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Sunday, 26 February 2017

Project 17 - First Tree Grown

The land behind the retaining wall is Northbrook Cemetery with a few mature trees near the retaining wall. Whether or not I place grave head stones in the small area modelled will depend on how much of it is hidden by the row of trees.

The first tree is placed in the corner of the layout. It is shorter than those at Swanage because it is reclaimed from a previous model railway, and I have a second in waiting. It was in green leaf before I re-sprayed it to give the effect of leaves about to fall in Autumn. The smaller tree to the left is in the back scene.

For a detailed instruction on how to grow a model railway tree click here.

To Part 1

Sunday, 19 February 2017

Project 17 - Long Grass & A Miracle Glue

I return to the long grass issue cited in Part 6. Instead of trying to apply the hemp with a static grass applicator, which was unsuccessful, I simply pinched bunches, trimmed the ends square, dabbed in fast drying PVA glue and stuck in place. Then, whilst still wet, trimmed the height with scissors and  straightened the strands by gently brushing upwards with a toothbrush and from the suction of a vacuum cleaner, which also removed loose pieces.

The hemp is a bit too straw like in colour so I greened it up a bit by dry brushing with green acrylic paint.

The telegraph pole and gradient notice {inset) are also new additions to the scene.

Sticking the A4 back scene printed paper sheets to the back board posed the problem of what glue to use. I knew from experience that conventional glues can lead to air bubbles, creases and stick too fast to allow re-alignment.

My research lead me to Acrylic Matte Medium. This is a gel mainly used to alter the glossiness of acrylic paint. I learned that it can also be used as a paper glue that overcomes all of the issues stated above.

This area of the layout is quite awkward to fit the back scenes in place and I did have problems with the second piece resulting in air bubbles. But I was able to peel it off, apply more matte medium and stick it down smoothly without damage to the printed paper.

To Part 9.

To Part 1.

Saturday, 11 February 2017

Newbury MRC Expo 2017

Layouts

A railway is an object of length. Space for it is the biggest challenge for modellers. Where space is limited and you still want a railway of some expanse then you might choose one of the smaller gauges like 'N' or smaller still 'Z'. But, have you heard of 'T' (tiny)? The track gauge is just 3mm and the scale 1:450 I saw it for the first time at the Newbury show. Someone had modelled the Forth Railway Bridge (the prototype is about 8,000 feet long) in 'T' gauge and you know what - the layout was about 25 feet long! It seems even a ridiculously small scale still requires a lot of space.

'T' gauge is not for me and my companion had to turn away feeling ill at the thought of modelling trains and buildings that are hard to see.

My Best in Show goes to Lydgate (OO gauge, 1950s ex-L&Y), an industrial theme with detailed cameo scenes containing people in realistic, static poses. This photo shows one end of the layout, a micro layout in itself that is connected to, but visually separate, from the much larger vista beyond the bridge.

In the Trade

I have been wanting a Class 117 DMU for my own Misterton layout for some time. I had been holding off buying the obsolete Lima in preference for the expected higher detailed Bachmann that was announced a couple of years ago but still no forecast of its availability.

I started to reconsider the Lima offering but following auctions on eBay I was put off by the high demand and high price. Do people not know of the shortcomings, like the trailing car being woefully inaccurate to the prototype?

At the Newbury show a trader was offering a boxed Lima 3 car set for about £10-£20 cheaper than eBay sellers. I scrutinised the models carefully. The condition was excellent although the trader could not test run it for me. I took a chance and bought it. On getting it home I test ran and found it worked ok. I decided to open up the power car to check over the motor and give the cogs a light oiling and to my delight discovered that the previous owner had fitted working headlamps! The implementation was a bit crude being a filament pea bulb pointing at two plastic light tubes and the electrical connections held in place not with solder but with blu-tac!

I corrected the wiring and shrouded the lamp and tubes with black insulation tape but I'm afraid the bulb light is too strong and shines through the black tape giving the appearance of  a camp fire inside the passenger compartment! That will need more work at some point.

Due to the incorrect trailing car style I am thinking of getting a conversion kit to put it right and install flush glazing throughout.

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