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Perry's Great Eastern Goods Shed. - Scratchbuilding. - More Practical Help - Your Model Railway Club
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 Posted: Tue Jan 5th, 2010 09:57 am
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Robert
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Somehow we have lost the original, presumably to our recent virus attack so I am doing my best here to rescue the bulk of it.

The East Anglian Railway Museum, near Colchester, Essex, has a beautifully restored Great Eastern Goods Shed as one of it's main buildings.

I wanted to feature a decent-sized goods shed on my layout and thought that this one would fit the available space nicely.

Here is a photo of the prototype:



At the time I visited the museum, I took lots of photographs of the Goods Shed from as many angles as I could. I also measured a single brick, together with it's share of the mortar. This turned out to be 9" x 3" which in 'OO' scale; 4mm=1ft, is 3mm x 1mm. I was therefore able to draw up reasonably accurate plans by counting the bricks on the photos.

This having been done, I made a cardboard mock-up, just to make sure it would fit onto the layout.



Here it is with a Superquick Goods Shed kit, just to give an idea of the size:



The model will be built from embossed Plastikard and because the prototype was built using English bond brickwork, some suitable stock was purchased from Slater's.

Work has now begun and the four main walls have been cut out. Each will now have layers of plastikard built up to give the relief effect evident on the prototype. I will post some photographs as work progresses.

The end of the shed furthest from the office was tackled first. This is what I am trying to achieve:



The door opening, triangular recesses and window openings were cut out from what I termed the ‘base layer’ of embossed plastikard. There will be layers either side of this to give the required depth of relief to the brickwork.



It quickly became evident that the 15 thou thickness of the embossed plastikard wouldn’t give enough depth, so strips of 40 thou x 80 thou plain plastikard were glued edge-on around the lower window panel. The two lower windows were cut out and the panel glued behind the base layer.

I used a ‘Jakar’ Compass Cutter, £2.75p from a local craft shop, to cut the curved tops of the windows.

Plain 040” white plastikard was used for the windowsills and the various stringer courses were added.

The 3-course arches over the top of the windows were marked out on the back of some scrap material then cut out using the Compass Cutter.

Glazing will be done towards the end of the project.

The lower window panel construction is complete and will be left to dry thoroughly before the top windows and panels are tackled.



To be continued.

Perry



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 Posted: Tue Jan 5th, 2010 09:58 am
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Robert
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Thank you for the encouraging responses guys.

I'll try to answer the questions all in one post if I may:

The supplier of Plastikard that I use - personal preference only, you understand - is Slaters. They have a website with some handy .pdf files showing the various types of sheets they stock:

http://www.slatersplastikard.com/

Their mail order service has been excellent too.

The standard sheets are roughly the size of an A4 piece of paper but I believe larger sizes are available to order.

No doors or windows are provided. Embossed Plastikard is just a raw sheet material and everything made from it has to be scratchbuilt. I spend a fair amount of time researching a building before I start a model and usually draw up at least a rough plan for the main dimensions. As I think I mentioned before, these can often be calculated by counting bricks on the photos. If you know the size of one of them you can work out many dimensions pretty accurately.

The cost isn't excessive. I bought ten sheets of the English Bond embossed brickwork and paid a few pence over £19, including postage and packing, so the average cost is only £1.90p per sheet. There is very little waste, because I keep all the offcuts and make the smaller parts including strengthening braces from them. When you consider that the two longest walls of this goods shed project will be cut from one sheet, you can perhaps appreciate that the whole model with probably only use up four brick sheets and I will still have plenty of offcuts to use elsewhere. Add another sheet of roof tile plastikard or perhaps make one up from plain sheet cut into strips/tiles and the whole model shouldn't cost more than £10. Not bad when compared with some kits or ready-builts, and I have the pleasure of knowing that it is unique.

The window arches were made by turning over a scrap piece of embossed card so the the plain side was uppermost. I then used a compass cutter to mark concentric circles. Using the centre mark as a guide, I then scribed right across all the circles to give the appearance of bricks. the circles were then cut across the middle, leaving me with two semicircles. The parts of the centremost circle were then removed completely and the waste material carefully trimmed from the outside. It then just remained to trim the ends of the resulting arches to fit the location. This all sounds a bit complicated so when I do the next arches, I will photograph the sequence as I make them.

I hope that has answered most of the questions, but if there are any others, please don't hesitate to ask. I am no expert and the way I do things may not be the 'right way' but they work for me.

Perry



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 Posted: Tue Jan 5th, 2010 09:59 am
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Robert
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Here is a seven-step guide to the way I made the window arches for the goods shed:

1. Mark out a circle the diameter of the top of the window with a compass cutter. Mine happened to be 14mm.



2. The prototype had three-course arches, so three concentric circles were added at 18mm, 22mm and 26mm respectively. The middle ones weren't cut so deeply as the inner and outer ones.





3. Using the centre point as a guide, start to scribe lines across the circles, keeping them as even as you can by eye. Start with one line. Add a second line to make a cross, then carry on dividing each segment until you go cross-eyed!



4. You should end up with something like this:



5. Cut the circles in half, then remove the centre pieces.



6. Carefully cut away the waste outside the circles.



7. Try the arches in place on the model. They may need a little trimming with a small file to get a perfect fit. These obviously haven't been trimmed yet!



That's all there is to it. Providing your required arches are semicircular then a compass cutter will do the job. Otherwise it gets a bit more complicated!

One last little tip: If you use a compass cutter on plastikard, cut very lightly, taking several passes to complete a full-depth cut. Otherwise there is a fair chance the blade will wander off-line if it is 'forced'.

Perry



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 Posted: Tue Jan 5th, 2010 10:03 am
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Robert
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Novice wrote: Perry

What do you use for the window frames as i note you have copied the prototype pretty well?

Novice

I think perhaps you are referring to the window arches? They were made as I have just described in my previous post. I haven't decided on how to do the actual glazing bars (frames) yet. I have considered using strips of PVC tape; the same method I used for my Signal Box project (elsewhere in the Scratchbuilding section), but as there are 18 mainly large windows on the shed alone, plus a few more on the office, I think I may generate some on the computer like I did for my Water Softener project. I still have time to give it some more thought as there is a lot to do yet.

Perry

The PVC tape method of making window frames works well but is very time consuming if there are a lot of complex windows to construct. They certainly look a whole lot better than computer printed ones. The problem with using commercially etched frames and the like is that the window openings have to be made to fit them, rather than the other way around. If you are OK with that, then fine, but I want my windows to be as close to scale size as possible. Therefore I have little choice but to make my own.


The remaining 3 arches over the top windows and the wider one over the door have been completed. I made the one over the door by cutting three single brick courses and cementing them in place, one after the other. The arch capping strips were then glued in place. The rest of window sills and the rain strip over the door opening have also been fitted.



The first end wall is now complete except for glazing and painting.

The doors will not be made until later. I intend making all the doors as a batch. The ones at each end will be fitted in the open position so that vans can be shunted in and out. The positions of the loading bay doors have yet to be decided.

This is all I can scrape together at the moment so I will have to keep looking around for the rest. If anyone has more on their computer please let me know. I have been in touch with Perry and unfortunately he hasn't a record of this build on his computer so at the moment we are at a dead end unless someone comes forward with a copy of the topic.



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 Posted: Wed Jan 6th, 2010 09:30 pm
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Many thanks for rescuing what you could of this thread Robert.  Much appreciated....:thumbs

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 Posted: Wed Jan 6th, 2010 09:36 pm
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Robert
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With a bit of luck I may be able to get more because I may have a copy on and old database. Fingers crossed.



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 Posted: Thu Jan 7th, 2010 06:31 am
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Well done Bob, this project is just to awesome to lose.



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 Posted: Thu Jan 7th, 2010 06:59 am
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Just a small point - I thought the title was a Great Eastern Good Shed, rather than warehouse?

Bob(K)

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 Posted: Thu Jan 7th, 2010 08:14 am
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Robert
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Absolutely right Bob, his warehouse project is OK so I have changed the title. Thanks for catching on to that.



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 Posted: Sat Jan 9th, 2010 03:53 pm
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Robert
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Have managed, with Jim's unstinting help to get the rest of Perry's topic. It's worth everyone's time reminding themselves just how good this is :


The 'office end' of the shed was begun today. I marked out the recesses and window openings on the main wall but then I decided it might be a good idea to make certain the office building would fit - i.e., that I had got my calculations right.

I therefore cut out the four walls for the office and cut the door and window openings in them where required.

I taped the office walls together very roughly with pieces of masking tape, just so I could get an overview of how it would all fit together.

These are the results so far:







Now that I'm happy all is OK, I can get on with doing the rest of the cutting on the shed end wall.

A little tip when working with brick-embossed plastikard is to use the brick courses as cutting guides. If you want two walls exactly the same height either cut them out of the same piece of material both at once or line up the courses to get them to match up. Always make sure you have a full straight course at the bottom of your wall and measure everything from that base line.

Perry



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 Posted: Sat Jan 9th, 2010 03:56 pm
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I have been getting on with the second end wall; the one where the office is situated.

Here are a couple of pictures of the prototype around the area I am working on:





The office end main wall construction has been completed leaving only the chimney stack, glazing and doors to do (apart from painting and final detailing, of course).

This is how it looks now with the recesses and window arches all done.



The office isn't assembled yet but has been stood in place to judge the effect.

Here are both basic end walls at their current stage.



These will now be put aside to fully harden before any more work is done on them. In the meantime, the two other walls will be done, starting with the back wall. This should be straightforward enough having six bays all very similar. The main bugbear for a wall like this is the boring repetition of cutting out so many identical pieces. :(



To be continued.

Perry



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 Posted: Sat Jan 9th, 2010 03:58 pm
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Robert
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Cutting the arched window reveals with an adjustable compass cutter needs a little planning and forethought.

I intended to work on just the rear wall today, as it has six arched windows. :shock:

Having set up the compass cutter to the correct radius, I realised that not only did I need to cut the windows for the back wall, but those for the front wall as well, otherwise getting them identical was going to be tricky.

After lots of careful measuring and marking out - and checking - I set to and got all the windows cut out, not forgetting to leave room for the loading bay doors.



I also realised that the inner curve of the decorative arch over each window would best be cut with the compass cutter still set to the same radius. Cutting these arches will be the next job - hopefully late tomorrow afternoon.

To be continued.

Perry



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 Posted: Sat Jan 9th, 2010 03:58 pm
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Work continued steadily today with arches for all ten windows being prepared.

The two wall panel overlays were cut and the rectangular panels cut out of the one for the rear wall; the one with six windows. To achieve a strong relief effect and to allow the correct room for string courses and arches it was necessary to introduce spacers between the two panels. I needed .080" (2mm) between them. At first I thought of cutting these out of .040" plain sheet in the same manner as the panel layer but then realised that this would create a lot more work marking out and cutting as well as being rather wasteful in material. I therefore opted to cut narrow strips of .040" plastikard that would only needed cutting to length before gluing them up as a framework behind the panels



These were laminated with the panel layer resulting in a wall that is three thicknesses of plastikard thick so far. This will add strength and stability to what is otherwise a rather weak, long, narrow wall.

I used tube cement as the liquid solvent evaporates too quickly for this kind of job. I will leave the assembly to dry flat overnight and then cement the window reveal layer underneath it so that it will look something like this:



Once that's glued up, string courses, window sills and window arches can be fixed in place and apart from final trimming, the main construction of this wall will be complete.

After this part of the project, I will work on the front wall where the road vehicle loading areas are.

At one stage I looked at the pile of 26 pieces of plastikard that make up just the part of the wall shown above, that is without string courses or window sills, and realised just how many parts will go into building just this wall. There are, I believe, another 54 pieces of plastikard yet to be cut out, just to finish this wall. I have yet to start on the more complex front wall and I've still got the interior platform, the roof, the office, all the doors and windows and the access ramp to build.

I wonder how I'll fill my time after the week-end? :shock: :shock: :shock: :roll:

:lol: :lol: :lol:

Perry



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 Posted: Sat Jan 9th, 2010 03:59 pm
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Novice wrote:Perry I am really enjoying watching this project grow.

It would be interesting at the end of the project to see a list of materials used and the approximate cost, as I am interested in seeing whether this type of scratch building is genuinely much cheaper than buying a commericial card or plastic model. Of course I accept that the key reason you do this is to create your own unique models and you could not buy anything like this.

The reason this came to mind is, when I built one of my tunnels I used quite a lot of materials and, although much of this was due to my bodging early attempts :oops:, the cost began to rise.

Novice


I'll bear this in mind when the project is finished and see what I can do. I don't think scratchbuilding in Plastikard is cheaper than buying kits. It may be the case where ordinary card can be gathered from various 'free' sources, but for the type of thing I am working on the embossed plastikard is a must as far as I am concerned. One thing I always try to do is minimise waste. I keep all the offcuts sorted into type and thickness. Even the bits cut out to form windows and doors can be pressed into use somewhere along the way. If you want to try scratchbuilding 'on the cheap' then have a good look at some of Bob's masterpieces. I'm guessing that the cost involved with some of them would be pretty minimal.

Perry



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 Posted: Sat Jan 9th, 2010 04:00 pm
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Thank you all for your kind comments and encouragement regarding this project. Feed-back is very much appreciated; positive or otherwise. :wink:

Here is a photo of the wall I am currently buidling:



The construction of the back wall has been completed with the remaining layering done and string courses and window arches added.



As a matter of interest I counted the components that went into the make up of this wall up to it's current state and was quite surprised to find that the total was eighty!

The combination of the various laminations has resulted in a strong rigid wall that will not need any other bracing. The extreme ends will be finally trimmed when the four walls are assembled.

I want to get the front wall built next. :D

Perry



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 Posted: Sat Jan 9th, 2010 04:01 pm
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Robert
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Petermac wrote:Are you a retired professional ?

It looks really fantastic - such skill and, I suspect, patience. Brilliant.

Petermac


My scratchbuilding experience is not really very extensive. I just take a lot of time and care over what I do. There is no real skill to it. If you can measure and cut bits of plastic card up, then stick them together again, you're 90% of the way there. :wink:

Anyone can do it. :)

Perry



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 Posted: Sat Jan 9th, 2010 04:02 pm
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Robert
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lockboys wrote:Hey Perry mate :D could you build us the Faller Ferris Wheel :?: :P :P :P :P :P :P :P
I bet you could :lol:


Sure! How many would you like by next week-end? :roll: :lol: :lol: I'll fit them in around finishing the goods shed. :shock:

I think the one thing that any prospective scratchbuilder needs to spend is TIME, and lots of it. Plastikard is still reasonably cheap so if you make a part and it doesn't quite fit, either trim it before you glue it in place or better still make a replacement part. The rejected part can go in the spares box. I have quite a lot of bits and pieces in mine, believe me, but it's amazing how often you can cut a different part out of an offcut thereby saving using fresh stock.

I would love to see a few people - or even a lot of people - having a go at some simple scratchbuilds. A little lineside hut is plenty to start out on, so it doesn't have to be an expensive disaster if it all goes 'Pete Tong'; it can be a nice cheap disaster instead! :lol: I think that's unlikely though. When you break it all down to basics, most buildings are just boxes joined to other boxes of different shapes and sizes. As I said elsewhere, break a project down into small tasks and you will suceed in the end.

I guess what I'm trying to put across is that it LOOKS complex and difficult and that may be putting you off, but don't let it bamboozle you. Start with something small and work up from there. It really is easy if only you'll give it a try. 8)

So come on you lot; have a go! :D You could even let us see some photos of your work on here. :)

Perry



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 Posted: Sat Jan 9th, 2010 04:03 pm
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Robert
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MikeC wrote:I have my plasticard, and I plan to build a booking office/modest station building for my island platform. I don't think it's stiff enough though, and would need reinforcing somehow.
You're right - a small lineside hut would be a good way to start. I've made buildings from balsa and card ages ago but they were awful :lol:
Mike


You are quite right, Mike, the embossed plastikard I use is usually only about .015" thick and doesn't support itself well unless it's very small piece. I often back mine with plain plastikard to give it strength.

.020" stock (half a millimetre thick) will suffice for many reinforcing jobs. I have used two thicknesses of .040" to back parts of the goods shed, but that is because I needed to represent some fairly heavy relief panels. Internal corners usually need reinforcing and some plain strips glued in place not only do that but also make the job of joining the thin embossed sheets a lot easier.

Perry



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 Posted: Sat Jan 9th, 2010 04:04 pm
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I finished the basic construction of the front wall this evening - the one with the vehicle loading bay doors.

Close inspection of my photographs of the prototype suggests that this side of the buidling has been altered or rebuilt at one or more times during it's history. I have therefore decided to build the model depicting the shed pretty much as it is now as I can't find any historical photos of it.

I shall set about building the office next and then see how it all fits together before going any further. At that stage I'll probably take a couple more pictures and post them on here.

Windows will obviously need to be made and fitted before the walls are permanently fixed together. This looks like it's going to be one of the slightly trickier tasks and may well take a fair amount of time. :shock: There are 21 full windows and a glazed panel above a door.

Perry


I have turned my attention to the glazing of the eighteen windows including the small one above the pedestrian entrance. I have not included the office windows because they are of a completely different design to the shed windows and are small enough to do by hand.

I toyed with the idea of actually making the frames and glazing bars from microstrip but when I worked out how many really tiny pieces were involved, I decided that the probable result wouldn't justify the effort.

I therefore decided to use a technique I have employed before that prints the window framing onto clear acetate sheet. This can then be cut up and the window transparencies fixed in place with glue. I prefer a 5-minute epoxy resin, but no doubt some other adhesives would work as well.

The designs themselves were laid up using Microsoft Publisher software, but again, I'm sure that there are other programs that are also suitable.

Having drawn out one of each size and type of window, I printed them out on plain white paper so that they could be checked for size and registration. Once I was happy that they would fit, I copied and pasted the required number plus a few spares onto the page before adding labels so that I know which windows fit to each part of the model. If I was clever enough to make each window exactly the same size it would probably be quicker and easier, but my shaky hands and dodgy eyesight don't always give the degree of accuracy I would want. :roll:

Anyway, the finished window designs were finally printed onto a sheet of acetate. I was fortunate on this model that the window frames are black because this shows up well when printed. Paler colours do not always respond so well to this technique.

Here is a grabbed image of the sheet. Unfortunately the quality has suffered during size reduction for posting here, but I hope it gives you the general idea.



I will let the ink dry really thoroughly before I cut the windows out and glue them in place.

Perry



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 Posted: Sat Jan 9th, 2010 04:13 pm
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Novice wrote:Perry

Very clever, I wondered how you were going to achieve this. I assume you can print them in any colour too?

Novice


Yes, it is possible to print them in any colour your printer can handle, but the darker colours always come out far better than the light ones. I did some very pale yellow ones for a project a while back and they don't show up as well as I would have liked. Part of the problem is the thickness of the acetate and the fact that it is not actually clear but rather has a 'greyness' to it. Bearing in mind that some kit manufacturers see fit to provide similar transparencies, I'm happy to use these 'custom-made' ones now and again. I would pefer more three-dimensional modelling methods, but time is a constraint and corners have to be somewhat rounded off, if not cut, at times! :roll:

Perry



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