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MikeTrice

Erstfeld Depot: A Swiss N Gauge Diorama

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As part of another topic regarding using Inkscape to produce cutting files I started to build a new diorama based on the Swiss Erstfeld Depot in N Gauge. Most of the remaining work is really down to scratchbuilding so I felt it more appropriate to start a new topic to cover the remaining build rather than continue cluttering up that topic. For anyone interested in ready in depth progress so far then feel free to visit http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/114528-using-inkscape-to-produce-cutting-files-a-worked-example/page-7&do=findComment&comment=2467653

 

For those of you that would like a quick summary here is a view of the depot building in question:

post-3717-0-97810900-1480975953_thumb.jpg

 

My plan is to build the diorama in a 18ltr Really Useful Box. I took the precaution of producing a mock up to ensure everything fitted:

post-3717-0-78230700-1480975954_thumb.jpg

 

The angle of the base was rotated using the rulers to denote the box dimensions until I was happy with the arrangement:

post-3717-0-59010900-1480975955_thumb.jpg

 

A baseboard was built from a sheet of 5mm foam board:

post-3717-0-21275600-1480975956_thumb.jpg

 

And a final check it fitted in the box:

post-3717-0-77576000-1480975956_thumb.jpg

 

Various laminations of 10thou styrene were cut on the Silhouette cutter and assembled to make the two sides of the main shed. The side was then detailed with buttresses:

post-3717-0-36766000-1480975957_thumb.jpg

 

The main shed front was more complex and is currently in this state:

post-3717-0-11602900-1480975952_thumb.jpg

 

Watch this space!

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Watch this space!

Space being watched.... with great interest!

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6 of the 8 10 thou laminations that make up the front of the side shed:

post-3717-0-73110100-1481193908_thumb.jpg

 

After lamination and spraying with primer. The white band on the left is bare styrene for subsequent solventing:

post-3717-0-30632100-1481193909_thumb.jpg

 

By using lamination the different depths of the various features can be reproduced:

post-3717-0-99166500-1481193909_thumb.jpg

 

The side of the main shed was left in two sub assemblies. These have now been laminated together after tidying up the window apertures:

post-3717-0-56609000-1481193910_thumb.jpg

 

Closeup of the door detail:

post-3717-0-17233300-1481193911_thumb.jpg

 

So I now have the main 3 sub assemblies which will hopefully become one unit this coming weekend:

post-3717-0-78019000-1481193911_thumb.jpg

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I did get a chance to join the front and side of the main shed yesterday:

post-3717-0-61171200-1481282948_thumb.jpg

 

The rear was reinforced with strips of 5mm*5mm styrene and corner fillets:

post-3717-0-75787800-1481282949_thumb.jpg

 

Whilst doing this it started to dawn on my that I really did not know how to proceed having not thought the rest through. When I first attempted Erstfeld everything was aligned square to the board and the frontages were assembled as a single zig zag unit which was considerably lighter than my new attempt.

 

Placing the new sides on the plan might help demonstrate my issues:

post-3717-0-56899800-1481282950_thumb.jpg

 

Thinking things through I think I will initially build the two sheds separately. They will need rears to best support the roofs. Being at an angle may result in some interesting distortions, especially for the side shed which is not very deep. So I think I have worked out what I need to do and hopefully tomorrow will get an opportunity to prove it.

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Well that went well! A new back profile stretched from the Inkscape drawing to suit the skewed angle,cut out to provide access to the windows for later glazing:

post-3717-0-88919400-1481305444_thumb.jpg

 

Front view. Needs tidying up but looking promising:

post-3717-0-42467200-1481305445_thumb.jpg

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I think I am getting my mojo back!

 

The main shed front face has been thickened with scraps of styrene and a roof profile former added:

post-3717-0-52509700-1481367392_thumb.jpg

 

The same roof profile formed the basis of the rear support:

post-3717-0-14637400-1481367393_thumb.jpg

 

I am using two layers for the roof, an inner thick styrene one and the one used as a base for the tiles. Here the upper part of the inner roof has been added stiffening up the whole structure. Another piece of styrene has been added as an eave filler:

post-3717-0-77091400-1481367393_thumb.jpg

 

The lower piece of inner roof was cut to shape, scored to provide the bend at the eaves and fixed in place:

post-3717-0-45574000-1481367394_thumb.jpg

 

The basic roof in place. Needs tidying up next:

post-3717-0-20571200-1481367395_thumb.jpg:

 

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A job I was dreading - adding the roof tiles.

 

Here was the roof sheet I had produced on my previous topic using labels cut on the Silhouette and applied to a 20 thou styrene base:

post-3717-0-39776300-1481373728_thumb.jpg

 

Much to my amazement it all went well:

post-3717-0-06413200-1481373729_thumb.jpg

 

post-3717-0-61351900-1481373729_thumb.jpg

 

Sticking on the tile strips was a long tedious job so I only did enough to cover the roof with little spare. It was always my intent to have only half the roof present but I did have to tile the main wall where it would be visible from the front. As you can see I had very little spare to use:

post-3717-0-03965700-1481373730_thumb.jpg

 

Could not resist posing the two sheds together for the first time to see how they are looking. Very pleased with the result:

post-3717-0-55560600-1481373730_thumb.jpg

 

post-3717-0-75515200-1481373731_thumb.jpg

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My doubts regarding the effectiveness of the label adhesive proved well founded and they started to lift off the underlying substrate:

post-3717-0-77959900-1481467869_thumb.jpg

 

Fortunately I was able to peel the tile layer off completely then apply 5 minute epoxy to the roof and reapply. They are not going to move again!

 

9 sets of door + 1 spare. It is so tempting to glue these to the ends but I know they will be a painting nightmare if I do so I need to be patient:

post-3717-0-43940300-1481467870_thumb.jpg

 

Of course I can do a dry run to see what they will look like ;-)

post-3717-0-14374600-1481467871_thumb.jpg

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Side shed has had more roof details added:

post-3717-0-56618500-1481631319_thumb.jpg

 

The main shed has had various details added: ridge tiles, flashing, blind boxes, end lower rendering etc. The slightly milky bits are where I have used Vallejo Acrylic Putty to fill some of the gaps:

post-3717-0-19568800-1481631320_thumb.jpg

 

Both parts have now been sprayed white ready for final painting. They still need a degree of handling so I need to do the ground contours first:

post-3717-0-94232700-1481631320_thumb.jpg

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A new sheet of 5mm foamboard was cut to fit the baseboard and the outline of the buildings marked and cut out to form a recess:

post-3717-0-09974100-1481738355_thumb.jpg

 

This has the effect of seating the buildings into the ground and locating them accurately:

post-3717-0-62641900-1481738355_thumb.jpg

 

A quick check with a short length of code 55 Peco track confirms the height is OK:

post-3717-0-43438800-1481738356_thumb.jpg

 

The ground level changes between the main shed and the side shed so the main shed ground was raised by laminating card and glueing to the baseboard:

post-3717-0-96588400-1481738356_thumb.jpg

 

The ground level foamboard was then glued to the padding and the end glued directly to the baseboard in front of the side shed. This results in a slight slope downwards:

post-3717-0-49104500-1481738357_thumb.jpg

 

The bit that was cut out was glued back joining the two levels with a gentle slope:

post-3717-0-97745100-1481738357_thumb.jpg

 

After reseating the buildings the two different levels now work correctly:

post-3717-0-41187900-1481738358_thumb.jpg

 

In readiness for laying the track the plan was put on the baseboard and the track outlines pricked through:

post-3717-0-80010100-1481738358_thumb.jpg

 

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Peco Code 55 track has been glued in place. I had hoped to fudge the turnout crossing but it looks as if I am going to have to bite the bullet and produce a custom one. Might be a while:

post-3717-0-93173100-1481796394_thumb.jpg

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I debated whether to cut up a Peco point to just leave the crossing but did not feel it would match the current rail positions. IT looked as if scratchbuilding was the only option. Having dabbled in building N Gauge turnouts in the past I had a supply of copperclad timbers and C+L Code 55 rail to hand.

 

First a quick and crude template produced in Inkscape cut and fitted to test appearance. Once happy it was spaced in height with card so my finished turnout would align with the Peco track:

post-3717-0-77493000-1481885974_thumb.jpg

 

A second copy of the template was printed and used as a crude assembly jig for the crossing vee:

post-3717-0-89950500-1481885975_thumb.jpg

 

Timbers were cut and glued directly to the basebard template in the Swiss fashion:

post-3717-0-61119700-1481885976_thumb.jpg

 

The vee was then soldered in place to align with the track:

post-3717-0-21772700-1481885977_thumb.jpg

 

Stock rails were then added:

post-3717-0-91202900-1481885977_thumb.jpg

 

And the final wing rails and check rails. No gauges were used for these as no stock would be running over it:

post-3717-0-57420000-1481885978_thumb.jpg

 

This is the result, taken under artificial light. Surprising how visible the turnout will be in the shots so it has all been very worthwhile:

post-3717-0-22946700-1481885979_thumb.jpg

 

post-3717-0-84473900-1481885979_thumb.jpg

 

Closeup in daylight:

post-3717-0-49997100-1481885980_thumb.jpg

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All exposed foam edges have been sealed with two coats of PVA glue brushed on.

 

The trackwork has been sprayed in best Chris Nevard fashion with a mix of Halford's Grey, Red primer with some matt black thrown in for good measure:

post-3717-0-21634600-1482140786_thumb.jpg

 

Now my scratchbuilt turnout blends in a lot better:

post-3717-0-28847400-1482140787_thumb.jpg

 

With Christmas fast approaching SWMBO is finding more and more jobs for me to do so progress on Erstfeld is likely to be spasmodic.

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Fantastic build and progress.

 

G.

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I have started laying the various walkways.

 

Those at the front of the shed were based on some strip scored and cut on the Silhouette. In hindsight those in the centre of the rails need raising a fraction:

post-3717-0-46100900-1482313546_thumb.jpg

 

post-3717-0-06279400-1482313547_thumb.jpg

 

post-3717-0-62642200-1482313547_thumb.jpg

 

The rear walkways are planked (probably old sleepers) so these were also done on the Silhouette:

post-3717-0-22280200-1482313548_thumb.jpg

 

post-3717-0-80718500-1482313548_thumb.jpg

 

Doing these sort of details makes me realise how little information I have on these areas of the shed.

Edited by MikeTrice
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Are you planning to put power to the track so you can move a loco in and out of the shed?

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No, the doors will be permanently closed.

Ok, just a thought it would have made an interesting project for automation, shed doors open, loco puts its lights on and crawls into the daylight, then the doors close again, then a bit later the whole process reversed.

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You look at something for ages and think you know it well, then suddenly discover something that should have hit you in the eye from the start. Reference to the first photograph on this topic shows a door let into one of the bays of the main shed. Guess who has only just spotted it????

 

Further progress will now have to await until after Christmas so may I take this opportunity to thank those who have been following my progress ans wish them a very happy one.

Edited by MikeTrice

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Very nice Mike, when laminating the thin layers do you just flood around the edges or have spit holes in the laminates that get hidden later. I always worry about trapping glue where it's not going to go off with styrene cement.

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