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A group build....

40574 Views 327 Replies 36 Participants Last post by  Ruffnut Thorston
A few people have suggested another group build, so here's what I'm suggesting

We take a basic Dapol kit like this:

and build it, no racing ahead just take the kit and we discuss a) how to build it, b)how to improve it, c) weathering and finishing, and possibly d) fitting into the landscape.

I picked the building above for two reasons, firstly it's a very simple kit, and secondly it's widely available.

So, who's going to join in?

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Isn't it funny that when it first came out in 1957 that it was deemed to be HO/OO.

Wouldn't you love to see a building come out with that designation now!!!!!!!


Dave, clearly it was an observation.

When it was first produced, buy British reigned supreme in the commonwealth. Model railways were in their infancy. It was (acceptable?) practice that Triang would rebadge items for NZ/AUS etc and they would sell as local trains. Very collectable items now but not up to todays expectations. No doubt back then it may have been used for some forced perspective modelling. Since it is nominally 1:76, it is ideal for out the front in a 1:87 environment to achieve this.

As the subject of this thread, the kit has no doubt graced many a model rail around the world over the years. Like this thread this model has no doubt been altered to the different extents show in this thread.

This is not like physics, there is no right or wrong way, there are just different degrees of how to finish it. It's a plastic kit, glue it together and it is perfectly acceptable to some people, to others it needs interiors, others want to paint/weather it, others want to kit bash it. There are various degrees that people want/are able to do with it.

As long has people received enjoyment out of participating then that is fine. Personally I don't have a problem if someone was to start building one now and put their pictures up of the build if that is your thing.


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Jaz the biggest critic of your work is the camera. It is also the most useful tool. What the eye sees in the flesh compensates but put it in a photo and you go how did I miss that!!!!

Anyway another trick is to give the walls an undercoat first. Now by being a bit clever here you can vary the colour of the under coat and when the top coat goes on it can be lighter or darker in patches depending on the colour of the under coat that is under the top coat (I hope this makes sense) so if you have a white undercoat the top cot will be a lighter shade than if it is a dark grey undercoat.

I have found that the more espensive the kit the better the quality it is, at least that is the way with german kits

I think it is better to spray/paint all the bits before putting it together then touching up the seems afterwards. Plus when you think about it if its prepainted and you use filler to fil the seems then paint them its going to look like its repaired. Tamya plastic putty is good for this.

As for the aerial, its an interesting thing. In some shots it looks really good, but in others not so good, and its only in the head on shots that it looks out of scale, so maybe its a placement type thing. However that being said, it you put more of them on the rest of the buildings remember to point them all in the same general direction!!!!!

Now if you want to greate a rough cast effect apply a coat of paint, while it is still wet cover it in ground white pepper, leave it a a little while to stick then gently tap to knock the excess of. The building will reek of white pepper so now is a good time to leave it outside to dry. Once dry a top coat can be applied which seals the pepper and the building no longer reeks of it.

How were you applying the weathering powder? It may have been the direction that you were applying it if verticle were you going just up or just down with your brush strokes or both up and down? I dont think brushing horizontally would not workk. I hope this doesn't seem to obvious but some times rather than brushing up only its easier to turn the building upside down and use downward brush strokes, which gives the same effect as upward strokes when the building is the right way up!!!!

Another way to darken the paint slightly is to paint the interior surface. Painting it light grey will give it a lighter shade than if the interior is painted black. Another bonus of painting the inside is that should you light the building it will help prevent light bleed through the walls.

As I type this on TLC they are making a life sized ginger bread house on a program about Disney holidays. Now I wonder how good icing sugar would be for a light dusting of snow!!!!!!!!


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My wife and I have been together for 20 odd years, and while I may have found alternative uses for her emery boards, even thinking of using her make up is likely a step to far.

Its funny sometimes we naturally overthink things and the simple answer is well to simple that we dont even consider using it. I have a friend who is a pretty clever modeller. Did you know that the dirt under your house is generally very very dry and the top layer is actually very fine so it can be used as a modelling medium.

Always travel with some plastic zip lock bags, because when you are out and about you might find some sand or dirt that is the colour you are looking for.

I have no problems using commercial products but for some things natural stuff is ideal, the difficult part of it is finding it!!!!!!!

While I think about it wood ash is another good medium to use for weathering so again maybe see if you can get some and have a play with it.

Never be afraid to look outside the modelling shop. Craft and art shops have some neat stuff in them and its usually cheaper to purchase it from them rather than the model shop.

But alas its bed time, lost a squash 3-1 tonight, but it could have gone either way.

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And while I think about it the Tamiya plastic putty can be thinned down by using plastic cement (I like faller but thats just me)

Interesting thoughts and comments.

I use what you class as house paint/emulsion via test pots. You are right that it is quite thick, and I suppose that there is a temptation to thin it using water but this is not the way to do it. I use an acrylic paint softener (why its called softner and not thinner I have no idea). Add to much and its to thin not enough and its to thick so its a trial and error process.

I sometimes have used an air brush for bulding weathering but this is to achieve a soot type effect using black paint, one fast pass on an upward angle up towards the eves and its done. to much and it looks wrong.

I don't think there is a right or wrong way to do stuff, just a way that "you" feel comfortable with. I have watch some pretty clever people do weathering and learned different things from all of them. I use a combination of what I have seen that works for me.

Now while getting someone of a known height in the photo is useful, there is in fact a simpler idea I was once told about.

Like the zip lock bags, carry a piece of wood/metal of a defined length (1 foot or 30 cm's) paint it day glow something (helps to seel it as well) then when you see something interesting put the stick against it and a known height object is in the picture.

When I talked about house paint, I was talking about interior and not exterior.

Hi Richard,

How thin are you rolling the das. I love the stuff, just never thought to pass it through a pasta maker!!!!!!!


well Jaz I have a friend who was using his passport as a measuring unit!!!!! No harm done to the passport but holding it against a bridge with a river below.

I use a scribe to indent the DAS. Not sure what Richard uses. Not the quickest of methods but quite soothing never the less.

Richard I have used both the terracotta and the grey DAS. yes the terracotta one is rather messy. Funny you should mention the reason for shrinking, I didn't realise that I was stretching it rather than rolling it.

Now while nothing beats evergreen and such like manufacturers of small size styrene, it is worth seeing if you can find a plastic former in your area. Their ABS off cuts are great for modelling. The sheets I get are between 2-3mm thick, about 40 cm wide and 1800 long. They throw these off cuts out!!!!!!

On Friday night I was given some Mitsubishi heat pump signs that are about 6mm thick foam board. Don't know what I will use it for, but it was free and could make some useful building sides.

Onwards and upwards
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Hi Jaz,

I may have mislead you a bit. The off cuts I use are for walls etc. I do buy evergreen strips. As Richard said it is pretty hard to cut some of the shapes/sizes that you want. The strips are well priced, its the sheets of blank stock that aren't.

Now in terms of buying it, I have a local model shop that sells it so rather than looking at the measurement, I look at the plastic and determine whether it is the right size for what I want. But I use it for both HO and O scale so what is to big for one maybe to small for another.


Lets be honest, some people have done some pretty cool things with this model.

However the thread has high lighted a number of things.

There is not a right way or wrong way to build this or any kit
As a test bed the kit can be modified in a number of ways to try out different things
It is made using old technology and IMHO if was released as new today would be badly panned in the press as being to a very course scale.
real buildings have a bigger foot print than most kits
Todd Blackadder should go coach Scotland and the Crusaders will be all the better for it
Building kits and adding things proportionately the same size to them does make a difference
Sometimes there are better places to source modelling items rather than the hobby shop
Jury is out whether the English/Irish lions will beat the Wallabies*
Never be afraid to experiment, it is better to fail than not try

Maybe we should have a scratch building group build thread!!!!!!


* both teams have their fair share of Fijians, Samoans, Tongans and Kiwis in them
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