Mile End Box Build

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Fresh from my Original Metropolitan Police Box model, I decided to build my own tribute to the late lamented Fire Brigade boxes from the Blackwall Tunnel.  In particular, my take on the Mile End box (which is the only one I've seen).

Again I'm using 1mm thick card, this time purchased in an A4 pack of 10. It's less unwieldy than the huge sheet I bought before, but the downside is that I can't cut out anything bigger than A4, so a full net of the basic box is out of the question. So this time I'm making 4 faces and sticking them together. I'm going to be fitting them like picture 2 below, so after cutting out the 4 sides, I slice 1mm of the edge of each one, so the finished product will have a completely square cross-section.  Next (picture 3, sorry for the blurriness),  I cut out an oblong panel to stick behind the panel holes.  This will produce the inset of the panels.  I note from the photos that the depth of the panels is actually quite shallow, so unlike the previous box I'm only doing 1mm depth. 

After I put the panel on I notice the card is starting to bow slightly, and I realise that it is actually the PVA glue that is doing this.  It's softening the card!  Note to self: use non-water-based glue next time (like EvoStick).  Luckily the softening is not drastic, and I can live with it.

As you can see below, they look quite shallow compared to my previous build, but then the photos of the box shows them this way.  I've decided to go for realism this time. There's also no glass behind the windows in the Mile End Box, so I just cut out frame shapes and stick a further small panel behind that.  In fact from what I can see from my photos, all but 2 of the windows have actually been replaced with a metal sheet (now quite rusty), so I'm accurately reflecting this in my model.

Unfortunately I have no photos of one side of the box (as I would have had to levitate above the Blackwall Tunnel to take it), and now the box has been demolished I will never know what it looked like.  But because I'm lazy I'm going to assume there are no window frames there either.

I cut out 4 long tabs to attach each face to the adjacent one (Picture 3 below).  I score down the middle and bend each one in a right-angle.  Next I stick two of these to the back of each face.  Take Care!  Remember how the edge of each "long" face is going to become part of the adjacent face?  Four of the tabs therefore have to be inset 1mm, to allow for the other face to be glued on. As you can see here.

Notice the card bowing slightly in the first picture below. Never going to use PVA again!  Once all four sides are on, I create little struts to give the model rigidity and to help push the faces back out again.   I also stick tabs on the bottom to attach the base.

A Burt Reynolds VHS box set (borrowed from my parents just for "Deliverance", honest!) comes in handy to weight it down while the glue sets.

Before I put the top on, I add LOTS of struts.  This baby's going to be as flat as I can make it.

Here come the roof tabs...same as the base tabs.

And the roof is on.  The Burt Reynolds Box Set came in handy here too.  Notice I had actually drawn window frames on all 4 faces, but decided to only use one.

If you've seen my last build, you've seen how I built up the corner posts a layer at at time.  No change here.  This is possibly the most boring part of the whole build.  4 layers of card on each corner.

But again it starts looking familiar once the posts are finished.


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