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I've had a second go at a scale sketch of the Watson Fothergill facade this afternoon. 

 

arLGqXQ.jpg?1

 

I increased the floor heights by 1', the effect of which is quite startling.  Suddenly it doesn't look so cramped vertically, and the extra 3' gained in height to roof level makes the proportions more pleasing even before you factor in the 1' I've lost in the width.  Then on the first floor I've narrowed the windows down a little to allow the fourth window to be fitted in. 

 

WYKP0BE.jpg?1

 

Against the first attempt it looks a lot happier.  It might be worthwhile, however, trying to even up the first floor in relation to the ground.  That slight offset between the central pillar on ground floor and the windows on the first floor grates on me just a little.  Then again, strictly speaking there shouldn't be any symmetry in a Gothic building. 

 

~~~

 

Addendum: if I pull the whole ground floor over 1' to the right that brings everything neatly into line down from the gable through the c/l of the second floor windows, the three first floor windows directly below the gable, and then down through the column separating the two wide doorways on the ground floor. 

Edited by James Harrison
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Although there's not symmetry in Warson Fothergill's design, there are some stong vertical relationships. Sorry, I got intrigued and spen some time looking at the photos available online. The niche divides the first floor windows 1 to 3. The group of 3 is symmetric in relation to the timber framed gable - as in your first sketch. The niche (which is actually quite narrow) is directly above the apex of the left of the two large ground floor arches.

 

I'm taken by the panels below the first-floor windows. That below the single window to the left of the arch, in terracotta, is clearly intended to imply that WF does have a secure grounding in the principles of classical proportion. The group of three, in stone, depict (from left to right): the clients in uproar at the audacity of WF's design; the architect in dispute with the contractors who are attempting to substitute inferior materials; and finally, the architect being forced to compromise as the client runs out of funds and the project fails to reach completion according to his original high-minded conception.

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Although there's not symmetry in Warson Fothergill's design, there are some stong vertical relationships. Sorry, I got intrigued and spen some time looking at the photos available online. The niche divides the first floor windows 1 to 3. The group of 3 is symmetric in relation to the timber framed gable - as in your first sketch. The niche (which is actually quite narrow) is directly above the apex of the left of the two large ground floor arches.

 

I'm taken by the panels below the first-floor windows. That below the single window to the left of the arch, in terracotta, is clearly intended to imply that WF does have a secure grounding in the principles of classical proportion. The group of three, in stone, depict (from left to right): the clients in uproar at the audacity of WF's design; the architect in dispute with the contractors who are attempting to substitute inferior materials; and finally, the architect being forced to compromise as the client runs out of funds and the project fails to reach completion according to his original high-minded conception.

 

Quite right; it's not there just yet but getting closer.  The proportions of the second attempt look a bit happier- it's the tweaking and nudging of the various bits around to get it looking right that is probably going to need one or two more goes.  It's quite a complex little facade to get right; overall nothing matches or lines through but the longer you look at it the more smaller relationships you start to notice. 

 

Now the stone panels, I have little idea how to manage those!  Modelling clay, perhaps? Lots of intricate thin sheets of plastic laminated together and then carefully flooded with solvent?  Hmm.... 

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Quite right; it's not there just yet but getting closer.  The proportions of the second attempt look a bit happier- it's the tweaking and nudging of the various bits around to get it looking right that is probably going to need one or two more goes.  It's quite a complex little facade to get right; overall nothing matches or lines through but the longer you look at it the more smaller relationships you start to notice. 

 

Now the stone panels, I have little idea how to manage those!  Modelling clay, perhaps? Lots of intricate thin sheets of plastic laminated together and then carefully flooded with solvent?  Hmm.... 

 

I think the drawings are coming along very well.

 

In your position, however, I would be tempted to obtained copies of the original drawings, of this and other buildings of Watson Fothergill: http://www.nottsheritagegateway.org.uk/people/architects/architectsarchival.htm  

 

Or you could extrapolate from this, albeit slightly different version than the one built:

post-25673-0-35030800-1499707460.jpg

Edited by Edwardian
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Now the stone panels, I have little idea how to manage those!  Modelling clay, perhaps? Lots of intricate thin sheets of plastic laminated together and then carefully flooded with solvent?  Hmm.... 

 

How about trompe l'oeil - print from photos to scale?

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On the green vehicle livery, I don't say it's wrong, but I have never found any reference anywhere to what the colour was. The earlier one was pretty obviously a reference to the early coach livery, but you couldn't very well have the vehicles in varnished teak. 

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A varnished teak horse dray or flatbed lorry... I doubt it could be done (and if it were I doubt it could be kept clean, for very long).  On the basis of 'you never know' I'm planning to go through my copies of 'Per Rail' and the reproduction GCR 1903 timetable- maybe they'll throw a little light on the mystery (in the form of an advertisement or something). 

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From what I can gather the Midland vehicles were blue. So it seems reasonable that the GC would want to be different, given that the MR was often a competitor.

GC signage seems often have been in blue, at least up until the change in structure colours. 

The truth is, God knows, we could do with a time machine. A time machine and 24 hours around Guide Bridge with a camera with a massive memory card would make me a very happy bunny. Though  suppose I should need a few gold sovereigns too.

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A platform ticket at (say) Sheffield Victoria circa 1920 and a camera..... yes I'd jump at the chance of that!  (Sadly I don't think I'll get it). 

 

A look through the two books mentioned last night (per rail and the 1903 summer timetable) didn't shed any light on the matter of road vehicle liveries but did provide material for a humourous half hour at work this morning discussing carriage rates for wolves and tigers in boxes and crates, monkeys with/ without their organ grinders, corpses, harps etc etc etc. 

 

I've ordered this evening a copy of E F Carter's British Railway Liveries of 1952, which I understand discusses the livery of pretty much every piece of railway-company owned equipment (so may hopefully also tell me how the lorries were painted.....)

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No sketch this week I'm afraid, but things are moving still. 

 

QReO8zK.jpg

 

A couple of books arrived. 

 

xpG2wWq.jpg

 

As did a rather nice kit for a 3.5-ton Dennis lorry.  Before I start this however I want confirmation that the Dalkeith postcard I shewed a few days ago is correct; so I have a couple more books on their way. 

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Some fascinating reading there, James.

 

Do, please, post some shots and a description of the lorry build.  I really admire the WD range (have some of their figures), but have never built a vehicle in this medium and would love to see how it goes together. Looks like a very high quality model.

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Some fascinating reading there, James.

 

Do, please, post some shots and a description of the lorry build.  I really admire the WD range (have some of their figures), but have never built a vehicle in this medium and would love to see how it goes together. Looks like a very high quality model.

 

Shall do; it may be a little while off yet though whilst I try to get through my loco and rolling stock to-do pile (just my luck that while searching for one elusive spare part this aftenoon I found three more locos waiting to be looked at that I forgot I even had!)

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Back to the Watson Fothergill building.  I went for a third outline sketch of it this afternoon. 

 

OzyKoXO.jpg

 

I'm reasonably happy with the proportions and general arrangement now.  Next step will be to turn this freehand sketch into a proper scale drawing (like the previous pair of sketches it is to approximately 5mm to the foot)- initially on squared paper- then work out some sections and plans through it.  I'm only intending to build this as a low-relief building- at least, that's my current intention- so for the present I'm working on the understanding that it will be simply the front elevation and maybe an inch or so of each side.  So plans and sections are going to be more to do with working out how the wall steps in and out and where the windows and doors fall in the wall thickness than drawing up an internal layout.  

 

You might be wondering why I'm going to such lengths and the answer is twofold.  Firstly, professional vanity.  Secondly, with so much going on on the elevation means that I'm going to have to work out how I can actually build the thing and be confident that it won't fall apart!- which means things like the turret will need to be stepped back into the structure and cantilevered out and held back from behind and so on and so forth.  Basically, the more I draw of it the more I'm going to be able to get my head around it, and then I'll be able to work out how I can build it, where bracing and strengthening is likely to be required (and how much of it) and whether it would be reasonable to attempt an interior.  Obviously there's no point setting out to model internal finishes if structural bracing is going to get in the way. 

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Of course, it's one thing to say 'I'm now going to draw it to scale' and quite another thing to do it.  Oh, the verticals and horizontals are easy enough, it's the curves that need to be just so to look right.  Those first floor windows for instance; how do you even start to set those out?

 

The entry for the listing is of use here.

 

"Architect's office, now solicitor's office. 1895. By Watson Fothergill for himself. Converted late C20. Elaborate polychrome work, red brick with ashlar and blue brick dressings and plain tile roof with tile crest. Stylised brick gable and side wall stacks. Gothic Revival style. Blue brick plinth and first floor band. 2 storeys plus attics; 5 window range. Windows are mainly wooden framed cross casements and plain sashes with leaded glazing. Asymmetrical front has to left a board door in a shouldered opening with shafts. To right, 2 segmental arches with a grey granite column, containing a late C20 panelled door and window. Beyond, a basket arched passage entrance. To left, a 2-light window with plate tracery. Above, to left, a machicolated turret with 3 trefoil-headed windows under gables. Octagonal spire roof and 2 steep pitched hipped lucarnes, with crests and finial. To right, 4 trefoil-headed windows with clustered shafts. Between the left pair, the figure of a medieval architect, and between the others, busts of Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin and Street. The names of Scott, Burges and Shaw are inscribed. Under the windows, 4 reliefs showing building construction. Above again, in the centre, a cross casement. To right, a timber-framed gable on brackets, with brick nogging and arched bargeboard, framing 2 cross casements. This building exemplifies Fothergill's eclectic style and its figures and inscriptions pay tribute to his architectural mentors. Ground floor refitted late C20. (The Buildings of England: Pevsner N: Nottinghamshire: London: 1979-: 233; Get to know Nottingham: Brand K: Watson Fothergill, Architect: Nottingham: 1987-: 19)."

 

Telling us that the ground floor arches are segmental (which means that setting them out is a little more complex than simply setting a pair of compasses to a radius) and that the first floor windows are of a trefoil type, which again has a specific way of being drawn.  These windows are only 3' across- 12mm in 4mm scale- and just the fact that a pencil lead has a thickness is going to throw things out.  I should point out that I'm drawing it all up with 0.5mm pencil leads- it's not like I'm drawing it with crayons!  It's really the sort of thing that could best be done being draw up in large scale and pantographed down, but I don't have that luxury.  Same way I don't have the luxury of CAD at home (and if I did, I'd be loathe to use it). 

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Couldn't you draw it out to a larger scale and then have it reduced on a photocopier, even if it means getting the latter done commercially? This could also overcome any problems with line thickness.

 

Jim

Edited by Caley Jim

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It's possible.... draw it out to 7 or 10mm scale and reduce it down.  Ought to make it easier. 

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Well... I cracked, didn't I?

 

I've got a series of instructions for how to draw various arches.  A left-over exercise from my student days.... I took one look at the instructions for a segmental arch and decided then and there that there was no way I'd be able to draw it all out to 4mm scale and be happy with the result.  Going for 1:50 scale would have been just as fraught and unlikely to result in a good outcome. 

 

So, I downloaded a copy of AutoCAD (you can get a three-year student licence for free) and took it from there.  Once it had finished installig itself on my laptop I was able to spend a few hours this evening starting to draw it all up to scale.  I think my sketch dimensions were a little out- as I've been drawing I've had to pinch things over here and there- but it looks promising. 

 

ziEup8P.png?3

 

Awful lot of it to draw though.

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Well, after a week of being unable to use AutoCAD thanks to a Microsoft update that completely mullared my Autodesk setup (I 'ate you Microsoft)- and in any case being unwilling to come home my day job of spending 7 1/2 hours staring at a computer screen drawing to then sit down at the laptop and spend another hour doing same- I was able to put in a few hours this afternoon and get on with it.  

 

IWknOpM.png?1

I decided to start detailing the columns and rebates around the doors and windows I drew up last time; no point blocking out the whole facade to find it doesn't quite look right when the detailing starts to be added.  Some of these details are only 0.25mm deep; I'm having doubts as to how much of it might reasonably be incorporated into the model and, even if it can be modelled to a reasonable standard, whether it would even be seen afterward.  Sooner or later I'm going to have to start drawing up that turret too. 

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Well, after a week of being unable to use AutoCAD thanks to a Microsoft update that completely mullared my Autodesk setup (I 'ate you Microsoft)- and in any case being unwilling to come home my day job of spending 7 1/2 hours staring at a computer screen drawing to then sit down at the laptop and spend another hour doing same- I was able to put in a few hours this afternoon and get on with it.  

 

IWknOpM.png?1

I decided to start detailing the columns and rebates around the doors and windows I drew up last time; no point blocking out the whole facade to find it doesn't quite look right when the detailing starts to be added.  Some of these details are only 0.25mm deep; I'm having doubts as to how much of it might reasonably be incorporated into the model and, even if it can be modelled to a reasonable standard, whether it would even be seen afterward.  Sooner or later I'm going to have to start drawing up that turret too. 

 

It's coming on very well.  I suspect that if you take a non-hurry approach to the build, it will go fine. Best of British.

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Aaaaaarrrghhhhh.  Turns out problems with AutoCAD/ Autodesk are probably deeper-rooted than merely Microsoft doing some boneheaded thing.  Run the software, it gets as far as the open screen, then greys out and won't let me open an existing drawing, start a new one or even close the programme.  Close it via task manager to find it has for some reason opened about 3 copies of the software.....

 

Funnily enough I found a couple of templates I forgot I even had earlier today- circles and ellipses and the like..... it might be worthwhile giving it up as a bad job and starting over by hand on a drawing board (Luckily my work so far I had printed as a PDF so I can open that up and print it off as a template).... frustrating indeed but I can see value in doing this.  It's very easy, drawing in AutoCAD, to blithely put in details that are 0.1mm or less in size.  Easier to draw than to make. 

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Well, a fortnight later and.....

 

Wo5LMRm.jpg

 

I have the facade drawn up to scale!  (All by hand, too). 

 

There are a couple of differences between my drawing and the real thing- but then again I've always been aiming at something identifiably in the line of the Fothergill ouevre but not necessarily a slavish copy of one of his buildings. 

 

Yes, it has taken a little while to draw up but considering in my day job I spend all day staring at a computer screen drawing you might well forgive me for not exactly being of a mind to come home and spend my evenings over a drawing board- as it is I have found drawing this facade a pleasure and a pain in about equal measure and there is still a lot of work to do on it!- going up to 0.5 and 0.7mm line thicknesses, for a start.  To my mind there will also need to be at least three sections through it, and at least three plans (roof- first floor- ground floor).  Plenty of room for that on the sheet though- the facade only takes up about a third of the A3 sheet it is drawn on. 

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Well, a fortnight later and.....

 

Wo5LMRm.jpg

 

I have the facade drawn up to scale!  (All by hand, too). 

 

There are a couple of differences between my drawing and the real thing- but then again I've always been aiming at something identifiably in the line of the Fothergill ouevre but not necessarily a slavish copy of one of his buildings. 

 

Yes, it has taken a little while to draw up but considering in my day job I spend all day staring at a computer screen drawing you might well forgive me for not exactly being of a mind to come home and spend my evenings over a drawing board- as it is I have found drawing this facade a pleasure and a pain in about equal measure and there is still a lot of work to do on it!- going up to 0.5 and 0.7mm line thicknesses, for a start.  To my mind there will also need to be at least three sections through it, and at least three plans (roof- first floor- ground floor).  Plenty of room for that on the sheet though- the facade only takes up about a third of the A3 sheet it is drawn on. 

 

Bravo!

 

Look forward to the build!

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Well....

 

 

I have a finished drawing. 

 

CQvWIpu.jpg?1

 

I added a little colour to the elevation to give an idea of what the finished building will look like; colours are a little off as I was limited to what colour pencils I have (!) but as a proof of concept it works well enough. 

 

htpUwqw.jpg?1

 

Also an end elevation and a pair of sections.  Left to right we have the end elevation showing the chimney stack, section taken through immediately prior to the turret (in effect a side elevation of the turret then) and a section taken immediately prior to the change in roof direction.  

 

Just got to get on and build it now I guess. 

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As it turns out, it's rather funny where information can be found.  Rather having drawn a blank on various internet searches, and having scoured Dow's books to no avail, and having looked through Peter Denny's Buckingham books, again with no joy, I even ended up on ebay looking through old photographs and postcards.  It was at that point that I remembered a few years ago having bought a set of reproduction GCR postcards by Dalkeith.  Bingo!

 

sXBkfPi.jpg?1

 

Green?  Oh I say that is a surprise. 

 

 

 

Don't put too much trust in hand-coloured images. I have a hand coloured commercial postcard of the High Street in Cley, which happens to include my home; it is depicted as red brick like several of its neighbours but is in fact built of 'white' gault brick.

 

On a different tack, many horse-drawn carts were painted dark blue with red wheels. There is a sample (Midland, I think) at the NRM. I doubt this applied to parcels vans though...

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Don't put too much trust in hand-coloured images. I have a hand coloured commercial postcard of the High Street in Cley, which happens to include my home; it is depicted as red brick like several of its neighbours but is in fact built of 'white' gault brick.

 

On a different tack, many horse-drawn carts were painted dark blue with red wheels. There is a sample (Midland, I think) at the NRM. I doubt this applied to parcels vans though...

 

That's something I'm trying to be quite wary of.  As a general rule, any information I turn up has to come from at least two sources before I use it, as a form of verification/ cross referencing.  The horse drawn van I'm quite confident was painted chocolate and cream; in addition to the postcard I've got a couple of photographs of them showing a two-colour livery and reference to their using the GCR carriage livery is made in at least one of George Dow's books.  Of course, it would be one of the petrol lorries that I chose to model instead!- where the only references I've yet found are a postcard of a GCR steamwagon (not a lorry) and a photo of a model lorry on the "Sutton Dock" layout thread (which by the way is I think a beautifully done piece of modelling): http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/5555-sutton-dock/ - and even then my supposition that it's a railway-owned lorry is only because it's right by the tracks where presumably non-railway personnel/ vehicles would be prohibited. 

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