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REC Farnborough

Platform canopy & 'services' for 'Netherley'

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I suppose an introduction is called for... I am the Publicity Officer for the Railway Enthusiasts Club in Farnborough Hants. In addition to this I am actively involved with two of the layouts under construction - 'Netherley', the Clubs 7mm layout & 'Emsford', the Clubs 'EM' layout whwere I am (slowly) building the mill!


Having been 'invited' to consider the requirements for 'Netherley's island platform (its only platform) I thought it would make a potential entry for this years competition. However, I am also involved in another entry under a different avatar so fitting this in with that & a two-week holiday in Florida next week will make for some interesting deadlines! However, being fully retired helps... Okay, on with the story.


'Netherley' represents the terminus of a secondary main line 'somewhere on Gods Wonderful Railway'. The prototype wa constructed in a restricted space, so the only platform is served by a subway connecting it to the 'usual services'. However, in their wisdom, the board of the GWR recognised that the exposed site required some weather protection for the the fare-paying public and its long-suffering staff... Shades of Burnham on the GW main west of Slough? So an overall canopy & platform shelter were needed.






These two views show the overview of the layout - and another challenge is to have the layout 'completed' in time for the Clubs 'Diamond Jubilee' exhibition next year - and a view of the actual site


Having accepted the challenge from the group, the hunt was on for a suitable prototype. Fortunately Adrian Vaughns tome on GW archtiecture showed a potential at Cardiff - and I very nearly went there... However examination under a lens revealed that one of the strip lights in the image was labelled 'Bristol Temple Meads' - and a visit to the Network Rail site for BTM showed it was in fact platforms 13-15! So I went there instead - by train of course!


A very pleasant interlude followed, having first informed station staff what I was doing ( a neccessary precaution these days).


The canopy is a masterpiece of Victorian engineering with graceful curves everywhere -






and something of a challenge in modelling terms. The frames are built on a 'sandwich' construction where the webs supporting the angle-iron is inserted between them, and then additional gussets are rivetted over some joins. Hopefully a picture is worth a thousand words! Anyway, I had a long run home in the train to consider the issues (there is no such thing as a problem - merely a solution waiting to be found!)


The solution I came up with was to draw an outline & main features of the truss in a cad programme (TurboCAD). This was the printed on adhesive paper




which was peeled from its backing sheet and laid over 15 thou plastikard. After cutting round the template the paper was removed and the angle-iron layers constructed with 'Evergreen' 'L' strip. Having done one side, the corners of the 'webs' were then drilled out and the centre-pieces removed. Seemples? The truss was then flipped over & angleiron applied again. The webs on the outer faces are simple slices of plain card. All was, of course, held together with 'MekPak'.




So, the system works to my (and more importantly the groups) satisfaction - and theres only another ten trusses to build - plus longditudinal girders between the columns at the shoulders and ridge, plus the barge-board supports, the bargeboards, the roof... And of course the platform building (probably based on Tilehurst). I'd better get on with it then!


Modellers in the area are welcome to the 'Club nights' every Tuesday - more details are on our web site at




Regs to all

REC Farnborough

Edited by REC Farnborough
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Looks very interesting. I like your method of construction. How long will the canopy be when finished?

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Hi Pete -

Thanks for dropping by. The canopy will be about 1.5m long when completed. The station building will be about 45cm, so to look 'balanced' bearing in mind the subway has to be covered, it will need to be that long.




REC Farnborough

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and theres only another ten trusses to build


Could you use this one as a master and cast the others in resin?

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Hi Black Rat


hmm - thought about it, as I do some casting. Issues would be


a. it'll need to be a 2-part mould (havn't got that far yet!)


b fear of the trusses warping as hey are only about 40 thou thick


c. (the main one) the platform has a slight reverse curve and narrows by 2mm at one point - so the canopy will have to reflect this...




REC Farnborough

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Well, after great holiday in Florida (seems a long time ago now - we left in a tropical storm & appear to have brought it back with us -sorry!) some 12"-ft remodelling of the house and various other projects have somewhat limited the time on this one. However some progress has been made.


Having made one of the main girders I then started on the longditudinal beams. At the risk of being a bore, I'll describe the process in detail. It applies to the whole process so 'I vill say this only once...'


As for the main beams the process starts with a c.g template, printed on adhesive paper. -




This is affixed to the back of 20 thou plastikard & cut out


Using 'Evergreen' .60 'L' plasticard, strengthening angle is then added round the edge, having first 'traced' the bracing onto the front of the card -




The lower strip requires a fairly sharp radius at each end. I actually found no problem with this - precurving the end




and then slowly working along the join with 'Mekpak' (NOT a job for tube cement!)




The cross-bracing was then added, working from the centre outward. Note that the base of the web has to be removed where it sits against the upper & lower strips - if you see what I mean...)




With the bracing complete -




remove the central web by drilling out the corners. This leaves material in place representing the strengthening plates.






Next job is to add the 'rear' bracing. First remove the paper template..... The rear bracing (which actually represents the other flange of a 'T' girder) is simple styrene strip from 'Evergreen' -




At last I had all the components needed for one span (the eagle-eyed among you will notice a subtle difference in the main transverse girder compared to the original)




and finally it could all be assembled!




Only another ten spans to make(plus intermediate spans out from the longditudinals to support the valance-framing (which also has to be made) and the valancing itself (all 3m of it, which under the rules I will scratch-build).


However, I think I'm going to give myself a break & get on with the platform buildings...


Thanks for reading & sorry its so long


REC Farnborough

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This is very impressive model engineering. I too use TurboCAD for modelling purposes - anything from layout plans to full size 00 model building facades (which I print on plain paper and glue to mounting board prior to cutting edges and window & door apertures). A very useful tool and a lot cheaper than AutoCAD!.

Looking forward to seeing more of this build.



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Hi Brian


Thanks for the comment. One thing I would suggest - rather than printing templates on plain paper then glueing them to the main material - use adhesive paper (label paper). Job done in one hit with no fear of warping due to PVA etc. Less messy too! 'Staples' sell 'A4, 1 label per sheet' for about £13 a box of 100 sheets. Initial cost might appear high but it depends how much use you make of the process. As you'll see in later articles I use it for (laser printed) tiles. slates & other wall coverings - although those processes I do in 'CorelDraw'.


Right, back to the project which, due to 'outside influences' (major extension to the house) has somewhat taken a back seat. At a meeting of the group last week I was requested to concentrate on the station buildings, as, although these will sit under the canopy they can also 'stand alone'. There is a fear that otherwise they might not be completed for the Club's 'Diamond Jubilee' exhibition NEXT year. As it's not my layout, we work with democratic decisions! So here goes...


The platform buildings are based on those at Tilehurst (GWR)




Building (1) is the general waiting room with a 'Gents' in the left end.




Buidling two - slightly shorter) provides the 'Ladies Facilities' This is to the right of buidling one and the subway entrance is further to the right again.


The prototypes were constructed in 'English Bond' with extensive use of 'Engineers Blues' and (to my mind) are very attractive buildings.


As is my usual approach I began by drawing up all the apertures (3 doors, 16 main windows & 4 toilet windows) in 'Coreldraw' & printed them out on adhesive paper. Format provides for a 'template' which is fixed to the wall material, and other layers which are iether fixed to varying grades of plain plastikard representing frames, glazing bars etc. Dependent on scale & building, much of the frames can be printed direct onto vaious thicknesses of card. More anon...


Yesterday, off to the clubhouse for two days intensive modelling (interspersed with breakfast & lunch - wifes jealous for a change!). First problem - the only available embossed plastikard was in 'Flemish Bond'.. Ah well, needs must' and the day was spent fixing various templates in place & cutting out apertures..




Here a touch of 'Not seeing the wood for the trees' came into play. Returning to the club room this morning I was immediately struck by a 'lack of squareness' in the apertures. Strange, 'cos the horizontal courses were parallel as were the vertical courses. Problem was - they're not at rightangles to each other.... It might only be a degree or so out, but to my eye at least it was very noticeable. Our 'local model shop' (15 miles away) had just sold out of '7mm 'English Bond' - 'Not expecting another delivery for a week' (no criticism - 'Alton Models' is a VERY good shop - one of the old-fashioned type where 'shifitng boxes' produces little gems long since out of production!). Ah well, find something else to do for the rest of the day....


On returning home I just on the off chance checked my own styrene stocks. Yep, there they were, a couple of sheets of 'English Bond' (from another manufacturer. Courses beautifully square to each other... Run off another set of templates & I'm back in business!




The templates provide a cutting guide and as the frames are drawn over the template, it will all fit nicely (and more important, they'll all be identical).


One issue is the fitting of the brick lintels which are of course curved. The radius of the lower curve had been worked out whilst drawing the twmplate (44.5mm in 'O' gauge if anyones interested!). The upper arc was defined by adding the dimension of two 'headers' (coming to 55.8mm). Having worked out where the centre of arc lay below each aperture the arcs were first drawn in with a pencil. The angle of the lintel ends were then calculated -




and drawn in. The upper arcs were then scribed by replacing the lead in the bow-spring with a steel point. So by the end of the evening (three hours modelling), I've recovered nearly half a day's modelling. Still anoyed tho'! Anyway, tommorrows another day


The lintel arcs will be scribed onto 20thou plain styrene along with the intermediate arc for the brick course. Once the wall has been mounted on a 30 thou backing, the lintels will then be added & the vertical courses scribed.


Quick plug in case I don't get back here for a while -


Come to our exhibition - 14/15 September at the Liesure Centre, Woking. FDull details are n the 'Exhibition Calendar' here and on our club web site. I'll be there all day both days with me little badge of office on! Be please to meet any other 'RMWebbers' who come to the show




REC Farnborough

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Onward... The last two evenings have been spent sorting out the apertures on both platform faces of building one.


These are the templates used in cutting out the apertures -



All window framing etc is developed from this template so it *should* all fit properly!




Having affixed the templates - having regard for courses etc, the arcs for the lintels are then drawn in and the whole cut out.


The lintels are drawn out on 20 thou to the required inside & outside radius, and the intermediate course scribed in with the compass point -



It doesn't hurt to have a last positional check!



Having mounted the embossed brickwork on it's 30 thou backing, the window apertures are cut out, but the area behind the lintel is is left in place.




The lintels are then attached, and when dry the brick courses (inverted 'headers') are then scribed in. It was at this stage that I realised I should also have removed the sill areas from the embossing (replacing them with more shaped styrene) however by now it was too late so 'Milliput' was used to grout in the brick courses.




Thats it for a couple of days - off to see a new grandson. Next job on return will be to make up the end walls with the doors to the 'Gents' & the waiting room itself.




REC Farnborough

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Right - back from the grandson (& a right little smasher he is too!) so on with the job...


First to be tackled were the end walls, both of which have door apertures. It was easier to make up four end walls, two more for the other building -




With little in the way of decoration other than the lintel, this was a relatively easy task.


At last the building could be assembled using rightangled off-cuts of plasticard to hold the walls perpendicular to each other -




and the 'bullnose' blue brick base could then be added (using strips of 30 thou to provide more relief) (the edges will be rounded later when the building is stable).


To assist with this a floor was cut -




and fitted




providing the very visible doorsteps.


I'll now let everything dry solidly overnight before 'rounding off' the 'bullnoses'. The brickwork will ten be ready for painting & 'pointing'...

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Lovely build there. Best way I have seen lintels done too, note down for future reference.

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Lovely build there. Best way I have seen lintels done too, note down for future reference.


Thanks for that. As I see it, that's what RMWeb is all about - I regularly use ideas I've first seen on the forums!




REC Farnborough

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I see the last update was about a fortnight ago- but I've not been bored...


The 'Ladies' block has now been brought to the same level of completion as the main waiting room -






so it was time to get on with the fine detail. Both buildings have chimneys, and in this scale some internal detail is called-for -




shows the small support-pieces to hold the chimney-breast square




The 'fireplace' is a typical piece of late-Victorian engineering - and I'm pretty certain they were 'fireblacked rather than tiled.


What a welcoming sight on a raw winters day (or it will be!) -




All the smoke has to go somewhere, so the stacks were next. Here I came across a non-prototypical issue, but one which most exhibition modellers are aware of - lack of height in the travelling boxes. Max height is 75mm above the platform level, so the following solution was used.




Close examination revealed that just above the ridge, the chimney breast reduced in height (red circle) so at this point the stacks were built to fit inside the chimney breast and made removeable -




a case of 'plug 'n play! It will also allow for replacement of the stacks if they get damaged. Construction-wise they are quite simple - merely boxes of overlapping thicknesses of plastic, ensuring of course that the bonding follows correctly round the structure.


Now the various components are approaching completion, it's time to think about finishes - so first of all, any minor blemishes were filled with 'Milliput', & when dry sanded back. At the same time I 'grouted' the relevant areas in the plinth to represent the airbricks -




I did try to drill out the holes but 2 .03mm drills later decided that was a costly task... They will be represented by inkmarks from a Rotring pen when the final paint has been applied.


Which brings us to the paint... The buildings are made from an 'orangey-red' brick which is fairly uniform in colour. Rather than mix a batch (with all the attendant problems of making a second mix when the first runs out!) I went to a new model shop in our area - 'Model & Gaming Supplies' in Cove Road Farnborough - who stocks an extensive range of 'Vallejo' acrylic paints. Suitably-armed with a photo of the original I made my selection as illustrated below on a 'test piece' -




'Tamiya' Buff was used for the mortar - applied with a flat brush & then lifted off with a tissue to leave the 'mortar' filled.




The illustrated colours were then applied with the flat brush. 'German Orange' appears about the closest match - however this will be used as a background colour with some bricks individually highlighted in other hues (probably avoiding 'flat red'! The 'Engineers Brick on the plinth and apertures will be picked out in 'Luftwaffe Uniform WWII'. Strange bedfellows in modelling!


So tommorrow looks like a colourful day!




REC Farnborough


PS - this model will be on display at the 'Club Open Day' on 21 October (see 'clubs & societies' for further details or PM me...)

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Last instalment then....


Having 'washed' the buildings in 'mortar', the main brickwork was then dry-brushed on - and I have to say how close 'German Orange' is to the 'real thing' -




A drybrushing with 'Luftwaffe Uniform Blue' dealt with the 'Engineers Brick' base (where would we be without Teutonic thoroughness??) -




and then the slog began picking out all the edging bricks - being careful to get the bonding as right as possible...




At last that 'job' was over & it was on to the windows & doors. I use a system reliant on 'computer generated' apertures, printed out on various grades of card to give the required relief -




Painted according to 'Great Western Way' prior to final assembly -




using PVA for 'card-to card' surfaces and 'Foam To Foam' (a product of the model aircraft trade) for 'card to styrene' faces. It has similar properties to 'Evostik' etc but is not so fierce. It is 'stringy' but applied with a cocktail stick this can be a benefit.




By this time I was concentrating on the smaller of the two buildings 'The Ladies' as it was obvious (at midnight on 29 Sep) that the entire model was not going to be completed.


The entry door -




Was a similar construction - and by this time the floor had been painted to represent a linoleum finish (unfortunately GW Way is mute on this point!).


I'd been thinking about the roof - the ones at Bristol, being under a full canopy are flat - but I needed to represent them as a) they hold up the stacks and B) will be visible through the canopy glazing.


Therefore a 'tray' was made of 80 thou plastikard, edged with brickwork -




corresponding to that on the outer walls and thicknessed to represent a 9" brick wall. The lower chimney stack was then located onto the base and, having attached the chimney breast to the interior partition wall, the roof was fitted into place.




At this point I just ran out of time. The intention will be to create further canopy trusses which will fit either side of the stack - the intention can be seen here -




but that is now for another day.


Whilst the structures are not complete all elements involved in there construction have been fully detailed here - so completion will just be a case of endless repetition!


To those who have kindly commented on the entry, my thanks and I hope at some stage to make your aquaintance! A date for your diary is 14-15 September 2013 when 'Netherley' will be one of the layouts on display at the REC 'Diamond Jubilee' Exhibition at the Woking Liesure Centre. I promise it will be completed by then! Honestly Ian! (That last to our group co-ordinator who is currently recovering from a major illness and who cannot make it to the club for a while).


Regs to all


REC Farnborough

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First, my thanks to all who voted this build into 6th place in the competition!


After a long lay-off due to family commitments this build is now continuing on a blog.




REC Farnborough

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