Monday, February 8, 2010

Cardboard is nice, BUT. . . .

Ah, that's much better! 3/4's of the way done, the Skillion-roofed A-4 depot, similar to Wee Waa. Of course, the doors and windows aren't all in place, the piping to the water barrels isn't in, either, and it needs to be painted. . .

As much fun as I had putting together the basic walls, floor, and roof of the LJ Models A-4 Skillion roofed cardstock kit that made an appearance in the last installment of this journal, it soon became clear that cardstock kits, for the most part, are best when supplanted with strip wood or styrene enhancements. Let's face it, cutting and gluing four layers of cardboard together to make one beefy wood stringer for the foundation is a tedious and not-too attractive alternative to just opening up the box o'plastic strip for a more suitable replacement. And you'd still have to paint it.

So the more I thought about using the LJ kit as a core for the Wee Waa station, the more I decided I'd much rather start, um, from "scratch" and use the LJ kit as a template for an easier-to-build and much heartier styrene version.

I'm quite comfortable with a pile of Evergreen plastic, a paint brush, Xacto knife and straight edge, and a small bottle of M.E.K. for solvent--in fact, I rather enjoy scratchbuilding.

The "real deal," circa 2004, mostly boarded up and with most of the platform removed. . .

I used various Evergreen sheet and strip styrene stock along with Grandt Line doors (#5058) and windows (5117--slightly larger than those on the LJ models cardstock sheets), and scratchbuilt the "out ofs" cargo room doors.

Side elevation of rear of station. .

I have several view of the front and ends of the station at Wee Waa, but none of the "backside" that faces the aisle of the layout, so I went on the assumption Wee Waa was built to the "standard" A4 plan (there are a couple of small variations on the prototype vs. the LJ Models version,largely a window on the Out Ofs end of the station and a different-shaped window for the ladies bathroom).

3/4 rear corner view, of the station end with the additional window in the Out Ofs office. . .

Platform side of the station will be, of course, at platform level, with a 2:1 slope of the earthworks towards the station's back side, where it will be supported by wooden pilings. I've yet to add the earthworks to the layout at this point.

the other rear corner (down end). . .

There's still a bit more to do before it's done of course; I need to paint it, but am unclear as to what colors it wore in the late 1970s, though a tight platform view on page 33 of Vol. 5 of Country Railway Stations NSW by Train Hobby Publications shows it wearing a very pale yellow tint, with white trim--a much lighter shade than the yellow printed on the LJ cardstock. . .an effect of bleaching in the sunlight? A photo from the same period of Narrabri on the inside back cover of the same booklet shows it wearing a more rich shade of yellow, with yellow trim work as well as a yellow-painted galvanized roof. Should the metal roof at Wee Waa be painted? Yellow? White (to reflect sunlight, seen in many stations in this book series)? Or left natural metal? And what about the interior rooms? The big windows will at least allow the interior walls to be glimpsed, and I've modeled the open frame wall exposed in the waiting room--what color should these rooms be? Photos inside the Narrabri station staff hut I took last year show the pale yellow color scheme carried indoors as well.

These color questions help delay the painting, but I don't mind too much as I'd rather have a few more structures ready for paint in the same session than setting up the airbrush for one building to paint! The building will be painted, interior walls and windows separately, then final installation will take place, wit a big of detail painting coming before placing it on the layout.

Broadside track-side view. . .the side you'll never get to see once it's installed on the layout!

Like I said, I enjoy scratchbuilding. Off the top of my head, I came up with over 25 structures for this layout I'll either have to kitbash or scratch build. . .not that there's anything wrong with that. And few of them will be cardboard.


South Coast Rail said...

Nice work. Glad you like scratch building. Maybe Joe Casula might like to add this style of station to future models he can make.
I will be looking forward to the future when your layout is presented in AMRM.

Ray P said...


Very nice bit of work. As to the rear, there might be someone around with a photo or two but most of us wouldn't have a clue so go with what you have done until that problem child turns up with his photo.

Colour is always a problem as once the pastel colours were used the standardisation seems to have gone out the window a bit.

I have just sent you a photo of Wee Waa in grey with white trim in July 1983 from the Country Stations book. Also the Narrabri 'yellow' looks to be cream with a trick of the light making it look yellow. Just add white trim and a grey unpainted iron roof (with some rust on the edges of the sheets).

Ray P

Viewliner Ltd. said...

I must say that I am enjoying this very much. Excellent!

IainS said...

I agree this is a very inspiring post most suitable for AMRM which could do with a little more "meat".

I am afraid in a different context I am one of those problem children who annoy heritage architects with things such as historical evidence.

I am sure you know that Joe is making some of the accessories from his station kits available so that will help the NSW modellers.


Gary Laker said...

Nice work indeed Blair.
As far as interior colour schemes go you can choose just about any shade of beige, tan or pastel green you like. I have seen a LOT of railway station and signal box interiors during my working life and the colours don't vary much. Furniture, benches and counters were almost always dark brown or dark green. Floors the same, some signal box floors were also painted black.