Monday, September 14, 2009

Moana 6: Appetite for De Structure - The Station

DB says: I'd been putting the station off because I knew it would be hard. Right. Grimace and bear it.

I guessed the station size from pictures and the available space, and as such it's probably 2-3cm longer and a few mm higher than it should be, but I needed to do some backdrop hiding.

The main (long) side was cut out of a thickish piece of plasticard and a thinner body-double that would be laminated on top. The thin piece was scribed with 'boards' using a crusty knife and ruler (Rhys's 2mm scribed Evergreen styrene would have been helpful, but he refused to courier me some). When you scribe styrene, it starts to curl, so I roughly scribed the back of the thin sheet with boards as well, which balances out the stresses and causes the sheet to stop warping. I really should be an engineer with my impressive grasp of plastic particle physics.The approximate locations of windows and doors were penciled onto the 'outside sheet of boards' and cut out with my blunt knife. If you're following along at home, treat yourself to a fresh blade. Given that I'm not putting an interior in this, I used a black permanent marker to black out the window openings on the backing piece as it's much easier to do this now than to paint between all the window details once they are in place later on. The two halves were then stuck together and plasticard strip used to frame out windows and door frames. The doorway at the left was filled with some sort of thin pre-scribed wood sheety stuff, and the other two panel doors are thin plastic rectangles with panel holes cut out to reveal the thick plasticard backing sheet, giving a 3D look.End shapes were guestimated, scribed, and cut out of some thick styrene (corrugated as luck would have it - just some stuff that was begging to be used up) and then Moana could finally stand on her feet. Lazy fool that I am, I had no intention of making a backside to the station, but added a middle profile to keep the roof and verandah from sagging.Balsa was used for the sub-roof (isn't it funny that balsa, that most primitive and childlike of modelling substances, still plays such a vital part in my modeling?) and this was covered with the last of the overscale HO corrugated aluminium sheet left over from the goods shed. I needed to use two pieces here, one for each end, but the join is well hidden now that the paint is on. I used acrylic Flat Gull Gray (my favourite paint these days) for the walls, and some old Burlington Northern green darkened with a few blobs of black for the trim and roof. And that's that really. A wash of black acrylic was added to the roof to bring out the texture, and the 'Moana' lettering on the verandah was drawn in using a fine tipped permanent marker. I didn't say it was going to be pretty...
I suppose in hindsight I didn't need to put in as much heartburn over building and painting all that window framing as the side is barely visible, but on the other hand, at least now you won't be able to see what a bollocks I made of some of them either. There's always a silver lining...

The station is a little bit long, but that's OK. What's not is that while painting the thing, I made the mistake of Googling up some images of Moana (I was surprised how many are out there) and they revealed that the station has undergone some changes since the pictures in the Peter Hodge article were taken. The wooden door at the left side seems to have been covered up now as if it were never there, and some windows have appeared in that little protrusion at the left of the building. Ah well. The observant will also note that the goods shed isn't opposite the station where it's supposed to be - I wanted it closer to the footbridge to hide the 'tunnel' into the staging yard.

So at two days elapsed time and maybe, at a stretch, four hours of actual effort, that didn't take as long to give birth to as feared -I certainly spent a long time fretting about it. Quite a long ge-station you might say. You've been a great audience, and I'll be here all week.


Michael said...

I'm really impressed with how much you've got done in such a short time.
Great work Darryl.

worzel said...

ge-station G-R-O-A-N !!!

Good job of the modelling but.

sxytrain said...

Another 'Nike' story.

Anonymous said...

Great modelling as usual !

How about some LED striplighting (as used for carriage interior lighting)under the footbridge shining some "daylight" on the backdrop to dispel the image of a tunnel? Not necessarily a very bright thought.....

A couple of related questions:
- the HO corrugated iron, is it readily available, if so from where?
- when was Moana #1 "published"?

Thanks Darryl.