Sunday 31 July 2011

Let’s make a start………..

OH MY GOD!!! Where do I start???


It’s been that long since I have been in the loft, I forgot just how untidy it was. The problem is that everything just gets put in the loft and forgot about. I am as much to blame, if not more so, as anyone because I’ll say “just put it in the loft and I’ll sort it later”. Well later never comes. Natalie our daughter likes to use the loft as a sound studio, as she can set up all her PA equipment and leave it in situ.


Well I’m afraid it is all going to change. From now on I am reclaiming my domain!!! (Until told otherwise by Jak) The space was first created for Jak as a craft room, but as we can’t fit proper staircase in, we have to just use a loft ladder. This proved too much for Jak, so we converted a bedroom into her craft room when our other Daughter Lauren moved out. This meant that I had the loft all to myself.


I built a sturdy table, custom made to suit the space and my height so that I don’t have to bend down to work on it. Like in said in a previous post, I filled the space with as much track as possible not once thinking of buildings or scenery. Now that I have found Scalescenes and have become addicted to building the models, I’m afraid all the track is going to have to come up and I’m going to start again.

Well I went up this morning and got set to shifting and cleaning. I have to tell you we could start a branch of Mothercare with all the stuff we have belonging to our Grandson Jack. Luckily enough the table is quite high and I can still store all of it under there.

Two hours later and I have my space back…….



The next step is to lift all of the track and have a blank canvas back. This I hope will be done tomorrow night (Monday). I only have two nights during the week I can work up there Monday and Wednesday, as I have to attend the Fire Station on a Tuesday night for drills, Thursday night I teach the Young Fire Fighters at the station and on Fridays I have to go and have a pint or two (because it is the law).


So, hopefully I might have a progress report for you on Wednesday.

Until next time……


Sunday 24 July 2011

Cargo Ship…..

Well here it is then. My pride and joy.

I have taken so much pride in building this ship, I’m sure Jak is sick to the back teeth of looking at it. At every stage of the build I would say “ Oh my goodness look at this, it’s so authentic, it looks so real” . It was a long wait for this to be released by scalescenes and I was checking the website daily, just so I wouldn’t miss the release.

Along with being a Fire Fighter I work at the local port here at Seaham. So when I found out there was going to be a ship to build, I just had to have it. Although my layout has nowhere to put a ship, I think there might be very soon. One, because I intend to totally start again with my layout and two, scalescenes just happen to do a dockside wall. So I think there has to be a quayside scene.

We have an old sea dog of a Pilot here at Seaham, who brings the ships into the port. I will not disclose just how old he is but, he could have retired seven or eight years ago. But the sea is in his blood and he just can’t let go. When I showed him the plans of the ship, I had to ask him for an authentic name to proudly emblazed on the bow. He came up with the “ IBERIAN TRADER” as this was a vessel that frequented our port in years gone by.

I don’t want to go on about how easy it was to build, because it wasn’t. But i can’t lie to you, I enjoyed every sore fingered moment! To see it grow from the keel to the end result was very satisfying.

Right here it is then, in all its glory, all two foot of it…….


Now a few close up shots……


The only parts that are not paper or card believe it or not are, the masts, which are BBQ skewers and a cocktail stick. The chain for the anchor, which is a £1.49 necklace from a local super market painted black.The hand rails on the stairs, a bit of florists wire and drums on the windlass motor, used to haul up the anchor,these were made out of dowel pegs which I turned down to shape with an improvised lathe (my electric drill)……


Even the lights are made out of paper…..


It even has authentic hatch board covers. These I have been told were called “dominoes” by the Merchant Seamen, because they looked like dominoes all lined up…….


The detail inside the Bridge is brilliant. It has a map desk with it’s navigation maps all laid out.

The Ships wheel and all of the instruments and dials, but unfortunately I have no photo’s and you can’t see in….


The stern of the ship is so busy, I love it, and yes the life boats lifeboats and davits are card and paper…..



And finally a shot of the Forecastle…..


There are a couple of little jobs I have to do to finish it off like handrails and the like, but I just had to show it to you now.

I hope that you have enjoyed these pictures of my previous builds. From now on I intend to try and show you how these models go together and all of the fine detail that is inside, that you never see.

I am also going to pull my layout to bits and totally start again, so you can follow me on my journey of making Wynyard Lane (and dock).

Until next time


Saturday 23 July 2011

Large Station Building….

Here it is then, a grand station terminus for Wynyard Lane.

As with the previous build, the Church, this build is modular. It has many of the same elements of construction as many of my past models like the row of houses and the shops. So it wasn’t to daunting as it first looked. Plus my confidence with the scalescenes kits was growing with every project. Saying that, it has a couple of fiddly little tasks for a man with fingers like my sausages. This model would have been a brilliant step by step build to show you as there was so many different parts that came together to make one huge structure but alas, I didn’t take any pictures of the process. I intend to make a step by step record for all future builds as I want to show the process of the model coming together.

This is the first section. The main entrance..…


Then comes the side entrance and the main roof over the platforms. As you can see I have had to take the main entrance of its steps because I don’t have a platform built yet to raise the roof to the same level. The cupola was a bit of a fiddly build for my fingers,but I’m pleased I persevered because it sets the tower off, and at some point I think there may just have to be a flag pole up there….


Next is a great shot of the inside of the station roof and the support trusses…..


Like I said before it is hard to believe that the card is no thicker than a cereal box but, there may be several layers stuck together to give structural support in certain elements…..


And finally a close up shot at some of the fine detail I have begun to expect from these scalescenes kits



Until next time when I will show you my pride and joy, the Cargo Ship



Thursday 21 July 2011

Ride on a Footplate at Threlkeld

I just had to show you this.

Many years ago when I first started work, I worked in a timber yard called Armstrong & Addison's at the North Dock at Roker which had a selection of steam cranes. After a few years of working there I had the the opportunity to learn to drive them. This, at the time was no big deal because as a lad in my early 20's it was just a job driving these old relics. How wrong could I have been. Once you have driven a steam engine you are hooked. You learn to watch it, listen to it,smell it and even feel it.

The cranes that they had were two Steam Scotch Derricks, one with a 100ft jib the other with a 120ft jib and a couple of travelling Steam Cranes on a railway. The manufacturers of the two travelling cranes escape me now.

There was nothing better than getting to work two hours before everyone else to set the fire away and get up a head of steam. Listening, watching and feeling the boiler come to life is some what hypnotising. Unless you have actually done it, I don't suppose you could understand.

Sadly, I only worked there for about seven years then I was made redundant. The company only remained there for about another ten years, then the site was flattened to make way for a trendy new marina village.

However, the cranes unbeknown to me were saved, and only by chance and thanks to a work colleague plus a lot of trawling of the internet, we found out who had bought the two Scotch Derricks.

They were bought for salvage by a chap at Threlkeld Mining Museum in the Lake District just outside of Keswick.

I contacted Trelkeld a couple of weeks ago and asked whether or not he did have the two cranes. Well, I was like the old chap that found the copy of "Fly Fishing" by JR Hartley when he told me that he did have them.

Unfortunately my excitement was short lived as he then told me that they had been beyond repair, as the years of sitting on the dockside in the salt air had taken it's toll. He told me that he still had them but they were just lying there.

As you might know Jak and I are on a short break in the Lake District, so, I promise this was not planed, I just had to visit Threlkeld.

I knew there was no chance I was going to see them working again but I just wanted to see their final resting place (sad I know but it had to be done). When I arrived at Threlkeld I soon found the chap I had talk to on the phone. It turns out that he was the owner, a friendly chap called Ian Hartland.

After I had explained who I was and where I'd come from he explained that the two cranes were not there but rather at an another site a short distance away. There was no way I was going to see the cranes but.......

To say that I got a treat was a under statement. He had a small loco in the engine shed under steam and ready to go. The smell and sounds took me straight back. He informed me that he was about to take the loco "Sir Tom" with its carriages on its tour of the quarry and would I like to come along. I agreed to take the ride and went to join the rest of the passengers and then to my suprise he offered me a place on the footplate.

Well all I can say is Thank You very much Ian. I might not of seen what I went to see, but I came away a very happy chap with a miriad of memories revived.

Until next time... Chris.H

Model Village Church….

This was the most challenging build I had undertaken at this stage. It was quite a lot bigger than anything I had previously built. But it was not as hard as I first thought, as most of the church was built in smaller sections which then later joined together. Once again the interior detail is incredible, but on this build I managed to build the roof so that you can lift it off the church to see inside.

As you can see it even has roof trusses…..


It’s hard to believe these models are built out of card no thicker than a cereal box. John Wiffen the designer at scalescenes leaves no stone unturned when it comes to detail, you can even read which Hymn they will be singing. The windows are printed onto acetate and are so finely detailed, they just had to have light shinning through.


My work space, as kindly donated by Jak, along with a lot of her craft tools. Those Promarkers come in so handy for colouring in raw edges. (Don’t tell her, She will kill me). You can see behind the church, the downloaded sheets which are then mounted onto the card ready to be cut out. I personally printout my sheets onto A4 address labels as I find it makes so easy to fix the sheets to the cards that way. I find I get a lot of air bubbles with glue and a glue stick is just too fiddly.There is no fancy di-cut with these models and I’m afraid to say, I have cutter-outs finger!  



Once again I could not resist wiring the church up and adding some light to the interior.



One last one to show you, and that is of the detail on the outside as well.


Right that’s it for this build. I’m getting excited now, because I have only one more build to show you, which is a Large Station Building, then I can show you my last project that I have finished, which was a Cargo Ship . You don’t want to miss that one.


Until next time…….



Wednesday 20 July 2011

Corner Pub and Shops….

This was the next build that I attempted, which was the Corner Pub that is now connected to the Row of Shops. The pictures for these builds are further down the page.

At this point in time I was now getting confident in using the Scalescenes model kits, so now I could get artistic!

I work with a lad who is a very talented scratch builder (not somebody with an itchy problem, but someone who builds models from scratch with no plans or instructions). He started to put ideas in my head about lighting and effects. Well this just opened a whole new world of ideas for me!! I wanted sorry, needed something to be on fire. Being a fire fighter I think I am a bit of a secret pyromaniac at heart. I then set about trawling Ebay for ways that I could achieve the desired effect. This was found on a dolls house site selling a candle flicker effect circuit board, brilliant. At first it was going to be the Pub that was on fire but this proved to be a bit of a problem, because the workings for the flicker effect board which is about 1.5 inches square, was just a little to big to hide in the Pub.

So, once I had built the Row of Shops I had the perfect location for the fire. It had a fish shop which just had to be going like the clappers!! It also had loads of room in the rest of the shops roofs to hide the circuit board. I also took artistic licence and cut away the roof of the fish shop to make it look as if the fire had actually broken through. I think that you might agree I achieved the desired effect.

It goes without saying that the detail inside these shops and pub are fantastic. The detail even goes as far as washing machines in launderette, magazine racks in the newsagents, fryers and price lists in the fish shop and believe it or not, sides of beef in the butchers!!

I hope you are enjoying this journey with me, as I am enjoying sharing it with you.

Until next time…..



Monday 18 July 2011

Terraced Houses…..

This was the next project after the Country Pub. I have only built one row at the moment, but I think it may be one of many! Once again this was from the scalescenes website. The attention to detail in these model downloads is outstanding even the interior detail is incredible and you can’t even see that when you are finished, but you know it is there . If you have not already checked out the website please do, you will be well impressed. These downloads come in both N gauge or 00 gauge model formats and the instructions are so easy to follow, even I can follow them!!

Front view….


Rear view….


……and some close-up detail.


As you can see the detail in the roof is even down to individual rows of slates. I only wish that I had taken some pictures of the interior, as it has fire places,doors,carpets and rugs.It even has pictures hung on the walls. The next time I build a row I will take plenty of pictures during the build.

Until tomorrow…..


Sunday 17 July 2011

Completed Builds…….

Here as promised is a few pictures of some of my previous projects.

This first one was the first build that I classed as a proper build. It was the Country Pub. I had built a couple of simple projects previous, but the Pub was undertaken with a little trepidation. So I set out my steel rule, put a new blade in my Stanley Knife, polished my glasses and set to.

After a lot of head scratching I finally made progress…..


Pub Inside

and out.

Pub Outside

The only thing I have regretted during these builds is that I did not heed Jak’s advice and take loads of pictures of the build process. This I will rectify when I start my next project (I promise)

The completed Country pub…..




and finally…..


Jak and I are going to the lake district tomorrow on holiday, but I have loaded all my photos onto my laptop so I will post the next project tomorrow night.

Until next time.


Saturday 16 July 2011

Well, here we go then…….

OK, I want to tell you how it all got started

Let’s start at the beginning. About 15years ago, Jak’s Father Jack got himself a train set. I was so jealous as I had wanted one for years, but with two girls it was never going to happen. It was just a table top layout, but it was his pride and joy. He built it up until he couldn’t go any further with it. I then decided that I had to get my own layout but i didn’t want a table top so I just had to convert the loft!!

To cut a very long story short I converted the loft and I had a massive blank canvas to work with. I made the big mistake as a lot of naive model enthusiast's do and I have filled the said blank canvas with far too much track and too many trains!! I can’t believe I have no room for scenery or any buildings.

So after a long talk with a work colleague and fellow model maker I have decided to pull up all the track and start again.

The problem started when I found the scalescenes website, and now I am hooked. I think that Wynyard Lane is going to be made up of more buildings and scenery than track and trains. I have built so many buildings including a Country Pub, a Row of Terraced Houses, a Row of Shops, a Church and a Large Station.I have even built a ship believe it or not. Luckily scalescenes do a dock side,so that will have to be incorporated into the layout somehow.

You have seen some of the pictures of my work, and I intend to publish all of the projects in the next few days.

Once I have caught up with that I intend to post regularly so that you can watch the progress with Wynyard Lane.

So here we go, lets enjoy the ride together.

Till the next time.


Saturday 9 July 2011

First Makes

Here it is then (after a lot of ribbing from Jak) my nearly finnished Country Fire Station for my model train set I have in the loft.

As you can see it is a very busy drill session, or it will be once I get all the figures glued into position.

The scale of the scene (if anyone is interested) is 1/76th, and stands a grand 6 1/2'' high.

The paving stone surround is formed from individual paving stones, not appreciated by jak when I had to use her eyebrow tweezers to lay them in place. Where the wall meets the paving I added grass as if it was growing in the damp of the wall. A couple of bushes were added to the entrance of the station and a red telephone box on the outside of the wall.

Front view of the station, you can just about see the airbrushing around the wall buttress's.

All of the perimiter walls were made seperate out of a sheet of acrylic, then wrapped in brickwork that I downloaded onto a A4 label sheet and stuck it to the acrylic.

The fireman is adjusting the wheeled escape (big ladder) from the AEC Regent Mark3 engine.

You can see the grass around the base of the wall I built.

Phase 2

Now to show you all my crafting space, it is now a HIS & HERS zone, this was took while I was in the process of making a Railway Siding Shed.

I found a nifty little site called ScaleScenes it has some free downloads so that you can make your own models.

Work in progress, I have all the tools, glue, cocktail stick, knife, steel ruler, cutting mat, I just know you will be green with envy at my craft tools.

Side view of the railway siding shed

Front view of the railway siding shed, the door is a working sliding door.

For a man with hands like shovels and fingers the size of pork sausages I don't think I did too badly, what do you think?