Thursday, 5 December 2019

The end of the road

Faced with an exhibition form to fill in I was forced to come up with a name for the 009 society challenge layout, so I chose "Locktern Quay".

Meanwhile, work is progressing on the street at the back of the layout, particularly the left hand end of the road, where buildings were needed to disguise the sector plate and the fact the road goes nowhere. As these buildings have to fit some very specific sites and are odd shapes they had to be scratch-built to fit. Hopefully they will give the impression that the road continues around a corner, and there is more to the town/village than the buildings seen.

The central building here had a mock up you may have seen in earlier photos to confirm the size, actual construction used foam-core board for the ends (double thickness for the chimney) and mount-board card for the side walls, the foam-core trimmed to recess the card behind the outer layer of card at the corners. This makes a sturdy yet relatively simple core to which brick-paper is added. Chimney pots are Dart Castings set into an off-cut of Wills roofing plastic, with the detail sanded off and turned face down.

The white building is simply card, which has a texture I hope will look like plaster once painted, the edges are not normally visible. The lintel details are cut from thinner card. I thought the "London" style hidden roof would be different, and avoids an obviously odd-shaped roof given the narrow tapered shape of the building.

The final building is simply a gable and short side walls (foam-core and card again) with a single window, and a different brick-paper finish. All three buildings will use laser-cut windows, but from two different sources.

The roofs are made from Wills plastic slate or tile sheets, with triangles of 40-thou plasticard used to support them, and L-section plastruct for the ridge scored to look like individual tiles. The ends of each roof piece are rebated to thin the end of the tiles/slates, and barge-boards cut from 20-thou plastic glued into them.

Here's the view from the front of the layout showing how the exit to the fiddle yard and the road exit are disguised, and I think the arrangement of buildings looks natural. You can see I've started making the roadway from card, with packing underneath to give height variation. I've also packed under each building to get the heights about right relative to the road.

From the right hand end of the layout the sector plate is just about visible but not obvious, but the road exit remains discrete. The upward gradient of the road works well.

Now I just need to paint the details and complete this trio of buildings.

Sunday, 1 December 2019

Corrugated warehouse

You might remember I was planning a curved-roof shed for the right hand end of the layout, as shown by various mock-ups.

The building was made out of 40-thou (1mm) plasticard. Basic dimensions were taken from the card mock-up and transferred to the plastic with the help of calipers, and of course a compass - this one is a left-over from university technical drawing classes, and usefully can be fitted with a point at both ends, which was used to scribe the curve.

With the curve already scribed it was easy to cut out, but what about curving the roof? The plastic was taped to something round - a tin mug looked about right - and boiling water poured over it. Once cooled the plastic is nearly the right shape, and is easily to fit.

Here's the same technique being applied to the corrugated sheet - I used Wills clear corrugated material, as I had some in that was starting to go yellow, and it is much thinner than the moulded stuff making curving it possible, and the edges look better.

Back to the shell of the building, the back of the front is given lots of bracing, and the roof/walls piece stuck in place, note how the preformed curve means it is already almost the right shape.

Next  I worked out how to attach the corrugated sheet, the building was too tall for a single sheet to cover it but this thin plastic corrugated sheet can be overlapped, rather like the real thing.

I stuck it on with double-sided tape, sealing the edge with solvent. The corrugated material is a shiny, hard clear plastic that doesn't glue easily, solvent won't stick it together but does hold it reasonably well to the softer white plastic. Over a large area though the double sided tape should be quite strong, and means no warping. Even superglue seemed to struggle, though with patience it was used to hold the top piece in place.

With a quick waft of red oxide primer it can be placed on the layout to see how well it fills the gap - looks OK to me. I'm planning to paint it tar black, which seems most common for such buildings, with a bit of rust showing through. However, my wife rather likes it in red...

I just need to make a door, and get the rest of the painting done, there will also be a brick plinth along the bottom.

I've also been working on the rest of the street along the back of the layout, so more soon!