, as giving too bright and luminous a backing to colours.  So, therefore, grey is my happy medium.
  • So, I generally assume I'm going to need 3 layers of a given colour.  Taking the overall colour I want to achieve as the middle layer, I first put on a darker version and cover 100% of the area concerned.  Then I paint or dry-brush the middle colour to cover most of the area but not the parts in shade.  Then I mix a lighter version and dry-brush over the raised areas to create highlights.

Having said all this, my figure painting has hitherto been limited to some 1/72nd soldiers for my son, and I have yet to tackle the Stadden figures.  The quality of the sculpts are so good that I fear I will feel unable to paint the Stadden figures to the standard they deserve, so I suppose I have been putting this off.  But, the only way to improve is to practice, so, I will have to pull my finger out here, too!

 

Look forward to seeing your growing population.  

 

EDIT: I was typing while Kevin was posting, but I would agree with what he says. 

 

Kevin, I note you use enamels.  I tend to use water-based acrylics.  One of the keys to 'natural' indeterminate colours, I find, is never to change my water!

Edited by Edwardian
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