Modelling Tetbury Goods Shed


I have always had a facination with the architectural appearance of GWR goods sheds, particularly the shed at Tetbury, the size of which, was considerable for such a small station.

In this article, I will be building a scale model of Tetbury Goods Shed which will be used on my 'Ashprington Road' layout.

Before I decided to start the project, there was one problem which had to be resolved from the start otherwise the project was going to be a non-starter. The problem was how I would model the window structures at each end of the shed and all of the window frames throughout the building. Fortunately, I found York Model Making who were able to laser cut plastic window frames for me from scale drawings which I provided:

The windows are all cut into a single sheet of plastic card, however, notice how the two at the bottom right of the picture laminate to gether to create the relief of a sash window.
The main roof apex windows will both require some extra plastic card attached to create the effect of a thick window frame structure.


Tetbury Goods Shed is still extant and therefore provides a modelling information source, particularly for brickwork formation and colours:

[Photos Courtesy: Robin Smith and Patrick Marks]

Starting the Model

The first step when building any model is to locate scale drawings of the prototype. 4mm drawings of Tetbury Goods Shed were sourced from "Great Western Branch Line Termini" Volume One by Paul Karau and published by Oxford Publishing Co ISBN 0 902888897.

I decided that the structure of this model would be constructed using laminated thick card with layers of 1mm. The sides and end were cut out and checked against the scale drawings for accuracy and adjustment.
The following picture shows the two sides marked out on one thickness of card:

Window Cutting

Once the marking out was completed, the windows were cut out using a sharp knife. In retrospect, it would probably have been a better choice to use plastic card because ordinary card becomes 'furry' at the edges, especially when a file is used to shape it and make small adjustments. For the mounting card I was using, filing worked reasonably well, especially when a small amount of PVA was soaked into it and allowed to dry hard.
The following pictures show the cutting out of the windows:

Window Shaping

Initialially, the windows were cut out as squares, however, the tops of the windows on Tetbury Goods Shed are arched. To create the arched provilde, a Dremelwas used.
The following pictures show the arch being shaped with the Dremel and the shape of the hole being matched against the York Model Making window frames:

Relief effects and Corbling

Tetbury Goods Shed has a lot of ornate effects in its brickwork construction which needed to be modelled. I decided that this would be done using laminations of card.
The following pictures show the 'buttress recess' effect between each window made with 1mm thick card and the corbling made with .3mm thick card:

End Construction

The ends of the building were made with the same construction methods described above. The following pictures show the next steps where the corbling was painted prior to attaching embossed brick plastic card because it is easier to paint before applying the card and ensure that any gaps or edges are not missed. The brickwork will be spray painted overall later to give the final finish.
The pictures also show checking against the scale drawings:

Brick Finish

The brick appearance on the model has been done with Slaters embossed plastic card. It is fairly thin and is easy to work with and above all, the bricks are to correct scale.
The following pictures show one of the ends with plastic card applied and being checked against the drawings:

Completing the Sides

The following pictures show the process of fitting the brickwork to the sides. Firstly, a sheet of plastic card is cut, ensuring that the brick layers line up with those on the ends of the shed. Then the recesses are lined up with the verticals, marked out and cut out one by one:

Once all of the recesses have been cut out, the plastic card was glued to the side. Then the recesses were filled in with plastic card, again, ensuring that the brickwork layers lined up.
One thing I did learn when using Slaters brick-embossed plastic card is that the rows of bricks are fairly 'wavy' and not always straight and accurate, therefore, every cut had to be measured first because the brick layers couldn't be relied upon to be accurate.
The following pictures show the recesses being filled in, followed by the windows being cut out from the rear afterwards. The black strip acts as a filler to rest on when cutting the plastic card. Once the holes were cut out, the plastic card was filed so that it had the same edge and shape as the underlying card.

The following picture shows the road entrance side of the shed with embossed plastic card fitted:

Base Construction

Although the shed will be placed on a semi-permanent layout, some thought as to its structural strength must be given for when the shed is removed from the layout.
The goods shed siding on 'Ashprington Road' is on a curve. This means that the platform inside the goods shed must replicate that curve. At this point, I considered that at some point in the future, I may want to use the shed on another layout and that a curved platform may not be suitable.
In order to provide structural strength to the shed, I cut out some 12mm ply and placed a 5mm MDF surface on top. The edge of the platform is held back so that a further strip of 12mm ply and MDF can be placed as the platform edge and fixed to the layout. This means that the platform edge serves to locate the shed on the layout but at the same time, if the shed is ever placed on another layout, a new platform edge will be created suitable for that layout and the shed platform will be placed up against it.
The following picture shows the platform which will be attached internally to the shed and form the basis of the structural strength:

Temporary assembly and checking for squareness

Once the base was cut, a few trial assemblies were undertaken to ensure that everything fitted together squarely:

Assembly of the Shed

The following photos show various views of the assembled shed at an advanced stage:

The external walls have all been air-brushed with Humbrol brick red (70) with a light dusting of Carrs powders, while the internal walls have been painted with matt white.
The gable window frames have been laminated with strips of Evergreen plastic card to give the relief effect of frames. They were later backed with perspex.
The platform surface has been painted with Humbrol matt grey (64) and lightly dusted with Carrs powders.
The internal sliding doors are non-functional and are made out of various Evergreen L and flat strips, painted with Railmatch WR brown (219).
The beams over the rail entrances have been fabricated from Evergreen H beam with strips of plastic card to create the ribs. This was subsequently painted matt black. I subsequently came across a photo on the internet of the prototype under restoration where the road entrance canopy had been removed, thereby exposing the girder across the entrance - a very lucky chance for something that wouldn't normally be seen. This will be modelled.

The picture below shows the 3mm MDF roof laid loosley in place. This will be fixed in place and laminated with card when the gable ends have been completed. Following that, the Slaters embossed plastic card roofing will be fixed:

Office Building Construction

The construction of the office building uses the same card and plastic card methods as the main shed:

The Finished Model

Here are some pictures of the finished model.
The handrails of the steps were fabricated from copper wire. All downpipes, including the elbows on the canopy ends, are fabricated from brass tube. The canopy is plastic card with ratio valances. All gutters are Ratio. Chimney pots are Dart Castings white metal. All windows are York Model Making and have all been given 'relief' using Evergreen plastic strip. Panelled doors are fabricated from Evergreen plastic strip. Window ledges are also Evergreeen plastic strip. Brick arches over windows and doors are actually cut out from copies of the original drawings, painted Matt Tank Grey 67 with pencil used to mark out the brick courses.

The Model in place on 'Ashprington Road'

Graham Plowman (13/11/2010)

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