Since 2016, I have sung in one of the choirs at Ely Cathedral, and so became interested in the building itself. During web-searches, I discovered that Rupert Cordeux was in the process of designing a 1:240 scale card model kit of the Cathedral. He completed the model design in 2017, and, on and off, I kept wondering whether to buy the kit and make the model. I hadn't got round to it, but in 2019 I noticed that the kits were on sale in the Cathedral's own shop (which obviously makes sense!) and in September 2019, I finally bought one.
I quickly obtained the other things needed for assembly - a sheet of artist's 'mount board' for the base; scalpels; glue; etc. but didn't actually make a start until 8th February 2020. I finished the model on 26th April 2020, and am very pleased with it. I make no claims to be an 'artist', but I can follow instructions, and can easily check the actual Ely Cathedral to see how the building 'works'. I find it difficult to imagine the process of designing a model such as this, and showing such an immense amount of detail - surely as much as is possible at this scale.
Some of the size A3 sheets in the kit: the cover illustration; sheet 'N' (masonry colour) also with general instructions; sheet 'O' (lead roof colour); and one of the 4 sheets of assembly diagrams.
Also my two retractable Swann-Morton scalpel handles, fitted with 10A blades.
The part-numbers reach up to 348, but the same number is used for many interchangeable parts (not surprisingly often in multiples of 4 or 8), so I haven't worked out how many actual parts there are!
This is the south side of the 'choir' (actual building, and model). In the very first part of the model (Part number 1), don't forget (like I did!) to cut out the 4 'windows' (second row of windows up from the ground, 'triforium level'). There is no glass in these - they are just holes and the space behind them is exposed to the outside of the cathedral. I had to cut them out after I'd partly assembled the model, which was difficult.
The equivalent windows on the north side of the choir also have no glass, but they do have all the stone tracery, and are not intended to be cut out in the model. One tends to thnk of the Cathedral as 'all constructed at once', but of course it wasn't. These windows on the south and north, designed to let more light into the Presbytery, were part of modifications in the fourteenth century.[*]
The generic instructions on Sheet N say that battlements and parapets are folded and glued so that they are of double-thickness card, and are only cut out after the glue has set. These aren't marked specifically on each piece, apart from the 'score line', so bear in mind that these very first parts of the model have top top-edges to be folded over, glued, and cut into 'battlements'.
I'm not the first person to notice (see another easily-found site by someone else constructing this same model), but the model is missing a door. This door (bottom left of the photos), just west of the end of the South Transept, is used as the main south entrance into the Cathedral. It enters what would have been part of the eastern range of the cloisters (not much of which remain), and from there into the nave of the Cathedral. Not wanting to risk spoiling the original artwork of the model with my virtually non-existent artistic talents, I drew the door on some scrap card, and very lightly glued it on. I'm pleased with the result - it seems about the right size, despite the perspective of the two photos not being very similar. Note the blue sundial - perhaps I should colour it in on the model!
Maybe I am the first to notice this time: the model is missing a small pinnacle, on the north-west corner of the North Transept - top-centre of the photos, with the two rather heavy butresses lower down. I constructed the missing pinnacle out of scrap card, drawing some detail with pencil similar to others in the model - it's only about 15mm tall. I see that my photo of the model hides a pinnacle at the corner of the Octagon behind my 'new' pinnacle, in case you wonder why you can't see that one.
This corner of the North Transept fell on 28th March 1699, but was rebuilt under the direction of Sir Christopher Wren, including the door just to the left of this corner, which has been said to be out of keeping with the rest of the Cathedral.[*] One website writes (incorrectly) that this date was when the North-West transept fell (or was taken down) - the date of this appears unknown other than being earlier (fifteenth century). The confusion can arise because the Cathedral has 4 transepts, the larger ones (at the 'crossing') being usually called North and South, while the smaller ones at the west end are called North-West (still largely ruined) and South-West.
[*] Any comments from me above about the architecture of Ely Cathedral, or dates of significant events, came from this book. In case the link stops working, the book is: THE CATHEDRAL CHURCH OF ELY, A HISTORY AND DESCRIPTION OF THE BUILDING WITH A SHORT ACCOUNT OF THE FORMER MONASTERY AND OF THE SEE, by THE REV. W. D. SWEETING, M.A., First Published June 1901. This book draws together information from many sources into one place.