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Blog- Up the Line - 1918 - And Now For Something Completely Different!

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Getting back to filling the odd corners of the layout that are not yet finished seemed like a good idea so I started on this which is unlike anything I have ever done before. Actually two points here; most of what I have been doing I have never done before and if I have it was thirty odd years ago and not done terribly well and two perhaps I have done something a bit like this! It suddenly occurred to me that building a barn is not that dissimilar to building a radio controlled aircraft of which I have produced several heroic failures but again many years ago.


I decided on a barn as they seem to figure quite prominently in a lot of first hand accounts for billeting and rest so seems like an ideal structure for the 'quieter' end of the layout. It is possible that it might turn into an old smithy as I do have a nice internal picture to use but this might be a bit ambitious given the timescale.


So first up some plans trawled from the internet and modified a bit in PhotoShop to fit what I wanted a bit better. Then the model aircraft bit came in as I stuck the full size print outs on a piece of stout card and rubbed them all over with candle wax. All the bits of balsa were then pinned down to this and PVA'd together just like I used to do with my ill fated planes




Having had some experience of restoring a five hundred year old timber framed building (never again is the phrase that immediately comes to mind!), I tried to joint the timbers in as realistic way as possible with each joint pinned with a cocktail stick. I am now just waiting for someone to say that this is not the practice in Northern France but if it was good enough for my Tudor builders.........


So surprisingly quickly I had a big wall and an end;




The wood has been coloured with a mix of EDM Weathered Wood and antique pine wood stain, it will all be toned down once finished though. The barn is going to be damaged with the other end wall missing but reused in an interesting fashion and the roof pretty skeletal. Now the good bits start! Two windows were made high up with cocktail stick mullions and the the wattling started. For the staves I just pushed florists iron wire through the balsa top to bottom. Not only do I now have a base for the wattle but it is really strong! For a bit of contrast I am making the bottom section as a brick infill, quite a common modification to an older barn. Note the gate hinges in the door beams;


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