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Posted: Thu May 07, 2009 8:14 am
by Little Andi.
KEG wrote:HI,

Well, I see it grow, but I do not know how it is done. Do you actually glue single bricks to the cardboard?

Or do you work with techniques like this Swedish fellow, which I found at some Canadian forum: The building starts at page 6.

Have Fun


Hello Juergen.............

Yes in many ways it is similar to the way the Swedish fellow is producing his buildings, it's quite an established technique I believe, and although I just started to work it out for myself as I progressed - just solving problems as they arose. I realise in hindsight that what I'm doing is nothing new [not that I thought I was] and that there is a well established history of model making in card.
I must admit if those Grandt line products were in my scale and financial capabilities it really would be so much easier!! - Joking actually, the English/British style of architecture I'm using is so specific as to necessitate a scratchbuilt methodology.
I must admit I'm determined to include a planked timber frame building though as they're so much quicker to build - and they look very evocative.

And there is nothing exotic about what I do or the materials, all very much high street items.
And "Ian" [btw] Same goes for the painting - just model shop acrylics [Citadel and Lifelike colours] a few artists type watercolours -felt tip pens, inks, crayons -pencils................ seriously just anything that makes the kind of mark that I'm after!! This whole modelling architecture thing is almost as alien as Narrow Gauge railroading!!! - seriously.

Anyway...... I digress. When it comes to laying bricks it really is frighteningly simple.............


As can be seen it's just a case of methodically "building the wall" using small brick shaped card - I've always called them "chads".
What you can't see in this pic' is that I have a variety of paper and card all with different textures to them, this means I can alter the type and style of brick in order to help ring the changes depending on the type of building I'm trying to represent.

Here's a closer view.............


You can see I've offered up the front elevation of Santo's and marked where the courses of brick appear - this just to try and maintain a little integrity in trying to complete the illusion of a hard and heavy structure.
Smearing a little adhesive over about three to four courses it's jut a simple task of spearing the chads and laying them in an orderly fashion. You can get as involved as you want in rendering the "bricklaying" as authentically as you please, but a simple "common" bond serves me well.
The grey pillar to the left will be faced with brick and act as the side of the porch.

Hope this helps some?

Cheers................................. Andi.

Posted: Thu May 07, 2009 8:42 am
by dieselwater
Thanks Andi,

Your pics and explinations really are very useful. As well as very inspiring :D 8)

Posted: Thu May 07, 2009 10:07 am
by Steve Bennett
Very inspirational, I want to give your methods a try, just need to find the time :roll: .

Posted: Thu May 07, 2009 1:48 pm
by Little Andi.
Well, here we are again!................And so quickly!!!! - smiling!

I'm not sure whether to apologise for posting small updates or what? But, the idea of building with card and paper seems to taken most everyone by surprise? !
So, while I'm definitely not an expert, I turned to card because;- Well because I had plenty of it around, and it didn't seem unnatural to do so. In fact it seemed a lot easier, simple to cut and assemble, plentiful - [in my case] and it glues very easily.
And, excuse me for saying so! ............but because in psychological terms it is such a humble material - there was no fear, tension, or anxiety introduced into the build which made for a very relaxing and stress free time at the bench................. imagine that, my hobby was actually fun again!!!............ No, when you think about it sheet stock is sheet stock! whether it be card, styrene, brass or aluminium.

So then, I make the smallest of excuses for breaking down this seemingly inconspicuous part of the assembly to show how simple and almost crude it is.
Here I've simply used the porch floor to assemble the two pieces as "squarely" as possible, this I've then offered up to the building for a look-see at how it feels! - notice how the corner of the building will need to be "stitched" together at final assembly.


The profile of the step supporting wall.................notice the brick pillars are run down the face of the wall giving a buttressing effect. Potentially prototypical but as much to add a little interest to that area, balancing it visually with the porch above, and also helping to "plant" the building into the ground......................


Here I've just swung the wall open to show the very basic inside, but really to illustrate the use of lapped joints [as opposed to butt] where possible in order to produce a very strong almost monoquoque structure.


And finally - a bit scruffy yet I know..............

But the steps with their dressing underway, it can't be seen too well yet but for further interest the back half has had a door inserted. The sort of place you expect to find - and need access too, the meters and utilities - could even be the coal shute............... take your pick!


A little more to come yet.......................


I hope I have your continued approval to post this as a sort of build thread - seemed a shame to waste the opportunity to use what pic's I'd already got. Plus it appears to come together quite quickly so almost like watching a "soap" - not that I do of course.

Posted: Thu May 07, 2009 3:48 pm
by foswaldy13
Little Andi. wrote:I'm not sure whether to apologise for posting small updates or what? But, the idea of building with card and paper seems to taken most everyone by surprise?

There is no need to apologize. It allows us time to digest and enjoy each step of your beautiful work.

I think I speak for most of us when I say that using card has not caught us by surprise. THere have been a number of layouts built here that have used card, and cardboard, (we even had a challenge to build a layout out of cardboard) it is simply the impressive quality and mood you have captured. Regardless of what materials you have used to make your models, they are truly outstanding pieces of work that I think all of us would be very proud to call our own.

That being said, I am enjoying seeing how you put your buildings together, as I am using printed card for the exterior of a number of the buildings on my proposed brewery layout.

Keep up the good work Andi.

Posted: Thu May 07, 2009 4:18 pm
by Little Andi.
I think I speak for most of us when I say that using card has not caught us by surprise. THere have been a number of layouts built here that have used card, and cardboard,

Hi Matt.... Et al.........

Firstly thanks very much for your kind and generous response, and secondly allow me to please state that I didn't mean to sound Presumptuous - Precocious, or Pretentious having made that "taken by surprise statement". As you more rightly said it had been "remarked" upon.

My use of the "surprised" remark was I think just a clumsy means of trying to provide myself with a justification for posting the whole thing as a sort of build thread.
I know I'm new here and I certainly don't want to blot my copybook already - so forgive my oafishness chaps - just trying a bit too hard to fit in possibly?

I shall proceed to retreat and give myself a sound thrashing..... Oo-er Missus.


Posted: Thu May 07, 2009 4:45 pm
by foswaldy13
Judging by the reactions to your work, you already do fit in. So please, keep sharing your work as you see fit.

Posted: Thu May 07, 2009 6:07 pm
by richard andrews
Gerry, you were right :D :D :D
fantastic modelling, I love it!
regards Richard

Posted: Fri May 08, 2009 11:12 am
by Thin Layman
Hi, Andi,

Really enjoying these pics - ongoing build updates are fantastic and a sort of 'soap opera' in themselves.

Particularly like the enamelled brick / tile shopfront look.

If you are looking for a plausible backstory for a Gn15 railway element to this streetscene, a scenario I played around with in my own head for a little while (before realising it was more than I could chew at the time) was a hand- or rope- operated system serving small backyards / squares / warehouses in a tight urban context, nipping in and out of gates / sheds, crossing the road at random intervals so at no point was the entire length of line (or lines) seen - I wonder if this could be operated by Bob Blackcloud's 'puppet strings' technique?

Posted: Fri May 08, 2009 1:09 pm
by John New
The last post about short lines, possibly hand or rope powered, is very relevant.

If the urban area you are basing your model on is anything like the older townscape around here there will be umpteen builders yards and other small workshop/garage type buildings that look as though they should once have been rail connected although they never were. I would say find one you like the look of from a modfelling viewpoint and model that adding in the missing siding/spur line. The advantage of doing it that way is the architectural style will fit the vernacular of where you live, therefofre making the model look right.

The snag with looking around to find an actual prototype that was rail connected, and then modelling that, is that often it isn't the right style for the rest of the model. The best anology I can think of is the Heartbeat TV series, they film some locations these days in West Yorkshire for cost reasons, the style is distinctive and totally different to that of North Yorkhire. The result is if you know both areas well the settings just don' t fit togeher properly as the architecture screams wrong at you. Doesn't spoil the plot line for most people, as they probably don't notice the totally different building stone etc., but if you do know the differences it does mar the story line. (Different from just knowing A isn't next to B even though in the filmed episode it is)

Posted: Fri May 08, 2009 5:10 pm
by Little Andi.
Matt, and John............

Again many thanks for your input - it is incredibly valuable and much appreciated, and of course not only yourselves but all and everyone that has spent time studying and responding to the burgeoning Belle Lane.

I landed here with such a clatter and a thump that I've only just begun to find my bearings. I've immersed myself totally into the archive's of the site attempting to absorb as much information and inspiration as I possibly can................. and it just - and only just! - is beginning to swim into any kind of focus.
So what I'm going to do is to post again immediately and outline my thinking properly.......................both before I arrived - and since.


Posted: Fri May 08, 2009 5:48 pm
by Little Andi.
I seem to be continually saying thanks, but they are heartfelt, and I'm so glad you've all taken an interest and continue to contribute with information and encouragement.

Right them................... This little pic' here is in fact the real reason for Belle Lane as an idea.
I had become so dis-enchanted with the direction my hobby was moving in that I was desperately searching for something a bit more than "build as fast and as shiny as you can" - I'm primarily an Automotive modeller you see.
Anyway I dreamed up this notion of building a single diorama that would act as a backdrop for a series of Dioramic episodes, and then move on - a stage set effectively. I wanted credibility and provenance, but not slavish adherence to a prototypical location - I wanted the latitude to have some fun with it.
Now this building here is one I've driven past by for many many years and it's always intrigued me - you can almost read the history and evolution in it's walls. Not wanting to tie myself down, and using this as a starting point I slowly dreamed up the back story for it..............
Originally a Bell Foundry [Hence - Belle Lane] evolving through the years as time and trade changed from a Blacksmiths to a Coachwork's then a Motor engineers and finally a village Garage.
It now resides absorbed onto the edges of a much developed Market Town, allowing me to mix Medieval and Victorian architecture - this exists around me prototypically by the way.
I'm beginning, with your help to think of this as originally being the property of the local landowner hence it's natural and undiluted rise through the years as Coachwork's etc.
Perhaps if the Big House were to have used this small railway that had been put in to take advantage of transport opportunities - to focus on this the point at which it passed the main arterial route [Road].
As the big House's influence diminished and the local area grew up and developed, this rather incongruous meeting of two era's was simply looked upon as a local eccentricity. The local bye laws meant that the railway still held a position of ascendancy and took precedence over all other transport measures - [It ran across the road and people were obliged to give way].
I can think of lots of ways of running traffic now - from the spud harvest to bank holiday "train rides" for the locals to the big House and all in between............. any further thinking on that - or means of tying it into a credible history?

I know I've been rattling on and I'm sure you can shoot holes in my little fantasy but I really want this have about it an Ealing comedy type feel - Alec Guinness will feature somewhere and it'll all be in glorious Black and White....................... I'm just getting carried away now - Sorry.


So, this is what I shall start out with, although I shall have to change it quite a bit. I certainly don't like those 60's style windows above the workshop section so they'll have to be replaced with something more sympathetic. And I need to find some more overall height, the idea of building this backdrop higher than necessary is in order to take some deep ranging shots along the frontages and yet still keep the frame filled with architecture - that's the plan any road!
So, I need to find some overall height - change the windows, and probably render the frontage in natural brick and stone - although I'm taken with the idea of showing a rough stone foundation in order to establish a greater heritage!

Hope I've shed a bit of light on all this and not made it any the muddier??

More updates to follow in a bit.


Posted: Fri May 08, 2009 7:47 pm
by gfadvance
Just signed in after a couple of weeks away from the site and came across this thread - wonderful :D , and I can see I'm going "waste" a few more hours looking at the work of the Swedish modeller.

Andi, if you have the time - you seem to be puting this all together very quickly ! can you give a quick guide to how you are producing the sash windows - are you using card for these as well ?

Thanks , and looking forward to your next posts


Posted: Fri May 08, 2009 8:39 pm
by John New
Makes sense to me. There are at least three threads on here somewhere about short lines in unexpected urban areas. If I am remembering correctly one is in Shrewsbury, another either Wells or Wallsingham and the third was on the south bank of the Tyne, possibly at Stella and to do with a clay tile works.

For your building - Main line runs to point "off set" in the foreground with a spur across the road to the locomotive shed/maintenance and repair shed. The building you show having evolved over time from the estate blacksmith and carpenters mechanical workshop for the estate's ploughs, carts, horse gins, grinding equipment etc., into a fitters shop. left hand door has the rail spur the right hand set of double doors for carts, cars, tractors etc. You could even add an out of use example of one of those old fashioned petrol pumps that swung out over the road on a sort of triangular cantilevered gantry.

Posted: Fri May 08, 2009 9:36 pm
by greengiant
Just caught up with this thread, some nice stuff going on, makes a change from little sheds and huts, keep it coming.


Posted: Sat May 09, 2009 3:02 am
by dieselwater
An interesting building with lots of nice detail. I can see how it has inspired your thinking for this project. There's a lot that this building can do to incorporate a railway. Linking it to the "big house" is a great idea 8)

Really enjoying your thread. Your buildings have really inspired me, thanks :D

Posted: Sat May 09, 2009 4:10 am
by Rockley Bottom
Great step by step imstructions and first class work
Thanks for the posting

Posted: Sat May 09, 2009 7:49 am
by Little Andi.
gfadvance wrote:
Andi, if you have the time - you seem to be puting this all together very quickly ! can you give a quick guide to how you are producing the sash windows - are you using card for these as well ?


Gordon - Hello.......

Right, yes - but..................

Allow me to explain, this is all coming together so quickly because I'm working in front of myself here. That is the pic's are just "drive by shots" that I took as I built this several months ago now, and I'm just posting in sequence in order to bring everyone up to speed on what I'm trying to do - and hoping if anyone figures it out they'll explain it to me!!

So to answer your question;- Yes the sashes are made of card [pretty much].......... but I haven't a build sequence to post immediately. However I have found an old scrap one that I'll post the front and back of [Just give me a short while to get that organised] and the next time I have to create a Sash I'll post a more specific build sequence on that alone.

Hang on a tic'................................



Crikey that took longer than I thought it was going too!

Anyhow............... Here's a couple of pic's that show the front and the back, it's all card except for the slim glazing bar centre of middle pane - this is a 1mm sliver of hard balsa - I'll explain better when I post a build item on the job itself.
I'm hoping - in fact I'm sure that by reading the joint lines you will quickly be able to see how it's put together - really easy, it's just a load of butt joints............ oh on the front the sash side bar details are a bit of scrap balsa just because it was the first material to hand and it works so easily.

I know this is really rough looking, and nowhere near to the standard of stuff I've been seeing - but I have to constantly remind myself that this is just a stage set and will probably never be seen in focus properly - it just has to look believable in the background. Hence the working scale of 1mm = 1inch. This gives an accurate scale of 1/25.4 - But this gives me a touch of forced perspective............ and it makes measuring and gauging material so much easier!!! - I'm all for that nowadays.

Hope this suffices for the mo'?


Ps........... if you give the job a painted wash of thinned "Wilkco" lightweight filler it then sands up to a pretty smooth finish.

Posted: Sat May 09, 2009 9:32 am
by gfadvance

thanks for taking the time to show the technique on the Sash Window - think I've grasped it.

Clever the way you have reversed the in and out aspect of the sash by adding card at the back and now that I understand you are using balsa for the bottom "curvy bits" it makes sense - wondered how you were shaping these if you had been using card. It certainly looks the part when in place and painted up :D

More posts please


Posted: Sat May 09, 2009 10:50 am
by Little Andi.
You're most welcome Gordon............... only glad I could help in some way. I will remember to post a more detailed build item next time I have to produce a Sash.
I have thought about making these in styrene and then trying to cast them but every one I want is different to another at the minute and I don't want to subject myself to the temptation of idleness and end up making all my windows the same in every building. Plus I kind of enjoy the eclectic nature of what it is I'm attempting!!!

Well here's where we left off............. so just a quick reminder.................


And without much further ado a timely update just to show the steps finished and pretty much fully dressed. I will take the opportunity in this instance to fully finish the steps because the side is pretty much a stand alone area that will accommodate any small discrepancy's in finish colour or tone - thus making it one less area to fret over and possibly damage when the whole is built as a unit. These things I'm discovering do turn out to be pretty robust, but no point chancing your arm if you don't have to!........................


And just a touch more distant.......................


Right then........... on to the porch, and then I can see about dressing the windows etc before I button it all up.

Later cheps................. Andi.

Posted: Sat May 09, 2009 7:28 pm
by Rockley Bottom
How did you produce the lettering on the window :?: The effect is great and adds to the total effect.

Posted: Sun May 10, 2009 10:15 am
by Little Andi.

You're right - it does look very effective!! Unfortunately it's nothing to do with me - I'm smiling.

I had to look back through the pic's to see what you might be referring too, and laughed [sorry] when I spotted it, because it does look so darned clever. Unfortunately I can't claim any credit for it, it is simply the way everything has lined up and what we can see is the printing on the back of the card lined up perfectly within the window frame................... a really easy mistake to make when you see it for what it is!

For those that are interested the card I'm using here is some very old CS10 - or London Board, any old salts from the advertising industry will recognise it - it's a chalk faced board that used to be used for illustrative purposes before the advent of the computer.
It's just a perfect 2mm thick [2 inches remember] and it's very stable, takes glue and adhesive particularly well and is I guess mainly - just lovely to use!! [don't judge me too harshly on that last statement.]!

Laters.............. Andi.

Posted: Sun May 10, 2009 10:26 am
by Little Andi.
I do apologise if you're all feeling a bit bombarded by this thread being presented in accelerated real time - but as mentioned I'm just trying to get it all brought up to the present. But seeing as I'm coming at it from such an alien angle? To include as much of my thinking as possible.

The pillar and framework for the Porch then;- I'm still debating at this point whether to keep this affair open like a pergola type arrangement, or roof it with slate or glass?? Never the less we're onto the home straight with this particular project now.

Here you go.......................From a passing double decker.............


And pretty much how you would approach it from the pavement...............


More in a bit....................... Andi.

Posted: Sun May 10, 2009 10:35 am
by Willow Creek Traction
Little Andi. wrote:to keep this affair open like a pergola type arrangement, or roof it with slate or glass??

If it were my place, glass would be it - keeps the rain and snow off the door; and on sunny days makes interesting light and shadow patterns.

Posted: Sun May 10, 2009 4:27 pm
by Rockley Bottom
Oh dear :oops: :oops: I should have have looked a little closer :!:
After all the board I used over the years the penny still did not drop.
I have some ink jet transparencies which I will try as the typical etched and diamond ground windows if I ever make a 1930's public house.
I think it will need putting between two sheets of thicker plastic to keep it flat
Any way, well done with the modelling a first class "how to do it" example.