Saturday, 29 March 2014

Thornycroft Building #14 - Experimental & Repair Shops

In the photo below this building is second in from bottom left of the site. (Click for a larger view).

J.I. Thornycroft and Co Motor Works, Basingstoke, 1939 - Britain from Above


The western half was the Exprimental Shop where new and innovative parts were developed and trials undertaken. The eastern half was a vehicle service/repair shop.

Time Line

Built between 1928 and 1932 it was extended westward in the 1940s to join the next building. Close scrutiny of the larger aerial photos at 'Britain From Above' shows that the rear wall extended westward beyond the building. This may be an indication of work in progress to enlarge the entire building. The building did not survive to the end, believed demolished in the 1980s.


The architectural design is similar to building#6, being brick with sky lighted saw tooth roof.

Two very tall doors at the front for vehicle access were roller doors. The rear is largely hidden in photographs by vegetation but tall windows can just about be discerned. This wall may also have had personnel entrance door(s). The East wall was pierced by tall windows. No photo available of the west wall.

The Model

Here is the model on our full size layout plan in a similar orientation to the above.

Building#6 designs were adapted to create the walls for this building, which enabled fast construction of the building shell.

However, the roof is another matter being a complex shape. Several weeks overall hobby time was needed. The sky light frames are 3D printed in plastic and stuck to transparent celluloid, a relatively fast process. The rest of the roof in card and paper plus assembly was what demanded most time.

 The roller doors are operational, constructed as for building #1.

In the next photo the extended rear wall is evident. This looks odd but as our period of interest includes 1930s and it was present in the 1939 aerial photos then it has been included.

Window/door details of both the west wall and rear wall (above view) are not clear from photos so they have been modelled with best guess for window provision.

All windows are transparent because this building will have partial interior lighting. What this means is the strip light for the building next door is long enough to poke into the repair shop!


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