fighting procrastination fifteen minutes at a time

Tag: architectural

It’s all in a name

I’m crawling along with this project and have been told to scrap it and just move to the final build and be done with it. Then I can move onto the layout build, i.e the fun stuff. However, I feel if I don’t actually finish something I will never finish anything. Ok, it maybe is boring for others but then I am doing it to improve me! So the show will go on and another Yard Office will be produced.

I am certainly learning on the job. There are some things I hadn’t thought about that stand out now that I am on the second iteration and that is about the scale at which we model. As a 2mm scale modeller I have long thought and tried to model the minutia. Stepping up to 4mm suddenly gives that bit more room to breath. I am surprised at this as I hadn’t thought it would have made such a difference to me.

It doesn’t mean I am going to abandon my first love as I really enjoy the element of the “train in the scenery”. But my eyes have been opened to the potential of the type of modelling one can do. I guess we gravitate to a scale that suits our space on the whole. I know there will be plenty of views against this, but if asked “why do you modelling the way you do?” I’m sure the answer will come back, “I feel comfortable in it”

Now I know I’m a bit of a scale tart; I like many things in many sizes. But that’s because I get a different feeling from these scales. For the time being it is on with painting roofing slates, which unbeknownst to me have names, yes actual names!

I’ll leave you with this…

Scratch build Yard Office in Brick
#133 Brick Build Yard Office

Until the next one…

Yard Office Build

#126 Yard Office Build

Back in October, I decided to get the mojo going again by building something, anything for the first layout that could propel me back to activity. I decided to start with something so simple I couldn’t really get it wrong. I can’t help but think of a Baldrick cunning plan at this point. But often the biggest hurdle to starting something is me! In my mind there are a million plans waiting to be materialised but very few of them have ever or will ever reach fruition. So the idea to get back to the modelling table popped into my head when I was browsing Peco’s website.

No bearing in mind I am predominantly a 2mm modeller I decided to build this in 4mm. This is due to a number of reasons. Partly because I started the foam board layout and I’m not sure why but I decided to base it around a Loco that was gifted to to me or swapped, I can’t quite remember now and that was a GWR Pannier Tank Loco and although I am not a Great Western modeller I have had vague leanings since a trip out to Pendon in my early years and spending hours looking at the Bridge scene. In fact I seem to remember being left there to watch the trains go by, I have no idea where the parents were, and that inevitable time to leave and not wanting to. It just seemed to me that this Loco would be at home in an urban location.

West London, off the beaten track somewhere. A little yard serving a local community, from a time when the rail network served the nation. This is partly due to my time living in London and always fancying building something from that location, where the railway is built up against just about everything. Also along with their family friend who I introduced to the joys of 2FS, had intentions of building something based around popular in the East End of London.Which was served by both the GWR, LMS and LNER. However that’s a whole other story.

So coming back to the original point of this post, and the reason to build the yard office, I settled on this as a simple structure that could be easily modified to the needs of the space that I was going to build. This building was he really there to oversee traffic in and out of the yard and to make sure no funny business went on. I haven’t messed around with the materials used. It is mainly to try out some techniques, and use in a way that gives more detail to it. I have also decided to build three iterations because I want to use different materials and techniques. I started out with the intent of using only what I had around me, this being food packaging, which is freely available. I simulated a board siding in order not to have to use a brick papers or other materials and also because I liked the look and this fitted in more to the location. The next iterations will be using that card and paper, and then I will return to the final build with the things I’ve learnt from building the previous versions and will be the one that goes on the layout.

The process of colouring was interesting. I knew from past experience with colour matching in the digital world that a lot of it is subjective to the time of day and the conditions that one is painting and also to what the viewer sees. Also I think it must’ve been decades since I last broke out paints and mixed up colours. it’s funny how wide the knowledge we have as modellers is for all the different mediums of this hobby. With the wonders of the internet one can get very detailed information on liveries etc, but in order not to get distracted and trying to achieve perfection I deliberately made myself just do it. I knew that this was purely a test and that there was no pressure for it to impress, me or others, and that freed up the progress. I think by the third one i will not only have a model I’m pleased with but will have got chops up to speed again.

I’ll leave you with a few pics from the build, and as I finish up this post I will be settling down to cutting out the next basic carcass on the way to another opportunity to learn those rusty skills.

Until next time..

Wonderings & Worksheds

Looking back at my last post I am somewhat cheered that it isn’t my usual yearly contribution. It is fascinating to look back over the last few post and see the change from going to a model railway show at the beginning of the year up until now when we are living in a post covid19 world. So much has changed in our daily lives, things that we took for granted, even in our modelling lives where our physical communities, meets, and exhibitions have been put on hold. So much of the joy of our hobby is the connections we make via many routes that have temporarily been denied us. Many more will have said similar things but I have found the isolation difficult not just because I live in a more remote location but also as I do thrive on community. But, amazingly, we live in an age where we can keep in touch with various friends and communities via the medium of video calls and although it doesn’t replace real contact it does keep one’s spirits higher at this time of isolation.

So the point of this post is to refocus my efforts as I rather went the opposite way to the received wisdom of creators. In that, as backroom/bedroom modellers were cranking out entertainment for us I was retreating under the duvet, watching these people rather than bodging away on my workbench. I’ve always been a bit contrary, like going out hiking more in winter, but this often has a downside in that I lost out on valuable modelling time. Whilst many around me were being productive I mamas battling the mojo. It seems an inherent struggle between the plans and then progress. Many plans have been made but few have been progressed beyond that. So once again I am attempting to harness the power of the productivity gurus around habit stacking and living up to my name of the fifteen minute modeller and do that very thing. In order to under-promise and over achieve I have set myself the goal to set down and this modelling desk twice a week and produce no less than fifteen minutes of the modelling effort. One of the systems I have come across that resonates is the Habit Stacking method. I.e. after supper go and sit down at the desk and do 15mins of modelling. There is also the 2-minute rule, sit down for 2 mins. If you can get yourself there your more likely to do an activity. But enough of all the woo woo stuff and back to practical steps.

But back to modelling. My plan for modelling is to build a yard shed or workman’s hut from scratch using materials around me. Cereal packet card and clear plastic from food container etc as doesn’t matter if I bodge it, I can keep churning them out if I’m not happy with the outcome. The process of iteration is interesting, one learns the pluses and pitfalls that are universal. Then to build it again using some better quality materials like the card stock. But for the moment it is an easy project to get started on and get the juices flowing again and I do also like making buildings.

Mock-up of Workman’s Shed

I also have a load of other side projects that I need to get on with for other people and one has taken an interesting turn after one of those zoom calls, which produced a whole new way of looking at building something and a very kind donation of materials. More on this as I progress with this.

That’s all for now.

Looking for detail.

In preparing to build layouts in my mind I like to have a clear picture of what I’m building and in order to do that what is needed is copious amounts of detail. In this day and age there is a plethora available to us modellers with access to the internet. However this doesn’t always conjure up the necessary facts, so the only way to combat that is “boots on the ground” as the military likes to say. For this factor I guess that’s why we model what’s close to us and not something halfway round the world although many do now with the help of the interwebs.

I have long been interested in the architectural aspects of layouts and the buildings on them. I think what started it off was seeing Pendon Museum and Chiltern Green at a very young formative age. I think it set me on the path of modelling the train in the landscape.

Step forward a number of years and I came into a copy of John Ahern’s Miniature Building Modelling, then it really started to grip and I started to collect more modelling books on the making of buildings. The library grew and grew then with the advent of video the collection of dvds started.

This helped with the modelling I wanted to achieve but I wasn’t happy with the final outcome. I wasn’t sure what was missing until I found the book on prototype modelling by David Jenkinson and everything changed. I could see that using a real location was how one gets realism. I have a feeling that the modellers and layouts I admired also appreciated the landscape first along with the railway and there’s plenty of examples that I can call on as evidence like Ditchling Green, Totnes and Yaxbury to name a few.

Now to the picture, not the best conditions but then it’s detail I want and not lighting effects. There’s plenty of reference around me and I also feel that a lot of the time when we are out snapping we are missing the mundane and that’s the important part for me. All the pics we take usually are pointing at something that’s attracted us like a landscape or an event but how often do we think of the things that we don’t look at. This is what I’m setting my mind to now as collecting the periphery is just as important as it was back in the mists of time. I think of the pictures from the beginning of the century and due to cost and the technology available we were lucky to have as many pics as we do. Now living in an age where the majority of us have a camera in our pocket there’s no excuse to record the minutiae.

So I’m now building my vernacular picture archive for data I’ll need to create the scene I want model in a future layout. I’m going to spend a bit of time traveling around my locale snapping away at anything that interests me. I have a bit of a thing for run down out houses and sheds and anything quirky but that’s another story.

Until next time..