Articles Dioramas Models Layouts My Club Links N.G.D.U. Exhibitions HOME


A model in ‘Ho’ Scale 

The rear of the station building showing the accommodation section  The track side showing the signal box extension 
I'm a life member of the SUNBURY MODEL RAILWAY CLUB, which is building a 'Ho' scale, standard / broad gauge* see below model of Tallarook railway station and it's approaches as a large exhibition layout. As well as being asked to paint the back scene, all 40 feet of it, I was asked to build the station building. The era is set at around 1970,when the standard gauge was in and the sizeable goods yard was still in tact, as well was the branch line. However, you will see all types of equipment run through the station, as members try out their latest purchase or scratch built model.

While this structure was built using the convention methods of a cardboard shell (I use matt board which is used for painting and photograph surrounds when they are framed) with printed paper glued to the outside. While this is nothing new, and I used this method in the 1960's for my structures, the way I got the building's brickwork to look the same as the prototype is interesting.

*My State of Victoria, for some unknown reason, back in the 19th century when railways were first introduced, chose broad gauge which is 5'3", while standard gauge of 4'8½" was introduced in New South Wales, the state north of Victoria. Because of this, all freight and passengers had to change at the border - not a very smart idea. Eventually, in the 1970's, the Standard Gauge was continued to Melbourne, the capital city of Victoria. At least now trains can run all the way to Sydney. That standard gauge line runs through Tallarook, which is about one hours drive north of Melbourne.
When I agreed to build the station for the club's new layout, I was handed a set of plans showing the building's east (or track side) seen below, and the south end elevations, plus a series of photographs taken about six months ago. One of the photos is shown above left. It is off the car park end of the freight room and about the only piece of intact wall showing how the station building once looked.

There was no suitable brick papers available, so I decided to make my own. First, I scanned to above photo into my computer and set about making it suitable to use as the photo had several problems to solve before I could use the image. It hadn't been taken exactly square on so was slightly tapered. This needed to be corrected so the brick courses were exactly horizontal and spaced the same each end. It also had the new white mortar where the brickwork had been repaired. I also wanted to clean up any obvious marks that would look odd when I joined this finished image together to form whole walls.

To achieve these requirements I used a computer program called 'GIMP' (Graphic Image Manipulation Program) which is a free download off the net. This is an extremely cheap alternative to 'PHOTOSHOP'. Using the DISTORT function I was able to square the image up and ensure the course lines were exactly horizontal and correctly spaced. I use the CLONE tool at very high enlargement to clean up the various blemishes and then cropped it to a useable size. The completed image can be seen above on the right.

I use Microsoft PUBLISHER, but Microsoft WORD or like program will do the same job. After working out the correct height and length of the walls, and the location of the doors and windows, I could print them out to the correct size for 'Ho' scale, I joined multiple copies of the wall image to form the entire walls required. Samples of these are seen below.
 These walls were printed on my standard injet printer (a Lexmark X5630). It was just a matter of now cutting out the walls and gluing them to the cardboard shell.

Below are two photographs of the station I took just before starting the model (March 2009). The entire accommodation block, which was half of the building was removed in the 1970's. My model shows the station with this block still intact.