Bagshot station build

Discussion in 'G1/32' started by Peter Insole, 23 June 2016.

  1. Peter Insole

    Peter Insole Western Thunderer

    I must confess that I have for some time been terribly suspicious of all the new technology that is available to the hobby. I felt that it would ultimately diminish skill attainment levels in all areas of creative model making. How could I have been so shamefully arrogant and misguided, especially considering that I have been personally involved in the development of laser cut kits in recent years?!

    Notwithstanding my subsequent conversion, that foolish attitude provided the catalyst for starting this project in the first place! Indeed, it was an increasingly desperate search for traditional materials that led me to meet and make new friends at a local S7 group. There is so much to learn and I would encourage anyone to join up with other enthusiasts wherever possible to share experience and knowledge. Mind you, it hasn't stopped me from being a prize idiot, it is just nice to be amongst folk that are so tolerant (so far) and prepared to put up with my tendency to spout off, be too critical or impractical!

    So yes, I can be a bit naughty, but this time I have exceeded myself with this commission! I not only viewed it as a last opportunity to fully stretch myself and make something entirely scratch built in a large scale, but old family connections with Wadhurst in Sussex presented a perfect excuse for re-living fond memories of the Southern Region in the early 1960's. The process has not only created a rod for my own back, but a massive hit on an old friend and customer's wallet!

    Anyway, to the brief: I was asked to model a station on the aforementioned Southern, a small country type suitable for through main line as well as local traffic but particularly 3rd rail and on a 2-BIL route! When searching for a candidate, I recalled a book that I had acquired with a token when still at school; Peco Publications' Southern Stations. Studying the pictures and then looking on-line for surviving structures led me to Bagshot, the only one that was not too big or complicated and was still largely intact for measuring. A twist of irony (and one of several as it has turned out) was that included were three delightful photographs of the place. I had not previously been aware of, nor ever visited, but those shots had been the very reason for selecting the book all those years ago. It is difficult to describe the peculiar sensation of alighting from a train as an older, creakier self on a mission, directly back into my childhood imagination!

    Now wishing that I had been a bit more prepared to consider laser cutting for the bulk of the structure, I rather too eagerly committed myself, or maybe I should be? That was two years back, and still a way to go!

    I have kept a WIP photo diary, so will start with the Porters' Room test piece and describe/explain reasoning, or the lack of, later!


    SAM_3908.JPG SAM_3909.JPG SAM_3923.JPG SAM_3931.JPG SAM_3932.JPG SAM_4028.JPG
    Last edited: 23 June 2016
  2. Peter Insole

    Peter Insole Western Thunderer

    Oops! Perhaps I'll get it right one day?!

    Sorry folks! Images only seem to have come up as thumbnails? No idea how to remedy, so will have to ask for help!!!

  3. mickoo

    mickoo Western Thunderer


    Once you've uploaded the images you then have the choice next to each image to insert them, where ever your cursor is within the narrative will be where the image appears.

    You can edit the above post with the edit function then at the bottom, more options, this should then allow you to insert them as full images, any you do not insert as a full image will remain as a thumbnail.

    Hope that helps

    Mick D
  4. Peter Insole

    Peter Insole Western Thunderer

    Thanks Mick, I had a sneaky feeling that's what I hadn't done!!

    Still, they weren't very interesting pics yet anyway eh?!

  5. Len Cattley

    Len Cattley Western Thunderer

    Hi Pete, they have come up as full images on my phone. Bagshot is just down the road from me, look forward to what you do.

  6. Peter Insole

    Peter Insole Western Thunderer

    Hi Len, have you lived there long? Any memories or info would be much appreciated!

    This post is an historic look back at the work to date and will hopefully expand to catch up with current (slow) progress!! The exterior is largely complete, but the interior has and still requires an awful lot of guesswork! If either your good self or anyone you know could help, it might save me from having to rip out and replace too much!!

  7. Len Cattley

    Len Cattley Western Thunderer

    Hi Pete, I don't live in Bagshot but I grew up in Ascot so I know Bagshot quite well.

  8. Peter Insole

    Peter Insole Western Thunderer

    yep, that's near enough to qualify as down the road all right!

    Anyway, here's another update:


    As you can see, I chose to use 1.5mm ply for the floors and walls, with the brick and floorboard detail scribed with a hard (4h) pencil. Later, I made a special tool for the mortar coursing.

    The rather thin ply is preferred by experience as it is lightweight, windows and doors as well as other tricky shapes can be cut cleanly and easily and a textured finish can be applied. Most importantly, when well braced with studwork framing it stays perfectly flat. Wood based materials can have an annoying tendency to warp in sometimes less than extreme conditions, and I have found that bending forces seem to increase with thickness! I have an unfinished 21.5mm/1ft narrow gauge carriage built by this method over twenty years ago, and it has variously been soaked and baked in shed, cellar and loft ever since, yet it remains absolutely dead true and square today!

    Having said all that, carelessness led to an alignment issue that turned out to be one of those "ironies" previously alluded to, but more of that later.

    Incidentally, the rather odd framing arrangement in the far corner of the last pic is to allow the pre painted inner wall skins to overlap in such a way that the joints will be less visible when looking in through the windows, at least that's the idea!

    At Bagshot, the LSW Railway's rather odd (for 1877/8) choice of "straight" brick bond for all except the middle and rear walls (those supporting awnings/canopies) was perplexing. I was unable to gain direct access to the interior on my visit, but careful examination seems to suggest that the building might actually be timber framed above the plinths, but with single 4 1/2'' brick cladding. It might have been a cheaper option back then. I am aware of some similar treatment in Suffolk, though the Victorians usually employed it to "modernise" older buildings, it still might not be entirely improbable?

    eastsidepilot and JimG like this.
  9. Peter Insole

    Peter Insole Western Thunderer

    And now for more bricks... where the fun really starts!

    SA M_4033.JPG

    Sprayed primer to see how the scribing would look. I felt it was a bit shallow but was chuffed to bits with the overall effect.

    sa-f_bagoffSAM_3472 OLD DOOR LINTEL END BELOW CONDUIT.JPG sa-f_bagplatSAM_3484.JPG

    The original brickwork is in soft reds and is almost rustic in character.


    This is my method originally developed for weathering goods wagon interiors!

    Firstly, select a nicely worn area of concrete path, step or anything good and flat where the aggregate is firm (not loose, or it will stick to the work).

    Then place the scribed wall to be treated face down and with a small block of waste wood to strike against; 'it it wiv a 'ammer! - Do it gently though!

    Work slowly, a little bit at a time, regularly turning the piece over and checking for effect and gradually building up a load of random dents and scrapes to taste!

    SAM_4200.JPG SAM_4207.JPG

    Lower and exposed walls are usually more prone to abuse and splash-back frost damage, so benefit from several more passes with the whacker!

    To finish, the mortar courses have been opened out in places with the hard pencil (to aid visual checking) and some drilled holes for old poster boards, signs etc., as per prototype.

  10. Peter Insole

    Peter Insole Western Thunderer

    After giving the brickwork a grand bashing it was time to start the main assembly!


    I decided to make a slotting arrangement for the canopy rafters in order to allow it to be removable for access, storage and transport. It is quite large and could be vulnerable without a bit of flexibility.

    a-f_bagplatSAM_3482 resized image.JPG SAM_4230.JPG SAM_4232.JPG

    And working round toward the more fiddly gabled frontage...

    SAM_4938.JPG SAM_4943.JPG

    Note: Yes, I mucked up the vertical joints at the corner, but it was not long after this that I discovered a much more serious error!

    More of that anon.
  11. Peter Insole

    Peter Insole Western Thunderer

    Went out to my day job yesterday, but am a bit unwell, so I'm completely knackered this morning! I've really got to clear my worktop though, but in true procrastinating style decided to post first!


    Special scribing tool made by shaping piano wire to a smooth, blunt point. As a lot of side pressure is applied during use, I fitted a brass tube ferrule to prevent the dowel from splitting!

    SAM_5001.JPG SAM_5002.JPG

    I decided it was safer to "nibble" then fettle the arches instead of attempting a straight cut with a curved template. Less chance of an accidental slip ruining several hours worth of measuring, marking up and scribing!


    I must remember to get those damned chippies to clear up after themselves before knocking off time!

    They could do with improving their spelling as well!


    Getting everything square was a bit of an ordeal, and this is when I discovered the aforementioned error...
  12. Len Cattley

    Len Cattley Western Thunderer

    Hi Peter, it's looking very good just like the real thing.
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  13. Peter Insole

    Peter Insole Western Thunderer

    Thanks Len, funny you should say "JLRT", I was just trying to work out when (in order of construction) to post my story of Life imitating Art!

  14. eastsidepilot

    eastsidepilot Western Thunderer

    Yeah ! and they've left a row of noggins out as well :D

  15. Peter Insole

    Peter Insole Western Thunderer

    They left this behind too.

    I tripped over the b....r and grazed my knee.


  16. Peter Insole

    Peter Insole Western Thunderer

    Now to the story: I had framed the floors to form a box foundation both for rigidity and to allow the building to plug into, rather than sit atop the platform/baseboard. I used some 12mm x 6mm Ramin (?) strip-wood from stock for this. Useless stuff if it has a bit of a curve or twist - which it frequently does! so I always carefully check first and remove the bad bits.

    One half of a length in the pile on my workbench was salvageable, so I cut it, and guess what? I placed the wrong end back in the OK stack and chucked the good into the rubbish! I was in such a hurry to get on, the piece was faithfully trimmed, glued and clamped along the front (gabled) section and left to cure while other work was done.

    Worse still, it wasn't until I came to square up and fit the fiddly gables that I noticed the distinct droop toward the right hand end!

    Now I must point out three things: Firstly, I had prepared fully detailed working drawings for this build, and secondly that whilst most of the original is complete, the gents' urinals have been long since been demolished and that only one photograph is available for reference. Finally, I am quite profoundly "Dis-numeric", so rarely trust my own calculations! When counting bricks on either side of the lavatory doorway I found a discrepancy of a full three inches. I have no idea how many times I re-counted those b....y brick courses on the flat drawing! I almost cried with frustration at not being able to align the plinth, "string courses" or quoins and being forced to accept an inexplicable compromise!

    Eventually, I bit the bullet and started work on that end...

    Screen wall and doorway, platform side.

    Gents' WC and coal store, still extant but modified, tied to frontage.

    The whole lot installed!

    Guess what?! IT ALL FITTED!

    What the blue blazes? Carefully re evaluating my reference photo's and subsequent checks revealed the truth: The real thing had settled the full three inches on it's foundations, and on the front right hand corner no less!

    At Bagshot I could find no visible shakes or cracks and the corners appear to be perfectly plumb, so the slippage must have occurred during the build?

    Perhaps even stranger, our own Victorian house had suffered a similar event during construction. One of our chimney breasts leans at a noticeable angle. To partly compensate, the original "hair" plaster was applied over two inches thick at the skirting, but with a mere slither of skim at the ceilings, while up in the loft the old bricklayers had "nipped" and offset a course in order to straighten the stack above the roof!

    Life imitating Art indeed!

    Spooky eh?


    Moral: When working from the prototype never assume anything, or that you would get as lucky as that old b..... Insole chappie!
  17. JimG

    JimG Western Thunderer

    When buying my first house down here in England when I moved from Clydeside, one of the lower windows looked decidedly unsquare and I commissioned a structural engineer's report to check it out. He said that there was no problem and pointed out that windows higher up the wall were quite square and that the house had probably settled when the house was part built and the builders just levelled up the wall and finished the rest of the house off. Apparently this was quite common in Victorian times.

  18. Heather Kay

    Heather Kay Western Thunderer

    I think it was quite common in the 1950s, too, at least as far as this house is concerned! Not one door frame is square, and in an outer corner there's almost two inches from concrete floor to the bottom of the skirting board…

  19. Peter Insole

    Peter Insole Western Thunderer

    What is incredible to us now is that our footings are only a few inches deep. Just a shallow trench in the clay soil with a bit of mortar to level the bottom and a double row of bricks laid to form a spreader for the 9'' walls. It might have only taken a heavy fall of rain while all this was exposed to have caused the settlement! Apart from the aforementioned chimney, the rest has been absolutely solid since 1896!

    When we rebuilt a small, and when I say small, it only allowed an internal door to swing, lobby at the back, the Council insisted that it had to have reinforced concrete foundations at a minimum 1 metre down!

    Bitter and twisted, me? Not much !

  20. Peter Insole

    Peter Insole Western Thunderer

    While I'm on the subject of lean-to and loos, here's e few more pics...


    I've added thin strips that engage in slotted partitions. The purpose is twofold, primarily to keep the thin four and a half inch walls flat and square, and as this model is going to be fully illuminated, I don't want any stray light creeping underneath or around! These walls will not be fixed either to allow access for fitting out as well as repairs that might be required in future.

    SAM_5336.JPG SAM_5338.JPG

    The lower walls were rendered in the vicinity of the urinals, so a bit more of the patent "bashing" was called for, along with a deliberately informal top edge!


    And finally, a loo view! I know, there's no actual loo in the view, it's just a view of the loo OK!

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