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Hi all. I’m building an entry for The Train Crash’s A4 diorama competition. The working title is Creek Street, for reasons that will no doubt become fairly obvious.

 

The setting is a slum in South London, some time in the 1880s. Two dilapidated houses sit either side of a muddy creek, little more than an open sewer. Behind them, a viaduct carrying the line to Greenwich.

 

The whole thing is an exercise in forced perspective - the houses in the foreground are built to large scale. The viaduct is 00.
 

I don’t have very long to get this built, as the closing date is 20th May. Fortunately, I do have a head start - I built the houses during lockdown, mostly out of card. Here are some photos of the progress so far:

 

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Ta. I was inspired by buildings around Rotherhithe and Deptford. There were a few late 18th century timber houses of dubious legality (timber houses having been outlawed following the Great Fire), and that was what I wanted to get the feel of.

 

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Many thanks! There's a great book called 'Lost London' which includes a lot of these dilapidated old houses. I'd thoroughly recommend it to anyone with an interest in architectural history. Some of the buildings in there are so bizarre that no one would believe they were real if I modelled them.

 

I just hope I can pass the wonky chimney on the white house off as subsidence, and not me making a mistake in my measurements...

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A couple of minor updates. I’ve painted the stonework and the road at the back, and started work on whatever-those-things-are-that-hold-a-riverbank-up. The latter are coffee stirrers and matchsticks.

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Testing the forced perspective. I’ve had to make the viaduct a lot taller than it would be in real life in order to make the forced perspective work and prevent the railway aspect from being overpowered. Modellers’ licence?

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The law is clear: if your setting is Victorian London, you have to have a train going over a viaduct in the background. To that end, I’m going to attempt to repaint a Bachmann “Red Coach” in something like Stroudley livery. 
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Couple of progress photos. Don’t know if I’ll be finished by the deadline, but I think I’m in a good position to get it at least presentable.

 

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I'm particularly pleased with the way the creek itself turned out. Unfortunately, the part you see here will be concealed by a bridge. Oh well.

Edited by HonestTom
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7 hours ago, HonestTom said:

Couple of progress photos. Don’t know if I’ll be finished by the deadline, but I think I’m in a good position to get it at least presentable.

 

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The angle you took that photo from there feels a bit Oliver!-esque, I have to say!

Edited by Hando
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3 hours ago, Hando said:

The angle you took that photo from there feels a bit Oliver!-esque, I have to say!

That was one of my inspirations, as was the book. As I say, there seems to be a rule that if you have a Victorian London setting, you have to have a steam engine going across a viaduct. Possibly the influence of Gustave Doré.

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My favourite example of this was in the generally pretty mediocre film From Hell, in which the train was a Terrier hauling a train of Hornby 4-wheelers.

 

Anyway, I’ve made some progress this evening:

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Edited by HonestTom
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This will be the coach. Unfortunately, LBSC coach transfers don’t seem to exist, so I’m reduced to hand lettering/lining. I think the lining might be too bright a shade of yellow. It's hard to say. All the photos I've found from that era are monochrome, and livery details are impossible to make out.

Edited by HonestTom
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I think it’s finished for now. I spent absolutely nothing on this build, and everything except the train and track was scratchbuilt. It’s not exactly Pendon, but I’m quite pleased with it. I learned a lot and I feel a lot more confident in my abilities as a modeller.

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You have built a lovely little diorama, with the rickety old building. The bridge in background with the terrier and coach looks nice. Well done Sir.:good_mini:

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Confession time: due to the time limit, I only lined out the parts of the coach that would be visible. I’ve now done the rest. LBSC coach decals aren’t a thing I’ve been able to find, so I’ve done it old-skool by hand. This is a very cruel close-up.

 

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I'm planning on weathering it a bit (hence the grey roof as opposed to the more commonly portrayed white), as most of the contemporary photos i've found depict these as looking a bit shabby. And as you may have gathered from this diorama, I like shabby.

 

(also it might hide some of my painting mistakes har har)

Edited by HonestTom
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