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Modelling the Scalescenes Way - Scalescenes Building Kits. - More Practical Help - Your Model Railway Club
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 Posted: Sat Jul 28th, 2012 09:19 am
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Chubber
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Herewith links to a three-part article on modelling the 'Scalescenes Way' I've completed for BRM On-line, it might be of interest on a dull day for those contemplating an attempt at card modelling!
 
Hope it helps somebody,

Doug

edit:

Original files are now on here: http://yourmodelrailway.net/view_topic.php?id=10095&forum_id=101#p202511

revised BRM links:

Part 1: https://www.model-railways-live.co.uk/Articles/269/Cardboard_Modelling_the_Scalescenes_Way_by_Doug_Dickson_-_making_openings_cutting_and_folding

Part 2: https://www.model-railways-live.co.uk/Articles/270/Cardboard_Modelling_the_Scalescenes_Way_with_Doug_Dickson_-_glazing_interirors_and_some_assembly_ti

Part 3: https://www.model-railways-live.co.uk/Articles/271/Roofing_chimneys_weathering_and_adding_finishing_touches_-_card_modelling_with_Doug_Dickson



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 Posted: Sat Jul 28th, 2012 11:14 am
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Sol
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Thanks Doug, I had read Part 1 before but it is nice to have all three parts under one location to find.



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 Posted: Sat Jul 28th, 2012 01:28 pm
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col.stephens
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Doug,  I've just read these articles.  They are full of very useful tips and advice.  Thanks very much for that.

Terry

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 Posted: Sat Jul 28th, 2012 02:08 pm
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Brossard
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Good work Doug.  Some very inspiring stuff there.  I've made a few buildings which are on our club layout.

Cheers

John

 



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 Posted: Sat Jul 28th, 2012 02:48 pm
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Great stuff Doofer. I have added the fresh links to the existing Part 1 in the Forum Index. Brilliant addition to the forum.



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 Posted: Sat Jul 28th, 2012 04:25 pm
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Thanks for those articles Doug. I've picked up a couple of wrinkles reading them.

I've been building Scalescenes kits for a couple of years now and I've found it helps to give the kits a light spray over with matt acrylic varnish before assembly. This makes it easy to wipe off glue overspills and sticky finger marks with a damp cloth without damaging the printed surface.



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 Posted: Sat Jul 28th, 2012 04:36 pm
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Brossard
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Too right Trevor!  The prints should be matte varnished before any assembly.  The problem I find with paper is that if you mar the finish, it's darn near impossible to repair.

John

 



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 Posted: Sat Jul 28th, 2012 05:07 pm
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Brossard wrote: Too right Trevor!  The prints should be matte varnished before any assembly.  The problem I find with paper is that if you mar the finish, it's darn near impossible to repair.

John

 


John, I'd not wholeheartedly agree with the idea of covering paper with varnish before you start, one of the most important parts [IMHO] of making a building look realistic is having sharp corners, anything to my mind that makes the paper stiffer is not going to help. I wonder why you are ;marring' your papers, perhaps you are getting PVA where it shouldn't go? A 'Fine Tip' glue appicator will solve that for you if that is the case [ ]http://www.finetip.co.uk]

I'll sometimes use a light spray of Lidl waterproofer spray if I know the sheets are going to come in for a bit of stick when I'm scratchbuilding, such as completely wrapping a brick column or chimney stack when it will be subject to several applications of glue, or where it will end up being near ballasting work or where there is a good chance of PVA getting onto the finished face as using the spray it lets you wipe it off.

I have gone through many combinations of spray/don't spray, cheapy ink/real inks, cheap paper/good paper, Epson, Brother, Kodak and HP printers and have finally decided that real Epson Durabrite inks have the best resistance to smudging when wet [they may even be weathered with watercolour when thoroughly dry - 24 hrs] and that HP Home  and Office paper is fine for most jobs, but for tougher folding, surfaces that will be heavily weathered when scratch building or where a very slight [and therefore naturally matt] texture is desired then I'd suggest you buy some of Conqueror High Laid White 100gm. A note of caution if you do buy it, if weathered with powders, the powder will show the microscopically raised lines in the lay-up,that's why I now use watercolours for weathering everything.

I know it's ultimately 'each to his own' so if varnishing before folding works for you, stick with it. :thumbs

 

Doug



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 Posted: Sat Jul 28th, 2012 06:16 pm
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Actually, Doug, IIRC, the instructions recommend varnishing before assembly.  You are right, errant PVA is the culprit for marring the finish, but there is much less risk of this on a varnished print.  I always say whatever is comfortable to you you should go with.

As for printing, I gave up on ink jet ages ago and have had a laser printer for several years now.

Cheers

John



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 Posted: Sun Jul 29th, 2012 01:01 pm
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Bill
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Thanks Doug.
This will be a great help.

Bill

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 Posted: Mon Jul 30th, 2012 05:20 am
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Superb tips as usual Doug.Nice to have them all together for reference too,

Cheers,John.B.:thumbs

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 Posted: Mon Jul 29th, 2013 08:51 am
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dooferdog wrote: Herewith links to a three-part article on modelling the 'Scalescenes Way' I've completed for BRM On-line, it might be of interest on a dull day for those contemplating an attempt at card modelling!
revised BRM links:

Part 1: https://www.model-railways-live.co.uk/Articles/269/Cardboard_Modelling_the_Scalescenes_Way_by_Doug_Dickson_-_making_openings_cutting_and_folding

Part 2: https://www.model-railways-live.co.uk/Articles/270/Cardboard_Modelling_the_Scalescenes_Way_with_Doug_Dickson_-_glazing_interirors_and_some_assembly_ti

Part 3: https://www.model-railways-live.co.uk/Articles/271/Roofing_chimneys_weathering_and_adding_finishing_touches_-_card_modelling_with_Doug_Dickson


Original files now copied to YMRC:


Cardboard modelling the Scalescenes way


Part 1:

•    An introduction to Scalescenes modelling
•    Tools you will need
•    Cutting straight lines accurately, cutting out window openings
•    Folding texture papers around window openings


   There can be few British railway modellers who haven’t heard of the Scalescenes range of models based around the deceptively simple idea of downloading printable coloured files from the Internet, sticking them to cardboard and then assembling them to produce realistic, durable models. The brainchild of Graphic Designer John Wiffen, the Scalescenes range isn’t limited to railway buildings; from a modern container-ship and dock crane and a to unload it, to bridges and cinemas, there is something for everybody in 00, H0 and N gauge. The range also includes various brick and stone covered papers for scratch builders.

     Two free model buildings are offered, a small warehouse and a line-side store building, I’d certainly recommend building one of these models before beginning a more involved project. To get started, go to the Scalescenes site, click ‘download’ where appropriate, and you’ll see a screen asking you to ‘Save’ or ‘Open’ the file. Click  ‘Save’ and a ‘zipped’ file will be downloaded to your computer.

   This file contains two tightly packed bundles of easily. It contains two PDF* files, one full of instructions, and one containing the coloured printable sheets, with all the information needed to build the model in question. The instruction sheets need not be printed if you can work beside your computer.

     The techniques employed in all Scalescenes models are simple, either sticking a printed paper sheet to piece of card and then cutting out the components, or wrapping a piece of printed paper around a component made from several layers of card. Thin card and paper is scored to allow accurate bending to a given line, the ‘when-and-hows’ are explained appropriately in the instruction files as shown below.

   In the terraced house model below, I have used an Epson ink-jet printer set to the ‘Text and Image -Epson Vivid’ setting to print onto ordinary home office inkjet paper.


 
 
 

Materials:


  Broadly speaking, you’ll need thick card and medium card, printer paper, a glue-stick, and P.V.A. glue such as Evostick ‘Resin W’. I’d also recommend using a ‘Fine Tip’ applicator with your P.V.A., as I wouldn’t be without mine. 
 

 
   The instruction sheet gives suggestions for the correct thickness of card dependant on the scale in which you are working; in 00 I use 1.5mm - 2mm grey pasteboard available from art shops, together with packaging cardboard and cornflake packets as the medium card. Picture framing shops are another good source of card; often off-cuts can be obtained quite cheaply.
 

Tools:

 

 
   I use a pointed device I call a stiletto, ‘A’ which is a smoothly pointed device like a dart, for scoring card and paper prior to folding or bending, and for pricking holes in card on the cut-lines and corners, and two knives. ‘B’ is an ordinary craft knife and ‘C’ a small Stanley snap-off knife, with which you can always have a new sharp edge when you need one.     A cutting mat, preferably A3 size will improve the quality of each cut and extend the life of your knife-blades. 
 

 
   I consider a wallpaper seam roller to be indispensable. This inexpensive item will roll out bubbles and creases from glued printed papers without fear of smudging or tearing them and will also ensure that wrapped paper components are finished with sharp clean corners, vital to achieve a realistic finish.
 
   Where by necessity a raw edge of card or paper is left visible, colour it to match the surroundings with a felt tip pen or watercolours. I have found grey, black and chestnut brown watercolour pencils are all I need for most work. A 1mm waterproof fibre tip ‘artists’ pen is very useful,  I use one, for example, to draw a black line underneath a windowsill to give a greater impression of thickness.
 
   Here are two examples of Scalescene buildings, the TOO8 Low relief Terrace Backs and the TOO11 Country Pub, which I will refer to in the following pages…
 

 
 
 

 

Cutting to the line and cutting out windows - the twin foundations of card modelling:

 
  To cut card accurately to a straight line first insert the tip of a blade firmly into one end of the line and slide a straightedge against the blade, aligning it with the rest of the line, just leaving the far end of the line visible. Now insert the blade tip in the far-end of the line and swing the far-end of the rule against the blade. Lightly run the blade along the line and if you feel for the blade dropping into the pierced card at both ends then the straightedge will be perfectly aligned and ready to guide the cut. Cutting to a curved line can be more difficult but often the use of an empty ballpoint pen tip can leave a ‘gutter’ to guide the tip of a blade during its first light pass across the card.
 
   Window openings must look square and cut cleanly if they are not to detract from the overall appearance of a model. With a little practice and the use of a ‘stiletto’ and sharp blade this is easily achieved. Pierce a hole at each corner of the window opening, insert the tip of a knife blade into a hole, and slide a straightedge up to the blade so that it aligns with the desired cut-line. Then check that the blade will fit in the other hole too. Adjust the straightedge as necessary. 
 
 

 
   Run the blade very lightly along the cut line and feel for the tiny ‘clunk’ as it runs in and out of each hole. This will ensure that the straightedge is in the correct position, and that the holes will help you start and stop the cut at the correct point as you cut through the card using repeated light strokes.
 
 

 
   After an opening has been made, rub firmly or ‘burnish’ its perimeter with the knife handle or other suitable tool to press down the sharp edge raised during the cutting process. Later, this edge could tear soft, gluey paper as it is folded around the opening.
 


 

Scoring prior to bending: 


   Scoring a piece of paper will allow it to be bent cleanly by partly severing the fibres on one side of the material, preferably on the back or inside face. Scalescenes models indicate a score-line with a blue dotted line, necessarily on the printed side of the paper and scoring this side results in a white line on dark coloured components. Moreover, on light colours when weathered with powders or watercolour, the score line can show up clearly as it absorbs more of the weathering treatment than the surrounding material. To avoid these problems, prick through the score lines from the printed side, turn the paper over and having aligned a straightedge to the prick marks, score the back of the paper.
 

A sheet from Scalescenes Low Relief Terrace House Backs

 

 
 
  To bend thin card cleanly along a fold line, prick through from the front, turn it over onto a hard surface and press the reverse side with an empty ballpoint pen.

     Wrapping and folding texture papers at window and door openings: 

 
   Brick texture papers wrapped around window openings should make sharp right-angled turns at the edges of the openings to avoid a slap-dash appearance. It is worth taking time to score the folds on either side of a window or door opening, especially when scratch building when an opening is used to mark out a corresponding opening on an inner layer of card.
 
   The cutting and scoring of window and door-opening papers should only be attempted when the adhesive is perfectly dry, or the paper will be dragged and torn, especially if a new blade is not chosen for this operation.
 
   Working from the back face, score down the vertical sides of the uncut paper being careful enough not to cut right through the paper…
 
 
 

   Now cut across the top and bottom of the opening working towards the middle from all four corners…
 

 

   Followed by a cut down the middle of the opening…
 


 
   Bend up the texture paper along the scored lines, apply a neat bead of PVA glue along the edge before folding it firmly against the inside edge of the opening…
 


 
   With a squared-edged piece of balsa-wood or soft card burnish the folded paper against the inside of the opening paying particular attention to the corners. When the glue has partially dried, apply a little more glue to the paper flaps, fold flat on the inside and roll firmly. Be careful not to exert too much sideways pressure, as the paper is now damp and delicate…
 

Burnishing the inside edge of a window opening
 
 
The PVA both toughens the inner strips of texture paper and makes them virtually impervious to dampness, so is the chosen adhesive here where subsequent layers like glazing materials or additional window frames may need to be permanently affixed. The same principles apply equally to door openings. Work methodically through the various parts, perhaps writing the name of the part, and ‘left’, ‘right’, ‘top’ or ‘bottom’ as appropriate.
 
 
Notes and Links:
            Strong P.V.A. : http://www.amazon.co.uk/Evo-Stik-Wood-Adhesive-Resin/dp/B0002JT0I2
 



Part 2:
 
•    Adding window glazing,
•    Curtains and interiors
•    Assembly tips
 
   The previous article dealt with tools and the cutting of window openings, so it’s now appropriate to look at glazing those openings. Scalescene models have gradually changed, the earliest included a sheet of black window frames to be printed onto overhead projector [O.H.P.] transparency sheets for mounting behind a window opening.
 

A scratch built factory built using Scalescenes’ printed black window frames.
 
   As technology advanced, O.H.P.s gave way to computer-driven presentations and fewer home computers provided the necessary printer settings to work with transparency sheets. Paper window frames appeared in the model downloads. Simply cut out and stuck to clear glazing material with UHU-type glue, they provide an inexpensive alternative to the Brassmasters etched brass frames designed to fit each model.
 

A pub model using paper cutout window frames.
 
   Models now include a suggestion that the window frames are printed onto self-adhesive A4 label sheets, and this simplifies matters considerably. The print-out is stuck to clear glazing material and then the frames can be cut straight across and up and down with a sharp knife without bothering to cut around individual ‘panes’. The paper in the place of the glass area is simply picked off with a pair of tweezers.
 

Cutting window frames for the ‘terrace house backs’ kit.
 
   If you wish to colour the frames, now is the time to do so, preferably using watercolours as any misapplied paint can be wiped off the centre of the windowpanes with a damp cotton bud when dry. If a weathered appearance is desired, just apply a wash of paint and then remove some with a damp brush rinsed out in clean water.
 

A weathered appearance.
 
  Stick the individual windows to the rear of the opening in the wall by applying a thin bead of glue around the inside of the opening and then lowering the wall over the window. I use a tiny bit of Blue-Tack to hold the window steady on the bench as I do so. Whilst P.V.A. will work, ‘Roket’ card glue*^ is easier to use as it very rapidly becomes tacky, remains slightly flexible and obviates the need to hold the glazing in place for extended periods.
  The curtains supplied certainly help to add realism, with strips glued behind each window. …
 

 
…Preferably before the walls are assembled.
 
 

Inside view of two windows showing strips of ‘curtain’ paper glued to the rear of the glazing.
 
  Remember, curtains do not always hang straight or get drawn evenly. If you don’t like the patterns offered, mail order catalogue scraps give a huge choice. The ubiquitous net curtain is easily imitated by a piece of tracing paper or cigarette paper on which lines are drawn free hand with a 2B pencil! They will let just the right of light through if you choose to illuminate your interiors.
 

Outside view of the same two windows.
 
 
Full interior details are included in all Scalescenes models, with doorframes, skirting boards, and a whole selection of paintings, rugs and other add-ons. Should you wish it, an optional download of furniture, washing machines and kitchen units is available and benefit any illuminated model placed near the front of a layout.
 

The major assembly elements of the low relief terrace house backs showing some optional furniture in place.
 
 
As you build any model, consider ways to align walls and floors at right angles during the gluing process. I use two small blocks of 10mm M.D.F., backed up with pieces of accurately cut ‘L’ shaped card. If you are unsure of your ability to cut them squarely yourself It would be worth having them cut for you by someone with a table saw. Mine are about 2” / 50mm square, they seem to be about the right size for ‘O.O.’ work.
 

 
   Together with a few ‘inside-out’ clothes pegs and a larger piece of 6mm M.D.F. it becomes simple to align components accurately for the first few minutes during which the glue is drying.
 

 
Taller items can be aligned just as easily…
 

 
Above all, work slowly and methodically through the model, having several ‘dry-runs’ before taking the top off the glue bottle.
 
Notes and Links:
 
Brassmasters http://www.brassmasters.co.uk/etched_windows.htm
 
*^ ‘Roket’ card glue http://www.deluxematerials.co.uk/pages/emulsionglues.htm



Part 3:

•    Roofing
•    Chimneys
•    Weathering
•    Adding details
 
   Scalescenes roofing is represented by gluing overlapping strips of slate/tile paper to a pre-assembled roof surface or by cutting out a roof shaped piece from card covered with a slate/tile paper.

 
Slate/Tile paper – cut down the blue lines, and Ancient tile paper, glued in one piece over card.
 
   In the case of the slate paper strips, self-adhesive A4 label paper will save a great deal of time, but the job can be done equally well using a glue stick. Only apply the glue to a small section of the roof at a time and be sure to read the instructions concerning the order in which they are applied. After laying the paper, wait until the glue is dry and then burnish the surface with a suitable smooth tool to give a uniform finish. Additional realism is obtained by cutting a firm line between individual slates. Consider printing the red antique tile sheet onto thin watercolour paper as the rougher finish makes the tile texture even more convincing.
 

Individual strips of slate paper showing knife cuts separating each slate.
 
Chimneys  
   Chimneys can make or break the appearance of an otherwise fine model if they are too small, too large or if the projecting upper section overhangs too much. I prefer to make my own chimney capping barely larger than the chimney itself, prototypically projecting about 3/4” – 20mm and one bricks thick. I then add a thicker 2mm upper piece. See below for an example of a ‘simple’ chimneystack.  
      As commercially available chimney pots are both expensive and prone to damage I now use my own unbreakable pots, made from brown rubber insulation stripped from the flex of a redundant electric iron pushed over a piece of cocktail stick which is in turn stuck into a hole drilled in the top surface of the chimney. In this demonstration I have left them all the same colour, but interest can be added by painting them in subtly differing shades.
 

 

Chimneystack proportions. Reproduced by permission of Mr N. McKay.
 
If you are scratch building, rather than assembling a pre-printed model, note carefully the way the bricks are laid in the 1939 drawing above. This ‘bond’ is called ‘Stretcher’ bond and is the usual way ordinary brick chimneys are built so as to leave the typical 9” x 9” flue, a tiny detail, but almost always overlooked by even the most fastidious modellers. Scalescenes produce stretcher bond papers downloads for scratch builders.
 
 
 
 Weathering and adding details.
 
   In the photograph below you will see that the left-hand-side of the model has not been weathered at all, the centre part has simply had a black line drawn under each windowsill to add  relief and the right-hand-side has had the ‘full works’….
 

 
   The right-hand roofline where it joins the cleaner neighbours was very subtly pressed downwards as it dried so as to take up a slight curve. Barely noticeable, your mind accepts it as evidence of decay and age, like the cracked and broken ridge tiles, the black pastel dust rubbed into all the crevices with a stiff paintbrush and white pastel representing lime mortar stains. The yellow lichen would be typical of an airy, brightly lit environment like a seaside and the green moss of a shadowy or damper environment. They are achieved by using toothbrush bristles to flick on Cadmium Yellow watercolour and a mixture of Payne’s Grey and Cadmium Yellow respectively.
 

 
   The cracked window effect is achieved by scratching the plastic glazing with a knifepoint and more pastel dust ‘runs down’ from the damaged roof edge.
 

 
   In this posed picture, the Landlord and his lady consider the work that needs doing to bring the house up to scratch.
   Additional details include the coldwater tank overflow pipes; the scullery sink drains and the soil pipes that exhaust foul air from the sewers. The rainwater down-pipes clearly need attention as do the window frames with their peeling paint.
   The green chequered curtains are cut from the inside of a Lloyds Bank envelope!
 
Pipes and gutters  
   In the Scalescenes Low Relief Terraced House backs, the gutters and down-pipes are a clever part of the construction of the model, but in most models they are something to be added by the builder. Most buildings only have rainwater down-pipes at the front but the rear elevation may have bedroom ‘en-suite’ drains, kitchen sink drains, soil pipes and so on…
 

 
   Here the rainwater down-pipe is represented by florists’ wire wrapped with paper to imitate brackets and the soil pipe is a 2mm plastic rod wrapped with paper strips to imitate joints, then drilled to accept the ends of thicker florists’ wire. The guttering is a piece of 2mm half-round plastic moulding stuck directly to the lower edge of the roof with super glue and the walls are weathered with pastel, applied lightly with a cotton bud.

Here is the front of the same model, renamed ‘The Good Companion’…

 
 
 
   Note the ‘fashion tiles’ over the lower roof hips made from the standard strip of ridge tiling, cut to the shape the originals would have been.  The tiled floors in the doorways are laid with a scrap of patterned paper cut from a magazine and the dentilled leads under two of the windows are printer paper painted grey.
 

 
Compare the above with the pictures below of the model made exactly according to the download…
 
 

 

 
…Both equally well executed models, but I know there will only ever be one ‘Good Companion’!
 
   I hope that this series of articles will encourage you to try card as an alternative material to plastic sheet structure building. I consider that a well-designed texture paper, used sympathetically with a little applied texture wins hands-down in the realism stakes. It does take more patience to use, it can’t be ‘scratched-and-snapped’ as each component must be cut using several passes of a blade. Time must also be taken to allow successive layers of card, paper and glue to dry if tearing is to be avoided, but at least the adhesives are fairly innocuous. Best of all, if you make a mistake, you can screw it up and start again using relatively inexpensive materials.
 
   After one or two commercial offerings you may decide to design and build your own models… Ah! Scratch-building in card and paper, that’s another chapter altogether. I’ll leave you with a shot of a limekiln to whet your appetite for something unusual…
 

 
Doug Dickson



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 Posted: Mon Jul 29th, 2013 10:47 am
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I was only trying to find the links to this last week on RMweb, but after trolling through a tonne of links I practically gave up on it. Fantastic that we have it all packaged as one here. Thankyou Doug, now to read on.

Cheers, Gary.



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 Posted: Mon Jul 29th, 2013 11:17 am
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Thank you for this - I have read all three articles previously. They have been a real inspiration!



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dooferdog wrote:  

 
   In this posed picture, the Landlord and his lady consider the work that needs doing to bring the house up to scratch. 
    
  

They must have been on the BBC 1 Programme 'Homes Under the Hammer' :mutley



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 Posted: Mon Jul 29th, 2013 07:54 pm
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Petermac
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I struggle to accept that this is your model Doug and not the real building ...............:shock::shock:




The whole of this thread is a brilliant read but your illustrations are simply incredible.  It's a very long time since I even tried to come close.  I now accept there are those who attempt to do it, there's me and, on a totally different plain to the rest of us,  there's you.  Since then,  life has become a little more bearable..................:???::???::???:   :cheers



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 Posted: Wed Jul 31st, 2013 07:11 am
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maurice
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Thanks for publishing these articles Doug, I have been card modelling for some time and am  always amazed at the quality of your work.Always something to aim for and now with the maestros instructions.

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Thanks for posting them all together, this'll save me and many others no end of time I'm sure. Another winner Doug.



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Thank you all for your kind remarks [insert embarrassed smiley]

Doug



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Hello everybody,

Here's a fourth article on this topic by the same author, I found equally interesting.

https://www.model-railways-live.co.uk/Articles/275-16/Structures_and_Scenics/Doug_Dickson_shows_how_to_get_sharper_corners_on_card_models

Cheers Helmut

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