Friday, November 4, 2011

The Roundhouse

A little while ago I started making a roundhouse for one of my station on the lower part of the layout, of which the turntable was described in an earlier post, which is roughly based on what was at Orange - 5 stall saw tooth, the only photo I have is from the Byways series of books - hope the guys don't mind if I include a pic showing what I'm trying to achieve - well worth getting as they have a heap of great information.

Photo from the Byways collection
I made the base from 40 thou (1mm) styrene and some slaters brick siding for the low brick exterior, whilst I'm happy enough with the end result it was a real pain in the proverbial cutting in the pits - and they're still probably not accurate, but they'll do me.

You may notice some metalic pins at the bottom, they are countersunk M3 machine screw which are araldited into the roundhouse base which then go into corresponing holes in the baseboard, washers & nuts are then use to fix in place, hopefully this will keep everying aligned.

About a month or so after I started I attended the Epping/Thornleigh exhibition & saw that Antons/Uneek had released a new kit for a simliar roundhouse, if I had not started on my one I may have bought the kit plus an extra 2 stalls as it would probably have been a quicker option (see Ray P's Bylong blog for some good discussions on it), however as I had already started I simply kept going.

I photocopied & scaled the drawings in Byways as a guide & taped it to a piece of blue insulation foam, covered it in glad wrap so the glue would not stick to the plan & then used drawing pins to help in placing the timbers to make the roundhouse roof trusses & sides - a simple enough jig and worked good enough for the 27 odd roof frames & the 2 sides I had to make.

Foam jig and some of the trusses made assembled into the model
Most of the scale timbers are by Kapler which I bought from Gwydir's, unfortunately I ran out of the roof rafters timber (I used 2 * 3), so bought some from another shop which where marked by the manufacturer as 2 * 3, even worse when I placed them on the roof it became clear that they are actually smaller in size, not by much and hopefully not noticeable when I eventually clad the roof with corrugated iron.

Talking of which I bought a 'corrugated iron maker' from Brunel hobbies whilst down at the Caulfield exhibition, it's basically a 2 piece perspex jig in which  a piece of aluminium is placed in the larger piece & the corresponding piece of the jig is drawn against the aluminium to press in the corrugations:

- only hassel I have is that the aluminum supplied, whilst thicker than alfoil is still fairly thin and thus fragile and also ends up curling a bit, but it can be straightened up quite easily, I experimented with some foil from the seal in the top of Milo tins & I found it too thick for my liking,  my daughter thinks the foils she uses for hairdressing is possibly in between the two, so I'll experiment with that when she gets some next (though I'll probably have to buy it for her -ahh  the joys of being a Dad to an apprentice hair dresser - pitty I don't have much hair for her to practice on :-), I'll update on that little experiment as I get to it - I experimented with the seals on the Alpen Blend chocalate powder last night & found it pretty good - just gotta figure out where to get some from if the haridressing foil is not suitable.

At this stage the roof & supports are pretty well complete, the legs of the frame have a wire pin glued into then and this pin then inserts into a corresponding hole in the base of the roundhouse, hopefully this will make for reasonably accurate alignment :

I've also started on the side wall frames and hope to fit them in the next week or two.After that is the End glass & louvers treatment and then the smoke flues and finally clading of the building with corrugated iron. One thing I do want to do, similar to what Ray P has done for his roundhouse, is to include interior lighting, I have some station lampshades which I am thinking of using along with some SMD LEDs, and it's something I need to allow for before I go much further.

Well I guess it's not much to show for the length of time since the last update, but there it is. Hopefully the next update will be a bit sooner than this one was.


  1. frame looks great - r u going to cover it all up or show a few loose sheets of iron/asbestos?

  2. Have not really thought about it Nick, I'm basing my modelling around the late 50's early 60's and maybe Mid 70's, I would imagine that the shed would be in a fairly good state at that time, then again there's a really neat shot of Orange shed being demolished in Byways and Lithgow shed is missing a side totally in a few photos I've seen so who knows what could eventuate, I'll probably end up cladding most of it but you have given me food for thought - maybe leave a few sheets of, then again I wonder what the workers would think in real life & whether that would mean that the sheds are fairly well maintained?

    Thanks for th idea,

    Cheers Alex...