There are only two weeks left till the first public display of my model of King’s Cross station, so I better press on. Last update focused on the facade itself. This time, I’ll show how the inside has progressed – and not least the roof covering it…
To start, I’ll recap what the station looks like from the front. Here is a photo I took (appropriately, with a Harry Potter minifigure in front) when I visited the London in 2018.
The first post covered how I had built (most of) this facade. This time, I’ll focus more on the inside – and the roof construction, which you can see through the big arched windows above. Basically, I had to come up with a big arched glass roof structure to cover the station hall, tracks and platforms.
Designing the roof
I couldn’t really finalise the facade without knowing how the roof would be constructed – and how it would attach to the facade. To progress with the roof, I needed to find out how the station looked inside. Basically, you have two large arches – one extending from each of the large windows on the front. Below is a photo of the left arch – it covers four tracks. In my version, I only have four tracks in total, so each arch will cover two tracks.
The challenge was to find LEGO pieces that would allow me to build such a structure. In particular, I needed something to hold up the glass panels. I remember having seen models where arched roofs had been created using curved rail tracks as supporting structure. An arch based on normal train track would be way too wide, but I had some narrow-gauge track, which was my first attempt (see below). But this was just a bit too wide – I needed something that wasn’t wider than a baseplate (as my total width was two baseplates). Otherwise, I had to rebuild the whole front to match something bigger. So maybe I should have started with the roof?
I brainstormed other ideas with Cade Franklin (winner of LEGO Masters Australia season 1) and he suggested having a look at the relatively new roller coaster track, which he was using for a roof construction himself. Luckily, I had the Pirate roller coaster set which had the tracks in light bluish grey, allowing me to test that idea. The curves seemed to work within the space I had, but I was concerned that the pieces extended quite a lot into the space below – and maybe it was actually too curved. I quite liked the use of the lion head pieces to hold the construction though in my test setup below.
Then my eyes fell on one of the other pieces from the Pirate roller coaster set: The top part of the slope. It was probably not curved enough, but revisiting the photos of the real construction, the ceiling itself isn’t curved as much as the window, but the side supports create the illusion of a more curved roof. So I had to test that idea.
I ended up with the design to the right, with some minor improvements. I was glad I could incorporate the lion heads into the build, but now I had to find sellers with plenty of both the slopes and the lion heads. I needed quite a few supports overall, as I had decided to go with a depth of 3 baseplates.
Here is a first test adding the roof structure to the back of the facade. For the glass roof, I decided to use 1x4x6 window frames connected with hinges and placed on top. It seemed to work well once I added a beam at the side, to keep it in place.
The roof construction needed something to rest on towards the facade though. That required another rebuild, where I tried to recreated the slope of the roller coaster track using a mix of sloped pieces.
Finishing the front
Finally, the front is getting close to completion here, and I have created a decent extension of the train station in depth. I have now placed all 2×3 baseplates it will cover. And more importantly, I managed to free enough space on my table to continue the build there rather having it on the floor. My sore back was thankful for that!
One difference you may notice on the photo above is the base. I realised, the platforms should really be raised over the tracks. But I didn’t want to add steps up to that level inside the station either. As result, I lifted the entire build one brick from the baseplate, adding a plate on top (yes, yet another rebuild) before the tiles for the floor. That was enough to give the platforms sufficient height when viewed next to the track.
For the roof of the central tower, I realised that the 3×3 corner slopes are quite rare in dark bluish grey. I should probably have checked. I didn’t have any on stock, and had to look overseas to get the 8 that I needed. That paused the build for a couple of weeks.
The central tower on the photo above was a placeholder. Below I had received both the clocks and the pieces needed for the roof. I also found a few old flagpoles. I need to get Union Jack on both though. But I’m pretty happy with how the front looks now I must say.
With the outside almost complete, focus shifted very much to the inside. Here is a photo of some of the early details I added. Firstly, there is the clock hanging from the ceiling. It has clocks facing in all four directions and is based on the dice piece from a few years ago when LEGO produced board games (I may have used a black sharpie pen to prevent some red colour to show up. This is the only modified piece I will make this year I promise!)
You can also see the King’s Cross signage above one of the exits (this is the sign that came with the 2018 Hogwarts Express set) and I’ve started building gates to let people in and out – but only if they have a ticket. A city map, which you’ll often find on stations, can be seen to the right, but this was also mentioned in the previous post.
Here is a better photo that shows the city map, but more importantly also the signage for Platform 9 ¾. For the latter, I used the printed tiles that came with the 2021 Advent Calendar.
Towards the back, you can see a couple of “flesh” coloured minifigures – as I now had decided to bite the bullet and buy sufficient of those figures to populate my train station instead of the yellow head ones. That would fit better with the Harry Potter characters.
I could not think of train stations without thinking of pigeons too. I found a white bird piece that would represent a pigeon nicely and bought 20 of them to place around the building.
Below, you can see more of the inside. A few workers are fixing up cables next to the tracks. Towards the back, you can see that I still need a lot of 2×2 light bluish grey tiles to complete the floor. Rather vibrant coloured plates are still visible, as I used the cheapest I could find, to cut down costs when having to lift it all up to give height for the platforms.
I will finish this post with a few photos giving an impression of the overall build. Here, most columns are now in place. I ran out of tan 2×4 bricks of all things, so a few of the side columns had to wait on the next order to arrive. It also gives a sneak peak into how the minifigures access Platform 9 ¾.
Below you can see it from the front with three out of five roof segments completed. It seems to work really well.
In my next post, I’ll show how it looks from the inside with the roof on.
That completes part 2 – I hope you’ve enjoyed the write-up. Part 3 will show the finished model, which as noted is soon to be displayed in public for the first time. I need to add all the finishing touches before that, but hopefully it won’t take too long before I can post the third and final part of this series.
Till then, Build the Magic!