Ammon-Rock-Lighthouse

Page One

You can visit Page Two here.

 

There is something quite Gothic about old lighthouses. Their lonely positions and the weather conditions that they were built to withstand create a somewhat romantic image that I have exploited on a number of occasions with my photography.

Most are now automated and the lifestyle of the lighthouse keepers is a fading memory now but it is something that appeals to me for a modelling project.

I’m not aiming to produce an authentic representation of any particular light but I will take interesting ideas from wherever I can find them and add my own creative elements too. I’m also hope to transport the viewer into my dark and gothic imagination along the way.

Like the Vardo project and “Fingers End”, I will post progress pictures as I go starting right from the design stages. As the Covid-19 pandemic moves into it’s second wave, I’m hoping this should keep me busy in the workshop for a few months.

Building a 1/12th Scale Gothic Lighthouse  - The Steam Tent Co-operative. © Gary Waidson - www.Steamtent.uk

8th October MMXX

Today I have been mainly waiting for the post and "coopering".

I'm waiting for a large graph pad to arrive so I can get on with the drafting of my next project. I've done all I can on A4 pads, I need larger plans now.

I'm also waiting for bits to arrive for the build. Most specifically  the lighting controller because The Lighthouse is going to be a lot more complicated than anything I've done so far and I need to check how the  lighting rig works before I can plan where the wiring will be built in.

The only thing that arrived today was a bag full of barrels.

Building a 1/12th Scale Gothic Lighthouse  - The Steam Tent Co-operative. © Gary Waidson - www.Steamtent.uk

I've used barrels in both of my earlier builds but this one needs a few of them.

 They start off as cheap and fairly crude turned wood "toy" barrels but  with a bit of carving, a bit of kolrosing and a bit of lead flashing  tape they end up looking a bit more realistic.

Building a 1/12th Scale Gothic Lighthouse  - The Steam Tent Co-operative. © Gary Waidson - www.Steamtent.uk - Storage Barrels

I'll fit the bungs and taps another day. My fingers are tired now.

Hopefully the pads or the controller will arrive tomorrow...

9th October MMXX

Still no sign of the pads but the controller arrived today along with a few other envelopes.

Building a 1/12th Scale Gothic Lighthouse  - The Steam Tent Co-operative. © Gary Waidson - www.Steamtent.uk- Port Navigation Lamp

I have found key rings to be a very useful source of miniature lanterns.

They come unilluminated of course but a bit of work soon sorts that out. A small hole drilled through the back to just behind the lens allows me to slip an LED in and hey presto, let there be light.

Pleased to say the controller works even better than I had hoped. It has a flickering mode which can simulate candle flames or fire but I could not determine from the instructions whether they were independent or in sync. I suspected they would run off a single chip and therefore be in sync, which would result in all the candles flickering in the same rhythm. I’m delighted to find that all 20 channels are independent.

I was also intrigued to discover that the flickering modes also stack up with the in built modulation of a flickering LED which creates a third and fourth option which may be useful.

I will write more on that when the electrics start to go in.

The contents of one of the other envelopes was this little fellow.

Ammon Rock - Building a 1/12th Scale Gothic Lighthouse  - The Steam Tent Co-operative. © Gary Waidson - www.Steamtent.uk - Lighting Controller
Ammon RockBuilding a 1/12th Scale Gothic Lighthouse  - The Steam Tent Co-operative. © Gary Waidson - www.Steamtent.uk -  Set Square and early plan.

10th October MMXX

Still no sign of the sodding pads. Patience is not my strong point and I cannot progress the drafting which in turn holds everything else up.

For the construction of the main shell I need to measure from the drawings and reducing it down to fit on A4 paper will simply not be accurate enough.

A3 will be barely adequate, I will probably spread it across two vertical sheets of A3 for the final plan.

What I can do at least is make a set square for the job.

There are two angles that will reoccur all the way through the build.

The lower walls are angled in by 3° from the vertical or 87° from the horizontal depending how you look at it.

The tower is octagonal so there are also eight internal corners of 135° in every room.

As the furniture will have to be built specially to fit, having these angles readily to hand will be a job that pays for itself back many times over.

I guess this is the first teaser of the overall shape for you. It’s going to have a lot more going on of course by the time it is finished but there will be three floors in the tapered section, One in the section above and the gallery and lantern above that.

The motor and gearing for the lens carriage should all fit in the roof section.

When I produced this early drawing, I was planning on a spiral staircase. That idea has been replaced following a bit of research and there will now be a central ladder well instead which can also be used as an internal winch way.

Building a 1/12th Scale Gothic Lighthouse  - The Steam Tent Co-operative. © Gary Waidson - www.Steamtent.uk - Storage Barrels, Buckets and Lanterns

At least it hasn't been an unproductive day.

More "coopering", this time a few buckets and I've been converting non working lanterns to receive a "Grain of Wheat" bulb for lighting the store room and the boat house.

Some of these will be connected via wiring running up through the surface they are sitting on. I discovered while building the Vardo, that it is also possible to replace the bail handle with wiring to supply a hanging lantern as well so I’ll do that for some of them. too

12th October MMXX.

Ammon Rock - Building a 1/12th Scale Gothic Lighthouse  - The Steam Tent Co-operative. © Gary Waidson - www.Steamtent.uk

It is traditional when starting a new building to hold a ground-breaking ceremony sometimes even with a brass plaque.

Well, I’m still hampered by the late arrival of my drafting pads but there are at least a few features I can start on and one of those is the floor plates that I know the size of.

This will be the internal size at the base of the lighthouse. This  size is also the floor space in the operations room just below the lantern but all the other floors need to be measured from the drawings to be accurate.

You can see that it will be a compact space to furnish. Approximately 10” wide, so like the Vardo it will be a test in the practical use of space.

I’ve added the rope bucket handles and the barrel bungs now. The taps will be added when I am sure of their final positions.

Ammon Rock - Building a 1/12th Scale Gothic Lighthouse  - The Steam Tent Co-operative. © Gary Waidson - www.Steamtent.uk

By midday when the only thing to arrive in the post was the starboard navigation lantern key ring I got fed up of waiting for the mythical A3 drafting pads to arrive and  decided to make a start working from the smaller drawings and a bit of  dead reckoning.

There is a limit to what I can do working from A4 but there is also a limit to my patience.

Fortunately, the way my mind works I imagine objects in a conceptual  way, almost like vectors, The design fits together remarkably well  considering.

I will measure in the floors tomorrow and fix in the sills that they will rest upon.

I still need the bigger pads as they will help me position the windows and external fixtures.

The lamp globe is just there sitting on a polish tin to give an impression of where the real lantern will be built.

There will be three rooms in the lower section and a boat house to the right of the tower with a slipway leading to the "sea" of the window sill.

At least I feel like I’ve made a proper start at long last.

An odd little detail that  might not be apparent from the first picture is that I decided to  chamfer the walls in the opposite direction from what may seem  obvious, in effect increasing the gap on the outer angles of the walls.

The reason for this will  become important later because where most people would see a gap, I saw  an opportunity to build in wiring conduits and create corner buttresses  at the same time.

Building a 1/12th Scale Gothic Lighthouse  - The Steam Tent Co-operative. © Gary Waidson - www.Steamtent.uk- Port and Starboard Navigation Lights.
Ammon Rock - Building a 1/12th Scale Gothic Lighthouse  - The Steam Tent Co-operative. © Gary Waidson - www.Steamtent.uk
Ammon Rock - Building a 1/12th Scale Gothic Lighthouse  - The Steam Tent Co-operative. © Gary Waidson - www.Steamtent.uk
Ammon Rock - Building a 1/12th Scale Gothic Lighthouse  - The Steam Tent Co-operative. © Gary Waidson - www.Steamtent.uk
Ammon Rock - Building a 1/12th Scale Gothic Lighthouse  - The Steam Tent Co-operative. © Gary Waidson - www.Steamtent.uk
Ammon Rock - Building a 1/12th Scale Gothic Lighthouse  - The Steam Tent Co-operative. © Gary Waidson - www.Steamtent.uk

With the walls in place I was  then able to measure up the floor spacing and glue the battens in place  that the floors will rest on.

From there it is a simple job to measure out and cut the floor plates.

Putting it back together again, this time with all the floors installed.

the view of the other side shows you the conduits which will form  the corner buttresses.

Ammon Rock - Building a 1/12th Scale Gothic Lighthouse  - The Steam Tent Co-operative. © Gary Waidson - www.Steamtent.uk

14th October MMXX

I have an old friend who is an architect and he once said to me that a little architectural detail goes a long way.

The Victorians were not particularly known for moderation in ornamental  decoration but I love the little details they incorporated into otherwise quite functional buildings.

For what I had in mind I needed arched lintel beams and with a little thought they were  a simple build.

Holes drilled on a grid and then cut though the holes to create the arches.

Ammon Rock - Building a 1/12th Scale Gothic Lighthouse  - The Steam Tent Co-operative. © Gary Waidson - www.Steamtent.uk

With the addition of some cut sections of coving, this is the sill that supports the overhanging masonry forming the upper part of the tower then.

I will fettle it up a bit more when the wall plates are finally glued into position.

Ammon Rock - Building a 1/12th Scale Gothic Lighthouse  - The Steam Tent Co-operative. © Gary Waidson - www.Steamtent.uk

A wider shot showing the whole tower, again with the lamp globe to represent the lantern house and also you can see the central ladder well and the reinforcement of the base.

The post brought a couple of items for the boat house including the star of the show.

I did have my eye on a beautiful kit that was supposed to be on the  market soon but when that was withdrawn from the listings I fell back on this replica of a two man skiff.

Like many miniatures, it needs some work doing to it to bring up to scratch but it's a good place to start from.

The other arrival was another key ring, ripe for conversion into a working lamp.

Ammon Rock - Building a 1/12th Scale Gothic Lighthouse  - The Steam Tent Co-operative. © Gary Waidson - www.Steamtent.uk

I think I shall be spending the afternoon in the company of some sand paper.

Ammon Rock - Building a 1/12th Scale Gothic Lighthouse  - The Steam Tent Co-operative. © Gary Waidson - www.Steamtent.uk - Bench testing the optical system.

15th October MMXX

Started the morning with a bench test of the optical system for the main lantern.

There will be four Fresnel lenses in a carriage suspended from the top, rotated by a hight torque motor running at about 3 revolutions per minute.

That should produce a flash interval of twelve per minute or one every five seconds.

The bench test is important so that I can work out the best position for the lenses. I had calculated it according to their focal length from a point source but in reality they worked better with a diffuser around the bulb which added ¼” to their ideal spacing.

Very glad I made the test.

I still have room for the carriage rotating within the lantern housing but it is going to be snug, in keeping with the rest of this build I guess.

Ammon Rock - Building a 1/12th Scale Gothic Lighthouse  - The Steam Tent Co-operative. © Gary Waidson - www.Steamtent.uk

I started looking at the base today. It needs to accommodate the lighting control box so I built up a floor and raised the boathouse a little to match.

This will give me access from underneath when needed, which hopefully will not be often.

It also allows me to put a ramp in on the right hand side and build a quay at the front which will overhang the windowsill. I have left some excess board in place because I am waiting for another element before I decide where to put the edge of the terrain.

Fitting the roof was interesting. Where it meets the lighthouse you have two surfaces each sloping vertically meeting the roof at two different angles and one is at a horizontal angle as well... I really should have paid much more attention to three dimensional plane geometry at school.

Nevertheless I am pleased with the structure as it has come together.  I’m starting to get a sense of where the windows will fit now.

Ammon Rock - Building a 1/12th Scale Gothic Lighthouse  - The Steam Tent Co-operative. © Gary Waidson - www.Steamtent.uk

17th October MMXX

Mostly been working on “invisibles” today. Stuff that does not show but still needs doing.

I did board and rafter the inside of the boat house roof though so that’s a nice job done.

I don’t drink coffee but coffee stirrers do have their uses.

A useful little discovery I made today was in connection with the wiring.

As I mentioned before, the lighting controller runs twenty channels which it does using twenty five wires.

These are organised into five buses of five screw down connectors consisting of a common positive and four individually controlled negative connectors..

My plan until today was to use a four core telecom cable to carry the control current and a separate wire for the common current.

Ammon Rock - Building a 1/12th Scale Gothic Lighthouse  - The Steam Tent Co-operative. © Gary Waidson - www.Steamtent.uk

Whilst bundling up some lengths of cable ready for this job I noticed that there was a bit of extra space in the sheath of the telecom cable and with a little experimentation I found that I could actually run the common wire inside the sheath.

While this makes no difference to the performance of the wiring, it does appeal to my sense of neatness and order.

You can see the extra brown wire in this picture ready for connection to the controller, which I have also built a box for to protect it at times when the diorama may be dismantled for transport.

My intention is to have the controller and the sensor permanently connected to the lighthouse but hidden under the base of the boat house.

The boat house electrics will be connected with a four pin connector allowing both the lighthouse and boat house to be removed from the baseboard.

This should make construction and maintenance much easier.

Ammon Rock - Building a 1/12th Scale Gothic Lighthouse  - The Steam Tent Co-operative. © Gary Waidson - www.Steamtent.uk

17th October MMXX

The drafting pads finally  arrived yesterday which meant that I could plan the layout at last, which meant I could position the windows, get them cut and finally glue the main  structure together today. Huzzah.

The top section is  still loose for ease of working but it feels like a solid object at last and I should be able to proceed to some of the more interesting stuff  soon.

Sometimes, inspiration comes from the oddest of places.

I was wiping the bench down with a wet wipe to remove a spill of glue when I realised I had the answer to one of my problems in my hand.

 

Ammon Rock - Building a 1/12th Scale Gothic Lighthouse  - The Steam Tent Co-operative. © Gary Waidson - www.Steamtent.uk

19th October 2020

I had been looking for a way to provide a good key on the metal conduits that I could stick to with PVA. The wet wipe is made from a synthetic non woven textile that is remarkably strong and of course absorbent.

Ammon Rock - Building a 1/12th Scale Gothic Lighthouse  - The Steam Tent Co-operative. © Gary Waidson - www.Steamtent.uk

I decided to rinse a few out, dry them overnight and recycle them as a base covering for the MDF and of course over the conduits.

This should produce a good micro texture between the masonry, provide a key for gluing over the metal and reinforce the hot glue joint between the MDF and the aluminium. Hot glue is great for a fast grab and gap filling but not so good for long term joints.

I’ve turned the tower around in the shot above to give you a better look at the effect. It doesn’t matter that it looks a bit patchy here, It will be painted and very little of it will actually be visible when the stonework is in place.

Ammon Rock - Building a 1/12th Scale Gothic Lighthouse  - The Steam Tent Co-operative. © Gary Waidson - www.Steamtent.uk - Ship's Lantern conversionss

20th October MMXX

More key ring conversions, Ships lanterns this time for the boat house and quay.

Ammon Rock - Building a 1/12th Scale Gothic Lighthouse  - The Steam Tent Co-operative. © Gary Waidson - www.Steamtent.uk - The Storeroom

I’ve been working on the distressed paintwork inside the buildings today.

Ammon Rock - Building a 1/12th Scale Gothic Lighthouse  - The Steam Tent Co-operative. © Gary Waidson - www.Steamtent.uk -  Tha Galley

Made a craquelure mix with 3 parts PVA to one part water which was spread onto the base coat.

Ammon Rock - Building a 1/12th Scale Gothic Lighthouse  - The Steam Tent Co-operative. © Gary Waidson - www.Steamtent.uk - The Bunk Room

When touch dry, I then used thinned acrylic white on the top.

Ammon Rock - Building a 1/12th Scale Gothic Lighthouse  - The Steam Tent Co-operative. © Gary Waidson - www.Steamtent.uk - The Operations Room

Which created just the right level of neglected decrepitude for the paint peeling off the plaster.

Ammon Rock - Building a 1/12th Scale Gothic Lighthouse  - The Steam Tent Co-operative. © Gary Waidson - www.Steamtent.uk The Boathouse

I was particularly pleased with the Boathouse wall. Spot on I think.

Of course most of this will be concealed behind furniture and the like but just enough of it should peep through to lend an air of dereliction.

Ammon Rock - Building a 1/12th Scale Gothic Lighthouse  - The Steam Tent Co-operative. © Gary Waidson - www.Steamtent.uk

23rd October MMXX

Today I have been plastering...

Something I have not done for many years, I have been using Plaster of Paris, with a drop of PVA in the mix, to cast up some rocks for the terrain.

At this point, it might become a little more apparent why I have called this build "Ammon Rock".

More about that later.

Phoenix Kitchener Stove - Ammon Rock Project - Building a 1/12th Scale Gothic Lighthouse  - The Steam Tent Co-operative. © Gary Waidson - www.Steamtent.uk

24th October MMXX

I don’t normally do product endorsements but this one really deserves it.

There was a small metal stove kit that came with the caravan kit I used for my Vardo project.

I was impressed with the quality of that  and checked out the website for Phoenix Model Developments

It was a simple site with a good range of products but the pictures were quite small and I couldn’t really tell if the quality was consistent across the range.

I tried a few more small items but had my eye on the Phoenix Kitchener Stove for this project.

I looked everywhere for a decent sized picture to check it out but couldn’t find a thing.

Eventually I noted from the site that they had improved the oven doors so that they were now properly hinged and I just decided to go for it. It wasn’t cheap but I hoped that would be reflected in the functionality.

It arrives as a few bags of components with a folded A4 sheet of instructions. I would describe it as an intermediate build.  Not difficult but requiring care and attention. The only thing I did differently to the plan this time was peen the latch pins on the inside of the oven doors instead of holding them with a blob of glue. Just the metal worker in me coming through I guess.

I am very pleased with the result. This is going to be the centre piece in the Galley and when I have painted it and built a hearth full of glowing coals for it I think it will look marvellous.

Phoenix Paraffin Heater - Ammon Rock Project - Building a 1/12th Scale Gothic Lighthouse  - The Steam Tent Co-operative. © Gary Waidson - www.Steamtent.uk

25th October MMXX

Another item I spotted on their website was a nice little paraffin heater, much like one I have in the workshop.

It's still got some work to do on the painting but I've been tinkering with the illumination.

Phoenix suggest putting a simple  lamp in the base for effect but I thought I might be able do better than that.

My real paraffin heater runs on a ring wick which should burn with a blue flame although it sometimes flickers yellow.

For the ring I used a small section of acrylic tubing with a brass  olive around the top. In the middle there is a brass rivet and then there are blue and a yellow flickering LEDs in the bottom of the tube set in  clear hot glue.

I know what I am looking at but even I find the effect pretty convincing.

I thought it might look good but I'm amazed how well it has worked out.

How to fit a square peg into a round hole... Or at least a rectangular stove into an octagonal building with vertically angled walls.

There is not a single right angle to work off in the Galley. What was I thinking?

The chimney had to be built by dead reckoning alone. Fit and trim all the way.

There is a gap behind the stove which will house the wiring panel for this floor and there is still work to do on the painting of the stove but it is getting there.

I’m aiming for well used but not neglected here.

The brick paper will be soot stained at a later stage.

26th October MMXX

Not much to show today, I've been tidying up some logistical details, things that need attending to but don't look very exciting in a picture.

I did give myself a break to do some work on the rowing boat I showed you some time ago though.

Phoenix Kitchener Stove - Ammon Rock Project - Building a 1/12th Scale Gothic Lighthouse  - The Steam Tent Co-operative. © Gary Waidson - www.Steamtent.uk
The Skiff - Ammon Rock - Building a 1/12th Scale Gothic Lighthouse  - The Steam Tent Co-operative. © Gary Waidson - www.Steamtent.uk

I've rubbed back the nasty varnish, changed the rowlocks, reshaped the oars and given them sleeves and collars and generally aged the boat to give it a more worked appearance.

27th October MMXX

This is the first view of the finished windows.

Taking inspiration from George Knott’s wonderful model of Eddystone Lighthouse, I decided to go for porthole shutters to add to the maritime atmosphere.

They’re not fully fitted here of course, I cannot do that until the stone textures have been added and that cannot be done until the electrics are in yada yada yada... but it gives you an impression. We are looking from the back of the tower here of course.

28th October MMXX

Ammon Rock - Building a 1/12th Scale Gothic Lighthouse  - The Steam Tent Co-operative. © Gary Waidson - www.Steamtent.uk
Ammon Rock - Building a 1/12th Scale Gothic Lighthouse  - The Steam Tent Co-operative. © Gary Waidson - www.Steamtent.uk
Ammon Rock - Building a 1/12th Scale Gothic Lighthouse  - The Steam Tent Co-operative. © Gary Waidson - www.Steamtent.uk

Been working on some of the details today. Nothing exciting but things that add a lot to the eventual finish.

Stuff like giving the doors and shutters a good coat of wax polish.

Ammon Rock - Building a 1/12th Scale Gothic Lighthouse  - The Steam Tent Co-operative. © Gary Waidson - www.Steamtent.uk

Many of the other things end up being like "spot the difference" pictures.

The longest job today was fitting some of the raw edges with beading which  will be blended into the stonework to give the structure a more  architectural feel.

Ammon Rock - Building a 1/12th Scale Gothic Lighthouse  - The Steam Tent Co-operative. © Gary Waidson - www.Steamtent.uk
Ammon Rock - Building a 1/12th Scale Gothic Lighthouse  - The Steam Tent Co-operative. © Gary Waidson - www.Steamtent.uk

29th October MMXX

The Galley stove and sink - Ammon Rock - Building a 1/12th Scale Gothic Lighthouse  - The Steam Tent Co-operative. © Gary Waidson - www.Steamtent.uk

The sink arrived yesterday and like most things it needed a bit of fettling up to look it’s best.

It is a resin casting of some kind and the “woodwork” in it looked a bit toy like. The bricks were mono toned as well but I gave that the peeling paint treatment to match it into the room and I used a few coffee stirrers to clad the fake wood.

A bit of ageing added to the Belfast sink and it’s looking the part now. The pump needs some paint work of course but the position seems to work well.

Ammon Rock - Building a 1/12th Scale Gothic Lighthouse  - The Steam Tent Co-operative. © Gary Waidson - www.Steamtent.uk

Meanwhile, things are starting to stack up in the store  room...

This is about half of the “cargo” I have so far for the build. The other half is accumulating in the boat house.

The stores needed for even a small crew must have been substantial because weather conditions could easily extend a watch for weeks if a relief crew could not land.

I’m setting the crew at two rather than the more usual three for this light. space is going to be pretty tight as it is without trying to squeeze in a third bunk somewhere.

 

30th October MMXX

I hate coffee, I don’t even like the smell of it much, but coffee stirrers are my new favourite things.

It’s as if someone thought to them selves “How can we provide model makers with cheap, thin bits of wood for making stuff with.”

I bought a bag of a thousand of these for a few quid, I’ve lined the roof of the boat house. clad the resin draining board of the sink and now floor boarded three rooms with them and I’ve hardly dented my supply. Great value.

I’ve also solved a problem that was bugging me today. I didn’t think the ladder well looked right as just a simple hole. It needed a curb of some kind. I looked high and low for something that would do the job then realised the answer was staring me in the face.

The same drill saw that I used to cut the holes could also be used on some of the scrap MDF lying around the bench and then rounded off with the band-saw and a sanding disk.

Sorted.

1st November MMXX

Received devastating news yesterday of the sudden death of a close friend and member of this group. I spent the day working on more floor boarding. The repetitive task, needing care and attention was just the distraction I needed from the terrible sadness of it all.

The Galley - Ammon Rock - Building a 1/12th Scale Gothic Lighthouse  - The Steam Tent Co-operative. © Gary Waidson - www.Steamtent.uk
The Bunk Room - Ammon Rock - Building a 1/12th Scale Gothic Lighthouse  - The Steam Tent Co-operative. © Gary Waidson - www.Steamtent.uk

This morning I got up early, unable to sleep, and worked on some inexpensive white wood furniture that arrived in the post yesterday.

Much of the commercial dolls house furniture available is varnished and looks far too toy like for my liking. It’s also not cheap. The raw white wood stuff obviously requires some work but I usually end up having to  distress the commercial stuff anyway.

For this project the shabbier finish of the raw wood looks much more the way I want it after rubbing down and waxing up. This stuff looks aged, worn and not well cared for.

The Galley - Ammon Rock - Building a 1/12th Scale Gothic Lighthouse  - The Steam Tent Co-operative. © Gary Waidson - www.Steamtent.uk

The chairs are not in their final positions here but putting some furniture in gives me a better feel for how the space is going to work. The very nature of a rock lighthouse is obviously going to be crowded and I want to capture that claustrophobic atmosphere so it becomes a logistical exercise working out the things you would need and where to put them.

2nd November 2020

SMDs and LEDs - Ammon Rock - Building a 1/12th Scale Gothic Lighthouse  - The Steam Tent Co-operative. © Gary Waidson - www.Steamtent.uk

Apart from the main lantern, the whole point of a lighthouse of course, I’m planning three different types of lighting in this project. The obvious lighting will be miniature oil lamps, hurricane lamps and ships lanterns running on small incandescent “Grain of Wheat” bulbs.

Then there will be the effect lighting, things like the bed of coals in the galley stove and the paraffin heater in the bunk room. They will be running on small LEDs.

The last kind of lighting will be what a photographer would describe as “fill lights”, low power lights aimed at providing a background level of illumination.

I experimented with this while building my book nook “Fingers End”. In that project the fill light was blue, to create a false night effect. To do that I used LED strips which provided the right quality of light but were a bit on the powerful side. You can see one of those strips at the top of the picture here.

I tried simple LEDs but the casing tends to focus the light into a beam which isn’t the effect that I was looking for. Even the ones marketed as “diffused” still produced distinct pools of light.

I experimented with cutting the strips down but if you reduce the strip to less than three diodes it breaks the circuit and they don’t work.

So, I started looking around to find out what the individual diodes were that they were using. I came across a term which was new to me SMD which means surface mounted device. This is a different technology to the first generation “DIP LEDs” More efficient and crucially for my needs, less focussed because they lack the lensed casings.

I couldn’t find any that ran directly off 12v which I’m using for the rest of the build so I realised they would need resistors to stop them burning out. A bit more research gave me the resistance value I needed so I ordered some of those as well.

Soldering the SMD and resistor - Ammon Rock - Building a 1/12th Scale Gothic Lighthouse  - The Steam Tent Co-operative. © Gary Waidson - www.Steamtent.uk

They are designed to be soldered onto a circuit board but that didn’t suit my needs so using the wires of the resistors, I soldered them onto the tags and sheathed them in a bit of shrink tube.

These are exactly what I need, small and easily hidden. Most importantly the light they emit is beautifully soft and diffused across a very wide angle of illumination. Just the job.

These will be tucked into the build to bounce their light off the ceilings and if I get it right they should not be at all obvious while supplementing the other light sources.

3rd November MMXX

The Lantern lens system - Ammon Rock - Building a 1/12th Scale Gothic Lighthouse  - The Steam Tent Co-operative. © Gary Waidson - www.Steamtent.uk

It wouldn’t be much of a lighthouse without a lantern would it?

I finally have all the components in place to start working on that and the part that needed the most planning was the lens carriage. This is the bit that makes the light flash and it also dramatically increases the visibility.

Most lighthouses were fitted with Fresnel lens systems which were state of the art at the time. I was lucky enough to find four 90mm diameter, 50mm focal length Fresnel lenses online and they have become the principal optics of the lantern. I used the offcuts, attached to credit card Fresnel magnifiers, to provide the secondary lenses and the whole carriage will be rotated at 3 r.p.m. to provide twelve flashes per minute.

I need to cut the ventilation holes tomorrow and I will have to wait for the bearings and the lantern house windows to arrive before I can mount the motor but I pleased with how this part has come together at least.

The Lantern lens system test - Ammon Rock - Building a 1/12th Scale Gothic Lighthouse  - The Steam Tent Co-operative. © Gary Waidson - www.Steamtent.uk

4th November MMXX

The first full lighting test for the main Lantern lenses. I haven’t motorised it yet of course and the Lantern it’self will be more elaborate than the roll of wire it’s sitting on at the moment but you can see the beam it throws hitting the wall of the dolls house in the back ground.

The secondary optics are less pronounced which is the effect I was hoping for. The light will be on constantly but will effectively “flash” when the main lenses rotate and cross your visual line. Just like the real thing.

The Lantern house - Ammon Rock - Building a 1/12th Scale Gothic Lighthouse  - The Steam Tent Co-operative. © Gary Waidson - www.Steamtent.uk
Ammon Rock - Building a 1/12th Scale Gothic Lighthouse  - The Steam Tent Co-operative. © Gary Waidson - www.Steamtent.uk

8th November MMXX

After brief hiatus from building for a couple of school bookings I returned home to find the window frames had arrived.

I could have made them I guess but I think eight identical frames would have been a tedious build and they were fairly cheap.

As it was, all they needed was gluing properly and a touch of woodstain to get the effect I was after.

The caulking between the frames is linen thread soaked in PVA and the base is designed to lift off the tower for convenience so it sits on three electrical contact points and the wiring is concealed in the lantern machinery.

You can see here the LED bulb that powers the main lantern and the bearing for the lens carriage too.

So here you see the tower just missing the roof of the lantern house, which will house the motor that drives the lens carriage.

I’ve also built up the terrain a bit using some of the scrap of MDF from the build, that will save a lot of filler I reckon.

One of the trickiest parts of the build has been working out how to make it so it can be broken down to transport occasionally.

This breaks into four parts.

The base, the boat house, the tower and the lantern house.

The lighting control box remains attached to the tower so the other parts need connectors to carry the power over.

The Bunk Room -  Ammon Rock - Building a 1/12th Scale Gothic Lighthouse  - The Steam Tent Co-operative. © Gary Waidson - www.Steamtent.uk

12th November MMXX

Another two schools cancelled today because of positive tests. They should reschedule which isn’t so bad but it gave me some time to work on the bed cabinet.

With the cramped conditions, bunks was the only way to go so I will put some storage for clothing and the like on the opposite wall. The sliding doors give some privacy for the off watch while other things are happening.

I might have to tap Debs for some nice bed linen.

You can also see the chain weights for the lantern mechanics here. The ladder needs to go in soon but I want to get the electrics in before I do that. Waiting for some nice compact screw terminal blocks on the slow boat from China.

 

 Ammon Rock - Building a 1/12th Scale Gothic Lighthouse  - The Steam Tent Co-operative. © Gary Waidson - www.Steamtent.uk
 Ammon Rock - Building a 1/12th Scale Gothic Lighthouse  - The Steam Tent Co-operative. © Gary Waidson - www.Steamtent.uk
 Ammon Rock - Building a 1/12th Scale Gothic Lighthouse  - The Steam Tent Co-operative. © Gary Waidson - www.Steamtent.uk

Friday 13th November MMXX

So, you are looking for a method to get power into the roof compartment for the lens carriage motor and you notice, while looking at pictures of lighthouses, a rainwater pipe leading down from the roof onto the gallery deck.

In scale, it’s not quite big enough for the gauge of wire I’m using for the motor. I’ve gone a bit heavier than normal for safety because of the slightly higher load requirements.

I considered using two drainpipes on opposite sides but then thought. “Why not use the metal of the pipe as one of the conductors?” it’s only 12v DC after all.

The pipe happily takes on insulated wire so a couple of quick solder joints later and job done.

The cheap and nasty brass staples that were supplied as the rowlocks on the boat make a much better job as pipe brackets as well.

In the midday post the screw terminal blocks I had been waiting for arrived.

Ammon Rock - Building a 1/12th Scale Gothic Lighthouse  - The Steam Tent Co-operative. © Gary Waidson - www.Steamtent.ukAmmon-Rock-Lighthouse-Build-XLVII
Ammon Rock - Building a 1/12th Scale Gothic Lighthouse  - The Steam Tent Co-operative. © Gary Waidson - www.Steamtent.uk
Ammon Rock - Building a 1/12th Scale Gothic Lighthouse  - The Steam Tent Co-operative. © Gary Waidson - www.Steamtent.uk
Ammon Rock - Building a 1/12th Scale Gothic Lighthouse  - The Steam Tent Co-operative. © Gary Waidson - www.Steamtent.uk

They are designed to be soldered directly to a circuit board but were the smallest I could find with five terminals. I soldered the five wires from my modified telecom cable to the terminals and covered them with heat shrink.

This gives me a neat little block in each room that I can control four separate lighting channels from. Small and easily hidden in the build.

The cables then run down the conduit tubes to the base of the tower where they are woven into a bundle by using the cables as a warp and some of heavy linen thread as the weft.

This then leads to the lighting controller box which sits neatly under the boat house floor.

Ammon Rock - Building a 1/12th Scale Gothic Lighthouse  - The Steam Tent Co-operative. © Gary Waidson - www.Steamtent.uk

14th November MMXX

An important milestone this. The first shots taken under their own illumination.

Normally I use a desk lamp to throw some light into the model for photos but now that the lights are going in they can do the job for me.

Two light sources in this case. The oil lamps you can see and filler lights installed near the ceilings.

There will be one our two more lights when they are finished.

Ammon Rock - Building a 1/12th Scale Gothic Lighthouse  - The Steam Tent Co-operative. © Gary Waidson - www.Steamtent.uk
Ammon Rock - Building a 1/12th Scale Gothic Lighthouse  - The Steam Tent Co-operative. © Gary Waidson - www.Steamtent.uk

15th November MMXX

I think I've got the fill lights balanced about right now.

I striped out the LEDs and doubled the resistance which dimmed them a bit.

Now they should assist the lighting, not dominate it.

I don’t normally produce video but I wanted to show the lantern in action so here you go.

Ammon Rock - Building a 1/12th Scale Gothic Lighthouse  - The Steam Tent Co-operative. © Gary Waidson - www.Steamtent.uk

Had a bit of a realisation while doing this. I started out adding some PVA based papier-mâché to some exposed MDF which is going to be stone walled. ( Top of picture )

I do this to create a texture between the egg box stones which simulates the mortar.

While draping the wet kitchen towel onto the wall some of it settled over the terrain that I laid down a few days ago with layers of scrap MDF.

I had intended to use filler and sculpt the rocks onto the MDF but looking at the effect given by the wet paper over the layers I realised that it would give a much better effect, mimicking the layers seen in eroding sedimentary rock. Exactly the sort of rock that fossils are normally found in.

I’ve slapped a bit of colour into the PVA mix here to give a base colour to the rock but given a bit more treatment this should do the job nicely.

I think it should also give me a good way to blend the plaster ammonite castings into the base when they are stuck down too.

Ammon Rock - Building a 1/12th Scale Gothic Lighthouse  - The Steam Tent Co-operative. © Gary Waidson - www.Steamtent.uk

17th November MMXX

Seeing how the terrain came up yesterday pushed my plans for the ammonites forward a little.

Stuck them down with some mastic type glue and blended them in with the paper and PVA mixture.

I’ve given them a base colouring here. Not the finished effect but bits of these colours should show through the top coats when they go on.

Once they have a bit of sea weed and the like applied the idea is that the ammonites should not be immediately obvious, only being noticed after some observation of the whole model.

I haven’t decided yet but I might even turn the middle of this one into a rock pool.

Ammon Rock - Building a 1/12th Scale Gothic Lighthouse  - The Steam Tent Co-operative. © Gary Waidson - www.Steamtent.uk
Ammon Rock - Building a 1/12th Scale Gothic Lighthouse  - The Steam Tent Co-operative. © Gary Waidson - www.Steamtent.uk

19th November MMXX

A bit more work on the paint and I think the base colour of the rock is a lot better now.

Sort of slippery and slimy looking.

The base paint layers very subtly add to the tonality giving it more depth.

Using a mixture of plumbers hemp, PVA and acrylic colour I’ve added some “Mermaid’s Hair”, the first of the seaweed.

This was a bit of an experiment really but I’m quite pleased with the result.

Ammon Rock - Building a 1/12th Scale Gothic Lighthouse  - The Steam Tent Co-operative. © Gary Waidson - www.Steamtent.uk

For the Quay, I’m returning to the egg box technique I used on Fingers End.

Quite rough and ready here because I’m intending to put in a board-walk over the top.

Ammon Rock - Building a 1/12th Scale Gothic Lighthouse  - The Steam Tent Co-operative. © Gary Waidson - www.Steamtent.uk

So this is a wider shot to show where we’re up to. Still lots to do but it’s shaping up nicely.

Ammon Rock - Building a 1/12th Scale Gothic Lighthouse  - The Steam Tent Co-operative. © Gary Waidson - www.Steamtent.uk

21st November MMXX

Painted up the egg box stonework on the quay, boat house floor and ramp.

A good base colour I think but needs a bit of weathering which I’ll do later to help consolidate it all. (Shot in daylight for reference.)

Ammon Rock - Building a 1/12th Scale Gothic Lighthouse  - The Steam Tent Co-operative. © Gary Waidson - www.Steamtent.uk

Back under the workshop lights, adding the board-walk to the quay and a bit of context in the boat house.

Coffee sticks again for the board walk. Dyed this time for a more matt effect.

22nd November MMXX

The Store Room - Ammon Rock - Building a 1/12th Scale Gothic Lighthouse  - The Steam Tent Co-operative. © Gary Waidson - www.Steamtent.uk

It's a good job we eat a lot of eggs in this household.

The stone floor of the store room and the wall of the well are both egg boxes again.

The texture works so well that I almost want to use it for everything.

The key is how you paint it of course. I tend to start with a dark wash of acrylic to fill all the crevices and then dry brush successively  lighter colours until I have something a bit too light.

Then I  give it a diluted dark wash which I dab off the surface with kitchen  towel. That leaves the pits a little darker and I just brighten a few  high points again with a bit more dry brushing.

This room will  eventually have racks and bunkers in it for the store but for the moment a few crates and barrels scattered around give some impression of  things to come.

Ammon Rock - Building a 1/12th Scale Gothic Lighthouse  - The Steam Tent Co-operative. © Gary Waidson - www.Steamtent.uk

This is a really good example of how my photographs help me with the building work.

The shot above this one was taken when I was happy with the painting of the store room floor and well under the workshop lighting.

However, when looking at the picture on the computer, I realised that I hadn’t varied the masonry on the well enough and the mortar appeared too be the same colour as the stone.

Only took a couple of minutes to rectify at this stage but further down the line it could have been more of an issue.

Ammon Rock - Building a 1/12th Scale Gothic Lighthouse  - The Steam Tent Co-operative. © Gary Waidson - www.Steamtent.uk

All of which puts us about here at the moment.

As this web page is already getting quite long I think it is time to split it up and start another page.

 

Booat House and Quay - Ammon Rock - Building a 1/12th Scale Gothic Lighthouse  - The Steam Tent Co-operative. © Gary Waidson - www.Steamtent.uk

Taking a look back at the boat house and I decided to tweak the stonework there as well. Then do a bit of weeding ( In this case adding weeds rather than pulling them out.) and if you compare it to the shot above you will see the difference.

Nemo's World. Miniature Creations of Gary Waidson. - © Gary Waidson - All Rights Reserved
Part of the Lore-and-Saga group of web sites. - © Gary Waidson - All Rights Reserved
Nemo's World. Miniature Creations of Gary Waidson. - © Gary Waidson - All Rights Reserved