Sunday, May 17, 2020

Model Inspiration from Photographs

The idea of using photos as inspiration for modelling is not something new. If it be a photo of a prototype that you like, loco, location, or building design, it's worth being in your collection.
For me, I try to find photos in the time period I model, so that clues as to how to create the scene may be revealed.
This photo is not a location pick, but it does show something that took my eye.
 The photo is of Cockle Creek Station, located on the Main North, unfortunately all of these buildings are long gone. The reasons for keeping a copy of this photo are actually many, now that I started listing them, in no particular order:
1. The proximity of the bush to the rear of the Station, on both sides of the line.
2. The detail of the roofline on the end of the Station building.
3. The fencing around the end of the platforms, and location of gas lights.
4. The wheel ruts from wagons, and other assorted horse drawn vehicles.
For sure I've missed a few, but these are the ones that stood out to me. The back scene is quite different to many, as normally the open space is what we view with a distant horizon. I plan to paint part of the area behind the Station, as close to this idea as possible. The baseboards on this part of the layout will add to the depth in an area only about 300mm deep.

Tenterfield Station in 1907, the photo shows a very clear area beside the main building. The simple fence that separates the land from the local area. The awaiting horses and wagons are a scene well worth replicating to set your layout to a particular time period. I think for me, the means of transport is one of the main things I will be relying on when there are no trains in the scene.

This photo is a real favourite of mine, for many reasons. The E class loco looks so clear, the detail in the photo is outstanding, even down to the open spectacle windows in the cab. I especially like the surface of the metal as it appears on the front of the loco, it certainly isn't smooth. Also worth noting is the shiny nature of the finish of the boiler, compared to the saddle tanks. Then there are the gentlemen in the photo, the style of dress, the pride they show in being photographed beside their pride and joy. Looking around the locomotive there isn't any signs of a sleeper, even though it looks to be an earthen ballast, it certainly is up to the rails.
Behind all this is the tree line of very typical eucalypts. Love it! The Sedum that people use to construct trees, would be perfect to re create this scene.

 This next photo is of a goods loading area in Pennant Hills, I believe . The wooden boxes for the transport of goods is so different to what we see today. Everything is manual, many hands to make light work. The louvre vans behind are all open ready to receive the goods also. For me the actual recreation of this scene is on my list of 'must do's'. I've a jig hidden away to re create the boxes using basswood. It's simple, but monotonous work, and you would need so many to create something even close to this.
What do you think about when you look at this photo?
How about the lack of iron on the roof. What about the two coloured posts? The width of the weatherboard on the building beside, and its lower roof line. The missing picket on the fence. The dress of the men, the high waisted pants, the waistcoats, the way they wear their hats, no two are the same.

The photos I have in my collection are more of the same you see above. They inspire me to try to do better. They give me something to aim for. They remind me of a time when life was hard, probably smelly, but definitely quieter, more focused, and raw. Through my modelling I'd like to try to capture something of this time. I hope for those of you who don't have any photos, that you may see the value in doing some collecting as well. By all means share one of your favourites with me in the comments.

Have a great week,
hug your family, 

1 comment:

  1. It certainly is amazing what one can find with old pictures. I recently investigated a picture of a truck coming off a flat wagon onto the platform at Wagga station, and then searching for the name on the truck, stumbled upon other images, one showing the loading of the same truck near Wollongong, and another picture of the "Change here" notice under the Wagga Wagga station sign - the latter one really useful as I didn't have another picture of this, and I am modelling Wagga. I await to see what other discoveries you find.