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I have just discovered a really useful resource published by a lecturer/model maker named David Neat.   His Wordpress blog contains a wealth of advice and information on subjects including modelling buildings and surfaces, techniques, materials, tools, and suppliers.   If you delve into his blog using the menu bar you will get the most out of his site.   He also runs small tutorial workshops in London.  https://davidneat.wordpress.com/

 

David Neat's blog appears to be based on, and updates, his book (below) on the same subject:

 

Model Making: Material and Methods.
By David Neat

Hardbacked 176 pages (with many colour photographs).

Models can be used in a wide variety of situations, including theatre production, architecture design, animation, and set design.

For each different situation a specific material is often preferable, and this handy guide addresses the best model-making materials, from the standard and traditional to the new and innovative.

Tips are provided on how each of the materials behaves and how best to use them, and illustrated instructions demonstrate methods of building, shaping, surfacing, and painting each material.

A number of examples are also included along with step-by-step accounts of what materials were used and how they were manipulated without the need for expensive tools or workshop facilities.

A directory covering the full range of materials involved in model-making together with an extensive list of suppliers complete this essential resource.

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Another testimonial for David Neat's work:

 

"As one of the commenters exclaims on David Neat’s blog of modelling tips: “I feel like I’ve just discovered the Holy Grail of modelling sites!” David’s simple, plain WordPress blog betrays the amount and quality of the content found there. David writes about and teaches model-making and this site gathers the materials from his books, courses, and lectures.

There is a ton of material here, on everything from technical drawing to materials and supplies for modelling, modelling techniques (from the most general to the very specific), and lots more. David even has a Lexicon section with terms used in model-making. Most of what’s covered concerns architectural models and models used in set decorating, but the techniques can be applied to any type of building and terrain modelling. I look at a lot of hobby modelling sites and rarely have I seen one with this much depth, rigor, and high-value content. I will definitely be spending a lot of time here in the future.

One of the more useful series on the site is found under the Methods -> Making Realistic Models menu. There you will find five lengthy modelling tutorials.'

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I am currently counting brick courses, studying windows/doors/lintels, estimating building dimensions in feet and inches, converting this to 7mm scale size and wondering if my maths is correct!  So this fine example of laser cut brickwork by Richard Ellis of www.monksgate.co.uk caught my eye.

tricky1.jpeg

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I know this is the old fashioned way, but I hope this work will eventually provide a basis for computer aided design of buildings for Atlantic Dock.   It's already useful to see the rough scale dimensions of the MDHB workshop in relation to, for example, the height of the Overhead Railway.

counting.jpg

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I have been temporarily diverted from railway to marine modelling by the issue of including boats at the front of dockside layouts, especially in 7mm.   Suitably small models in the right scale are rare.   Many small vessels such as tugs come in 1:32 scale and smaller scale ones are in 1:48 not 1:43 scale.  Anything bigger than a tug starts to turn out quite large in 0 scale.  For example, my 1930s built tanker (scrapped in the late 1950s) is 44 inches long in 1:48 scale.   There is a potential danger that a large vessel could distract too much from the rest of a diorama/layout.   A dry dock scene might help.

 

The Caldercraft coaster SS Talacre (built 1917)  is a popular kit for 0 gauge layouts, as are Clyde Puffers.  But Clyde Puffers only operated in a restricted area of relatively calm waters and they did not travel far.   They can easily look out of place.  Small naval vessels such as minesweepers did visit Liverpool docks and a navy reserve base, but military vessels might look out of place in commercial docks in peacetime.

 

Which brings us back to tug kits (not the the American type with a rounded bridge).  As noted elsewhere in RMweb, a small docks steam tug is ideal, rather than a large, modern salvage type, and fortunately these vessels are also popular with R/c boat builders.  The Assurance class navy tug is the only one kit known to me that is available in 1:43 scale.  Fortunately it also comes in a civilian version without guns.  The steam tug Kerne (pictured below ,and in my 26 May 2019 post) is my favourite choice.  It regularly moored at Princes Dock, Liverpool and was used for lighterage work.  The image below is Wellington Dock but includes a good view of a lighter too.  Kerne is available as a kit but sadly only in 1:32 scale.   But Kerne would make an ideal scratch built waterline model for Atlantic Dock, with or without a lighter.

 

The trick is to suggest a corner of a dock with the larger vessels and expanse of water out of view.  As shown in the photo, such corners frequently provided moorings for small service vessels such as tugs, pilot boats and lighters - sometimes alongside each other.   There is also plenty of scope for modelling small dock details in such a corner, for example, steps, ropes, capstans and a rowing boat.

 

kerne wellington.jpg

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Hi Stephen,

 

Mike Edge has pointed me your way as I mentioned a similar area of interest to him. I am note sure how I have managed to miss this impressive collection of photos and information that you have managed to amass.

 

I was having similar thoughts of modeling (but in 4mm) the BR  line where it emerged from the former Waterloo Goods Depot and crossed the dock road and headed towards riverside. I have been so far limited to having a play trying to work out curvature and space required, or should I say what could be reasonably fitted into say 6-8ft. I have geo-referenced a few screen shots to try and establish radius of some of the MHDR pointwork and riverside branch.

 

image.png.13d6a44b68285cc3c6dc98af4c00d037.png

Not sure but this appears to be a pre LOR and Riverside connection so pre-1893 image from old-maps. When I measure the circled point I get from nose to end of switch blades of about 25ft.Some of the curves look to be about 2 chains, maybe a touch less.  Estimates so far, from measuring the line and remnants would suggest the BR line was somewhere between 4 to 4.5 chains radius.  I am not sure if you have during any of your information gathering measured or come across any dimensions? 

 

Secondly - when did the BR style signals appear (with the weight and signal wires running along the wall) - like those that controlled the access across the Dock Road - where these after the demise of the LOR?

 

Cheers

 

James

 

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Viciously sharp curves abounded in the MDHB system, that's why all their locos had flangeless centre driving wheels. The sharpest I have found on OS plans works out at about 6" radius in 4mm scale although I don't suppose any locos could get round this. The S bend at Herculaneum Dock works out at 19" radius, I had to tighten this to 17". Your suggested radius for the Riverside connection wouldn't be unreasonable, most locos could get round this dead slow.

One of my photos shows a Jinty heading towards Riverside with a substantial part of the LOR still in place so I would think the BR signal was there before closure - dismantling finished in September 1958 but the last job was removing the big bridge outside Dingle tunnel which was a long and complicated job. One short section (I think near Stanley Dock) did survive quite a lot longer since it was carrying pipes. 

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On 17/11/2019 at 20:06, Stephenwolsten said:

I am currently counting brick courses, studying windows/doors/lintels, estimating building dimensions in feet and inches, converting this to 7mm scale size and wondering if my maths is correct!  So this fine example of laser cut brickwork by Richard Ellis of www.monksgate.co.uk caught my eye.

 

Stephen - there is a particularly interesting discussion about brick sizes (including tax on bricks and its impact on "standard" brick sizes) at https://www.scottishbrickhistory.co.uk/brick-sizes-variations-and-standardisation/.  It deals with English as well as Scottish bricks and mentions that brick sizes north of Birmingham were not the same as brick sizes south of Birmingham (2 5/8 inch South of Birmingham, and 2 7/8 inch bricks in the North)... so much for standardisation - conversion to 7mm/ft is only the start of it! 

 

I've only just come across your posts and I'm looking forward to following developments. 

 

Kit PW

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks Stephen, that's a nice colour photo of a green Avonside as well. 

I've made the pattern for your LOR train's bogies now - only one mould so it will take a while to get them all out but I'll send them on to you then.

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Posted (edited)

Massive warehouses were a characteristic feature of Liverpool's 'dock road' and some representation of them will probably be necessary at the rear of the diorama or on a backscene. 

 

Along the inland side of the dock road and in the narrow side streets lay a multitude of railway depots, bonded warehouses and forwarding depots.   There were many other businesses such as export packers, ship repairers and provision merchants.   There were factories too, mainly in the heavy process industries that gather at ports such as milling. oil seed crushing and sugar refining.  Some examples are shown in the accompanying photographs.

 

The traditional approach to modelling this is often to add a low-relief warehouse.  But something cleverer may be needed to create an illusion of depth and perspective.   I am tempted by suitable photographs but this approach may not work without a lot of digital manipulation to create a composite image (if technically possible even). 

 

The definitive book on this subject is Creating a Backscene: A Railway Modelling Companion by Paul Bambrick.   The book is a comprehensive guide to creating eye deceiving backscenes, showing how a transition from 3D to 2D  and other techniques produces the sense of depth.

 

Princes dock shed.jpg

amber15.jpg

amber2.jpg

amber6.jpg

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Posted (edited)

A digital impression of one of the entrances to the redeveloped Princes Dock, Liverpool.   This is the approximate location to be modelled but viewed from the inland rather than the river side.  Copyright Peel Property.   The second picture shows the view from the other side at an earlier date when the MDHB tracks were still visible.

princes - Peel.jpg

e8795149c0215efbd023de4073198192.jpg

Edited by Stephenwolsten
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