Saturday, 6 September 2014

Me time...

Well, I'd Milliputted the PC12 fuselage and found myself with no obvious job to do.  I'd made a recent half-hearted resolution to not work at weekends, reasoning that none of my clients do, so why should I?
So, putting that into effect, I grabbed the first Lantern Yard building in the box beside me and decided to push it forward a bit.
That turned out to be the Nissen hut based small motor mechanic's workshop.
Unfortunately, it had been damaged a bit since I first made it.  So the dormers were repaired, but not with any care.  "Motors need fixing for the locals,  I can't be all weekend fixing the tin roof.  So long as it keeps the water out that'll do."

This model, like the others for Lantern Yard were started in cardboard, before I discovered Foamex, so need a bit of bracing here and there, which makes an entirely open workshop a bit tricky, so I've decided to make it with hanging sliding doors, a la aircraft hanger, but reduced a little.  I haven't any small angle brass or styrene to hand, so decided to do the cladding.  In some ways this is based on a farm building near here and so has a few courses of brick base and is then shiplap covered up to the corrugated Nissen hut roof sheets.  It keeps the shed within a reasonable footprint, compared with the full hanger size.
The brick is some of Dave Ellis's vac-formed sheet.  Now, my bonnet bee comes a-buzzin' in here. Nearly every brick sheet-covered building I see has two problems.  Firstly the corners are never modelled properly. The courses, never mind the bond are not usually carried round the corner.  It is more difficult with the South Eastern Finecast sheet like this as the vac formed nature leaves a corrugation showing.  That, though, can be filled and left, then modelled round the corner when all is nice and solid.  And the filler is what you see having gone on above here.  Just ram it in with your thumb and leave it for a few days to completely harden.  With Slater's sheet being moulded and therefore solid on the back, all you need is to solvent weld the corners and later file or scrape square, then run the courses round with a Swiss triangular file.

Secondly and possibly more important, is the tendency to leave the bricks untouched on the main sheet.  All that does is make your brickwork look like cobbles with that obvious line of reflection along the top of every brick.  In real life, unless the wall is seriously weatherworn, you don't see any depth to a normal mortar course.  Different colour maybe, just, normally, but the bricks are flat, sharp edged.  My house has absolutely sharp edges. It is 102 years old and the mortar can barely be seen or felt, so let's not draw attention to it on the models.  The only noticeable mortar is where some local cowboy has piled entirely the wrong muck into overly scraped out courses.
Rub down the brick sheet with a decently abrasive sheet (even 150 grit will do) and finish with a Stanley blade scraped at a diagonal angle, so the blade doesn't get caught in the mortar moulding and make a ridge.  Take it down to a point within an ace of its life.  You'll still get mortar colour in there, don't worry.
But it'll look like brick, not cobbles.

The wooden planks are made from layout board. It's a holdover from the days when people actually glued pictures and sheets of text (called gallies) onto a pre marked sheet ready for printing.  It's really a thickish cartridge paper with a shiny face one side.  I picked up tons of it free from an office supplier who didn't know what to do with it since computerisation of every damned thing these days. I have allowed the odd long one, but most lengths are more than one plank for a bit of interest.  Nail marks are put on with a model aircraft rivetting tool.  They can be reduced or accentuated after the painting stage.

Once it's on Lantern Yard one of these will be poking out of the half open doors.

I did the range as brass masters, years ago, so it fits my self imposed stricture of having to make everything on the model.  It's the reason I reluctantly work to 7mm scale for the railway stuff.  I've made so many models for others in that silly scale. I like the bulk, but 7mm to 1 foot!...  I ask you!


  1. Those wonderful car bodies are masterful! I am often guilty of not paying enough attention to corner joins on brickwork...another thing you have taught me.

  2. Thanks Iain,
    When I measured the Berkeley T60, the proud owner gave us a ride in it and it didn't half get a move on! I was once passed by one doing 80 down to the Brighton classic car show. Turns out it had a modern Honda 4 in it!