Monday, April 29, 2013

The Almshouses

The dithering is over .... for now.  After being unable for ages to make a decision as to what should fill that white space behind the chapel (I've been refusing to even look at it) my very clever wife suggested almshouses. Perfect!  And there are enough interesting examples around Chester.

I thought I'd like to have a go at some patterned brickwork.  I could see me in my mind's eye deftly cutting the patterns out of embossed styrene.  Pah!  I couldn't do it - the intricate pattern was sending me blind - so I resorted to cutting out individual bricks and sticking them on in an appropriate pattern.  That way lies madness (and neck ache.  And eye strain).  The result though, from a distance, is passable.  Close to, the flaws are all too evident.   However, I can live with them since the model will be towards the rear of the layout and (a) my eyesight now isn't good enough for it to annoy me and (b) I can tell any visitors that they can't lean over to peer closely for fear of damaging models in the foreground.  And I won't take any close ups.

The almshouses I chose also have tiny, intricate, stone, arched windows. These completely defeated me. I just couldn't get them to look right.  The arches were just too small, for me, to mark and cut out.  So they've turned into not-so-tiny, not-at-all-intricate, stone-which-looks-like-plastic, rectangular windows which I think I will back with some Scenesetters window bars. .  That will have to do.

Also, all of the gables have what looks like a tiled effect.  That will be an interesting challenge.

The next challenge will be to find something to go behind the almshouses in low relief  .

I am enjoying myself .... honest.


  1. What a great subject!, and one that I've never seen modelled before.
    Almshouses are usually very distinctive and are found in most towns so its suprising that they're ignored by modellers.
    I get the feeling that architects get a little carried away when designing almshouses.
    I wouldn't fancy making the roof though...

  2. Just love the almshouses Chas, as for the decorative brickwork it looks fantastic, flaws or not!

    Glad to know that you are enjoying yourself because that is what a hobby is all about.

  3. I think the brickwork looks rather fine, especially as it won't be scrutinised too closely. The buildings are very handsome and full of character...good choice, Mrs Chas!
    I have spent many long hours applying bricks explains a lot about the way I am now. Don't do it, Chas!
    Looking forward to seeing these lovely buildings progress.

  4. This is looking great, Chas. You're certainly faster than me at this. All I've managed on the Station is another small run of guttering on one of the bays.

    I look forward to seeing this progress

  5. Thank you all for your kind and encouraging comments.

    I hadn't thought about it before Paul but I suppose almshouses can be a bit ostentatious. These were built by the Duke of Westminster for retired clergy (apparently) so that probably explains why expense appears to have been no object. The architect was John Douglas. He'll be turning in his grave but I bet he didn't get a headache gluing on bricks. And there's still more to do. You might have warned me Iain.


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