Large BAYKO Models - Building

This is the second of a pair of articles on Planning and Building Large Buildings. This article is targeted at the actual building process, its predecessor covered the planning process…
Eckersley Towers, my first large building, named after the original owner of the long rods
In May's edition, in his superb article on design, Robin Throp suggested I do an article on how [and why?] I set about larger BAYKO projects. I split the article in half so that the editor could print them in different editions. The first article about Designing Large Models appeared last month. This is the sequel about actually Building Large Models.
Long Rods. Normally large buildings will require the use of long rods. I know this is a bit of a hobbyhorse of mine, bit I believe it is important to get this point right. Sounds trivial, but rods of slightly different lengths end up looking like Worzel Gummage's teeth, above the top layer of Bricks.
Drawings. These, as mentioned in the earlier article, let you count what you need. You can then cut the right number, to the right length, beforehand (don't forget to allow for the total thickness of Flooring!) and thus avoid spoiling the model's appearance.
Building Upwards. Long rods are a pain to control. The pre-war 61-brick rods I used to build the Skyscraper Flats “Eckersley Towers” bent over almost horizontal under their own weight during construction. This is less than ideal for building! Let me share a useful trick that will definitely save you time - and possibly your sanity!
Having worked out beforehand how frequently you need to use intermediate Flooring, for each level, build in the following sequence : -
► 1
Put all Corner Bricks, Curved Bricks, End Bricks, Pillars, etc., which the rods run through, together with inaccessible interior structures, (for the first layer) in position first.
► 2
Put all the Flooring to cover the first layer into position but leave it towards the top of the rods.
► 3
Put all Corner Bricks, Curved Bricks, End Bricks, Pillars etc., for the next layer, in position as before.
► 4
Put all the Flooring to cover the next layer into position.
► 5
Slide the lower level of Flooring into position, or a little above, leaving the other Flooring where it is near the top of the rods.
► 6
Insert all the remaining pieces below the lower Floor, including any additional rods into Arches, Spans, etc., and slide the lower Floor down right into position.
► 7
Repeat sections 3 to 6 as often as required.
► 8
Put on the top layer of Flooring.
Although it seems like hard work, this method means you always keep control of the rods, more than halving the building time for a tall building.
Building Length-Wise. Big models are heavy! We must accommodate the stresses and strains that movement, handling and transport put on vulnerable components, particularly Bases. After all, they were never designed to cope with such large structural forces.
My first effort at building St. BAYKO Cathedral
We also have to accept that most BAYKO was produced before plastic moulding became an exact science. The result - many larger components (Bases, Spans, Arches, etc.) are not dimensionally accurate. On small models this doesn't matter, but on large ones with the sort of pattern repetition I talked about previously, it can be a disaster.
For both these reasons I always build large models on MDF boards [which I prefer to cover in plain material]. The board takes the physical strain, improving the structural integrity. It also allows Bases to be spaced out more accurately, fastening them to the board, not each other. This solves the dimensional accuracy issue and the buckling and distortion that it can cause.
….and finally - we've all heard stories about twits who have build yachts in their garages then can't get them out! Don't be the BAYKO equivalent will you!
You have several choices : -
Redraw the plans so that you can get it out. You can use the modular approach Leo is using with 'The Empire State Building' - you don't have to make it smaller.
Build the planned model, but do it in a different room where the door, window, ceiling, whatever is big enough.
Tip the model on it's side to get it through the offending orifice - but be prepared for bits to fall off (or inwards) and lumber you with a repair issue every time you exhibit the model.
Demolish the offending obstacle on Exhibition Day!
I hope this helps you to actually take the mega-plunge.
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Latest update - August 10, 2022
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