Wednesday 31 August 2011

Finished at last……

And not a moment to spare. It’s gone to the wire, but it’s finished now. I might have complained a lot about building these shops but I’m pleased I have built them. It has given me a chance to take a trip down memory lane. The name of the shops are a mixture of semi modern shops local to where I live, and shops from my childhood. I had great fun trying to remember those obscure shop names from the past. 


Again, I’m blown away by the detail in this kit from scalescenes. Calverts is still my favourite shop, even though it took me the longest due to all the fine cutting out.




I even had a bit of fun with one of my old buses…..


There is a story about this bus. Many moons ago in my dark and distant past, I used to be a bus driver and I actually drove this bus. It’s number was 3662. The service it is on is the 220 between Sunderland and Durham, and I often drove this route. During my time as a driver I started to collect Corgi Buses. Well my collection grew and grew, and before I knew it I had about 60 to 70. I had them displayed in two display cabinets on the living room wall. But this was getting to be to much. All of the dusting and cleaning. So when my Great Nephew Dylan came along, I decided to give them away to him. Every time Dylan came to visit he would be asked if he wanted a bus to take home. Well, I don’t think there was one occasion he didn’t leave with a hand full. Fortunately he has kept them at his Nanas, and subsequently been played with by not just Dylan, but my Grandson Jack and my other Great Nephew Alfie. I’m pleased they are not behind glass anymore, but been played with by happy young playful Boys.

So what became of 3662?

I had to keep it for myself. I couldn’t bring myself to part with it, even to my Grandson Jack. Maybe one day.

Until next time…….


Sunday 28 August 2011

Shops & Façades

Well that’s the Shop Fronts and Façades done. All of the fine detail for the shops are done and in place. All I’ve got to do is build the roofs. Although that might not be as easy as I think, as a couple of the roofs have dormer windows.



This build has taken longer than I had expected and I’m panicking now that I might not have it finished for the Bowburn Show next Sunday.  I chose the Low Relief Shops as I thought that the Low Relief bit meant only half the job, how wrong I’ve been! It might have been OK if it was one shop, but no I had to build five!!


I had to choose “Doggarts” for one of the shops at Wynyard Lane, because it holds a special place in my upbringing. For you see Doggarts was a department store here in Seaham were I’ve lived all my life. It used to fascinate me as a child when my Mother would pay for her goods, the shop assistant would take her money and deposit it in a capsule and put it in a vacuum tube and off it would go to the cash office. Minutes later it would return with the receipt and change in it. Brilliant. But maybe the best part of the Doggarts tradition was an old local saying. If you didn’t believe that someone wouldn’t do something or say something, you would say “If you do that, I’ll show my ar&e in Doggarts window! I don’t know if anybody actually did, but I’d like to think someone did.

Anyway I digress, here is the Shops and the Façades awaiting their roofs…..


These are the roofs under construction. It is a little fiddly, but the effect is brilliant. just like a tiled roof…..


With the roofs in place it is definitely coming together….


As you can see, I’ve even managed to make the dormer windows……


Only the chimney stacks to make and hopefully it will be finished for Bowburn.

Until next time……


Wednesday 24 August 2011

Testing, Testing, 1…2…3

Just posting this post to check that it works, as I am sending from a different computer.Img_7062

Until next time…….


Sunday 21 August 2011

Coming Together…….

Yes it’s coming together nicely, the Low Relief High Street I’m trying to get built for the Bowburn Model Fair. I’ve had to sacrifice a lot of time to try to get this far. Unfortunately in trying to go as fast as I can, I’ve made a couple of school boy errors! I think I need take my time because it’s taking me more time to put right the mistakes. As I always say the detail in this scalescenes kit is incredible. Unfortunately this detail that I love normally is slowing me down. But it has to be done.

I have decided that the three smaller shops will be a Hardware Shop “Olivers”, a Grocery Shop “Walter Wilsons” and an Electrical Shop “Calverts”. These shops are local to the area where I live. Walter Wilsons is no more, but it will live on at Wynyard Lane.

As you can see, each shop will be fully fitted-out.


When the Shop Fronts get teamed with the façades, I know it is coming together.


I’ve set to today and made, believe it or not, televisions, washing machine and cooker for Calverts Electrical Shop. Each one of the squares on the cutting mat is only 1/4 of an inch, I must be mental.


Even though you will not see inside the shop unless you get up close and personal with it, I think it’s all in the detail.


Well this is where I’m up to.


Only two more shop fronts to make, then I can start to put the roofs on.

Until next time………


Wednesday 17 August 2011

Low Relief High Street…….

Sorry it’s been so long since I’ve posted, but I’ve been very busy at work, and the fire station seems to be taking more and more of my time!

Part one. Building the basics.

I’ve started to prepare for the first of two shows. I’ve decided to build the Low Relief High Street (T005) from scalescenes . This is the first low relief project I have done. For those of you that may not know, low relief is building only the front or the back of the building because you don’t see behind, and is usually  located at the edge of the layout.

It’s been a  straight forward start to the build, as it is modular and I have started builds like this before.


The individual elements fit together to form the High Street. There are five shops in total, three small shops and two larger shops. I haven’t decided what the three smaller shops are to be yet, but the two larger ones are to be a Department Store and the other a Bank.


As I have said before, the reason I like these kits is the detail. From a washed out and faded gable end…..


….to interior doors and drain pipes.


Now that main section of the High Street is together, I can set to and make the façades. I must admit that this is one of the parts of the project that really find rewarding. The character of the build grows from hear. I had eight different façades to choose from and this is three I choose for the smaller buildings.


Some fiddly cutting out required, but the results speak for themselves….


As you can see from the previous picture there is some quite small detail, and as I have said previously I have fingers like “Pork Sausages” but this is where my tweezers come into play…..


That all I have to show you for now, as I need to get on and get this finished for the first of the two shows. I promise it will not be as long until the next time……


Sunday 7 August 2011

Exhibition Time…….

Oh dear it’s happened, I have been asked to show my models at a Model Exhibition.

It all started while sitting at work a couple of weeks ago when Andrew, my work colleague, had a visit from Stan Walton, one of his friends who organizers local model fairs  I had told him a while ago that I was building some buildings for my layout. He, like Andrew is a very talented model builder. He said he would like to see some of my work, so I showed him some photos I had on He asked me if I’d like to do a display at the N.E.D.C.C.FAIR (North East Diecast Collectors Club) at Chester le Street on October 15th.

Well after a lot of thinking about it,and remember I’ve only been building models for about nine months, I thought what the heck lets do it, and, “in for a penny in for a pound” why don’t I build something while I’m there. So I thought I had loads of time to prepare since the show is not until mid October. Not likely! Stan only turned up at work on Wednesday afternoon, and he’s asked me to do another show on September 4th at Bowburn Toy & Train Collectors Fair. What have I let myself in for.

I have been frantically trying to work out what I need building next for Wynyard Lane. After all, I don’t want to build something that I’ve already built. So I’ve been off to visit scalescenes and I was “like a kid in a sweet shop” not knowing what to pick, because there is so much to choose from.

After a lot of head scratching I think I’ve decided to show the completed models I’ve already made, and make up a couple of partly built models so that you can see the incredible detail inside. After all you don’t normally see inside.

Unfortunately, all the plans I had for the loft in the next couple of months are going to have to go on the back burner for now, as I just haven’t got the time to do build models and put the layout back together. I suppose it’s taken this long so far, a couple of  more months is not going to hurt.

On the plus side, I can build as many models as I can from now until the show, and show you them as I build them here on my blog.

Until next time……..


Thursday 4 August 2011

Stage One, The Blank Canvas……..

Well here it is at long last the blank canvas.

I set to and dismantled the original layout. I must admit it took a little longer than I had expected. I thought it would be better to pack away all of my Loco’s and Rolling Stock in their original boxes for safety, and after all they might be there for a long time. As I was putting away the Loco’s I got a pleasant surprise. To my amazement I found eight, yes eight, brand new, still wrapped in tissue paper, Pullman Coaches. These had been put away in a box when I first built the layout, as I had no room for them at the time. What a find!!

The blank base board. I forgot how big it was……



The size of it is basically a ten foot square “L” shape. I think I may be taking out shares in scalescenes in order to fill up all of the space. But first things first, I’m going to completely paint the walls and the ceiling while there it nothing on the board to splash paint on (makes sense I suppose).

After achieving my goal of clearing the board, the wheel fell off. After I finished work tonight, I invited my work colleague Andrew, the scratch builder I told you about in an earlier post, to visit. He only came to have a look at the space I had to build on, well, it happened.


What would that look like there? Would that look right there? Will that fit here? and so on. So after two hours I had lost my blank canvas again.


Don’t worry there hadn’t been a really high tide and there was an accident with the ship. It just happened to be placed on the board to make sure the scale was right.


We placed track, discussed positions for buildings and generally had an impromptu brainstorming session. I think I have decided to have a raised level at the back with a fiddle yard underneath. This makes sense because I can create a busy High Street and a residential road up there, while hiding all of the rolling stock underneath.


I’m also going to partially fill in the corner so I can create a working dock scene complete with a quayside and dock. So I’ve set to and cleared all the buildings out of the way again, so, at the weekend I can paint the walls and ceiling, build the upper level and extend the corner ready for the dock. Sorted.

Until next time…….