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T O P I C    R E V I E W
anubis51 Posted - 01/17/2012 : 6:09:02 PM
Hello all,

This current "two month challenge" will see me embarking upon an old idea to model a set of corner shops: a project which has been a desire that has been sitting at the back of my brain since about 1966 - yes, you read it right! Nineteen Sixty Six!

Unfortunately, there is no place for any such structure on my present Slate Tramway layout, but I am hoping that it will be a part of that future "Super Layout" that we all desire to build - someday...

I was born and raised in the inner western suburbs of Sydney, Australia, and was fortunate enough to be able to spend (too-few) years riding in and on the old catenary electric tram network that was even then, being steadily replaced by diesel bus motive power. These days, there is not even the faintest hint of a memory of that wonderful system remaining, more is the pity....

Down the road from where I lived with my family, there was (and still is) a cluster of shop-front buildings that were all built around the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Naturally, they have all changed hands, businesses, and colours many times over the decades, but the actual facades have survived pretty much unaltered.

As I was a regular customer of most of these businesses, I had the opportunity to study them in fairly close detail as the years passed, and I was always intrigued by the odd angles and shapes that the various floor plans had. They were all joined by common side walls, and all faced the main road, naturally. Each had a back door, served by a narrow access lane at the rear. The thing that made them even more interesting was that not only were the shops 'battle axe' in shape, but they also followed the horizontal grade as it rose up the hill.

As I have already noted, the desire to commence this build has lain dormant in my mind since the mid 1960s. I well remember the various facades and overhanging shop awnings, which were - and still are, an integral part of the shop-front scene in suburban cities in Australia.

It was only when I recently (almost accidentally) located an aerial shot of the intersection, courtesy of Google Earth, that I could finally see that which had hitherto been invisible to me - the shape and angles of the various roofs - and therefore, the supporting walls underneath them.

This was just the catalyst that I had been waiting for!

I then set to work with a scale ruler, and enlarged the original Google Earth screenshot until it approximated something like 1:48 scale. It was basic and a bit messy, and all marked out on newspaper, taped together on the kitchen floor: I had to compromise a bit here and there, but I ended up with the paper patterns for a set of cardboard shapes that would become the first steps in my long-desired corner shop scratch-build.

My initial ideas to build the whole block as a single unit have met with dismal failure, mainly due to the unwieldy completed size, combined with so many bizarre angles. I have decided instead to attempt to build each shop as a free-standing model, and then to ultimately join them together into their completed block. This will have the benefit of making each model easier to handle, as well as providing a chance to have more than one structure 'on the go' at any time.





Here is the Google Earth image that gave me the much-needed kick-start...













Here is my first 'ghosted' image, plotting out where the various walls will be located.




.







This is the actual 'corner' shops that will be the subject of this Challenge build. The remaining structures to the north and to the west, will be for a future build, if all goes well with this one...




.




Here is the Google Earth image at street view. Note the 'stepped' stance of the buildings, as each rises higher to follow the uphill slope.



Now, with the added impetus of this Challenge, I have decided to finally make a start, and move further on than just the paper and cardboard floor-plans.

I wish to back-date the scene to the late 1950s and early 1960s, when the Sydney trams still rattled continually past, and the motor car was still effectively out of the price range of the average man.

As such, I will only be using the ‘modern’ pictures as a reference tool, rather than trying to make a photo-perfect scale model representation.

I don't intend to post this build as a blow-by-blow, ‘board-on-board’ construction. I imagine that it will be posted in a series of updates, weekly or so, over the next two months. By then, the heat of summer will have passed, and I can venture forth into other, more 'outdoor' pursuits.

Being a man of limited funds, I want to keep the cost of the build down, as well. Subsequently, I will not be using anything that I don't already have on hand in my modeller's 'kit', so to speak. As a result, I will be using thin corrugated and flat card, laminated where necessary for strength. Coffee-stirrer sticks, balsa and match sticks will be utilised for bracing and reinforcement, acetate for the windows, and an array of scratch-built and printed paper surfaces as overlays. Some will be from the very good selection contained in Evans’ “Modelbuilder” program, while others will be from my own gallery of pix, twigged and tweaked by me, using my Paint Shop Pro program. All will be printed on my Canon ink-jet printer, on either gloss- or matt-surfaced A4 paper. This will be bonded to the card base by a selection of adhesives, including but not limited to, “Tarzan’s Grip” impact adhesive, Balsa and Wood cement, AC superglue, and my favourite old stand-by, “Solver” Aquatect.

The shops will also contain figures, and these will be chosen from my collection of various O Scale people, and they will be painted appropriately.

Anything that is not scratch-built by me, will be noted as I proceed.

(You have just gotta LOVE O-Scale....)




.



Butcher's








Chemist's





Green Grocer's




Tailor's



These are my initial floor-plan shapes, just as I worked them out, some weeks back. The various service items and furnishings are shown in their approximate prospective locations. The card I will be using is a combination of laminated, corrugated, and high-impact, and is approx 3mm thick.





Here endeth the first lesson..........





Thank you for your indulgence, gentlemen.


John.








15   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
Ensign Posted - 03/29/2012 : 11:23:29 AM
Excellent work John!
I have really enjoyed watching you bring this piece of your past to life.

Greg Shinnie
George D Posted - 03/29/2012 : 09:55:41 AM
Great piece of work, John. I've enjoyed following you on this build and seeing all your innovative ways of doing things.

George
Dutchman Posted - 03/29/2012 : 08:20:33 AM
John, I have enjoyed the journey and admire the results. The 'final picture' thread is still open for posting.
andykins Posted - 03/29/2012 : 07:20:26 AM
wonderful work john, great fun to follow along so far. a nice use of card, printed textures and household items, stuff often over looked by modellers these days.
anubis51 Posted - 03/29/2012 : 05:47:30 AM
Hello again all,

With my current focus on the upcoming Rail Truck Challenge, I find that I have sadly neglected my updates on Wally's Fish 'n' Chip Shop.

You may remember that I was just short of completing the final quarter of my four-shop build for the 10th Anniversary Two Month Challenge, which expired about a fortnight ago.

So, if you are interested, here's the final update (for now):





All the figures have been detailed, and fitted to their permanent locations inside the Milk Bar. Chloe and Hal are chatting about which song they want to hear next on the Jukebox. Cassie and Horrie are planning a clandestine weekend away together (SHHHH) and Jake is awaiting his order. Old Mrs Osgood is sitting, also awaiting her fish 'n' chips.







The "Pepsi Bottles" are made from 1/4W resistors (and are a bit overscale...). The ash trays are cut from 'dimples' on a plastic box that used to contain Cotton Buds (aka Q-tips).

Remember when glass ash trays were always on hand, whenever you ate out? Some things are probably better forgotten....














The rear wall has been fitted up. This also carries the large, three-door freezer inside which keeps all of Wally's comestibles in tip-top condition until needed.












Wally at work....he doesn't make much per customer, but his rent is always paid on time.






The roof has been freshly covered with CGI (Corrugated Galvanised Iron) made from my embossed card once again.. Looks too 'new' to me! The range hood heat now vents to the atmosphere.





The front wall pilasters have also been attached, but still require trimming.





The rear wall and step, rain gutters, and downpipes. The 'too-new' roof has now had a patina of dust and grime added, courtesy of some brown pastels and some matte spray.





The 'concrete' ridge capping has been fitted to the front wall, and the pilasters trimmed. I also added a rectangular reveal panel to the upper section, as I felt that it was just a bit too barren-looking. Additionally, some 'el-cheapo' capitols, made up from some more bits in the junk box.








The western wall. Plenty of wire cables here, due to the four separate internal illumination circuits.







Here, with everything lit and running...










And from above...

(I like the last shot!)







.
There was no room in my model making room to display the four shops in situ, so I had to commandeer the kitchen bench for these shots. (Oh, the benefits of living alone!!)














You will note that I have made no effort here to simulate the steep incline that these shops will be on. This will eventually place the Butcher's Shop a great deal higher than Wally's, and Wally's correspondingly lower than the two-storey block...




















That brings me to the current end of this build.

I still have to add the external awnings covering the footpath, and build the roadway and pavement, which will include the aforementioned steep incline, as per the prototype.

That will be later, after I build and 'bash some trams to rattle past the establishments....and lay the tracks.....

Thanks for looking, guys.

As I mentioned earlier, this build has been a lot of fun.


Thank you all.


John







anubis51 Posted - 03/20/2012 : 7:28:31 PM
Thanks, guys.

Not very much more to go now - at least to finish the main structures. Just the front wall and roof for Wally's.

Additionally, I have to make up the front awnings over the footpath.

Guess I will have to add a footpath too, huh?

This will be an interesting chore in itself, as in the period I am modelling (1952-6), all the pavements in the area were constructed from brown bricks, (laid during the depression era of the 1930s) in a herringbone pattern, with sandstone curbing...



It wasn't until the mid 1960s that the old brickwork had started to deteriorate to the stage where it was becoming dangerous - especially for ladies in high heels!

It was about then that the old brickwork was torn up and replaced with the now-standard concrete panels.

Hmmmmmmmmmm, maybe a bit of 'artistic licence' is needed here....

Still, there is plenty of time now, as the challenge pressure is off.




(Besides, I have just taken delivery of a spiffy new kit - and I am itching to get onto starting a new mining module / diorama...)



I have never assembled a Laser Kit before....


Will post more of Wally's later today.

Thanks, fellas!



John


jschumaker Posted - 03/19/2012 : 09:15:51 AM
Getting caught up with your build, John. I enjoy seeing the creativity in your work.

Jeff S.
andykins Posted - 03/19/2012 : 08:14:17 AM
thanks for the update. the lighting looks good and really brings it too life, cant wait till its all done and lit including the jukebox going
Dutchman Posted - 03/19/2012 : 07:47:58 AM
Great progress again, John. I love the shot with the light on under the exhaust hood.
anubis51 Posted - 03/19/2012 : 06:43:17 AM
Hello again,

Thanks to Bruce, George and Robert.....


Having missed the Challenge deadline, (which is no more than I had envisaged from the outset, given the amount of work that I had given myself) I have also been involved with some other, more pressing matters over the last week or so.

Would be that all our spare time could be devoted to modelling, and other happy pursuits, but alas, this is far from a perfect world...

However, in spite of this, I have managed to achieve a little bit more towards the completion of Wally's Fish 'n' Chip Shop.

You may recall that I was only at the finalising of the kitchen area, and still had to add the rest of the walls, and etcetera.










First, the walls! Here is the centre wall, with the drinks machine and the Jukebox, attached to the eastern kitchen wall.








Work has progressed on the inside of the front wall. Here I am adding a warm white 3mm LED to the upper corner. This will allow the fine wire cables to invisibly run down the join between the front and western side wall. I would have liked to attach this main structure illumination to the ceiling, as per the Chemist's and Ted's, but as I wish to have a removeable roof, I couldn't figure out a simple way of doing it.







The lamp installed, with shade.


While on the subject of illumination, here is the 'lit' kitchen area, both with and without the serving counter.

















Here, the interior with the Jukebox 'playing'.









Wally's menu and price board....two shillings (20c) for a Wally's Whopper Burger, a Chiko Roll for a shilling (10c), and a deep-fried fillet of battered Barramundi for one shilling and threepence (about 14c) sounds ultra-coooooool to me.....






Moving onto the 'etceteras', here are the figures that will populate Wally's, in various stages of preparation. They are all from my 'bargain basement' bulk purchase of a couple of months ago. You may remember that I paid about AU$25 for 100. The quality is representative of the cost.....










However, they respond fairly well to a bit of cleaning up, tweaking, and rearrangement of various limbs as necessary.

Wally has had major surgery, with the replacement of one arm, and the addition of a short apron. This was made from a thin slice of Micropore surgical dressing, which I painted white.

Hal and Chloe are the names of real people from the era which I am modelling, but they never looked like this. Well, possibly when they were much younger....

Horrie and Cassie may look as if they are not talking to each other here, but they are to be placed so as to be in deep, intimate conversation, across one of the tables.

Jake the mill worker, has just arrived after finishing his shift to pick up his order of take away tucker for his young family. He is proudly wearing his new brown leather jacket.

Dear old Mrs Osgood is another lovely lady from the same era, and she was a friend of my father. She will also be waiting for her "Friday night Fish 'n' Chips" order, and will be taking the weight off her feet, sitting on the front bench while Wally prepares it.






Attaching the western wall: all clamped up while the glue dries.

A milkshake, a packet of cigarettes, and a few bottles of Pepsi are on the tables. The extractor tube has also been fitted to the range hood.

A couple of the figures behind have already been attached to their stools, and await their final placement...



Well, that's all for now, guys.


More soon.



Many thanks for looking.



John




robert goslin Posted - 03/14/2012 : 9:06:14 PM
John
Really nice window method. The signs came out great. Looking forward to your continuing build, and seeing it all come together. Well done.
George D Posted - 03/14/2012 : 8:10:39 PM
You do very interesting work, John. I'll be following along till you're done.

George
Dutchman Posted - 03/14/2012 : 6:04:04 PM
John, I love that approach to making window signs.

Don't rush! Your build thread will obviously remain open, and John will not lock the 'final pictures' thread for a while so guys can finish up.

I hope that the family situation is better now.
anubis51 Posted - 03/14/2012 : 4:35:55 PM
Thanks fellas,

It has been an extremely enjoyable experience for me to realise the construction of my little project. I am a little bit sorry that I have not completed it by the two month time limit, but I only missed it by a few days worth....

I will continue to post my updates, and they can be followed by anyone who is interested.

I will post a (three quarters) finished shot in the Final Pictures for the "Build a model in 2 months" thread.

Once again, many thanks to all your support and encouragement, guys.


John



robert goslin Posted - 03/13/2012 : 6:10:55 PM
John
This has been a great build. Really takes me back to when I was a kid in the '60's with the local corner milk bar and fish & chip shop. ALways love a Four & Twenty pie and a Paddle Pop ice cream. You've captured the feeling really well. Although shops like that are still around, it's not the same as it was when I was growing up.

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