Friday, September 16, 2011

Building a model railway part 5: Shedloads of fun

I always used to look at the amazing railway lay-outs in the magazines and think 'I could never do that'. But recently I thought to myself, 'Well, why not have a go?' After I built the signal box I realised that modelling in card was time-consuming, but perfectly possible. I felt confident to at least try.

I wanted a two-lane engine shed, but none of the card kits would fit the space I had. A Hornby shed would, but they are a bit plasticky, and also I wanted a shed with a closed back wall.

I had a spare set of stickers from the Hornby Goods Shed and so I stuck those to card and cut round them to give me an idea of dimensions. (To do this I had to buy a cutting mat and a metal ruler - a sortie around the shops ended up with a reasonably-priced purchase from Staples.)

I worked out ahead of time that I would need to leave gluing flaps attached, so once I had cut it out I could assemble it. The first shed was pretty plain so I scratchbuilt a lean-to workshop cum office to attach to it.

You can see the transfers on the internal wall in the top picture. Pitbull and Snoopy fitted very snugly inside their new home, so that was a good start.

That shed looked a bit plain (!), so I looked into decorating it in some way. Metcalfe Models, who made the signal box kit I built do some very nice modelling sheets of card with a brick design on. They also include a sheet of roof tiles in their packets of brick card, which is very handy.

I had an issue though - the shed needed ventilation. After some googling I worked out that a raised central roof would be an acceptable form of ventilation in keeping with the South Wales area. So I cut the fascia card to match.

I wasn't sure how to create the centre ventilation section. I originally planned to use a matchbox, as seen in one of these 'under construction' images.

However, Cathy (as senior project advisor) had a better idea, supplying some black card and some patterned craft paper that looks enough like felting / concrete to intersperse the vents.

Having got the modelling bug, I then thought about adding a coaling stage nearby. So in this 'complete' shot you can see my roofless coaling stage in the foreground.

You can also see the transfer on the interior wall. I'm still not happy with the finished shed, although I am pleased with it as a first-try. The nearside wall in this photo has windows, but they could look better. I may replace the entire wall with a new one. If I do that I will paper the inside of the wall. I plan to brick-paper the other interior walls as well, just in case people decide to peep inside. I have also purchased terracotta paint to touch up the edges.

The coaling stage wasn't an original part of the plan, but it fills a space with a semi-authentic feature and it gave me the opportunity to scratchbuild something else. The base is a small packaging box that was about the right height and the walls are Metcalfe brick card. The steps are scratchbuilt from more packaging card.

I decided the coaling stage needed a roof, so turned again to my supplies mistress, Cathy, who located me some narrow-ridged corrugated card that was close enough to the correct scale to fit in quite nicely. A quick coat of paint in the 'SCRHC olive' and it was complete and ready to be 'coaled up'!

I'm now revisiting the location and positioning of the good shed, and also what that would look like. The current one is a Hornby model and it's not that great. Metcalfe do a goods shed in the same red brick as the newly revealed SCRHC buildings and the signal box base, so I'm wondering about substituting it.

Below is the possible new position that would 'open out' the model a bit, giving a view into the goods shed interior, and making it much easier to see the loading area in front. I envisage a road leading in from the right, and possibly a weighbridge next to the shed.

I guess the thing about railway modelling is that there are many, many possibilities. That for me is most of the fun.

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