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Wednesday 31 January 2018

4mm Scale Corfe Castle Station Building - 4

Here are those rafters poking through the side wall - just like the real thing;

and this photo shows the work involved to show them (all will be hidden from admiration when the roof tiles are fitted).

In fact they were not difficult to design and assemble. Just laborious but strangely therapeutic. 

I am particularly pleased with the roof clay tile detail. I used my existing grey slate tile design and recoloured it on the computer applying a bit of colour variation and pigeon poo!

To Part 5.

To Part 1.

Sunday 28 January 2018

4mm Scale Corfe Castle Station Building - 3

An engine shed and water tower from The Swanage Railway are available from my card kit catalogue. I expected to use the same Purbeck stone decoration from their designs for Corfe. However, the shed and water tower comprise random sized blocks resulting in uneven mortar runs. At Corfe the blocks are more uniform and the mortar runs are straight. This has caused me to design a new stone decoration paper for Corfe.

By the way, I am using is Epson Durabrite ® Ultra printing ink for excellent colour retention.  Some of my own models are seven years old and show no sign of colour fading.

The windows in this assembled model are 3D printed plastic with transparent acetate faux glass. The upper sashes are separate parts glued to the frames. For the card kit the windows are part of the kit data file for printing on paper with acetate faux glass.

I'm using 3D printed plastic in this assembled model because it is easier to replicate windows and, arguably, more accurate. The downside is the mechanical CAD design takes me longer than the graphic designed versions for the card kit. This is because the plastic part has 3 dimensional relief, requiring more design effort than the flat paper version.

To Part 4.

To Part 1.

Wednesday 24 January 2018

4mm Scale Corfe Castle Station Building - 2

The building plan published in 'London & South Western Railway' by Robert Antwell, isbn 0-7110-1420-5 is the basis for the design. In common with other books of plans for modellers that I have seen it is probably not the original architects drawing. Therefore, its accuracy is questionable.

This uncertainty can be mitigated to a large degree with reference to photographs of the building, especially if a full frontal view can be found. These can be scaled and overlaid on the plan to check proportions and architectural details. Even so, the camera position, usually at about 5' off the ground, distorts dimensions due to perspective.

I have already found that the Chimneys of the Station Master's House are incorrectly positioned on the plan when compared to a photograph in the manner described above. At the end of the day (and without a site visit to measure every dimension - virtually impossible or, an architects drawing) all we can hope is to get as close as possible and there is no doubt it will be recognisable as Corfe Castle Station Building.

Importing a plan and/or photographs into a graphic editing Application and then scaling is a great way to start the design of a building because all the windows, doors and other architectural features fall into position without effort.

This building lends itself to being designed in a modular form. This, together with room dividing walls results in greater rigidity.

The photo shows the first module shell, which is the gable end of the station master's quarters, shown overlaid on the first sheet of the card kit.

The prototype has many intricate ornate details and many of the smaller ones will need to be simplified or omitted for practiality. So far, one feature that gives cause for concern is the roof rafters that (unusually) protrude through the walls. These are highly visible on the prototype and whilst time consuming parts to make I feel must be included. I could think of no easy way to represent the protrusions so, 25 rafters for this module alone will be made. You can see the slots at the top of the side walls where they will poke through.

Sometimes, having designed parts and built the first one a flaw or difficulty is revealed and the design process has to be repeated. I hope that will not arise too often but these rafters are a point in question. If they are less visible on the model than the prototype then they may be removed from the card kit to make construction simple.

To Part 3.

To Part 1.

Monday 22 January 2018

4mm Scale Corfe Castle Station Building

I have a small model shop offering 4mm scale card kit buildings. Recently, I started to offer assembled models, hand built from the kits.

A customer contacted me interested in buying a built up model of Corfe Castle station building, if one was available from me. Well, currently it is not available but after discussion we came to an agreement that I would design a kit of the building for inclusion in my catalogue and supply him an assembled model. This is my next project and is expected to take a couple of months to complete.

The card kits require paper, grey board, acetate and wire to build a model. The assembled model for this project will use 3D plastic printed parts for some details.

I doubt the card kit will generate many sales because it is a unique building for a specific location, unlike my other models that lend themselves to multiple localities. However, I have a cunning plan that might make it more marketable.

This posting is the first of a series that will cover the development of the kit and build of the model.

I have a 2mm scale plan of the building so, the first job is to scan this and enlarge it to 4mm scale. 

To Part 2.

Saturday 20 January 2018

Project 18 - Embellishments

30 x fish crates just like that.

Lobster pots were a bit more involved to make. I looked at proprietary models but they appeared to be a block of material with dimples to represent netting - not ideal.

I wanted a mesh netting with 0.5 to 1mm holes and found this at Sainsbury's supermarket in the form of laundry bags, specifically Korband laundry bags two per pack.

I 3D printed the hoops and base in plastic and stuck these together. The size of pot is 8 mm x 6 mm x 4 mm. A strip of mesh 7 mm wide was wrapped around a pin and pushed through the hoops fixing in place with two drops of glue after pin was removed. The ends were glued to mesh that was then cut around when dry. The finished pots were painted with acrylic paint.

I intended to make 30 pots but the assembly is so tedious I only made 24.

Fishing nets were made for the Trawler using the same mesh product painted with acrylics.

That almost finishes the project. I shall add people to the scene, to be purchased at the EM gauge show in May.

About a month's hobby time was required to make the diorama.

It is worth reflecting on the value of such a small project that on the face of it has no other purpose than eye candy.

  • A diorama is a good way of experimenting with new modelling techniques before embarking on a larger project The methods used here of embedding rails in the ground and modelling water and lobster pots were new to me.
  • The finished scene can be used for photo sessions of various railway wagons and locomotives on the jetty.
  • Various scenes can be created using people, goods and maybe seagulls.
THE END (for now)

Mmm... How about sound effects with a sound chip and speaker hidden inside the jetty?

To Part 9.

To Part 1.

Thursday 18 January 2018

Project 18 - Model Water From Toilet Paper

No waves, just rippled water in a protected harbour is required. Whilst searching for suitable modelling methods I came across a YouTube tutorial that in my humble opinion is the quickest, easiest and most authentic means of creating modelled water on the cheap.

Here is the link:


Having extended the box forward (last posting) I also extended the box sideways using mirrors giving the appearance of a longer jetty with an extra boat moored alongside.

The trawler height (not including masts) only just fits the box so it cannot sit on top of the thick water layer. I made a template same size as the trawler footprint, blutac'd it in place and cut the toilet paper to fit around it. Having glued the three layers of paper in place the template was removed.

When dry I painted the paper using the same colours and method cited in the tutorial.

Finally, 3 coats of flooring clear gloss sealer brought the water to life.

Not too sure about the muddy colour. Photos of the water at low tide I have seen show it green! I guess it depends on the ambient light conditions so could vary from black to brown to green to blue.

No photographs that I have seen from the period (1960s) show a ladder fixed to the jetty for boat access. If a photo turns up showing a ladder I'll add it.

I found that inclining the back scene gave a better appearance than it  being vertical. It is held in place with light blue ribbon. Unfortunately I failed to achieve a seamless transition between back scene and model across the hinge. A few more wagons placed on the jetty will hide that.

To Part 8.

To Part 1.

Friday 12 January 2018

Project 18 - A Better View

Family suggested a better view of the diorama would be obtained if the front panel of the box could fold down.

This was much easier to do than expected. The box walls are not glued or screwed but stapled so it was a case of slicing the overall black cover where the front panel joins the sides and floor and prising the panel off.

The protruding staple pins were cut flush.

I hinged the panel using black tape along the outside of the join.

To 'lock' the panel closed I used small neodymium magnets set into the walls and  lined up to the staple butts left in the mating parts.

Making the front panel fold down has another benefit in that the diorama is extended forward by 70mm allowing the sea to flow over the panel. That is the next job.

To Part 7.

To Part 1.

Friday 5 January 2018

Project 18 - Jetty (Part 3)

The decision as to whether to have the trawler berthed or away from the jetty was made for me when I looked at prototype photographs and the position of trawler relative to jetty in the box.

Unwittingly the scene I have created is low tide. In fact the tide is at its lowest point when the harbour mud bottom is revealed with boats stranded on it. However, the trawler hull design is such that it is meant to be floating on water. Whilst the keel may be just on the mud the water level will be modelled at the hull water line. This solves another issue as to what colour the water should be. With tide that low it will need to be a muddy colour.

The jetty side is a photograph of the real jetty. It shows the wide variation in colours and texture that is visible at low tide. This would be difficult to reproduce authentically by other means.

In the 1960s the pilings at the jetty side were set at about 11 feet intervals. The brown balsa wood pilings shown in the photo need to be embedded in the rippled harbour water and will be fitted when the water is created.

On an academic note, that does not apply to the period of this model, in the 1930s horizontal fender beams were set between the pilings a few feet below the top of the jetty.

To Part 6.

To Part 1.

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