The Model Village
The West Cork Model Railway Village depicts the West Cork in delightful miniature form serving the towns of Clonakilty, Kinsale, Bandon and Dunmanway. The Model Village is a fully scaled handmade model of the old West Cork Railway Line with working trains. The models and figurines are carefully handmade on site to a scale of 1:24.
How the models are made & ongoing maintenance
Due to the fragile nature of the model buildings there is a constant maintenance programme running throughout the year. This means that at any given time certain models may be getting a repaint or repaired.
All the models on display were built on site by the workers and are exact replicas of the originals as they appeared in the 1940’s.
A lot of research and background work went into the making of the models. First the actual building was surveyed by architects and scaled drawings were produced for the model-makers to work from. To get an accurate picture of a building, its function and how it looked in the era 1930 to 1950 old photographs and historical literature were examined.
The plans are then drawn up and the model makers craft a miniature of the buildings. The models are made from resin and fibreglass, which are hard wearing substances which can withstand the weathering of the elements when located outside.
Intricate window facings and doors are produced from fibreglass and cast in moulds. These details are fitted into the structure and fibreglass roof is added. The finished product is painted and decorated exactly like it was in the 1940’s.
How the figurines are made
The figures you see in the towns are handmade here at the Model Village. Each figure is a unique once-off piece which was hand sculpted and painted. Characters such as blacksmiths, bakers, workers, fish sellers and school children are all replicated in the style of the 1940’s period. Photographs from the 1940’s are used to show the model maker the style of clothes the people wore in that era. The detail is extremely fine and accurate and the dress is typical turn of the century.
The models of the people are all individually handcrafted from fire cement and casted around copper wire. They are then carved out with a scalpel. They are placed in a kiln at 1000 degrees. They are fired in a kiln by bisque firing technique. The figures are then hand painted, glazed and then re-fired.