Monday 18 April 2022

Wagga station - Concrete paving

 Concrete paving - an exercise in using a lot of styrene.

Turning a group of buildings into a ready to install diorama is the subject of this blogpost.

My photo from around 1982, shows the main entrance of the Wagga Wagga station, with all the add-on temporary offices, and rooms on the former verandas.  When I started making my model, I was in 2 minds whether to make it like this, or go with the asthetically pleasing heritage makeover.  I chose the latter.  Note the wide car park.

Creating an illusion of reality ensures that buildings form part of the landscape, and don't sit on top, with a visible "air gap" under the walls.   Way back 20 years, I conducted an experiment on the ACTMRS layout, "!2th Street Yard", where I installed a sidewalk along a sloping street, with a 3mm deep gap between the sidewalk, and the backscene where building flats could be placed.  

12th Street Yard building flats could be assembled with flat bases, and were placed into a gap behind the sidewalk, and not cut to fit the slope of the street. They were made vertical by bolstering the down hill edge of the building flat by a block of wood (also hidden)

From normal viewing angles, you could not see the gap.  The experiment worked.

I have attempted to follow this example with Wagga Wagga station, by cutting slots in the plastic styrene for the same purpose.  from normal viewing angles, you won't see a gap.

Station Platform, and awkwardness.

The main platform was integral to the platform awning, and it scaled 5 mm higher than the base of the walls.  At the same time, the footpath at the main entrance was only 2mm higher than the base of the walls.  This set the scene where the concrete paving had to slope 3mm , or almost one scale foot from the platform to the front footpath.  Fairly subtle, but necessary.  This little fact has complicated the paving task - and added a lot more time to my build.

The paving around the station is a seperate section. It is the same height as the front entrance, and maintains this height in front of the veranda (which is 2mm higher again).  On the side of the station buiding, it rises to match the 5mm platform height.  I used 0.040 thick styrene sheets, and the height is made up with different thickness ribs on the underside

The Gents Toilet building sits in a cutout.  Note the way the edge slopes from 5mm to 2mm. (You may need to click on the image to enlarge this) 

I used multiple pieces of styrene to make the paving.  Yes, that would not be a smooth finish with all the pieces butting up against each other - but it was a way to minimise styrene wastage.  The little cutouts are for the building's decorative blockwork

After around 3 weeks of what I admit was a dull, and tedious process, I was able to spray paint the paving floquil concrete.  Yes, there is a slight variance in the colour of the platform under the station awning - simulating I hope, a different surface texture.  I have also sprayed the roofs of the Gents toilet and museum buildings.

None of the concrete paving is yet secured, as some fine tuning still is needed, and that may be easier on the workbench.  But once glued into position, the slight warping of the paving on the roadside, will be eliminated.

Roadway/ Carpark

Finally, something extra.  Using Floqul Grimy Black, which does not swell the wood fibres, I brush painted the roadway.  Maybe a bit dark, but dust seems to weather it down.  

A trio of Valiants on the newly painted road surface.  Yes, they should be angled parked based on my 1982 picture.  The cars are HO scale Road Ragers, and first impressions that they are too small.  But I know my station is correctly scaled (I measured it), so it is correct.  This picture taken in the gloom of late afternoon, before the rain.  

Until next time, build a model or two.