Thomas & Friends Knapford Station build (with Bachmann trains)

Discussion in 'Dioramas and static displays' started by bamg420, Nov 9, 2022.

  1. bamg420

    bamg420 Full Member

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    Here I am going to document the steps I am taking to build a scale replica of the Knapford Station model from the early seasons of Thomas & Friends TV show.

    Like with many, Thomas & Friends was my first introduction to trains and from there the interest grew. When I had the opportunity to purchase the Thomas & Friends series of Bachmann locomotives / characters I thought that building the "big main station" as depicted in the TV series would be a great opportunity to try my hand at building a scale replica.

    Really wanting my finished "Knapford station" to look identical to the one in the TV series, I first spent many hours watching the show, taking screenshots, measurements, and planning the general layout. Then as the constructions materials started flowing through the mail, I got to work on the pillars that will hold up the station roof. These are constructed with various widths of ABS styrene tubing which were cut, sanded, and glued in to place.

    I attepted painting one with a paint brush but was not happy with the result. I plan on purchasing an air brush to finish these and other parts in the future.

     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2022
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  2. Vinylelpea

    Vinylelpea Full Member

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    Great idea. Looking forward to the build. :thumbs:
     
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  3. bamg420

    bamg420 Full Member

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    The next item to arrive was some 10mm x 10mm balsa rods which I had purchased to construct the "goods shed" and use for the main pillars at the front and rear of the station. Using measurements and a drawing that I had made up on the computer, I started to assemble the frame by cutting and glueing it together with PVA glue.

     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2022
  4. bamg420

    bamg420 Full Member

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    Thank You Vinylelpea!
     
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  5. bamg420

    bamg420 Full Member

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    Using JTT Styrene brick sheets I started to work on completing the "goods shed" part of the station.

    Visualising the piece in construction.
    Thomas makes his first cheeky appearance!
    Using a scene from the TV show as a visual guide.
    Arches were drawn with a compass and cut out by hand with a sharp craft knife.
    Three sets of 4x arches to total 12 arches.
    I cut a strip of plasticard brick sheets and slowly bent and glued them inside the arch to depict a voussoir.
    Making it up as I go, I used balsa to add strength and to give dimension to the brick arch which is recessed from the out most surface.
    The top couple of rows of bricks in the model are also protruding from the wall so I cut the top strip off to add a balsa strip behind.
    After using liquid nails adhesive to glue the brick sheet to the balsa, it started to warp with the grain. I overcame this by adding extra balsa strips with the grain going in the opposite direction, clamping flat and waiting for the glue to dry before progressing to the next section.
    The wall is starting to take shape!
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2022
  6. bamg420

    bamg420 Full Member

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    I started to fiddle around with trying different materials to construct the arches that make up the roof that covers the entire station. I need 28 of these to complete the structure so will likely make a jig of some sort to line things up and speed up assembly.

     
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  7. bamg420

    bamg420 Full Member

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    In between the other projects, I built a base board by framing up a sheet of 9mm ply wood. Then I started measuring out the plan and doing a quick mock up of where everything will go.

    Once the locations were finalised I soldered feeder wires to the tracks before glueing the tracks directly to the base board with PVA glue. I used a steel ruler to keep the tracks straight and put some heavy objects on top of the track while the glue dried.

    Following the tracks being glued down there was no other option but to pull out some models and have a running session. Not a lot of track but fun nevertheless!

     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2022
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  8. bamg420

    bamg420 Full Member

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    The platform base was made by glueing strips of balsa wood between the tracks. The station configuration has four through tracks and two terminating tracks.

     
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  9. Gary

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

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    I love where you are going with this already. You are also using one of my favourite modelling mediums, Evergreen styrene. Looking forward to the continuing build !

    Cheers, Gary.
     
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  10. bamg420

    bamg420 Full Member

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    Thanks Gary! I have a whole assortment of different brands of styrene from Evergreen to cheapies from eBay and Aliexpress. Evergreen is by far superior in terms of consistency, overall quality and ease of working with.
     
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  11. Gary

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

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    I have been working with or using Evergreen for nearly 30 years now. It's great stuff and you can't go wrong with it. I find it is even better than Plastruct, much more versatile product.
    Now if you are going to Rosehill Exhibition next year, you can pick up a pack of styrene sheet reasonably cheaply from the second hand stall. You end up with 0.5mm, 0.75mm, 1mm, 1.5mm sheets approximately 12" x 24" in size for around $20.00 ! Great value !!

    Cheers, Gary.
     
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  12. bamg420

    bamg420 Full Member

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    The next set of photos are the few shots I took while cutting and painting plastic brick sheets for the platform walls, testing paint colours, testing ballast sizes and colours, painting balsa sheets and sticking down the platform.

     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2022
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  13. bamg420

    bamg420 Full Member

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    A few photos taken during finalising the construction of the goods shed. Firstly I glued all of the wooden frame sections together, followed by attaching the brick arched wall. The result is a light weight but very sturdy structure.

    Feeling happy with my progress I stopped to take a "selfie" with the layout.
    My daughter busted me taking a photo of myself at the layout! She wanted to jump in the shot and have me take one of us together :lol:
    Finished assembling the bulk of the goods shed and painted a layer of undercoat.
    1x A4 sized sheet of slate pattern styrene was cut into 3 strips and glued together to make up the roof. It will be painted a dark grey / slate colour.
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2022
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  14. Gary

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

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    I notice in the early TTTE episodes (Britt Allcroft), most the ballast is a light grey colour, yet around the engine depot, I have seen the pink coloured ballast used !

    Will you be painting the sleepers or leaving them black ?

    Cheers, Gary.
     
  15. bamg420

    bamg420 Full Member

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    I will use the lighter colour ballast shown in most of the photos in my last post, and weather it slightly once it has been glued down. I agree the darker ballast is also used in some scenes!

    For this diorama and as it is basically a model of another model, I am not going to pay to much attention towards painting or weathering the track. Simply due to the fact that I think during the production of Thomas & Friends the attention towards something like that would not have been given a 2nd thought. They would have likely laid the track, put ballast, then place the model props on top.

    Moving onto the current piece of the diorama that I am working on - the bookstore which sits at the end of the terminating tracks.

    This is the scene I am hoping to recreate. Notice the green pillars which I made in my first post. The book store is in the background but can be seen clearly enough to replicate.
    Rough sketch of the components.
    To scale drawing of the front of the building showing the platform level and roof canopy height.
    Cut the building out of plasticard brick sheets.
    Making the doors and windows from Evergreen styrene strips. These will be painted dark green to match the pillars and roof frame.
    Adding more detail to the window using different thickness styrene strips.
    2 years since I put this project aside, I am ready to review and hope to complete it. I was not happy with the proportions of the door cut outs and doors I had made for this building, they did not match that of the building in the film. Today I accepted that I would make a new one and attempt to get this project back on track. (no pun intended) I cut out a new brick wall with the proper door size. Tomorrow I aim to make two new doors and door frames to suit.

    Thanks also to everyone who has shown an interest in my little fun project.
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2022
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  16. Rob Pulham

    Rob Pulham Happily making models Staff Member Administrator Feature Contributor

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    Superb, I love what you are doing.

    I missed out on Thomas as it was only in book form when I was a child but my son had videos and a clockwork Thomas plus Annie and Clarabelle set. I mustn't have paid enough attention when watching it with him because I don't recognise half those locos...
     

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