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As a lot of my modelling isn’t fully documented much these days – I thought I’d share the process of an old model I made for a model railway customer…

This is a model of the Depot office building at Dover Priory Station. It is, I believe a former coal office and is in a fairly run-down state, just screaming out to be modelled.

Like my client’s Dover Priory signal box, it was to be clad in SE Finecast English Bond plasticard sheet on a foamex substrate.

Plans were drawn up in Illustrator and then output onto 2mm foamex on the vinyl plotter. Likewise, the windows were extracted from the drawings and separately output onto white self adhesive vinyl, before then being stuck to clear pvc.

Next came adding the brick sheet. I stuck this down with pvc pipe adhesive, which seems to work quite well with the flat faces of foamex, then sealed off the edges with a splash or two of MEK. The lintels were then cut out, and a strip of 20thou was let into the hole, being glued in place with more MEK.

I then added a strip of 20thou and 40thou for the window cills, but later replaced them with 40×40 as I thought they looked way too thin.

A foamex roof was added, flush fitted through careful measurement between the gable ends, so that the roof tiles could sit directly on the walls but still have a substantial base to sit on. The 3mm thickness also doubled up for the bargeboards, although I did stick a 3mm plastic strip to the front of this, to enable a better adhesion for the guttering.

The tiles flew on in about 20 minutes this time, with a new technique I’ve been trying.Similar to the York Modelmaking self adhesive tiles, I’ve made my own from self adhesive vinyl on the vinyl cutter…

 They’re really thin and look superb for slate tiles – these ones are measured up as Duchess size. I simply make up a batch, stick down some graph paper to the roof, then start laying rows of slates, overlapping in 3mm increments. Not only does it take about a 100th of the time it takes me to individually tile a building, they look great and take acrylic paint really well. This batch was made from grey, but I was dissatisfied with my painting, and replaced them with black ones, which had the instant advantage of being self-shadowed following a dry brushing of grey.

Anyway, back to the model in hand.

Once roofed, I started adding details such as guttering and downpipes from plastic rod and half-round, fashioning the brackets from thin microstrip, Then came the fun part… On the prototype, the building is covered with electrical wiring, so I started adding this with thin wire, affixing it to the bare  plasticard with MEK. Details such as junction boxes, switches, brackets etc were added with micros tip and small fillets of plasticard, again welded on with MEK

Like the Network Rail shed, the extension roof was “felted” with masking tape. Bulkhead lights were made up from pieces of clear plc and plasticard.

Painting was a mix of Humbrol acrylics and artists acrylics, with thinned grey enamel washed over the brickwork for the mortar courses.

The moss on the extension roof was created by liberally coating it with pva adhesive, then sprinkling it with bright green and buff scatter (all I had available). Once dry, I touched a wet brush loaded with some dark green/grey ink to the scatter which instantly stained it a lovely dark mossy colour.
It’s all in the details… I copied all the signage from the original, printing it out onto paper and sticking down with double-side tape. Graffiti was added as per the prototype and some safety tape was added to the “gas main” by printing out a strip of yellow and black I made on the computer, trimming it out to a 1mm strip and wrapping it around a thin piece of wire. It was secured to the wall eventually, after securing itself to my fingers, with superglue. Mesh covers for the various flues and vents were made from a set of Class 40 Radiator Grill etches I had left over from another project. They were VERY VERY fiddly to make and I swore lots…

Finally, it was time to wire up those previously mentioned LEDs…

With my son eagerly watching, after successfully soldering on the supplied resistors, I wired them into the Accessories port on my Gaugemaster controller, flicked the switch, and in a majestic finale, nothing happened.

“Have you broken it Dad?” asked young Cameron.

“Hmm, I think I might know what I did wrong” says Dad, “Just go on upstairs and get your Pyjamas on whilst I disconnect it again”

“Don’t switch it back on again until I come back down!” shouts the retreating 7 year old as he tears up the stairs”

When he reappears at the kitchen door, yours truly is grinning like a cheshire cat, “Turn the lights off then,” says I…

(He’s now 16 and not so easily impressed, but i’m still ‘playing with trains’…)