By John Ely
This winter I have been busy building L&B buildings for my garden railway. I have come up with a method that is reasonably quick, and I thought it might be worthwhile to share it with you.
My trusted copy of Stephen Phillips Book “The L&B measured and Drawn” has been fully used and the pages are now really beginning to show signs of wear! I scanned the drawings in on the computer and took measurements on the screen. This was particularly effective when I worked out the percentage for a direct transfer of 16mm measurements.
The first model I built was Chelfham and this was followed by Bratton Fleming. Woody Bay follows and this is now nearing completion. The material I used for the walls was 12mm WBP ply and the roofs 6mm WBP ply.
The main carcass components were cut out using a scroll saw. This is a “must have” piece of equipment and I would not recommend doing it all by hand! I made sure that everything was measured twice before cutting. Woody Bay is particularly complicated and I found that assembly drawings were essential to get it right.
All pieces were primed, sanded and primed twice more using water based exterior primer/ undercoat.
The walls were assembled with 25mm stainless steel screws and then the main event was started – the stonework!
I decided to use the materials supplied by Bromley Craft Products. These consist of stencils that are temporarily fixed to the wall surface with mounting glue.
A compound was mixed with water and trowelled over the stencil. The stencil was then pulled off through the mixture while it was wet leaving a very realistic surface that set like concrete! This was a bit daunting at first but turned out to be easier than it looked and all the walls were treated in two or three sessions per building. Unfortunately the product is not waterproof so three coats of Ronseal Crystal clear varnish was needed to seal it.
Although the Bromley web site does not list 1 to 19 scale, they are happy to produce their stencils in this scale.
In the interests of speed I made the windows and doors from plastic strip. The evergreen series is excellent and widely available. 80 thou thickness strips work well and numbers 164 to 169 provided a good range to choose from. I made a plastic template and built the windows within this using Slaters Mek Pak to glue them all together. Very neat and robust windows were the result.
The windows were temporarily used as blanks while the texture was applied by covering them with masking tape and vaseline and fixing them with tape to the rear of the carcass. I trowelled the compound around the openings and once it was set I removed the windows and tape. I then painted the windows and permanently reinstated them with glue.
The arches were made by making a template of my own and using Bromley’s Red brick compound.
The roof tiles on Chelfham and Bratton Fleming are diamond shaped and the prototypes are made in concrete with quite a rough surface. I could not see myself making individual tiles so I compromised and ordered a purpose made stencil from Bromley Craft Products. This provided the pattern and the texture but not the laps. It was really quick though and served its purpose.
Various other details were made in plastikard including the letter boxes and the finals to the ridge of Bratton Fleming. Little bits of plastikard were used and I had hours of fun! The porch for Bratton Fleming was made entirely of the evergreen plastic strips.
Chelfham took 3 weeks of spare time and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Bratton Fleming came next and most of this was produced over the Christmas holiday.
Woody Bay is however another story altogether and the progress on this is very slow. It is looking very promising though and should be worth all the effort!
- Scroll saw supplied by Screwfix and others (approx £110)
- 12mm and 6mm exterior plywood
- Water based exterior undercoat/ primer
- Bromley Craft Products 1:19 Rough Stone Stencil, Diamond Roof stencil , Grey Natural compound and Red Brick Compound. www.craft-products.com
- Ronseal Crystal Clear Varnish (Homebase or Amazon)
- Evergreen strips and Mek Pak (Eileens Emporium)
- Humbrol matt Cream and Railmatch Malachite green paints.