Cwm Bach Station Building - a Plasticard Scratchbuild

Discussion in 'Line Side Buildings' started by Chris Klein, Aug 13, 2020.

  1. Chris Klein

    Chris Klein Full Member

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    Aug 1, 2020
    My Cwm Bach layout depicting a GWR branch line in the South Wales valleys connecting with a colliery has been sold, but I will periodically post some articles about aspects of the layout that I hope readers will find useful. The station was inspired by Abergwynfi in Wales. An article describing the construction of Cwm Bach's station building appeared in the May 2008 edition of the Railway Modeller. Here is some of the text from the article; apologies if it seems somewhat "Janet and John".

    "The base material for the walls is 40 thou plasticard. The upper parts of the walls were scribed to represent horizontal planking. After scribing, the walls were gently sanded with fine wet-and-dry paper to remove the raised edges to the planks. A gentle run with the scriber then removed the detritus from the gaps. Plank embossed plasticard may be used as an alternative to scribing. The walls were then assembled around a base of 60 thou plasticard. Internal walls were fitted and a strong structure resulted. The wall between the waiting room and ticket office was detailed with cabinets on the non-public side with a view to installing interior detail and illumination in the future. When all was set, brick-embossed plasticard was cut to size and attached per the drawings. The wooden framework was built from suitably dimensioned Evergreen strips.

    The windows are Ratio, which are not the same size as those in the drawing, but they provided a quick, consistent and neat solution. A master door was drawn on postcard and copied on my printer. The panels were then cut out and backed with clear plasticard, though the lower panels were subsequently painted over. The door knobs are short 7mm scale locomotive handrails with the holes filled with solder.

    The roof was a simple rectangle of 60 thou plasticard. I made another departure from the prototype by finishing the roof as a felt and batten affair rather than corrugated iron. The valence was carefully drawn on to 15thou plasticard. The holes were then drilled using a small Proxxon pillar drill that is mounted on my workbench. This allowed accurate drilling after which the saw-tooth edging was cut out with a sharp new blade. Although the task seems tedious, the valence took only about 50 minutes to draw, drill and cut. The chimney cowls are nice castings from the S&D range. The woodwork was painted in the British Railways Western Region chocolate brown and cream colour scheme. I always tone down the cream with white and I use Humbrol 98 “Track Colour” to represented faded chocolate brown. The roof was painted with a dark grey enamel paint mixed with copious amounts of talcum powder to give the felt texture I was seeking; this is also a good technique for cement rendered walls, aged concrete and tarmac. Poster boards and door signs (both Tiny Signs) and fire buckets (Springside) were fitted.

    The building was then weathered with a gentle wash of diluted black enamel paint on the woodwork and weathering powders on the brickwork. When dry, undiluted cellulose thinners was applied with a brush to much of the painted woodwork including the valence. This causes the enamel paint to craze and give the effect of old, cracking paint that is about to flake off. Finally, a very gentle dry brushing with Humbrol “Mid Stone” helps to highlight the framing.

    The totem sign was created using Microsoft Paintbox software. Several copies were then printed on to high quality glossy digital photographic paper. One was cut out and attached to brass wire and suspended from the underside of the canopy. Some of the other totem signs will be attached to the platform lamp standards when the layout is eventually built."

    This was not a difficult or long build. The key is accurate drawing and cutting. Remember, measure twice, cut once. It was an enjoyable project and vastly cheaper than the laser-cut kits on offer.


    Chris K

    Abergwynfi station colour  scan.jpg Cwm Bach Station parts small file.jpg Cwm Bach Station carcass small file.jpg Cwm Bach Station unpainted small file.jpg Cwm Bach Station 02 small file.jpg Cwm Bach Station 03 small file.jpg Cwm Bach Station 220916.jpg
    Matt, Keith M, Gary and 7 others like this.
  2. Walkingthedog

    Walkingthedog Full Member

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    Jul 30, 2020
    Lovely work Chris.
  3. MalcT

    MalcT Full Member

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    Aug 27, 2019
    That's an excellent looking building. Great work :tophat:
  4. Rob Pulham

    Rob Pulham Happily making models Staff Member Administrator Feature Contributor

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    Sep 15, 2017
    Hi Chris,

    Your description of 'a bit Janet and John' made me smile and took me back to infant school:thumbup:
    York Paul likes this.
  5. Gary

    Gary Wants more time for modelling.... Staff Member Administrator

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    Dec 5, 2015
    I'm one for scratch building and your model is fantastic. Nothing like layering plastic (styrene sheet) to give relief to the model. The windows look good even if they are not 100% prototypical. I know when I build Callington engine shed, I managed to purchase near enough correct window frames from York Model Making. They have some great stuff and will even make bespoke items if need be.

    Cheers, Gary.
  6. ianvolvo46

    ianvolvo46 Staff Member Moderator

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    Dec 8, 2015
    Impresinve :tophat::tophat:

    Ian vt

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