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Helen F
Warrington
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1 of 48  Tue 26th Mar 2013 2:59pm  
Member: Joined Mar 2013  Total posts:693

Just to say hi and thanks. I had the whim to create a model of a medieval city and by pure change I hit upon Coventry as a model. Strangely I lived in Coventry for about fifteen years but never knew a fraction of the stuff about the city and its history. I haven't even seen the gate towers, would you believe? Your site has been brilliant and the pictures and links most useful. I'm still at the stage where I'm searching for pictures of each street so I can see what they might have looked like in their original form. It's a bit like a jigsaw puzzle but spread over time and space. I probably won't find all the pieces but I'm having fun finding what I can. What a wonderful collection of photos, aerial views, sketches and paintings there are. If I ever get round to building the models I won't be a slave to the original but I'll try to include as many features as possible. There will be a certain amount of artistic license.
Modelling the city
creteskyblue
crete
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2 of 48  Tue 26th Mar 2013 4:12pm  
Member: Joined May 2011  Total posts:51

That sounds fantastic Helen would love to see it when it is finished, what will it be made out of? Good luck and welcome to the Forum. Regards. Wave
Enjoy life,remember we walk this way but once.

Modelling the city
Helen F
Warrington
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3 of 48  Tue 26th Mar 2013 4:59pm  
Member: Joined Mar 2013  Total posts:693

Hi, My first plan is to use mostly paper. It creates a pleasing saggy effect and can be printed with the surface detail. The question becomes durability. I'm going to spray the things with water proofing but I doubt that will protect the colour from fading. Of course I could invest in a laser printer or if it fades I could just spray it all white and that would be good too if I stick on enough texture to make it interesting. I made a first stab with the Cook Street Gate which looks half good. I've still got a lot of planning to go but I'm loving the detective hunt for images.
Modelling the city
charabanc
Coventry
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4 of 48  Tue 26th Mar 2013 10:58pm  
Member: Joined Apr 2012  Total posts:154

The Herbert Art Gallery and Museum once had a 3-D model of the old city with buttons which you could press to light up each of the buildings and a description of the building underneath. I did enquire about its fate when it disappeared from public display but it seems that they couldn't give it away so it may well have been scrapped by now.
Modelling the city
charabanc
Coventry
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5 of 48  Tue 26th Mar 2013 11:00pm  
Member: Joined Apr 2012  Total posts:154

On 26th Mar 2013 2:59pm, Helen F said: ....What a wonderful collection of photos, aerial views, sketches and paintings there are.....
Have you seen the Library Pictures pages? That has thousands of photographs which you might find useful.
Modelling the city
Helen F
Warrington
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6 of 48  Wed 27th Mar 2013 1:01am  
Member: Joined Mar 2013  Total posts:693

Yes thanks, I followed a link from this site and started digging. Some of the sketches combine beautifully with the old photographs to tell me where things were and what they originally looked like. I'm also ambling through Google but I often find things by accident eg this is the latest picture I've come up with Not entirely sure where these cottages were located but it's similar to the bit on Bayley Lane next to St Mary's Hall but that had a gateway underneath the left hand building and the configuration of doors and windows is different. If it is those buildings, it would be interesting because it would tell me vaguely what was in the far distance which later became the Gaol and then the county hall. However the buildings are sufficiently different to keep me guessing. I haven't done the south of the city yet so I might find the right location when I get down there. I might be able to match the carvings with Pugin's drawings of gables but that's an outside chance. I love those old city models and was inspired by seeing some Greek and Roman models in the British Museum. I thought about that era but medieval appealed to me more. Once I started researching Coventry I've been hooked.
Modelling the city
Helen F
Warrington
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7 of 48  Tue 2nd Jul 2013 5:43pm  
Member: Joined Mar 2013  Total posts:693

To Anne, It started with a plan to model bits of the city but I decided the first part of the job was to map each street I want to use from the early maps of Coventry eg this one:- Old Map of Coventry Once I've worked out as much as I can - post Herbert visits - I'll use computer collages of real buildings to recreate each building as it might have looked like if you'd walked passed. Sort of ancient Google street view. From there I'll select buildings to build in 3D
Modelling the city
Annewiggy
Tamworth
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8 of 48  Tue 2nd Jul 2013 7:56pm  
Off-topic / chat  

PhilipInCoventry
Holbrooks
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9 of 48  Tue 2nd Jul 2013 8:38pm  
Moderator: Joined Apr 2010  Total posts:3852

Hello Helen, Hi Anne, Hi all Wave I am intrigued with this modelling. What scale are you using? I wanted to model Foleshill Railway station, ten years ago, but to model it in 00 which is 1 to 76, I would have needed a village hall almost. So I have had to make do with the space that I had available & make it up as I went along. Foleshill station occupied a length of nearly a mile, which at scale 1/76, requires a room at least 23 yards or metres long. To model in a smaller scale would make railway operation difficult. Thank you so much for your posts. I am loving this. Wave Thumbs up
Modelling the city
Helen F
Warrington
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10 of 48  Tue 2nd Jul 2013 10:13pm  
Member: Joined Mar 2013  Total posts:693

Hi Philip and Anne, Wave I'm having a whale of a time so it's not hard work yet. I love puzzles and working out the streets is fun if a bit time consuming. I haven't got that map Anne, it sounds very interesting. I'll email you Smile The final model size I decided on 1:120 ish which is TT scale or table top in model speak I believe. I'd have liked to model at OO gauge too but unless I buy an aircraft hanger it's not happening. 1:120 I later discovered was the scale for some war gaming so theoretically there are little medieval soldiers out there of the right size. I'm not really impressed with what I've seen so far - too chunky so I'll probably leave the thing as a ghost city. I'd have got more of the city in if I went for N gauge but then most of the detail would be too small to see (eg filigree woodwork on Bayley Lane roofs) and cutting the bits up would be a nightmare. The final city won't be a faithful copy of Coventry, I want to create something a bit like it might have looked like if none of the great features had been lost. The bits round the back or sides will be mostly fabrication based roughly on the map footprint. I haven't done any building modelling since I was a kid and even then it was just Hornby cut and stick buildings. I'm having to decide how much texture/detail each building has but I recon I can include things like inset windows, 3D crenulations, pillars, buttresses and maybe drain pipes. Railings and some of the filigree might have to be black print on acetate. I've read a few modelling sites but none of them have been doing anything close enough to have very useful tips. I've got two options for creating the buildings (or even restoring the modified ones). One is to find very similar buildings and do a bit of surgery on them. The other option is to create them from scratch which has the advantage that I don't have to hunt round for a doppelganger but so far I haven't worked out a technique for getting the timber frame looking anything other than fake. I intend to try Gosford Gate as model trial number two. St George's Hall in William Henry Brooke's pictures is so delightfully saggy I can't resist. How many buildings I build will depend upon my patience but there's no deadline for when I have to be finished. I'll probably just jump about the city to start, building the best buildings at whim. I do intend to leave the Cathedral/churches till last, mainly because they're so big and fiddly. Thank you guys for your interest Big grin
Modelling the city
PhilipInCoventry
Holbrooks
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11 of 48  Tue 2nd Jul 2013 10:38pm  
Moderator: Joined Apr 2010  Total posts:3852

Hi Helen, It's very much, thanks to you for your project, Helen. Even TT is going to require a lot of space. Modellers often convert scales by using metric, up against imperial, so OO is 4ml to the foot. TT is 3ml to the foot, so is still quite large. That is a useful exchanger to use, as balsa & other modelling materials are usually quoted in metric these days. I used that for bridge clearance as Coventry bridges all had to be at least 15' clear of a road for our double deck buses to pass safely. 15' is 60ml on our model. Our railway is now complete as far as track-work & fixed scenery goes, but I intend to start work this winter on bolt-on scenery sections. These can be stored under the main model, but moved into place for effect. I want to incorporate something of an impression of Longford Park, particularly as we have added a small goods yard there recently. Have you worked out how high your spires are going to be? That will be fun! Oh my I tell you, I am loving this. Wave Thumbs up The bus only has 3' clearance. Following a couple of mishaps at the Alvis bridge on Holyhead Rd where two Guy buses fouled the bridge in the early fifties, CCT insisted on 3' clear tolerance so as to allow for road re-surfacing.
Modelling the city
Helen F
Warrington
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12 of 48  Tue 2nd Jul 2013 11:40pm  
Member: Joined Mar 2013  Total posts:693

Well since I've no real knowledge of building heights (except those quoted in various sources) I'm just guessing. The Cook Street gate came out at 9cm which is likely to shrink a smidge which is why my scale is 1:120 ish. If I visit Coventry and get out a tape measure you'll probably hear about me in the Coventry Evening Telegraph 'Warrington nutter at large in the city' Lol That scale would mean old St Michael's spire would be about 90cm tall Oh my which is a bit impractical so I'll make it in sections if I get that far. The location for the model is a tall, wide wall so it all has to be very light and sadly it won't be suitable for trains Sad If I ever put it on the flat I'd want a tramway so that I'd be able to drive it round the city. Do they do those? I haven't even gone as far as to decide if I'll have landscape. It certainly can't have hills unless I want to bump into it when I'm walking to the kitchen. The final effect is to create a mural like a map but 3D. The city wall will define the boundary with only short stretches outside. Spon street might have to be relocated within the walls. I love models. Every time I go to a museum with one I peer into the glass case muttering 'I want one'. Yours looks a great set up... I'm liking the landscape...hmmm tempting. I might do autumn into winter, it's the right colour scheme and a bit different.
Modelling the city
Helen F
Warrington
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13 of 48  Tue 1st Apr 2014 9:53pm  
Member: Joined Mar 2013  Total posts:693

Thought I’d give you lovely people an update. The task of mapping the city buildings is progressing, albeit slowly. I still haven’t moved onto drawing the buildings but that should start in the next couple of months. Most of the streets are upwards of 50% sorted. I’ve got more recent photos of all but about 20% though images of some of those are rather fuzzy aerial pictures. The jigsaw pieces are now easier to fit into the jigsaw but harder to find in the first place. I’ve been getting some wonderful help from the people at the Herbert and their colleagues even though I’ve only shot through on my way to other places. They’ve let me see some very beautiful pictures. My thanks to those who pointed out you can zoom into Britain From Above images if you log in. Very handy. If only they had more pictures, particularly of the east and south ends of the city. More thanks to all those who have posted pictures. Those that show demolition are unusually helpful because they often show detail that was hidden when all the other buildings were still there. Great sites are Coventry in Pictures (obviously), Real Ale Rambles (invaluable for placing places in relation to pubs) and this site, without which I’d never have started. The Fire Insurance maps are not the oldest but the only maps I’ve found so far that include house numbers. The Cox watercolours are now online and they show some areas not covered by standard photos (eg part of Silver Street). Dr Troughton deserves the crown for the best records of city buildings but Sydney Bunney, Herbert Cox and William Henry Brooks all vie for second place. Each has a different story to tell. I’ll be in Coventry every Wednesday for the next three weeks as I’ve booked to see three plays at the Belgrade. I’ve still got pictures to view at the Herbert and there’s the Aylesford collection to see but I’m almost there. There will be some unavoidable gaps. Some streets were modified too early and only the Georgian or later buildings were captured. However the plot size often didn’t change and it might be possible to guess the likely appearance of the missing buildings. Each street did seem to have it’s own flavour. Cheers! Wave
Modelling the city
Foxcote
Warwick
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14 of 48  Wed 2nd Apr 2014 12:33pm  
Member: Joined Jan 2012  Total posts:967

Thanks for that extremely interesting update on your project Helen Thumbs up I confess I had missed you on here and now I can understand why! We never give up on this Forum! All the Member's are constantly searching for, and eventually finding, all sorts of information to share and you never know what else we shall discover regarding the City's buildings for you! I hope you manage to find some new information during your Wednesday trips to Coventry!
Modelling the city
mcsporran
Coventry & Cebu
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15 of 48  Wed 2nd Apr 2014 6:16pm  
Member: Joined Oct 2013  Total posts:303

Have you considered a digital model as per this topic. The modelling software is free (Sketchup) though it does take a while to be a proficient sculptor. It probably won't be too long before you can take your model to a printshop and get it 'printed' out in 3D form, and at any scale. If modelling a whole city the most difficult part is deciding on a consistent date. Try this model of the city wall for example. Click the middle icon below the red Download bar and you can rotate the model (not recommended if you use dial-up). Edited by member, 2nd Apr 2014 6:29 pm
Modelling the city

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