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Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Project 16 - Crewkerne Tunnel Pt. 1

Visitors to my main website may have seen there the portal of Crewkerne Tunnel that is built into my Hewish Gates layout. Now I am creating the other end on what was previously the non-scenic bridging baseboard between the two layouts.

I can not be sure the portal architecture and construction is accurate to prototype from old monochrome photographs I have seen. When I built the portal on Hewish Gates it seemed to me that the portal was stone work with brick capping. Subsequently I saw a glimpse of one portal in the Clemens colour film 'The Withered Arm'  (incorrectly identified by the film narrator as Hewish tunnel). That portal is clearly brick construction with a rough stone arch. That is what I have modelled here on the approach to Misterton Station.

The portal is made from plywood covered in old English brick bond paper that I created on the computer, taking care to include the white mineral leeching from the brick, as the prototype.

The stone arch is Miliput standard grade epoxy putty. I have a love/hate relationship with this product. I find that the initial adhesion is weak but once set hard (after several hours) stays firmly in place. During application excess can be scraped off the brick paper without any marks or damage due to the putty not being wet, like clay products.

The track work through the model tunnel is on a curve. It is not necessary to make a complex tunnel interior that follows the curve because the viewing angle for the portal is quite acute, as seen in the first photo.

The tunnel interior is built at right angles to the portal, which makes for a simple construction, and the part where interference with trains arises is cut away.

This is exactly what I did for the other portal. From the normal viewing position you would never see that it is not a full fabrication.

Landscape is to be created above this and the side will be a removable panel for access.

The first and third photo show part of the back scene I created from photographing a real location, printing out on multiple A4 sheets and sticking together on a hardboard backing.

The back scene is reused from the previous incarnation of this layout where it formed a front scene on this non-scenic bridging baseboard, which is now being landscaped. It has added another dimension to the model giving an impression of more depth than actually exists on the layout.
Before Layout Rebuild.

To Series Part 1.

Friday, 23 September 2016

Project 16 - Return to Cattle Dock

'Followers' may recall I had an issue sourcing 00 gauge calves for the cattle dock pens. Well, I found some that are about the right height for 6 month old fresian male calves. Purchased from Pendukemodels (at a show) I believe they are the same as that manufactured by Dorspring. Pendukemodels supplied me one cow and two calves in a pack. The problem is the calves have the same pose of head down grazing. A herd of these in a cattle pen would not be suitable so, I looked into moulding replicas and adapting them for an upright head posture.

Searching YouTube tutorials on 'moulding miniatures' I came across this one. I adopted that technique simply because I had all the required materials to hand. I find it is a very effective method of replicating small 4 legged critters and at mininal cost.

Photograph on the right is two halves of the mould tool made from a hot glue stick with a moulded calf in situ.

Photo left shows the stages of adaptation. Left to right is the master Pendukemodels calf, then the moulded replica, then repositioned head on milliput standard putty neck and finally the painted model.

The hot glue stick mould tool captures the fine details of the master but care is needed. The calf head in particular is not so well defined as the master having lost much of the ear profile. More care would probably have overcome this but the final result here is OK for me - they are quite small being about 11mm high so deficiences are not too noticeable.

Below is the scene on the model railway. The mould tool is good for creating more calves so I could go mad and fill both pens if I wanted to.This will do for now.

To Part 40.

To Part 1.

Friday, 16 September 2016

Project 16 - More Ballasting

This round of track ballasting takes us to the end of the buffer stops. I ran out of builders decorative granite chips so this was substituted with Woodland Scenics medium grey granules, which has two shades of grey. Included in my mix is brown cork granules and for areas between the sleepers coal granules to represent dirty ballast. To the mix is added dry wallpaper paste granules for adhesion. The mix is spread between the sleepers and the lot sprayed with water containing a few drops of washing up liquid to reduce surface tension.

Left to Right: down head shunt, down main, up main, up head shunt.

Next up is the final push for this project as I create the approach to Crewkerne Tunnel and its portal.
Before Layout Rebuild.

To Part 39.

To Part 1.
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