Sunday, 15 January 2006

Baseboards and kit-building

Having had a stack of wood sitting in the spare room for the past week, I finally got round to constructing the basebaords yesterday afternoon. If I were more sensible I probably would have waited for a dry day and done the work outside, but being impatient and slightly impulsive I converted the spare room into an ad hoc workshop!

Several hours and a few blisters and splinters later I had two baseboards sitting atop the shelves, and I'm quite proud of them! They are a simple construction - 9mm MDF tops screwed onto a simple 2 3/4" x 3/4" planed wood framework.

The whole thing is pretty solid and although it's not the lightest thing in the world (it's lighter than chipboard, mind!) it's still portable enough for things like house moves.

The next consideration is how to fasten the two boards together so as the track ends align correctly without the need for rail joiners or removable sections. Also, I need to think about how the backscene will be attached. This will be painted directly onto 18" high hardboard. At the moment I'm tending towards a removable backscene - possibly one that just drops into and lifts out of a 'slot' along the back of the basebaords, meaning it can be painted seperately and also removed easily for moving, with careful scenic work to hide any obvious gaps or joins.

Earlier in the week I bought a couple of Wills plastic kits - just cheap ones - and various paints, brushes etc. I thought it would be good to get a bit of practise at kit building and painting on some small-scale projects before tackling the larger structures that will be needed later. After all, it's been a good 12 or 13 years since I last did any modelling of any sort, and in comparison to what I'm looking to acheieve this time, that was fairly amateur stuff.

Here's a photo of one of the lineside huts. It's not finished yet - it still needs more painting, detailing and weathering. I modified it slightly so the door is slightly open which I think adds a little extra touch of realism. I've used Humbrol grey primer before adding a first coat of cream paint to the walls and door. Actually, the slightly uneven appearance of the single coat of colour is quite good - it gives the appearance of old, worn paintwork rather than it being totally pristine.

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