John kicked off today’s Skills session by talking about the different materials and tools he had employed in constructing model buildings over the years. Card, plasticard, balsa wood and plywood in different thicknesses had all been used at various times. In the case of card John had often laminated different sheets (at right angles to each other to avoid warping) for added strength.
Tim then went on to talk about his particular interest in industrial buildings and how he had studied the brewery complex at Guinness’s Park Royal and learnt the various functions of each building. He then showed us some examples that he had built for his own brewery layout. These had been constructed from 10mm foam board, in some cases four storeys high, and used both as scene blockers and to create interest in a prototypically high intensity industrial setting.
Tim demonstrated his method of constructing buildings in this material showing us how he joined the board and inserted window frames. Tim faces his buildings with brick plasticard which he then paints picking out odd coloured bricks.
He fixes the plasticard to the foam board with double sided sticky tape although it was suggested that UHU glue could be used instead to give more manoeuvrability before fixing on a final position. Brick plasticard comes in a number of different bond styles, so if modelling a specific prototype, it will be necessary to have regard to the bond employed and also the colour of the bricks used.
John then showed us a number of examples of buildings, both kit and scratch built, that he had made over the years and spoke about how he had made them and what he had done to enhance them. The method he adopts when cutting plasticard is to lightly make a first accurate cut before following the same line with further deeper cuts until the plasticard can be snapped along the cut line.
This he said avoids the problem of the plasticard moving while being cut. Another solution could be to use a cutting ruler with a rubber strip.
Several people had brought in some of their own models and then showed them to the group. Fred had been working on small yard featuring a wagon turntable and two buildings, one with a curved roof that he had fashioned by placing plasticard in hot water.
Rob then showed a variety of buildings including a very fine Pluckley oast house, an ex-LSWR signal box, an Isle of Wight engine shed and some European buildings he had seen on his travels.
Roger had also brought in a selection including a diorama with some huts, a station building and an old shed.
Finally, Ross showed a model he had made of the old print shop at Rolvenden complete with a milk bottle on the window sill. This model had been instantly recognised by the former curator of the K&ESR museum other than which there could be no greater accolade.
After a very interesting and informative session we then had a final cup of tea or coffee courtesy of our deputy catering manager for the day, John, packed everything away and wended our way home.