I’ve always admired model railways but never had the space to truly consider building one so when I discovered that http://www.sarissa-precision.com had produced an old western steam locomotive I decided that this would have to be my next diorama. The train even in 28mm scale is a reasonable size and it took me a while to determine how best I could present the model whilst finding room on the base for a building and a few suitable figures.
originally I had wanted to build a railway station but even at 28mm this was to big for the base I wanted to use. I finally decided I would construct a small-scale Freight Depot building but struggled to find suitable figures and so for a while the idea remained on the back burner until eventually I discovered some western railroad figures produced by http://www.northstarfigures.com.
I was now in a position to get my latest project off the ground.
As mentioned in Building Project No: 3 I had already determined that my next building would have a “wooden” shingle roof. I had also decided that for this model I would try using foam board as the backing to the wooden stirrers instead of cardboard. As with my previous build my first step was to establish the dimensions of the building and overall layout of the diorama.
In addition to the train Sarissa also produce track and other wagons. I couldn’t accommodate additional wagons on this occasion but did acquire some track for mounting the train.
Having drawn up rough plans for the building (an end shed, an office in the middle and an open canopy at the other end) I set about cutting the foam board to shape and cutting away for doors and windows. As with my previous builds I then cut the coffee stirrers to shape and glued them using PVA to the foam board. Once the front, back and sides were complete the wood was weathered using a wire brush and a modelling knife for later painting. Window and door frames were made using match sticks and clear plastic was used for window glazing.
I followed the same oil paint wash method for painting the outside walls as previously published. Although I did not intend for the roof of the building to be removable I did take account of the fact that you could see inside the building through the open door and the window. With this in mind I clad some of the interior and added a couple of wall posters and a couple of bits of furniture.
The next step was to have a go at my first shingle roof. The basic structure was a simple piece of cardboard cut to the right length and then folded in half. Before then gluing it to the main structure of the roof I drew lines at regular intervals on it. These lines would serve to line up the shingles.
The central part of the building before adding the “wooden shingle roof
The shingles themselves were made from cardboard strips that were then cut into much small rectangular pieces. A tedious job but not one that takes that long. A line of PVA was then added to the lowest part of the roof and the individual shingles attached. Using a cocktail stick dipped into a small amount of PVA makes it easier to pick up the small shingles. The process is then repeated line by line. It doesn’t take long to get into a rhythm and the process becomes quicker that you might expect. I tend to put on a You Tube play list and before you know it the roof is complete.
When dried the next step is to paint the roof. I chose Burnt Umber oil paint thinned with a little white spirit as my base coat followed by a black wash and then by a grey wash. Once dried I used white as a dry brush applied going against the grain of the roof tiles. This I felt highlighted the shingle edges.
The central part of the building with the “wooden” shingle roof added along with the left hand side shed and the right hand side open canopy
Some further images of the buildings before final completion. Note the inside detail.
With the buildings complete a few additions were added in the way of posters, weeds, grasses, dust and ladders etc for added realism. The next step was to work on the train and the figures.
The train itself went together quite well and painted up OK too I felt. I added wood to the Tender and a few pipes and levers to the cab. The figures themselves were then painted using oil paint and placed on the diorama. I also allowed for the Tender to be removable if required.
The finished train.
Images of the completed model appear below.