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garygfletcher

The Grand Midland Hotel, St Pancras Station ~1903-1907

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After many, many years of starting this project, initially in n gauge, I thought I would share some of the progress I've made having had some dedicated time during furlough. 

 

This all started as an ambition to build my sons first railway set at the age of 1, a friend of mine asked why no one ever built models of the beautiful London stations - well now I know!!

 

Shortly after this seed had planted I went to go and see one of the first commercial 3d printers in the country, I saw 2 parts clip together during this trip and it reminded me of the Barlow roof. I purchased that 3d printer, at the time it cost as much as a new car. It wasn't very good, the prints were pretty crude.

 

A model likeness was created and actually showed off at Sandown Model Exhibition in the new technologies section - mainly demonstrating rapid prototyping and how larger models can be constructed.

 

After finishing this model, I sought the "holy grail" of engines to run on it, the Johnson 4-2-2 Spinner, google offered Tim Watson for that answer and I stalked him down at a model engineering show at Alexandra Palace. This was the first time I saw Copenhagen Fields - between viewing this and being very lucky to meet Justin Colson and Richard Wilson at the same meeting I was very convinced that 2mm finescale was the way forward from here on out. 

 

Years later and work taking me on trips to China and becoming a professional "maker", currently course leader of "Interdisciplinary Making and Prototyping" at Imperial College London I've now got a miss mash of deskilled technologies and engineering ahead of me to try and finish this thing off. 

 

Sadly I've left a large box of parts in the office - which I cannot now retrieve because of lockdown - but no shortage of things to do - in fact most of the thinking at the moment goes into wondering where to start and what next!

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Some bad experiences in etching in China - this was for the Barlow Roof - 2016 - this cost a fortune to get very wrong! Lots of lessons learned here about quality control and supply chain management!

 

 

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A later trip to China, and another factory ended up with a great result. I ordered 50 etches for the price I was quoted for a single one in the UK.

 

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Stunning modelling there, Gary.

 

I had come across your blog  a couple of years ago.

 

Blown away by the size and ambition of the project.

 

With your St Pancras, Graham Hedges on London Bridge, Cornish Trains Jez with Euston, (Both N/2mm), any number of whole or part iterations of Kings Cross, in various scales, London is being modelled likje never before.

 

I am very glad to see you on here.

 

More power to your elbow.

 

Regards

 

Ian

 

 

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On the same trip I had found a new technique for 3d printing, in the several weeks I was there I decided I would take some time to model as many detailed parts as I could to bring back with me.

 

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This week I 3d printed the Grand Midland Hotel Roof and Facade. This now needs to be clad in tiles and then the more detailed 3d prints added on top.IMG_0452.jpeg.74e0f826cfa223c5150283753ee6183a.jpeg

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Posted (edited)

Some 3d printed Midland Engines, they are too light and fragile - so I will use the 3d design to start an etch file instead.

 

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Edited by garygfletcher
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Just a while for this Gary. 
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Painting it all will be fun. 
 

Tim

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Posted (edited)

I should also add, this hasn't been a hap hazard approach, this project has taken me all over the country to many museums, societies and archives. I have probably got one of the most extensive collections of information about this building around! One time I actually bumped into Justin at the National Archives by accident! Fun times! I have been incredibly lucky that such a great many of people have allowed me behind the scenes and given me wonderful insight into the history and makeup of the building!

 

 

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Edited by garygfletcher
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9 minutes ago, CF MRC said:

Just a while for this Gary. 
0B655B5A-306D-43F6-97D7-704C555ACA18.png.c2c0a99d743a11b4bdee8cabba40d2b8.png

Painting it all will be fun. 
 

Tim

 

I think this picture was by special permission of the manager of the station at the time for Tatler magazine.

the very thought of painting it terrifies me! 

 

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Makes my model of Bath look sane, marvelous stuff Gary.

 

Jerry

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Amazing. For inspiration, though I'm sure you're familiar with it:

 

1655888616_StPancrasfromthePentonvilleRoadcompressed.jpg.d456f522269b6e362317566dbd4c6f16.jpg

 

I did see a photo of a drill hall that had a Barlow-esque roof of just the right dimensions and proportions for St Pancras in 7½" gauge...

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4 minutes ago, Compound2632 said:

Amazing. For inspiration, though I'm sure you're familiar with it:

 

1655888616_StPancrasfromthePentonvilleRoadcompressed.jpg.d456f522269b6e362317566dbd4c6f16.jpg

 

I did see a photo of a drill hall that had a Barlow-esque roof of just the right dimensions and proportions for St Pancras in 7½" gauge...

John O’Conner (not the one from the terminator movie). This picture is one of my favourites. It has so much in it, that everytime I examine it I see something new. The boy crossing the road, the policeman, the lady stopping the tram. Wonderful piece of art and certainly inspirational!!

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At the moment this is one of my favourites. I only found this a few weeks ago.

 

This is very early as the platform arrangement and glazing later changed. Some of the locos are also in midland green.

 

What is special about this picture is that the Barlow roof painted brown. Legend has it according to the Midland Railway meeting minutes. Upon a director of the Midland Railway visiting the station for the first time he found the brown very gloomy, he was asked what colour he’d like them, he replied “I don’t know, the colour of the sky”.

 

BR had them brown too, but since the restoration they have been blue. That’s how I’ll have them.

 

 

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Some people have bigger imaginations than the rest of us, and the energy and skills to turn their ideas into something special. This is surely one such. Magnificent. 

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WOW,  this project is on a par with the 4mm Lime Street,  that is also on here somewhere, oh and nearly forgot the 2mm Euston, but that has been quite for awhile.  Good work, I will follow this project as it unfolds.

 

 

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Posted (edited)

I forgot about track, that is a colossal task and an art of its own that Keith Armes was tremendously generous and helpful with.

 

He looked over a great deal of track plans from many sources with me before we decided on the final plan. There are many double slips, scissors, crossovers on this layout - here are some of the most complex made up and placed in no particular order - all of these are individual pieces.

 

All of the track is hand made from scratch and all the points are fully functional, electrically tested too.

 

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Edited by garygfletcher
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I'm glad that you did not start this thread on 1 April. I don't think that I would have believed it.

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Posted (edited)

I think that a single word would sum this up...

 

 

Stunning. 

Edited by Kris
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Gast flabbered & smacked gob!!

 

A long way to go, but keep going!

 

And, keep us updated, too, please

 

Regards

 

ian

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Compound2632 said:

Amazing. For inspiration, though I'm sure you're familiar with it:

 

1655888616_StPancrasfromthePentonvilleRoadcompressed.jpg.d456f522269b6e362317566dbd4c6f16.jpg

A view of St Pancras from (approximately) the position occupied by Keen House, the Model Railway Club's headquarters, for the last 60 years - and home for Copenhagen Fields for the last 30 plus!

 

Edited by bécasse

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2 minutes ago, bécasse said:

A view of St Pancras from (approximately) the position occupied by Keen House, the Model Railway Club's headquarters, for the last 60 years.

 

It was evidently inhabited by kindred spirits in the 1880s when John O'Connor painted this, judging by their inability to throw anything away.

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