Having finally found some time to start some card modelling and following on from my post earlier to build this covered bridge (Punt da Rueun) mockup. Doing something physical, well almost physical helped by the fact that finally there is a working printer in the house finally. I have lost count of how many inkjet printers I have brought only to chuck later due to the ink having dried to almost carboniferous qualities, don’t get me started on what I think of printer manufacturing companies.. But now with the wonders of laser printing technologies I can start cranking out all manor of printed material. I have been working on the plan for Punt da Rueun using the measurements I gleaned from the web to make the initial calculations to build this covered bridge. I am currently working on the principle that this is a test run for a project to try out a build using basswood, which is something I have never done. Though I remember those dim distant days of gluing balsa wood plane kits together. But I need to work up to that and what better way than to start off with card. I have a ton of it and it is forgiving when you get things wrong. I have no shortage of the medium as I have inherited a life time supply. It is mainly mount card which comes in at around three to five millimetres which is a bit on the think side but gives plenty of rigidity, unlike the cereal packets that i normally use.
I decided to keep this simple and to just get started and to also test out my very rusty build skills. There are many ways to build with card and I really needed to remember how I use to navigate the process of scratch building. Getting a kit takes out the need to think through construction. It’s all there and done for you, all you have to do is make sure the list of parts fit. But working from nothing but a plan makes you think about the way that things are going to join together. This is part of the thrill to me and by doing I can start to see where I got it right and where can improve. Nowadays with the advent of lasers and CNC manufacturing and I use these in terms of cottage modelling it takes a lot of this process out of the build as it can be with the click of a button manipulated and calculated without so much as a blink of an eye. I’m certainly not against it but I personally enjoy the mental gymnastics to make it all fit together.
I took the drawings and spent some time on my computer creating the vector graphics needed to print out the templates to stick on the sides of the card super structure. As I said this was only ever going to be a simplistic dry run for the “real” build. But even at this early stage I realised that the prototypical length of the bridge was going to be problematic due to it not fitting on a single sheet of A4 paper. I guess I could have gone down the route of multiple pages but the thought of messing around with registration markings and the like. So I shortened the bridge by about 15% in order to squeeze it in. Even on the printout it is a pretty commanding structure and my initial reaction was I have got this wrong. Is it really that big? Popping upstairs to grab a loco I checked the scales of both it and the bridge and I was about spot on. Then came a frenzy of slashing away on a Swann & Morton 10A blade to produce two sides and two end. As you might have gathered this took a tad longer than fifteen minutes, but has finally got the stone, orange, cheese or snowball rolling down the hill. Next up will be attaching the roof and then getting a feel for the colour. This is to be achieved via the medium of acrylic paints and again I’m a bit rusty on the brush dabbling skills.
I took the time to make some notes as I went through the build and one of the things that became apparent is that I need a smaller cutting ruler I thought I had one. Of course if I get one I’ll find another three that had temporarily been mislaid and also a mini engineers square would be handy. This brings me onto the elephant in the room that is Warley. It would be and opportune time to get some needed tools and to see some pretty good layouts and also get to talk to someone about Nm9, but… it’s a bit of a trek and not to mention considerable cost for visiting a model railway show.. BUT! we’ll see later in the week as to whether I take a trip to the NEC
Until next time.. on “when I build this covered bridge”