Sunday, December 27, 2009

How I converted a children's toy into a station building

After seeing an article by Andrew Cox in the August 2009 edition of 16mm Today in which he described converting a children's toy into a passable station building, I decided to follow his example and invest in a secondhand Koala Brothers Homestead. I picked mine up for £5.50 on eBay.

The first step was to disassemble it. This was a relatively straightforward task as the building mainly clipped together with a few screws here and there.

The legs, and the supports for the veranda, were surgically removed from each side with a razor saw leaving part of the roof support in place for the station canopy.

The hinged roofs were removed by extracting the steel axle from the hinge mechanism.

and then the hinge brackets were removed from each of the roof sections and the front with a razor saw.
The missing half of the left side was measured out and cut from the now redundant base.

This was edged with off-cuts from the veranda supports and the whole lot was glued together with Bostik 'Soft Plastics' clear adhesive.

The steps were removed from the front of the veranda and attached to the front of the building. Similarly, all but the top step was removed from the annex.

The building was reassembled with the veranda roof attached to the rear of the building and a canopy made from 2mm plasticard.

The edging for the canopy was cut from 1mm plasticard using an offcut of canopy edging from GRS as a template.

A piece of 2mm plasticard was cut and fixed to the back. As this will not be seen when in situ, it was not detailed. The gaps were plugged with filler.

The whole building was then given a coat of Plasticote undercoat.

The walls were painted with cream exterior emulsion paint (white paint with some yellow acrylic added) and the exposed framework was painted with green gloss (to which some talcum powder had been added to 'matt' it down a little). The roof was given and coat of dark grey acrylic and the stonework for the chimney was picked out in acrylics to give it the appearance of the local sandstone.
Pieces of clear polycarbonate glazing sheet were glued in behind the windows and appropriate posters and notices were attached the walls (see How I assembled the (other) station buildings).
The whole lot was then given a couple of coats of clear satin varnish. When the Spring comes a concrete base will be cast in situ and the building will be bedded into this while the cement mix is still wet. It will be removed while the concrete is in its 'green' state to enable the building to be removable for maintenance. I also intend to add interior detailing and some lighting.

Although it doesn't bear close scrutiny, the design of the building is in keeping with the others on the line and, for an investment of £5.50, I have something with is durable and quite appropriate.

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