Sunday, 27 August 2017

Now That is What I Call a Railway Station

We have just completed a marvellous MDF building kit from Things from the Basement "20th Century Railway Station".
This is a wargamer's building - tough, transportable, multi level with stairs and lots of places to place your models. It comes as unpainted laser cut MDF with instructions you can download from their web site.
45 inches - Infantry take four turns to traverse this station
This is definitely an advanced kit, part of the "Master Builder Series". It is not too difficult, but there is a lot to do. One suggestion I have already made to the very helpful guys from Things From The Basement is to number the pieces and match the part numbers to the instructions.
We started on the left hand tower and once we mastered that the concepts all flowed through to the rest of the building.
I'm about to start my game long charge!

I can see you but you're out of range.
This is actually five buildings in one. The left and right towers, the two connecting halls and then the main hall.
For this building we decided to approach it different to our normal impatient method. Rather than just building then try painting it afterwards, we did most of the painting and other effects before we glued it all together.
Instead of painting the floors I made some "tiles" by using Pages and creating a multi coloured grid of main tiles, with the alternate darker tiles having a train wheel in the centre.
Then we made some smaller light and dark green "tiles" for the edges and some black and white squares for the entrances, stair landings and ticket booths.
Just add trains.

Multi Level with stairs, hand rails and balcony
We thought a logo would look grand so I found a stylistic rose, duplicated and mirrored it and added the initials "TDG" - The Demo Gamers.
The effect worked.
We used a variety of colours from sample paint pots you can obtain from the paint or hardware stores. These are inexpensive and can be whatever colour you request.
The hardest decision was what colour to paint the train station. This led to a search on the Internet for train stations.
By accident we stumbled across the Dunedin train station in New Zealand. Click the link. It's an amazing station. Now we had the concept and just had to put it in place.
Lots of windows and doors to fire from.

The Main Hall with ticket booths, telephone booth and clock.
Initially we were just going to paint the stone parts a dark grey, but my son said we should make it look more like stone. So back to computer I went. I found a sample stone picture, duplicated and meshed it all together so I had a full page of stonework.
Then we painted all the interior walls a beige colour and applied the stonework to the outside. The floors were all prepared with our tile-work, painted with a satin varnish to both make it look better, but more importantly, protect it from dust and marks.
Then the walls went up and already we had a great start.
My wife and daughters helped in painting all the white facings and trim and the red roofs.
As each part was completed we put it all together. Although there was a delay in getting the building constructed as we had to paint the parts first, the result was a much cleaner production. The white trim could be painted without worrying about marking adjoining walls and the results are really crisp. It also meant that younger hands and older eyes could easily paint the parts.
As you can see there are A LOT of windows and trim!
The final stage were the main hall ticket booths, telephone box and signs.
The telephone booth had to be blue of course and the ticket booths were green as that is the sample pot colour we had at hand. Once more it was all painted and prepared before we glued each part in place. Then we just touched up the edges. The door handles and clock hands are separate pieces which meant we could paint them gold/brass and glue them in place making it all very neat.
I didn't bother using the laser cut writing on the signs as I would never be able to get this straight or neat enough. So back to the computer to create the lettering.
I also found a clock face with no hands and roman numerals which I scaled appropriately and glued in place.
After each of the signs and clock were in place we also varnished them for safety and then glued in place.
The longest search was for a suitable looking train timetable. I found one which we used but even scaled down to 28mm scale it is still readable (with good eyes or my favourite tool, a photo and then zoom on the screen). It's a pity the French train station has trains departing for Salisbury, but I suspect all trains are delayed by the war.
Overall this is a great model and am very glad that the early draft version had been used in game and shared on the Bolt Action Facebook page. This led me to track down the production model, make a very reasonable deal with the guys to send it all the way to Australia and then plan our construction.
I think your train may be late.
This Railway Station will be taking a key role in the upcoming public participation games we will be running over the rest of this year. Stay tuned for more details.
We will also be updating our Bolt Action building considerations. This is definitely not a standard size building in normal game terms!
(Note these building considerations will be updated to take into account the fine changes to buildings in Bolt Action v2 very shortly)


  1. Really AMAZING job! This is truly a center piece if I ever saw one! I'm looking forward to seeing it in a game, so be sure to post!

  2. What a fantastic find and build - well done David!
    Will you and the boys be coming to MAOB this year?

    1. We sure will. I will be putting up details of the board and the new concept we will be running too. Stay tuned.

  3. Great job! And yes the Dunedin Railway station is a lovely building.

  4. David, you and your family did a great job on my kit!
    You created an outstanding centerpiece for your table!
    Thank you very much for your nice write-up and sharing of your upgrading ideas. I am looking forward to see it all come together on the gaming table!



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