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garygfletcher

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

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Posted (edited)
13 hours ago, garygfletcher said:

Well, the Grand Midland Hotel has been undertaking a roofing over a cold quiet evening.

 

Unfortunately it seems we are not as blessed as the 'oo' modellers who have a remarkably close plasticard from "wills roof slate' that matches the rough hand cut I would presume the slate had on the original build when it opened in 1873.

 

I opted for slaters 2mm roof slate, because Jerry Cliffords Midland Engine shed looks rather remarkable, but the pattern is very much repetitive and is more representative of the renovation of the roof in 2007.

 

OO gauge modellers are actually most unfortunate because Wills "roof slate" doesn't resemble roof slate at all. It might just, per chance, resemble a few of the roofs covered in stone flags but for most of those it would be a poor representation too. Fortunately Slaters' roof slates are available in 4mm as well as 2mm scale and are actually quite a good representation of the real thing. Real slates are only a few millimetres thick and so a slate roof in good condition appears to be almost flat with overlaps difficult to see even when viewed edge on. The most common slate size was Countess 10" x 20" but with the necessary lapping (the actual degree of lap varies slightly according to the slope of the roof, the typical annual rainfall at the location, and the extent to which the roof is potentially exposed to extreme weather conditions) typically only 10" x 8" of each slate is visible.

 

Incidentally Wills plain roof tiles are equally useless for 4mm scale modellers but are fortuitously very close to scale (just under actually) for 7mm.

 

Oh, and if either the original highly-skilled slaters who laid the slates on the original roof back in the 1880s, or the slate workers who produced the slates from the raw, heard your description of the rough hand cut of the original build, I suspect that you would in fear of your life. Victorian workmen were highly skilled, despite exploitation by their bosses, and proud of the work they did. "Anything will do" didn't become a British "trade mark" until the 1950s.

Edited by bécasse

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, bécasse said:

OO gauge modellers are actually most unfortunate because Wills "roof slate" doesn't resemble roof slate at all. It might just, per chance, resemble a few of the roofs covered in stone flags but for most of those it would be a poor representation too. Fortunately Slaters' roof slates are available in 4mm as well as 2mm scale and are actually quite a good representation of the real thing. Real slates are only a few millimetres thick and so a slate roof in good condition appears to be almost flat with overlaps difficult to see even when viewed edge on. The most common slate size was Countess 10" x 20" but with the necessary lapping (the actual degree of lap varies slightly according to the slope of the roof, the typical annual rainfall at the location, and the extent to which the roof is potentially exposed to extreme weather conditions) typically only 10" x 8" of each slate is visible.

 

Incidentally Wills plain roof tiles are equally useless for 4mm scale modellers but are fortuitously very close to scale (just under actually) for 7mm.

 

Oh, and if either the original highly-skilled slaters who laid the slates on the original roof back in the 1880s, or the slate workers who produced the slates from the raw, heard your description of the rough hand cut of the original build, I suspect that you would in fear of your life. Victorian workmen were highly skilled, despite exploitation by their bosses, and proud of the work they did. "Anything will do" didn't become a British "trade mark" until the 1950s.


From the research I undertook, it seemed to me some people had achieved very good results in oo gauge wills, and looked very close by my eye. I had no idea one could be so verhmently resolved in their roof slate choices! It’s a good job I went for the slaters 2mm then by the sounds of things. Equally, for clarification I never undermined the skills of Victorian roofers. I’m afraid you read that wrong, however one only need to compare the pictures to see the vast difference between modern manufactured tiles and it’s uniformity in comparison.

Edited by garygfletcher

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Posted (edited)

Interestingly I've just found a reference to the slates used on the roof at St. Pancras hotel;

 

"The graduated slate roof tiles were originally from the Groby & Swithland quarry, Leicestershire, (since replaced with Westmoreland green slates in 1993-4). Welsh slate was used in areas that were out of sight, at the rear (northern) side of the roof."

 

taken from this website;

 

http://www.roydenstock.com/history.php

 

Swithland slate looks quite different in colour and texture from the normal forms of Welsh slate, although apart from the colour, it's debatable whether you would notice any difference in 2mm scale. Presumably the reference to 'graduated' means the practice of the slate sizes diminishing the higher you go up the roof.

 

It's all interesting stuff (well, it is to me anyway!). St Pancras is probably my favourite of the big London stations, and I'm very jealous of BCNPete for having been able to work on the refurbishment! I'm looking forward to seeing more progress on the model, Gary.

 

Andy

Edited by 2mm Andy
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51 minutes ago, 2mm Andy said:

Interestingly I've just found a reference to the slates used on the roof at St. Pancras hotel;

 

"The graduated slate roof tiles were originally from the Groby & Swithland quarry, Leicestershire, (since replaced with Westmoreland green slates in 1993-4). Welsh slate was used in areas that were out of sight, at the rear (northern) side of the roof."

 

taken from this website;

 

http://www.roydenstock.com/history.php

 

Swithland slate looks quite different in colour and texture from the normal forms of Welsh slate, although apart from the colour, it's debatable whether you would notice any difference in 2mm scale. Presumably the reference to 'graduated' means the practice of the slate sizes diminishing the higher you go up the roof.

 

It's all interesting stuff (well, it is to me anyway!). St Pancras is probably my favourite of the big London stations, and I'm very jealous of BCNPete for having been able to work on the refurbishment! I'm looking forward to seeing more progress on the model, Gary.

 

Andy


Andy, thank you so much for this snippet and for the link. I’ve found very few references to the slate. I’ve seen Roy’s website before, he used to do tours during the renovation. It looks like he’s added some great stuff, so I’ll have a read through.

 

I’m very aware the Midland Railway were very keen on only using materials from the Midlands, clearly why they were sourced from Leicester.

 

The brickwork is a separate subject and is fascinating. There are several books on this subject, one with the menacing title of “Clay Stealers to St Pancras“. There are some interesting board minutes as to how the custom sized brick and supply chain was frequently “slowed down” to increase the price! Quite a monopoly was had!

 

I will have a good read, thanks for sharing!

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The most important thing to do with the Slaters slate styrene is to sand away the texture to almost nothing. It will take paint and look infinitely better. 
 

Tim

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Posted (edited)

 I downloaded your building from Thingiverse a couple of years ago just because it seemed such a mental thing to be on there! 

 

(Up until then I'd thought Ross Baldersons model of Sydney Central station was the highpoint in grandiose 2mm modelling.. http://www.nscale.org.au/layouts/award-layouts/sydney-central  )

 

I intended printing it off on my photon just for fun but  so far  have not  got around to it.

 

Then  I found your blog and have been wondering how its been going. Glad to see its resurfaced here.

 

Out of interest, what 3d progarmme was it modelled in? I recall you had a time lapse video on your blog(?) showing a portion of it being modelled  but I can't find that now. 

Edited by monkeysarefun

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Gary, this is truly amazing work.

 

I *really* want one of these to go next door to the King's Cross station I'm designing, but I have to say everything at St. Pancras is so much more ornate, so while I think my project is pretty cool, what you are creating there is a genuine wonder!   My hat off to you sir!

 

I do wish you were still doing the buildings for 3D printing though - that way I might have had a chance at persuading you to swap files with me and we'd have no trouble re-scaling each others work between N and 2mm or even 4mm and OO!   C'est la vie! :)   Some day, maybe when I next visit Blighty, I'd like to buy you a pint and compare notes!

 

Really looking forward to watching your progress.

 

Ross.

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On 12/05/2020 at 23:44, CF MRC said:

The most important thing to do with the Slaters slate styrene is to sand away the texture to almost nothing. It will take paint and look infinitely better. 
 

Tim

 

Agreed, I just use a little flat finger pad made by sticking some wet and dry onto plasticard with some double sided tape. Essentially you want to flatten it out, the moulding process leaves the individual slates with a slightly rounded face. Once sanded it takes paint well and when carefully painted and weatherd can look very convincing. 

 

Jerry

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