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Image restoration from pre-May 2021 continues and may take an indefinite period of time.

Spotlc

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  1. Here are a few more pics that I took while I was building this diorama. I mentioned at the beginning that all sides of the enclosure could be removed at will, and this shows how easy it is to work on the model, or make alterations to it if this can be done, here with the back panel removed. This shows the installation of one of the trees and the card facing for the wall - not impossible from the front, but far easier done like this! Google Earth view. Just for fun, what it looks like from above! A couple of the buildings were intended for another project, so I had to compromise some of the positioning to stop them from masking one another. Cheers, Mike
  2. Khris, many thanks for your kind words !! Mike
  3. A lot of inspirational stuff here! I've had a very battered copy of Miniature Building Construction for years, and I have recently made a few 3mm scale structures for a little project, one of which was this pub, loosely based on Ahern's sketch of the Duchess of Albany. The Duchess of Albany was an Ushers pub in Salisbury (still there, I think, no longer a pub and much altered, into shops and an army recruiting centre!) This version is intended for a diorama set in East Anglia, so I have rendered it as a Dales of Cambridge house - the name is fictional but has real life precedents. It isn't finished - I hope to fit lighting at some time in the future, and perhaps some interior details, but this is my first foray into 3mm, so I'm taking it steady! Cheers, Mike
  4. Hats Off! This is really wonderful, modelmaking, Mike, out of the very top drawer! And for my sins, I still have the Allbright Spacemaster draughting machine in the workshop, although it's more for ornament than use these days! Cheers, Mike
  5. Hard to say without actually seeing it, but my guess is that it's what is commonly called "blooming", where a clear coat of varnish is degraded by moisture in the atmosphere. Try gently dabbing the affected area with a solvent - meths, IPA, white spirit, or acetone (nail varnish remover) - depends on what sort of varnish! And if you can, switch the flash off on the camera - find something to support the camera on, or use a little tripod - the results will be much more natural ! Cheers, Mike
  6. Now that this diorama is largely finished, this seems the right time to offer a little description. I should like to be able to say that it was the story that prompted the model, but in truth , the model suggested the story! It is complete make believe, of course, apart from the breweries mentioned, which, living in France, I miss greatly! Gray's Maltings, a brief History Gray's Maltings was established in the 1880's, near Tredington, close to the boundary between Oxfordshire and Warwickshire. It was founded by the owner of a large local farm, Morton Gray, to produce malt from the farm's barley for a number of small breweries in the district. The firm quickly gained a reputation for high quality malt, and gradually became suppliers to breweries further afield, despite the lengthy journeys involved by horse drawn carts. Eventually, the recently formed Banbury and Leamington Railway Company were persuaded to build a six mile single track branch to Gray's yard, provided Gray financed all the earthworks himself, to which he reluctantly agreed. The bill passed quickly through Parliament, not least because of the enthusiastic support of the local MP, a major shareholder in the now limited company. Royal Assent was granted in November 1891, work commenced with vigour, and the line opened to traffic two years later. The maltings prospered greatly as a result of their new found mobility, because they could now reach a far wider geographic range of customers than previously, and by the outbreak of World War I, they counted among their clients such doyens of South Midlands brewing as Brakspears of Henley, Morrels of Oxford, the Hook Norton Brewery, the Leamington Brewery , Clinch of Witney, and many other equally hallowed names. Morton Gray died in 1937, his two sons both having careers of their own, and no interest in becoming maltsers, they sold their controlling shareholdings to two local businessmen, Arthur Gifford and Stanley Knowles. Taken from "A History of Brewing in the South Midlands" by A. Nother-Rownd, published by Frederick Warne & Co, London, 1961. The Model We see the maltings as they were in 1951, when the track and railway infrastructure had become the responsibility of the recently created British Railways, Midland Region, who are now using ex-LMS bulk grain wagons, rather than the two hundredweight sacks of grain in covered wagons, which was the practice before nationalisation. The buildings themselves have changed little over the years - Gifford and Knowles have added their names to the main building, but kept the old Gray's Maltings nameboards for reasons of continuity. The "dog kennel" hoists are nearing the end of their lives, and a new compressed air grain delivery system will soon be installed in the main building, the weighbridge has been refurbished, and the formerly disused water tower is now leased to the maltings by BR for storage purposes. The infrequent freight movements are limited to a seasonal twice weekly return trip with a single 20 ton grain hopper, bringing barley in and malt out, and the regular coal wagon bringing fuel for the drying floor kilns, both usually hauled by an elderly ex-LMS 1F loco. In an attempt to reduce costs, consideration is being given to the purchase of a small private owner locomotive, and the directors have attended a number of auctions at nearby C.A.D Kineton, but no decisions have been made as yet. However, Stan Knowles also has an eye to the future, and is convinced that road transport will become both cheaper and more flexible than rail distribution, and to that end has recently bought a couple of ex- Army secondhand trucks at a government disposal auction for very little money. The Ford AA dates from 1931, being one of the first models produced at the then new Ford plant at Dagenham, and has been fitted with a twin wheel rear axle and plated to 3 tons by REME workshops in Aldershot, and the 1942 3 ton Opel Blitz was one of a batch of commandeered German Army vehicles which were brought to Britain in 1946 and converted to right hand drive, also at REME Aldershot. Who knows what the future will hold? They aquire a sizeable fleet of 12 ton ERF trucks and abandon the railway entirely? Bought out by Flowers of Stratford-on-Avon, then in turn by Whitbread, and finally closed down, I expect! The maltings converted to luxury apartments by Metropolitan Estates, and the bridge demolished to make way for a ringroad! Take your pick! Cheers, Mike
  7. This is my effort near enough complete, and I also confess that this is nearest I've ever got to actually finishing a model! I also had an unfair advantage because I had already made three of the five structures, and they just happened to go together on A4! Cheers, Mike
  8. This is the last day of this A4 competition, so here are a couple of pics of Gray's Maltings now that it is finished. Not quite finished, but nearly! Hard to pull off the night time look on a very sunny afternoon! Another view More night shift! It still needs a bit more detailing, but I've really enjoyed discovering what can be done on A4 in 3mm, and I'm already thinking of the next one! Cheers, Mike
  9. Hi Steve, thanks for your interest! I think it depends on the kind of substrate the trees have to be fixed on, and where they need to be put. This one had to go in a very tight corner, so it made sense to put it on a separate base to make it easier to finish. The other thing, is that if you use foam as a baseboard, poking a hole in it and sticking the tree in will only work until you accidentally knock it for the first time! Also applies to signal posts, crossing gates, telegraph poles, etc, etc - you can guess how I know this!! Best, Mike
  10. Into the Wilderness! I have a reasonable experience of model buildings and hard landscaping but admit to a deep ignorance of the greener side of things, but I thought this little diorama might be a chance to learn! I made this tree from twisted florists wire some months ago, but never used it, and it gradually got knocked about and lost a lot of the foliage, so I set about repairing it. The "foliage" is Woodland Scenics Underbrush, the trunk and branch padding material is brown decorators acrylic filler and the smaller branches are bits of lichen found in the garden. It is screwed to an MDF base roughly "sculpted" to shape on the front roller of the belt sander! I used more acrylic filler to blend the tree into the ground, and then used a mixture of paint, pva, bits of N gauge ballast. and green dyed sawdust to resemble the terrain. The little bushes are strategically placed to hide the screw that will hold the whole thing down. This is just a closer view of my first attempts at any kind of soft landscape, and I am both pleased and surprised by the result, but time is running short, so I must press on! Cheers, Mike
  11. Tom, thanks for your kind words! No can do the cloak, but lack of time means there may be some ghostly white little figures dotted about! Best, Mike
  12. Kevin, many thanks for your encouragement! Now, pander to my curiosity - tell me that BA is Bishop Aukland, and not Buenos Aires ! Best, Mike
  13. Tick Tock! Finally finished putting in the lights, so I can now start to put in a few more scenic details. Here's a pic of the scene with the lights on - I have left the background plain dark blue for the moment, but I might change this later. Made a bit of progress with the weighbridge - the building is Scalescenes, the bridge is a piece of 00 plastic roofing, and the guard rail is soldered up from bits of copper wire, fitted in a some wooden "stone blocks" The 3 ton Opel Blitz will morph into a 3 ton Bedford when I have the time, shouldn't be too hard, since they were both built by General Motors!
  14. Like Simon, I am getting behind with this! I failed to anticipate how long it would take me to install a few simple lights, and the situation was made worse by having to cobble it together mostly from what I had around. As well as some lights in buildings, I wanted to have a typical gas lamp somewhere in the yard, but although they exist in 3mm scale there was no way to get one in time, - I could have abandoned the idea, but I'm a stubborn old cuss, so I sacrificed some time making one. I have a nice centre lathe, but this is about the limit of how small it can go (actually, the limit is me, not the lathe!) Here's the bits ready to be soldered up, the lantern is made from a scrap of perspex rod, and the larger component is the liner for installing the light in the foam base After assembly and spraying satin black, held in the aged paw for scale! (it's 36mm high plus the locating stem) With that out of the way I turned to lighting the maltings, and this is the wiring being tested for faults before connecting to the RF controller. the back will be closed to provide a reflective surface. This is where the gas lamp well go, the bases and paving for the water tower and weighbridge office are done, and the 3mm LED's and resistors fitted in brass liners Lastly, what it looks like from underneath. I hate to see straggling wiring, so I was happy to find this bit of rectangular conduit, especially because it was just big enough to take the wireless receiver and the various connections. You really don't want to see inside, - it's a proper rat's nest! Tick tock, tick tock! Mike
  15. Not more than a Fiver! These are the other bits for my lighting rig on Gray's Maltings, they were actually ordered for another project, but I'll use 5 of the 3mm leds and one of the tiny 1mm leds, the bigger ones are about 54 pence each and the tiny ones £1.50, the R/F controller and transmitter were salvaged from the "leccy bits" bin, but I bought a few of them a couple of years ago, and they were only £0.99, I remember. I think that's all I need to spend, I have pillaged my bits and pieces boxes pretty savagely, but nothing I'm going to miss too much! No connection, but Express Models in Loughborough is a brilliant source of all kinds of LED's for modelmaking, and give super fast service. Mike
  16. Hats Off, Tom! These are really good - very 18C! Mike
  17. I have really enjoyed the time I've spent so far on this little diorama, but although I got off to a flying start, because I had already built, or almost built, all the main structures, I seem to have spent ages sorting out what should be some very simple lighting! Well it is simple, but it had to be done before certain other things, and they in turn took more time than I thought, etc, etc - does any of this sound familiar? The plan is that the overall scenic lighting will be controlled by a panel mounted dimmer, and the lights in the buildings by a remote control wireless dimmer, simply because that's what I have available. In ordinary times I would organise the needed bits for this no problem, but our postal service is down to three days a week, and anyway I have tried to stay within the spirit of not spending more than a fiver! On top of this I have had a nasty bacterial infection so It's been a struggle to get to the half way point, but now I can start on lights in buildings, now that the main lighting is done. Everything came out of the scrap bin. Here's some pics. Most of the bits are mounted on a piece of 40x40 aluminium angle; hopefully I've cut the recess big enough to take the wireless dimmer as well, but it is very small! To connect the power supply I had to butcher a PP3 battery holder, because I had no 3.5mm jack sockets, but I will replace it with a proper connector later on. This is the lighting panel, a scrap lovers delight! Made from a bit of white melamine faced hardboard left over from a domestic job, the LED strips were actually intended for Ho carriage lighting - I bought them at a swap meet in Limoges years ago, but never used them, the adhesive is getting a bit tired! The plug and socket came from a broken laptop desk light. Best, Mike
  18. Marlyn, thanks for your encouragement! This turning out to be far more of a challenge than I first thought, but a lot of fun as well, and if Oliver and Luke had not suggested it I would never have dreamed of such a tiny thing! best wishes, Mike
  19. Sprague & Collins All these previous buildings had only to be slightly altered or finished for this diorama, but this "building" had to be made specially for it, and It's purpose is to give the bridge some reason, rather than it ending in mid air! It also fills an awkward gap and the chimney masks the corner reasonably well. A needlessly complex thing to make from card alone, I made it from solid wood from the scrap box and then glued on card facings. The chimney is cut from high density foam, with card facings, and the rest of the trim bits are also from the scrap box. Here it is with the bridge positioned Here's the maltings roughly positioned, and you can see that only the front and roof of the corner building will be visible when it's finally put together. I've no idea what Sprague & Collins actually do, but it's hard to photograph their works against the brown MDF! Cheers, Mike
  20. Road Bridge This is another scratch built structure based on a previously published design, this time by the great Eric Ilett, who in the 1970's, produced a few booklets of the most wonderfully detailed drawings of railway related buildings and structures, mostly in the west of England or west Midlands, and mostly GWR and LMS - the illustrations are quite beautiful in themselves, a triumph of architectural drawing - done long before computer aided draughting, but still a valuable source of accurate info, and a pleasure to look at. Sorry, got a bit carried away there! So, the bridge is a GWR road over bridge but stretched to span a road as well as a railway. The original drawing showed the typical supporting wings to a raised embankment, but I chose to build it as part of a brick panelled supporting wall. Again, made mostly from paper covered cardstock but the underside of the arch was cut from some unknown hardwood, and the vertical piers are from MDF with card facings; all the coverings are Scalescenes textures scaled to 1:100, the railings are actually 1:76 scale, but cut down in height. Cheers Mike
  21. Filling a corner I wanted to make the bridge to have some purpose, and be the entrance to another factory or warehouse building, which had a tallish chimney to help hide the corner. This was the problem. The angles of the building were complex, and when the roof shapes were generated it looked as if it would be miserable to make it from card, so in the spirit of using the scap box, I made it instead from solid wood, which will have card facings added later. The position of the chimney (already made) now proved less easy to solve - not enough room to stand on the baseboard, and needing an all but impossible recess in the building otherwise. I got round it by cutting the building in half at the point where I reckoned the chimney should begin, sawing out the recess, then glueing it back together! Here's the chimney resting in place; it is made from card covered foam Getting close. Walls and doors test fitted. Here is the result, now a few bits have been added, needs weathering. That's as far as I've got, and time is running out, I need to organise something to block the other corner, sort out a background of some kind, do all the groundscape, and possibly put a few lights in buildings. See what you've started, Oliver !! Cheers, Mike
  22. 1:100 Scale buildings Now that the enclosure for this little diorama is almost finished and just needs paint and finishing, I can start on fixing the structures and groundscapeing, but before I do here's a few pics of the buildings and a little bit of info about them. I had a head start with these because they were already either complete or very nearly so, and it was lucky that they could fit on A4 with a good chance of producing a believable little scene. Gray's Maltings This is a composite building made using MDF, insulation foam, card and paper, and is a low relief model designed to stand against a backscene. It is scratch built but loosely based on a drawing by the legendary J.H.Ahern, of a Welsh warehouse but has an extra storey added and a chimney from the Scalescenes modular factory. These have both been scaled to 1:100 full size, which is so close to 3mm to the foot that it makes no difference; the printed surface textures are also scaled down Scalescenes textures. This is the back view which of course will never be seen, and you can see that I never spend much time on the hidden side of things! I have put in some nominal floorboard covering and it is intended to fit interior lights, but probably not for this model. Water Tower This is one of John Wiffen's brilliant Scalescenes design, reduced to 1:100, the only deviation being that the corner panels are paper covered aluminium angle, rather than the card suggested, which would have been a bit delicate in this scale. Extruded aluminium alloy is available in a large range of sizes and cross sections and I reckon it's invaluable for making little buildings, either as here, forming part of the structure's surface detail, of used inside to strengthen various joints. The tower will have an access ladder eventually, and perhaps interior lighting. Cheers, Mike
  23. The base and enclosure for Gray's Maltings nearly finished - still some kind of lighting rig to think about if I have the time, plus finishing the exterior. The panels are assembled using button head screws and in such a way as to allow any one or more of the panels to be removed without the rest falling apart! With something as small as this it's quite important for me to be able to do this - there isn't much room on a piece of A4, and I am quite clumsy! I put a piece of the said A4 paper on the base, just to show that I'm not cheating! Cheers, Mike
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