Scottish Factory Buildings

How to do it, advice sought and offered.
Post Reply
Alan K
Posts: 339
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2012 9:41 pm

Scottish Factory Buildings

Post by Alan K » Tue Aug 07, 2018 4:50 pm

I'm currently trying to fill the gap at the rear of my layout with some low relief industrial buildings to represent a boilermaker's works. What I wanted was something typical of the Victorian era which would still have been ever present in the late 1920's/early 1930's, but would still be authentic for an earlier period if needed. So brickwork has to be 'Scottish Bond' with 3 stretcher courses separating each header course. Historic Scotland has an on-line pdf called 'Scottish Traditional Brickwork' which has some useful stuff on the subject.
For me the other 'must-have' typical of the period was the use of coloured (polychromatic-usually white or yellow) brick to form the quoins and door and window surrounds, as well as round top brick lintels. The other 'must-have' was something that could be produced quickly with very little effort, but I must confess up front that I failed on that one...
As a 'taster', this is a close-up of what I wanted
IMG_4371.JPG
IMG_4371.JPG (199.23 KiB) Viewed 16646 times
But unless I've missed it, I could find nothing 'ready-made' or even remotely convertible amongst the current offerings. Scalescenes has some factory buidings available, but nothing close to what I wanted. So it's back to good old 'scratch building'! Scalescenes does have a 'brick paper' in its range called 'Garden Bond' in two colours, which gave me a start. I found the brown version to print best on my printer. The only drawback I've found is that the print that you get is not randomised and has obviously been achieved by repeating a relatively small area many times, which means that there is a 'pattern' which is all too apparent where there is a large area unbroken by features such as windows etc. I had to do quite a lot of work to disguise that, and found by trial and error that judicial application of weathering powder worked well. Anyway, the building in the photo was produced using Scalescenes brick paper. The techniques used to fix the brick paper to card are fairly well covered elsewhere (there's a section in RMweb which gives good advice, and Scalescenes own instructions are very good and comprehensive). I can expand on the method I used to produce the coloured quoins later if there is any interest (the modellers amongst us seem to have gone into hibernation - maybe I can coax some life into the Modelling Q&A section!!).
Of course it's all very well having a rough idea of what you want - the other part is to come up with prototype buildings - architectural styles, dimensions, proportions etc etc and I struggled with this for a while. There are lots of pictures of Victorian structures to be found (as usual, Google is your friend but the trick is how to describe what you are looking for), but usually these are for grand or preserved structures, not humble factory buildings, the back ends of which are visible from the railway! And even when you do find something which might do, you still need to have sufficient close-up detail to allow estimation of dimensions. For example, for a brick-built building you need to be able to count the bricks!! Vertically, four bricks high is approximately a foot, and horizontally four brick lengths is 3 ft. In my internet wanderings, I eventually found Canmore, and more specifically the photographs of John Hume. He took some pictures of the old Harland & Wolf diesel engine works in Lancefield Street in Glasgow, which had originally been the Boilerworks of the London & Glasgow Engineering & Iron Shipbuilding Co., built 1865, with cast iron stanchions and timber joists and (I think) corrugated iron roof. And some of the photos show (countable) bricks! So that's what I've used as my starting point.
IMG_4367.JPG
IMG_4367.JPG (143.69 KiB) Viewed 16646 times
The other architectural feature (which you can see clearly in the above photo) which I've had to contend with is 'dentillation' -more on that later too.

Alan

jimwatt2mm
Posts: 627
Joined: Fri Nov 16, 2012 5:36 pm

Re: Scottish Factory Buildings

Post by jimwatt2mm » Tue Aug 07, 2018 5:59 pm

Not sure if this will be of any use to you. Lamberton's in Coatbridge. I'm not sure when this building was built, but the company goes back to the 1880's. Sorry there's not much detail as this is a crop from a larger photo. the station in the foreground is Coatbridge Sunnyside.
lamberton web.JPG
lamberton web.JPG (64.33 KiB) Viewed 16642 times
Jim W

Ian Smeeton
Posts: 49
Joined: Tue Apr 19, 2016 11:40 am

Re: Scottish Factory Buildings

Post by Ian Smeeton » Tue Aug 07, 2018 9:57 pm

https://britainfromabove.org.uk could be of use, and is linked to the Canmore site.

Most photos would be insufficiently clear to 'count bricks', however, for overall style and detail, it may help.

Regards

Ian

Alan K
Posts: 339
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2012 9:41 pm

Re: Scottish Factory Buildings

Post by Alan K » Wed Aug 15, 2018 8:10 pm

Sorry I haven't responded to this sooner. The Lamberton building looks quite interesting Jim - not sure if it is all that early though. I think that the height of these buildings is usually dictated by the requirement for overhead cranes running on gantries, which were increasingly larger for lifting heavier loads. The lack of detail to see the bricks makes it difficult to estimate the dimensions. It looks like the original (brick?) building has been extended later with corrugated iron sides. A side elevation building has some distinct advantages, especially if it has to meld into a backscene. But if it's too long it becomes a bit too dominant, so I've opted for gable ends as I think they can give more variety and interest. Ian, I like 'Britain from Above' too - it's very useful for getting an appreciation of layout of industrial buildings, but as you've suggested it rarely gives enough detail to provide dimensions.
Maybe I didn't make it clearer how far I've got, but these photos will illustrate progress to date:
IMG_4693.JPG
IMG_4693.JPG (191.02 KiB) Viewed 16560 times
IMG_4694.JPG
IMG_4694.JPG (179.31 KiB) Viewed 16560 times
I've used the style and dimensions of the two different generations of the Lancefield St boilerworks (with some licence) to produce the two-gabled building with windows and the earlier four-gabled one without windows. These are finished. You can just make out the 3rd part (in white card) which is still under construction, and which will be the inwards goods/transit shed with rail access. It will be of corrugated iron construction on brick footings. The strange and rather crude looking vehicle is a mock-up to test that I could get a 17ft wheelbase wagon down the works siding!

Alan

Jim Summers
Posts: 823
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2012 8:54 pm

Re: Scottish Factory Buildings

Post by Jim Summers » Thu Aug 16, 2018 8:22 am

Great stuff, Alan, and I look forward to hearing - and seeing - more.

JImS

LarryC
Posts: 40
Joined: Fri Apr 18, 2014 7:28 am

Re: Scottish Factory Buildings

Post by LarryC » Sun Aug 19, 2018 9:06 pm

Alan

The buildings look great.

Regarding Lamberton's factory, I stopped off yesterday on my fortnightly pilgrimage to Cliftonhill to count the bricks. The gable end is about 130 bricks high (allowing for my failing eyesight). At 3 inches per brick, this would make it about 32 feet high. It looks higher, I would admit.

Larry

Alan K
Posts: 339
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2012 9:41 pm

Re: Scottish Factory Buildings

Post by Alan K » Mon Aug 20, 2018 7:17 pm

Thanks guys. I wasn't sure if there was any interest in buildings - it's a bit of an ugly sister compared with more 'important' stuff like engines, rolling stock, signalling and permanent way items etc! But I think it's worth the effort to get the 'background' things looking right (and hopefully authentic). I've just looked at my notes from the photos of Lancefield St and the peak height of the gable is ~41ft and the side height 32ft. So the Lamberton building isn't as tall, which I'm surprised at. It just goes to show that you really need to count those bricks!!
I've just got to finish cladding the final building with corrugated iron and then I'll post some details of the tricky bits (at least for me they were) I encountered in the course of construction.

Alan

JimG
Posts: 257
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2012 11:15 pm

Re: Scottish Factory Buildings

Post by JimG » Mon Aug 20, 2018 9:39 pm

LarryC wrote: Regarding Lamberton's factory, I stopped off yesterday on my fortnightly pilgrimage to Cliftonhill to count the bricks. The gable end is about 130 bricks high (allowing for my failing eyesight). At 3 inches per brick, this would make it about 32 feet high. It looks higher, I would admit.
If the bricks were older bricks they could have been 3 3/4" high plus mortar width, so around 4" per brick course. The details of Scottish brick sizes are given in this PDF...

http://www.brick.org.uk/admin/resources ... ckwork.pdf

...on Page 18.

the PDF is quite an intersting read on the matter of brickwork.

Jim.

Irnorman
Posts: 8
Joined: Sat Jul 02, 2016 8:35 pm

Re: Scottish Factory Buildings

Post by Irnorman » Tue Aug 21, 2018 8:18 pm

If I recall correctly, a brickie involved with restoration work told me the 3” brick was a relatively modern development. Unfortunately, he didn’t expand on his definition of relatively modern.

In the early days of developing my model of Edinburgh Princes St, I reverted to the counting bricks approach for the former SSEB buildings at Dewar Place, using my own photographs taken prior to its rebuilding. Transferred to Slaters Plasticard, the model would have been approx six inches too short in length and two-three inches too low in overall height. Fortunately, this was discovered before any cutting had commenced.

Subsequently I discovered SE Fincast do embossed plastic sheets of Garden Bond and have used that. The sheets are large enough for the length of the signal box without any joins. Unfortunately, the brickwork isn’t as crisp as other bonds, but I’m hopeful a coat of paint will disguise things, especially the reflective sheen that highlights/exaggerates the rounded edges of the bricks. As most of the buildings are at the rear of the layout, that’s a compromise I can live with.

Lovely work by Alan so far, and I look forward to its future development.
Ian Norman

Alan K
Posts: 339
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2012 9:41 pm

Re: Scottish Factory Buildings

Post by Alan K » Tue Sep 04, 2018 4:54 pm

Corrugated Iron Roof
I've at last finished the 3rd and final part of the Boilermaker Works. Corrugated iron was used quite a lot for roofing but also increasingly for siding in later times, and this part is probably the most recent.
This is the unpainted stage:
IMG_4696.JPG
IMG_4696.JPG (132 KiB) Viewed 16276 times
The unfinished part at the front can't be seen once the building is in place!
And the finished building here:
IMG_4698.JPG
IMG_4698.JPG (121.57 KiB) Viewed 16276 times
The 'corrugated iron' is entirely home-made using a method I discovered (well known cheapskate that I am!) which is probably not original, but it was new to me! It is neither styrene nor aluminium foil. Anybody prepared to guess? This photo gives a couple of clues, one obvious, the other is in the colour!
IMG_4354.JPG
IMG_4354.JPG (107.48 KiB) Viewed 16276 times
Two more pictures of the finished article in place:
IMG_4701.JPG
IMG_4701.JPG (163.07 KiB) Viewed 16276 times
IMG_4703.JPG
IMG_4703.JPG (177.17 KiB) Viewed 16276 times
That completes my picture allowance. I'll reveal all the next time

Thanks for looking

Alan

lindsay_g
Posts: 380
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2012 8:43 pm

Re: Scottish Factory Buildings

Post by lindsay_g » Tue Sep 04, 2018 11:55 pm

Patently obvious that it is fresh lasagne, but a pound to a penny says that will be denied.

Lindsay

Dave John
Posts: 198
Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2012 7:42 am

Re: Scottish Factory Buildings

Post by Dave John » Wed Sep 05, 2018 7:19 pm

Looks very effective.

I have been playing about with creating a Scottish bond texture for my own use, but I might give that one a try and see how I like it.

Alan K
Posts: 339
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2012 9:41 pm

Re: Scottish Factory Buildings

Post by Alan K » Thu Sep 06, 2018 5:28 pm

Sorry Lindsay but no pasta whatsoever was used in this preparation!
The first part is forming the profile. As I understand it, the large corrugated section (which I've seen described as 'Industrial' as opposed to 'Domestic') is 6" between peaks and the smaller one which would be used for garden sheds is 4". So for 4mm/ft scale you need a pitch of 2mm or 1.3mm respectively. I struck lucky by finding a door strip for carpet edging in the loft like this
IMG_4355.JPG
IMG_4355.JPG (131.04 KiB) Viewed 16182 times
It's an aluminium extrusion and has peaks at 2mm! Unfortunately I can't remember where I got it, but it was probably B&Q, although I don't see it amongst the current offerings.
So I made up a little device as shown here
IMG_4356.JPG
IMG_4356.JPG (150.49 KiB) Viewed 16182 times
The nails make the two halves fit together so that the peaks always nest the same way each time. The actual shape of the peaks doesn't seem to matter: I reckon that a triangular 'sawtooth' shape would work just as well, because the material being formed will curve rather than come out with a 'sawtooth' shape.
Next I looked around for suitable material to use. Aluminium foil is the obvious choice (the best available commercial offering is probably from Ambis and comes in aluminium or copper foil), but I didn't like the prospect of painting the panels as aluminium is notoriously difficult to prime. I got my device to work with paper, but it didn't hold the profile too well. Then I had a lightbulb moment and remembered reading that in the 'olden days' before styrene sheet was available, folks used cardboard which they stiffened using shellac. And that was the magic ingredient, which works a treat!
I bought a bottle of this
IMG_4357.JPG
IMG_4357.JPG (114.15 KiB) Viewed 16182 times
which I apply to 120gsm matt inkjet paper with a brush, and when dry cut the paper into suitable pieces (to give scale 8 or 10' long by 3' wide panels). A few taps with a light hammer to make sure the paper bottoms out between the nested formers and bingo: a nicely formed simulated corrugated sheet! I've got better at making them as I went along, but it's not difficult. The main thing is to find a way to ensure that the blank always gets placed in the device in the same place so that each finished piece is identical - the edge must always be parallel to the corrugations. I can do it by eye now!

Alan

Alan K
Posts: 339
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2012 9:41 pm

Re: Scottish Factory Buildings

Post by Alan K » Sat Sep 15, 2018 4:38 pm

Quoins
In my opinion the use of white/cream coloured brick at corners and window reveals is the feature which really typifies Scottish industrial buildings from mid 19th century (together with Scottish bond brickwork). Making a model to reproduce it is fraught with difficulty! This is the way I did it with the buildings I showed earlier. Alas I didn't take any photos during construction, but I decided to re-do the brick base of my water tank, done some time ago with a less than acceptable earlier attempt at polychrome brick quoins.
Basically I need to create an edge for each corner brick that I can paint....and all the courses have to be in line. My painting skills are just not up to that without some help!
So first I scroll a groove along the horizontal mortar lines as shown here:
IMG_4705.JPG
IMG_4705.JPG (152.98 KiB) Viewed 16030 times
It's important to only lightly score, and not cut the paper. I use the side of the point of my compass cutter for this - any fine-pointed, not too sharp and preferably plated (glides better) needle would do. It isn't strictly necessary to groove anything more than the horizontal mortar lines at the corners, but I think it gives a bit more 'texture' to the finished article if all the joints are scored. But it's a pain to do this for a large area....! This is the result for one side, close up and with favourable lighting:
IMG_4716.JPG
IMG_4716.JPG (218.56 KiB) Viewed 16030 times
Notice that there are no vertical joints scored at the corners. In order to get these all in line, I made 2 guides, one for full brick and one for half brick, and a 'scorer' made out of 1mm square nickel silver as shown here
IMG_4724.JPG
IMG_4724.JPG (102.43 KiB) Viewed 16030 times
This photo shows the vertical joints scored at the corners and at the window reveals (on a different side of the building)
IMG_4720.JPG
IMG_4720.JPG (230.84 KiB) Viewed 16030 times
For the window reveals, I've used the jaws of the vernier callipers, set to full brick and half brick length.
So now I've got an edge for all the bricks that I need to paint. This is what I used. The little brush turned out to be ideal for the job.
IMG_4731.JPG
IMG_4731.JPG (120.37 KiB) Viewed 16030 times
That completes my picture allowance: see next post for the rest!

Alan

Alan K
Posts: 339
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2012 9:41 pm

Re: Scottish Factory Buildings

Post by Alan K » Sat Sep 15, 2018 5:25 pm

Quoins part 2
This is a very cruel close-up of the finished item.
IMG_4728.JPG
IMG_4728.JPG (155.49 KiB) Viewed 16026 times
The building fits into a recess, so the part below the bottom of the doors is below ground and can't be seen (which is just as well as you can see where I haven't scored the mortar line in the right place!). But I think that the presence of the vertical grooves delineating the cream coloured brick makes them look as though they are meant to be there.
This is a view of the finished article:
IMG_4727.JPG
IMG_4727.JPG (142.58 KiB) Viewed 16026 times
I'm reasonably pleased with the result: I think it captures the look I was after. It might need a bit of toning down with weathering powder to take the newness off the cream brick!

Further to the debate about the brick size and the error which can arise when 'counting the bricks', I found another source of information about Scottish brickwork on line here https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q ... tNNFbugTrj (But be warned: it's a PhD thesis and 700 odd pages long!) A relevant item of interest was that in the period 1850-1900, the 'gauge' used was 4 courses of brick should have a height between 13 and 15 inches. The brick thickness is quoted as 3", so the mortar thickness would be 1/4" to 3/4". So if you are wanting to reproduce an actual building from photographs where you can count the bricks then a reasonable estimate would be to allow 14" of height for every 4 bricks.
Another useful snippet was that 'Scottish bond' was by far the most common bond used in Scotland for all brick buildings, and was almost totally absent from English practice.

Thanks for looking

Alan

Jim Summers
Posts: 823
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2012 8:54 pm

Re: Scottish Factory Buildings

Post by Jim Summers » Sat Sep 15, 2018 9:08 pm

And thanks as ever to you for posting, Alan.
You are so right about the quoins defining the location and period.

JimS

David Elvy
Posts: 440
Joined: Tue Aug 21, 2012 6:26 am

Re: Scottish Factory Buildings

Post by David Elvy » Sat Sep 29, 2018 10:08 am

Thank you for sharing Alan, we sometimes forget that a lot of modelling techniques are not scale specific, some useful ideas.

David

[email protected]
Posts: 11
Joined: Mon Jan 15, 2018 9:34 pm

Ferryhill Steam Shed

Post by [email protected] » Mon Oct 15, 2018 8:02 am

44794 outside 61B small.jpg
Optical illusion or fact....can these roof lights really measure 9 feet wide by 7 feet high?
44794 outside 61B small.jpg (90.31 KiB) Viewed 15510 times
Well here goes! Over the past few years I have sucked as much information out of a multitude of websites, including CRA, and everyone has been super helpful. My project is a 4mm scale model of Aberdeen Ferryhill set in the late 1950's/early 1960's, which has been made somewhat more difficult as Ferryhill hasn't existed since the early 1990's, and finding historical information on which to base modelling fact is proving testing in some areas. I kick myself for not taking much more interest in the buildings, as i used to visit most weeks for around a decade, and even worked there as acting mechanical foreman for some weeks during 1980 when BR was good enough to send me home to Aberdeen (I was a maintenance supervisor at Craigentinny at the time) as my mother was terminally ill.
Moves to England, Hong Kong and then New Zealand meant I wasn't around to see Ferryhill closed and then demolished. However, i guess many of us have had similar experiences when it comes to events in the past we should have treated differently....hindsight as they say is 20-20 vision!

The Association was good enough to provide me copies of the original 1907 Caley plans for the rebuild (many thanks to Jim McIntosh) and since Jim Summers, Bob Drummond, Stuart Sellar and others have helped answer my seemingly endless questions. Good news is that the first baseboard is nearing completion and I am in the process of converting the Ferryhill plans to 4mm scale dimensions, including a window and door schedule. It appears that the Caley enlarged a number of key depots around the same time that Ferryhill was dealt with, and I surmised that many of the key attributes (such as brickwork style, window/door style and sizes, ventilator style, etc) might be similar if not identical. LMS Engine Sheds Vol 5 portrays Balornock and Grangemouth amongst others as having such similarities to Ferryhill.

To this end I am working with a UK modelling entity (Scalelink) to produce etched brass doors/windows and ventilators which may be of interest to others modelling Caley subjects. I am putting together a spreadsheet of the various items with the key dimensions, drawings/photos and the number required as we speak, for submission to Scalelink later this month. Anyone else interested?

I do need some help please.....I have measured the roof lights from the drawings, but they seem much bigger than those portrayed in photos...is this because they lie at an angle on the roof, thus making their height seem smaller than actual, or were the windows modified at some stage? The width is ok, at 9'0", but the height at 7'0" (taken from a drawing) seems too big when looking at photos. The roof size from gutter to ridge is 17' 0". Thoughts.....

jimwatt2mm
Posts: 627
Joined: Fri Nov 16, 2012 5:36 pm

Re: Scottish Factory Buildings

Post by jimwatt2mm » Mon Oct 15, 2018 9:31 am

How many times does the size of the window go into the slope of the roof? At 7ft it should go into the overall slope approx 2.5 times.

Jim W

Alan K
Posts: 339
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2012 9:41 pm

Re: Scottish Factory Buildings

Post by Alan K » Fri Oct 19, 2018 7:07 pm

Dentillation
This is a very common architectural feature on Scottish buildings in Victorian times: I've seen a reference somewhere which says that dentillation is always present under cornices. I think the original version was when the dentils (ie 'teeth'!) were formed by having every 2nd header brick projecting, but later practice had what looks like a pre-formed concrete (?) casting to represent the dentillation, and that is what is clearly used in the Lancefield St building I'm trying to model:
IMG_4367.JPG
IMG_4367.JPG (143.69 KiB) Viewed 15302 times
It's an absolute pain to reproduce! I had to incorporate it when I built the Goods Shed (the appearance of which was modelled on the Engine Shed at Forfar) a few years ago. I cut little cubes of 1.5mm styrene and painstakingly bonded them to lengths of square rod using a spacer - and it took ages!
IMG_4752.JPG
IMG_4752.JPG (171.45 KiB) Viewed 15302 times
So this time, with even smaller dentils to make, I needed to find a quicker method. I made a little former from a length of pcb (what else!). One of the really cool things about soldering on pcb is that you can isolate sections thermally by sawing a cut through the copper layer and so can solder lots of parts close together without having to worry about previous parts becoming unsoldered! This is the former: 8 short lengths of 1mm square nickel silver rod at 1mm intervals, which allows me to position 6 'dentils' at a time for solvent bonding (with 1 space to hold the last of the previous 6).
IMG_4743.JPG
IMG_4743.JPG (92.31 KiB) Viewed 15302 times
This photo shows the styrene in place ready for the solvent. I found from bitter experience that the styrene needs to be removed quickly from the former to avoid excess solvent causing the styrene to stick to the metal, but this inevitably puts a strain on the joints when lifting it out. So I deliberately cut the 'dentils' long so that I can use the projecting parts to lift the styrene out using tweezers. Then trim to make flush with the square rod.
IMG_4744.JPG
IMG_4744.JPG (94.42 KiB) Viewed 15302 times
Here is a close -up of the finished item
IMG_4740.JPG
IMG_4740.JPG (232.77 KiB) Viewed 15302 times
Alan

Alan K
Posts: 339
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2012 9:41 pm

Re: Scottish Factory Buildings

Post by Alan K » Wed Dec 12, 2018 9:22 pm

A couple of photos to finish off: I decided to rework the original section of the building by adding some signage. And in homage to the original Lancefield Street photos which inspired the construction it gets to be called Lancefield Boilerworks. I can't think where auld Willie Nicholson got the idea when he started up the business originally....!!
IMG_4747.JPG
IMG_4747.JPG (228.62 KiB) Viewed 13699 times
And this is a view down through the gates of the works siding into the entrance of the despatch/ inwards goods annexe. What can be seen is a 'trompe l'oeil' - of a wagon turntable with a brick wall behind it as there is no room for anything there!
IMG_4748.JPG
IMG_4748.JPG (173.18 KiB) Viewed 13699 times
Thanks for looking

Alan

Post Reply