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Cornish stone cottages - Scratchbuilding. - More Practical Help - Your Model Railway Club
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 Posted: Thu Dec 9th, 2010 11:32 pm
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Gwiwer
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The fairly restricted space behind Penhayle Bay station presents a few challenges when it comes to creating a scene reminiscent of a Cornish village. The space available is long, narrow, has an S-bend along the viewing side and is encroached upon by a rectangular rainwater down pipe.

Here is the space this project will occupy which has the back panel and down pipe painted as sky and which will in due course be landscaped as well.



Some basic building materials. We have slate roofing, corner stones, rough stone and limewashed stone sheets all from Wills. The slates have already received a wash of mixed Humbrol greys but in this image the rest are straight from the packs. The window frames have been recovered from a Skaledale house which was cannibalised for its bits; these were used to guide the proportions at markout but may not end up as the actual frames used.



With the position of the cottages decided upon the basic shape is cut from the limewashed sheets. I rejected the rough stone for these but will return to it for a later build which will be presented as unpainted stone. Positions of windows and doors are marked using a 0.1mm mapping pen.

This wall will face out across the viaduct, towards the right centre of the top image.



The long wall which will form the frontage of two interlocking cottages is then marked and cut. The interlock between two adjacent buildings is a characteristic feature of the area; typically the dividing wall is not a top-to-bottom vertical and one cottage may have its front door and entrance beneath the neighbour's bedroom.

I have also incorporated provision for some sloped land leading to the backscene and slightly stepped the cottages in relation to each other such that while the roof line will be even the floors are not. Again this is not untypical.

This wall will face out over the little river towards the cliff section.



At this point the stone sheets have a first coat of Humbrol matt white and the corner stones are in Dullcoted gloss black.

Using spare lengths of the corner stones, suitably trimmed, gives angled stone or slate external window ledges. A piece of scrap from the white has been used as a rough (or well-worn) door step on the upper cottage.



We have had discussions recently over cutting technique for these sheets. The ones I have are quite soft - not at all brittle as some reports suggest - and yield easily to gentle strokes with the scalpel. Light pressure is required to achieve the initial cut after which pressure can be increased until the cut is complete.

I have tidied up the cuts with emery boards from my stock of bits and which are readily available at supermarkets in the beauty area. Corners are angled with a square-section needle file. Using a flat file worked lightly at an angle it is also possible to create a slight bevel to the window apertures through this is not apparent in the images.

The round bathroom window was cut very carefully with the scalpel and tidied with a round-section needle file. It could equally well have been drilled out using a large diameter bit at slow speed.

With structures built from large pieces of stone precise right-angled corners are not always present and therefore I am not pedantic about the slight irregularities which still exist.

More to follow as this progresses.

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 Posted: Fri Dec 10th, 2010 12:03 am
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Marty
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Right here with you mate... keep it coming.



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 Posted: Fri Dec 10th, 2010 03:47 am
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henryparrot
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Very good Rick

I use a needle file in the aperture openings because the wills sheets are so thick its dificult to cut them so i usually finish them with a file.

Brian

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 Posted: Fri Dec 10th, 2010 04:10 am
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Stubby47
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Far be it from me to contradict a Cornishman, but....

those cottages seem to have quite large windows compared to the amount of stonework around them. A quick Google of images of 'cornish cottages' seems to show that the older, more traditional cottage had very small windows in relation to the size of the wall.
Your piece of wall with the small, circular window would seem to be more prototypical than the 'front' wall.

Stu



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 Posted: Fri Dec 10th, 2010 04:14 am
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Gwiwer
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Fair comment Stu though there are as many variations as there are cottages. Those which have been less altered over the years tend to have smaller windows but by contrast those which were built with a "view" were sometimes constructed to take advantage of that with more glazing.

As the build progresses the apparent size of the apertures will come down with the use of framing.

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 Posted: Fri Dec 10th, 2010 04:19 am
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Janner
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Great stuff Rick :thumbs  This is just what the doctor ordered for a future project I have in mind.  I will be following this thread avidly.

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 Posted: Fri Dec 10th, 2010 04:19 am
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ddolfelin
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Looking good, Rick.
I particularly like the window ledges.
Inspired to use the quoins for the purpose.

I would probably use another thickness to give the impression of the depth of rubble stone around the apertures.

It looks like you are cutting from the front.
I find it easier to cut clean lines from the back wherever possible.

My remarks concerning 'brittle' Wills Sheets were generated by a few I have encountered which were probably old stock.



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 Posted: Fri Dec 10th, 2010 04:30 am
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Gwiwer
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I am indeed cutting from the front. With careful and light pressure on the early strokes I found no problem in getting the first score through the decorated surface and then increasing pressure to cut through the body of the sheet.

I have a fairly standard cutting mat beneath as support so when the final break through is made no harm comes to the bench itself even if I am pressing fairly hard.

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 Posted: Sat Dec 18th, 2010 11:31 pm
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Gwiwer
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The part-built walls are taken outside for a test fit to the location they are destined for. Nothing is fixed at this point as the parts have returned to the work bench for further attention after Christmas.



Looking from almost overhead and clearly showing the intrusion caused by the rainwater downpipe.



To prevent warping of the plastic walls I cut three templates from MDF which will be glued at ground floor, intermediate floor and ceiling levels for reinforcement. Here is the floor plate roughly positioned.



The first of the roof sections was also measured and cut then tested to ensure the angles are right and the pitch is correct. The slate sheet is the same length as the stone walls but as the latter has quoins added it has become too long for a single sheet. I had anticipated this and as the build progresses the solution will become apparent.

Also seen in this view is the wooden lintel inserted above one ground floor window. This is simply a match stick cut and glued. The same treatment will be given to all the larger windows.

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