Model Railway Forum banner
1 - 20 of 41 Posts

· Premium Member
Joined
·
445 Posts
Sorry, my names not Dave but it sounds like a bit of fun. It's been a while since I have built a kit. So count me in.

Stu
 

· Premium Member
Joined
·
445 Posts
Don't you just love those red "Something for you" cards that the Royal Mail leave for you. Anyway went to the local sorting office and picked up the kit this afternoon so I am ready.

Stu
 

· Premium Member
Joined
·
445 Posts
I am going to work on the principle that this is a kit build so the parts of the kit should be used in preference to replacing them with parts of a higher standard, but parts can be improved within reason. If I wanted a high quality building I wouldn't start from here. I did think it could be one of those surburban houses that had been demolished and a block of flats built in its place but that is going a bit far as well.

The choice of this particular kit is truly inspired since it is so bad that it does open up lots of possibilities for modifying and improving.

Looking at the kit I felt there were some glaring architectural errors. The house is basically a complete work of fiction. A quick look at pictures of detached houses with a built in garage showed all of them have the door in the middle of the house not at the side. I won't claim all houses have the door in the middle or someone will prove me wrong, but most do. I have attempted to come up with a plausible interior layout to match the positioning the doors and windows and have come up with this.



Now the errors really show as the staircase goes right across the kitchen window and the chimney in the side of the roof is above the staircase where there would not be a fireplace. The bathroom has two windows where it would normally have only one and the small bedroom has too much window.

I am going to blank off most of the windows in the side wall and remove the side chimney. This means that the pebbledash finish will have to go as I cannot match that on the blanking pieces. This is a good thing as the moulding is such poor quality that there are distortions where the corner thickening for bracing occurs. The side wall will be something like this.



I will need to reproduce a section of roof for blanking off the absent chimney. The centre chimney should really have 4 pots but that needs a bit more thinking, I may put up with the 3. The pots themselves will get some improvement.

Something will happen to the windows but I haven't decided what yet.

The front wall moulding is badly warped on my kit so I will make some sort of base for it it help pull it straight and perhaps put the odd internal wall just for bracing. I do not plan to fit lighting.

That's the plans for now. I may come up with a few more bits as I go along.

Stu
 

· Premium Member
Joined
·
445 Posts
Dave, I knew somebody would prove me wrong
but I think the key to your statement is "without the garage". The back door is as per the kit in the kitchen of my picture which given where the front door is makes sense. Anyway part of this is just to be different
. I just wanted to come up with an excuse to change things a bit.

Stu
 

· Premium Member
Joined
·
445 Posts
Progress so far.

The first thing to sort out was the windows. They are far to thick so out with the milling machine and remove 0.4mm from the front and 0.5mm from the back. It is almost impossible to clamp a part like this so a simple solution is to hold it down on double sided sticky tape.



This is a comparison of original and thinned frames. I like the frame to sit back a bit from the wall, this is about a scale 1.25inches.



The next step is to cop down the frames where I have partially blanked off the hole in the wall. I chop a bit out of the middle rather than taking an end off as it keeps the lip on the back.



A touch with a file will sort out any unevenness.

Now for the doors. I don't know how Dapol intends the doors to be fitted as they are smaller than the hole. I have made a bit of packing and a lip out of some 0.5mm thick strip to make a support which steps the door back from the wall face like the windows.



Now the door can be fitted and some 0.25mm strip used to both fill the gap and give a bit of relief. I don't think it is worth the effort of creating a door frame for a kit like this although I might if I was scratch building something. The shine is just where the glue makes the matt surface go a bit glossy. The paint will cover that up.



So I now have a set of walls. I will fit the front door when the walls are partly assembled when I can pull the warp out.



The funny colours on the left hand edge of the bottom right wall are different fillers where there was a dip in the moulding. I am currently experimenting with fillers. The top one is Deluxe Perfect Plastic Putty and the lower one is Citadel Liquid Green Stuff from Games Workshop. Their normal Green Stuff is basically their version of Milliput. The liquid one is just an air drying filler that you paint on. I will do a write up sometime when I have tried them a bit more.

Going to stop for a bit now in case someone accuses me of rushing ahead. This is a group build so we should try to stick together.

If anyone has any questions please ask. I will do my best to explain what I am doing.
Stu
 

· Premium Member
Joined
·
445 Posts
I have thought long and hard as to how or even if I should respond to the can of worms I seem to have triggered. At the risk of getting shot down here is an attempt to explain my thoughts.

This is a hobby and should be enjoyed by anyone in whatever way suits their interests from Iarnrod and his small controller (brilliant) to Jim S-W and his P4 Newstreet (beautiful) to people running sound equipped locos and everything else. I would never belittle anybody's efforts if they are happy with their work.

My interest is in making things, always has been. Whatever I make I get my satisfaction out of doing it to the best of my ability and to support that I spend a significant amount of my very limited budget on tools that I enjoy using and that make some things possible. If you look at the windows in my church tower there are 130 very precisely positioned 0.6mm dia holes forming the clover leaf patterns. I bought my machine (yes Richard its the Proxxon) specifically for that job knowing I could not do it any other way without contracting out to a company. Something I do as a last resort because I like to make all my own parts and also knowing that it would be useful for many other jobs. The machine cost about £180, less than one sound equipped loco. It is my choice to do this and as a result my layout has four locos and is plain DC on home made controllers. DCC is fantastic and I would never criticize it but its out of my price range.

From Brians comment

QUOTE (Brian Considine @ 23 Feb 2013, 20:49) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>- pity some of those capable of turning out very high quality work are not taking part & adding their expertise.

I was hoping that showing my alternative approach using techniques that many will not be familiar with would show how simple it can be to produce something a bit different.

If people are not interested in this then that's fine by me. I am happy to crawl back into my loft and continue to be a grumpy old fart (I can say that cos its true) but if people want to see how easy it can be to produce things just say and I will continue to post my progress. I just wish someone had shown me some of these methods rather than having to work most of it out for myself.

Waffle over. Now can people get on and build the kit in whatever way they want to and enjoy it. Its not a competition.

Stu
 

· Premium Member
Joined
·
445 Posts
QUOTE (KGR @ 27 Feb 2013, 08:43) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Regarding the windows, would some plasticard around the rear edge of the window openings have the same effect in making the windows recessed.?

Regards, Keith.

A good solution. some 0.25mm or 0.5mm plasticard will give a good inset and since it is of consistent thickness could be neater than trying to file or sand some off the front face.

Stu
 

· Premium Member
Joined
·
445 Posts
QUOTE (KGR @ 27 Feb 2013, 10:31) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Would it be easier to paint the windows before they are finally attached ?

Keith.

Its really a matter of personal preference and the decision I make varies with different kits.

In the case of this kit the windows are not a particularly good fit. I have put them in first as you can see in my pictures and may put some filler around the edge or I may wait and see if just painting it will fill the gap enough. Yes this makes it much more awkward to paint but you can be fairly heavy handed painting the walls and then just do the delicate bit on the frames afterwards. If you do feel that filling is necessary then you have to paint them after they are fitted. I always do the glazing as the very last thing when all painting and fitting is complete.

Hope this helps

Stu
 

· Premium Member
Joined
·
445 Posts
Finally glued a few bits together. The grey is the original kit, the white is my changes.





There are some hints as to where this is going.

Stu
 

· Premium Member
Joined
·
445 Posts
I have been thinking the same but didn't want any body accusing me of rushing ahead.

Anyway I have done a basic paint job. I am going to use this as an experiment with weathering powders as I have never used them before so this is where the fun starts. It could all go seriously downhill from here.





Stu
 

· Premium Member
Joined
·
445 Posts
Dave (LetoII)

When I decided to blank off some of the windows I realised that I would never be able to match the pebble dash finish on the walls so I filed and sanded it all off until the walls were smooth. To produce the effect of the rendering coming off I used a small chisel to cut the plastic back a small amount to represent the thickness of the render and then scribed the brick courses into the recess. The bricks are sized to match the ones on the chimney rather than real bricks so it looks consistent. For scribing the courses I ground a scraper out of a single sided razor blade as this is thinner than one made from a normal knife blade.

For the pebble surface outside the garage I used a piece of Slaters pebble walling. The base is 1mm plastic sheet and the pebble walling is just over 0.5mm thick so I milled out a section to the right depth and let it in (similar to milling the thickness of the windows). All the other paving is just scribed into the plastic sheet using a scraper ground out of a normal knife blade. All this had to be done before the walls were fixed to the base.

Stu
 

· Premium Member
Joined
·
445 Posts
You may have noticed the broken drain pipe. The one in my kit came like this so rather than repair or replace it I have fitted as broken and so I can have some fun trying to create the stains from water running down the wall.

Stu
 

· Premium Member
Joined
·
445 Posts
QUOTE (Iarnrod @ 20 Mar 2013, 08:27) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Sorry to go OT!

This is going OT in a good way. An interesting method of routing power though a building. I have a couple of questions as usual. If you stick one piece of copper tape on top of another for joins, does the glue act as an insulator or does it conduct. Also do you solder the wires to the strip before you put it in the building or after. I can see that you would get away with soldering with it stuck to card but on plastic it would melt.

Thanks

Stu
 

· Premium Member
Joined
·
445 Posts
Sarah

Yes, makes perfect sense. Your other answer about a bit of tape for insulating was equally useful.

It was just me being interested in alternative techniques. So far with most of the buildings I have put lights in I have found it adequate to just run the wires up a corner of the building where they don't show. In one case I ran it up the chimney breast and in my signal box I ran them up the inside of the stove pipe. Once they are above the top of the top floor windows they never show.

Stu
 

· Premium Member
Joined
·
445 Posts
This seems to have stalled again so I have finished off my house. As I said earlier this is my first attempt at using weathering powders and an experiment with some other bits. So have a good laugh and any comments will be treated as constructive.













Stu
 

· Premium Member
Joined
·
445 Posts
To try and answer some of the questions -

Sorry the only pictures I took are the ones shown here.

The simple one first - the net curtains are just a picture from Google - type Net curtains into the picture search. As I had no intention of lighting or detailing the inside of the house having something that totally blocks the view inside is ideal. They are just printed and spaced about 1mm behind the glazing. What doesn't show in the photos but did seem to work very well was the garage side window. I wanted it filthy so I made some very dilute sandy coloured paint (humbrol 121) and put a smeary wash over the inside, then with the brush fairly dry touched the middle of the panes, it really looks as if someone has just rubbed a patch of dust off.

Now the weathering. This really did turn out to be much easier than I thought. It is mainly done with a black powder with a bit of light brown mixed in to tone it down a bit. I initially apply the powder with a paint brush but that is not stiff enough to rub it in evenly so I used a Tamiya Weathering Sponge like this.



I have heard that makeup brushes work but I haven't tried one.

For the water stain from the drain pipe and the bottom of the garage doors I needed the colour to be much more intense so I used a paintbrush slightly wetted with a bit of white spirit. This makes the powder stick together and so is much denser. As the white spirit evaporates the edges can be feathered out with the sponge if required.

Along the bottom of the walls is some green powder but its not a great colour so I hid most of it with some green turf, might have to get a different colour.

I also used some mid grey powder in some areas just for a bit of variation. That is one of the main effects to try and get, lots of variation in shade and shape of the patches. But it is variation in shade not a rainbow of colours, There are only 4 colours for the bulk of this black, brown and grey with the bits of green around the bottom.

The window frames were done with very dilute matt black paint. This was mainly to put in the joints but a bit smeared on the frames also helps with the general griminess.

The most important thing with everything shown on this house is that there is no magic or special skill. It just needs a bit of care and patience and the willingness to give it a go. You also need to think ahead about the effect you want and what details you are going to add. As you can see the blocked up windows, the fallen off rendering (thats just made me think I should have had a pile of rendering on the ground), the paving and the doors all had to be planned before anything was constructed.

As for comments about feeling inadequate, just think that about 10 years ago I was happy making superquick kits so if I can change to this so can anybody. I wish I had found a forum like this where I could have picked up tips so if you want to ask any more questions please do. I can only say how I might do something, it doesn't mean its the best way as I still have a lot to learn.

Stu
 

· Premium Member
Joined
·
445 Posts
QUOTE (sarah @ 31 Mar 2013, 14:45) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Where is the drain for the kitchen sink?

You are of course correct and I did consider it but I was trying to do the minimum of additions to the basic kit to make it just believable and that is something that got left off. I also considered adding a TV aerial to try to indicate a date range but felt that was going a bit too far.

I would love to see other peoples builds. There were some very promising ideas at the start of the project.

Stu
 

· Premium Member
Joined
·
445 Posts
Having had it pointed out that I had left off a sink drain pipe I have been thinking of all the other things that can be seen on the outside of a house and which ones can be used to set approximate dates. This is what I have come up with so far

Balanced flue for central heating boiler - 1970s onwards
Cooker hood vent - 1980s onward
Gas and electricity meter box - don' t know this one or if they are retro fitted to old houses
Newer gas and electricity meter box set in the wall - new but I don't know when from
Ventilation bricks in cavity walls - probably too small to model
TV aerials and satellite dishes as mentioned before - considerable variation from 1930s onwards
Overhead telephone wires - impossible to model correctly so probably best left off
Soil pipes - mentioned earlier in this thread changed from external to internal but the vent still sticks out of the roof

I am sure there are many more and I am happy to have these dates corrected.

Stu
 
1 - 20 of 41 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top