Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Thornycroft Building #9 - Weigh House

In the photo below this building sits between the large building with three ridge roofs on the left and the saw-tooth roof building on the right. It is the smallest building on our plan and appears as a small white blob in the photo that you may not even see (Click image for a large view).


The building contained the weight measuring scale for a railway weigh bridge positioned alongside.

Time Line

Probably built when the siding complex was altered and expanded between 1902 and 1919. It did not survive to the end and was probably demolished when the sidings were removed in the 1970s(?).


Only the photo above and another that shows only the roof apex (the rest hidden by a wagon) have been found. We can see the colour was white and the end facing the camera in the photo above had a window. It is assumed to be corrugated iron throughout.

The model

The model was constructed using scrap 3D printed PLA plastic sheet. 3D printers create models by building up thin lines of plastic. These lines look similar to corrugations in N scale. So, the model, unlike others in this series, has a textured finish. The finish is weathered with scrapes from a black, soft pastel stick applied with a dry paint brush. The doors and windows are printed paper stuck onto the plastic.

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Thornycroft Building #8 - Chassis Store

In the photo below this building is second from top left of the factory.

The Thornycroft Motor Works, Basingstoke, 1928 - Britain from Above


The building contained several departments. The floor area of the lower 3 bays was largely given over to storing vehicle chassis stock* but at the rear (right end of the building in the photo) were two stores and a tyre fitting shop. The single door entrance on the south side gave access to the millwright and salvaged electrical stores. The double doors gave access to a materials store and at the back of this was the tyre fitting shop.

The fourth bay was used for storing demonstration vehicles and at the rear of this was a sand-blasting plant.

* The Chassis Store has also been identified as a Sheet Metal Working shop, which fits when you consider there is another chassis store on site known as the Running Shed.

Time Line

The lower 3 bays were built some time between 1919 and 1928 to be followed by the fourth bay between 1928 and 1939. The fourth bay had the words 'Thornycroft Motor Vehicle Works' painted across one side of its roof.

Our floor plan shows a small extension attached to the fourth bay side but no photographs of this have come to light so, has not been modelled.


Corrugated iron throughout with windows on the north and south sides and skylights in the roof. Each bay had one large sliding door for vehicle access. The south side had smaller doors for stores access.

The Model

The next photo shows the model in situ on our full sized layout plan in a similar orientation to the real building shown above.

Designed in a graphic design application and printed on paper that is stuck to card. The building is raised on a 4mm plinth that will disappear into the ground on the layout.

In terms of surface area this is the largest building on our layout, measuring about 438 mm x 330 mm. It is not particularly complex but was time consuming to create due to its size.

The large vehicle entrance doors are operational and made in a similar fashion to those on the museum building.

For whatever reason mistakes were made during the building design and construction and the finish is not quite as sharp as other models. It was also the first to cause blood to be spilled! The worst error affected the first bay which was designed and built before discovering it was about 100mm too short. To correct this the long side had to be redesigned and remade and an extension added to the floor. The roof was saved and extended but the skylight arrangement differs to the other bays in that it still reflects the shorter version and will therefore, always be a reminder of the difficulties encountered.

The windows frames on the south side (photo shows the window and door arrangement for the stores departments) were made according to this method.

On the north side the 16 windows were designed in CAD and 3D printed in plastic. The glazing bars are oversize for N gauge (0.5mm) but look acceptable to the uninitiated. Certainly faster and more accurate to make than cutting paper by hand.

This building has working interior lights (one strip from a Livarno 3 strip set sold by Lidl) so, all windows are transparent.

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