Friday, 19 December 2014

1 Plank Wagon - Part 3 Fin

Well, I came up with some numbering and have applied it to the sides of the wagons in the manner postulated in Part 2.

The tarpaulin covered load has come out very well. The load is sculptured FIMO clay shaped as in the prototype photograph. The weave of a tarpaulin cloth was created by lightly pressing a very fine plastic mesh onto the clay. The idea being that when the actual tarpaulin cover is pressed onto it the weave would make an impression in the cover. However, this was not very successful.

The tarpaulin cover is the clever bit. What we need is something that represents canvas with its folds as it is draped over the load. What I discovered, whilst taking a break, is the silver foil packaging from a Kit-Kat bar. This is remarkably thin, almost like gold leaf. I thinly covered the clay with epoxy resin glue, laid the foil on the top of the clay (dull side up) and dabbed it into place around the load with a large, round, artist paint brush. The foil formed its own (N gauge) folds, as you can see from the photo. The trick is to use a very thin foil.

It was then painted grey and dry brushed with white pastel scrapes (when the paint was very slightly tacky) to highlight the folds and dull the paint.

There is no visible strapping over the load as these tarpaulins had eyelets near the canvas edge where rope tied it down to the solebars of the wagon (not modelled). SR lettering on the tarpaulin has also been omitted, let's say it has faded/rubbed away over time.

Here are the two wagons in the yard at Thornycroft. I thought that one more wagon making three in all would be enough for a train but I think now that I should go for the five originally proposed, which is still a short train compared to that in the prototype photo. Don't know what the load is but it surely is not vehicles, probably spare parts.


To Part 1

Sunday, 14 December 2014

1 Plank Wagon - Part 2

The wagon body height and style was scaled from a 00 gauge LSWR wagon in my possession.

The floor of the body is printed planks (left over from the Wood Store build) stuck to card and weathered with dry brushed black pastel scrapes. Such a small body does not allow for fitting of the metal weight supplied with the chassis kit but, since it will carry a load then the load can be weighted appropriately.

Body sides are card, as are the end struts. Corner and side strapping are cut from a sticky label sheet and the lot painted brown.

Lettering and numbers should be applied but two problems arose. Firstly, what were the markings? I have only found one example of SR marking and that is on a vintage 1 plank wagon toy which, being a toy brings into question its authenticity. Secondly, I'll need a transfer sheet of N Gauge SR markings, which I do not have. I could have created an artwork of the body sides with markings on the computer, printed on sticky label and applied to the card. This can still be done once the markings are identified.


To Part 3

To Part 1

Sunday, 7 December 2014

1 Plank Wagon - Part 1

There is one goods yard left on the layout that needs materials laid about but available photos just do not show clearly what they were. So I'm stuck for the moment. More vehicles and people are also needed but I'm taking a diversion from all that to make some 1 plank wagons.

There is a photo in our reference book* of a Southern G6 locomotive pulling a train of mainly one plank wagons with tarpaulin covered loads from the Thornycroft factory towards Basingstoke and it is this I would like to recreate.

I'm sure I saw a proprietary kit somewhere on the web for a 1 plank N gauge wagon (it is a rare beast, not available as a r-t-r item and kits seem sparse.) Anyway, I decided to use the Peco NR-119 9' chassis kit with scratch built body and load. Only two chassis kits were available from traders at a show we visited back in the summer. We will eventually need 3-5 for a reasonable length train.

The chassis kit has few parts and should be simple to assemble. However, it was not clear to me from the instructions if the buffer beams fit inside or outside the sole bars. Yes, I got it wrong and had to disassemble the glued parts! They fit outside the sole bars so that their ends are flush with the sole bar sides.

* The Basingstoke and Alton Light Railway by Dean et al.


To Part 2

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Electric Trolley

Electric trolleys were used to move materials about the site.  The only photographic evidence found is a rear view of a trolley in the movie shown on our Thornycroft page here. Much web searching eventually revealed a similar trolley, though not Thornycrofts, and this was used as the basis for the N gauge model shown in this posting. It was  designed and fabricated using CAD and our 3D printer.

Alongside is the driver looking at the materials rack and wondering how he is going to lift off a heavy casting from such a great height!

Close up photographs of N gauge modelling show all manner of flaws/missing detail that are not so noticeable at normal viewing distances. This is because viewing from two feet or so back the eye takes in a broader view of the scene and missing details go unnoticed.  This disparity is peculiar to N Gauge and smaller scales, less so in double O and above where detail is easier to build into a model and flaws more noticeable at normal viewing distances. Or, is this discourse just an excuse for my less than perfect scratch build modelling. I have seen some very finely detailed proprietary N gauge models (our Dapol M7s for example) but also many in the market that lack detail or are flawed (people without facial features for example). On balance I'm probably right in that compromise of detail and quality is to be expected in N gauge and models should only be viewed from a position well back.


Saturday, 15 November 2014

Goods Yard Clutter - 4

Just a quick update to show the newly installed racks of materials alongside the Experimental Shop.

Please see previous two postings for construction details.


Saturday, 8 November 2014

Goods Yard Clutter - 3

Having determined that there was some form of racking alongside the Wood Store (previous posting) I went back over the photos at and recognised similar structures alongside the Museum Garage and the Experimental Shop.

Here is the arrangement alongside the Museum Garage (the white sided building) on our N gauge model layout.

Below is the normal viewing distance and angle. Racking was fabricated as described in the previous posting.

It is really difficult to identify materials on the racks as most photos of the factory only give distant blurry views. Where we have found useful photos, like workshop interiors, it is still difficult to identify many of the vehicle components that are laid about. I realised that it does not really matter in N scale. All we need is some odd shaped lumps.

In the close up photo below we recognise mud guards and wheels left over from our vehicle modelling but the rest of it is bits of plastic sprue and spare plastic kit oddments. Some of it looks like castings and are painted silver whilst other parts are painted with 'red oxide' primer.

I can't tell from factory photos if materials were laid underneath the racks (I can't even be sure that the model racks are accurate to prototype) but there probably were to some extent.What I feel is important at this stage of the project is to populate all the yards with some people, vehicles and materials so that the model overall looks like a busy factory and then add more details later as and when the mood takes us.


Friday, 31 October 2014

Goods Yard Clutter - 2

In 1928 this area next to the Wood Store contained an untidy mishmash of materials that spread into the roadway. Long wooden or metal poles/beams were leant vertically against the wall.

In 1939 the area was much tidier with either racking or workbench alongside the wall and a barrier alongside the road. Next to the barrier were more materials tidily arranged but on our model we don't have the same space available for these because the Wood Store had to be located closer to the road to fit on the baseboard. It was either that or shorten the building.

Rack frame and barrier models are 3D printed. The rack surface is card. The prototype was assumed to be metal painted black. I have added areas of rust.

The next photo shows oil drums (3D printed) laid next to this small white store. I gave them the Shell red and yellow livery for variety of colour on the layout.

I like the waste ground grass here, being straw coloured signifying late summer. Note the weeds along the base of the palisade fence.


Sunday, 26 October 2014

1920s Petrol Pump and Another A1 Van

Outside the Pump Room is some form of machinery. It is not clear from available photographs what exactly was there but since petrol and oil tanks existed underground here and the Pump Room was associated with these then it is a logical assumption it was a petrol and oil dispensing stand.

Having found a photo of a 1920s petrol dispenser I went overboard modelling as much of the detail as my dexterity would allow. A little foolish perhaps for a thing that is only 12mm tall for which a magnifying glass is needed to see the detail. But, I enjoyed the challenge. It is a column with hand crank and dial. The gun part of the hose attachment hangs by a ring over the top of the column when not in use, as is the case here.

Next to it is an oil dispensing cabinet. The top half is open and contains the dispenser that fills an oil can placed next to it.

On the other side of the yard from the Pump Room is the Repair Shop. Another A1 van has been placed here, this time a Thornycroft demonstrator van, with driver and another in conversation alongside.

A background  was created for this photo and stitched into it to represent factory buildings at the far end of the site that are off our model layout.


Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Goods Yard Clutter - 1

The only photograph available to us that clearly shows the type of  materials laid about the Thornycroft factory yards is in our reference book 'The Basingstoke and Alton Light Railway'. Well, there is another that shows a group of oil drums but we could do with more close up photos of the yards around the west end of the factory site so that a fair representation of the clutter there can be modelled.

Nevertheless, here is the view of goods yard clutter in the loading bay area of our model, staged from the scene in the book photo.

The most notable difference is that the yard appears much wider in the book photo, which is a surprise because we modelled the layout from a scale plan. This just goes to prove that creating a scale replica is rarely feasible, especially as we do not have sufficient photographic evidence of the entire site. All we can do is create an impression of what the factory looked like in the 1930s.

The yard clutter was modelled from and set out as in the book photo. Here we have a stack of wooden barrels (3D printed), a group of cowling castings made from FIMO clay and a group of 3D printed rear axle castings. The castings are waiting their turn in the pickling tanks located at the end of  the yard.

Below is an atmospheric night time scene photographed by a security guard after the workers had left the site at the end of the working day. 

The lamp construction method is the same as described in an earlier posting. The crates were 3D printed as individual sides and glued together to form the box.


Saturday, 11 October 2014

Photographer Caught in the Act

J.I. Thornycroft Ltd. of Basingstoke were prolific in photographing their newly built lorries, vans, buses and chassis. There is a large online archive of these at The Thornycroft Register. The Dunlop A1 class Van is depicted in model form below and its construction was described in a previous posting.

With such a plethora of prototype photographs taken by Thornycroft it seemed fitting to depict a scene of a van and photographer on our model layout. The van driver, wearing a flat cap, is also included standing behind the photographer and out of his shot.

The location of our model van is opposite the cemetery drive in front of the factory palisade fence but the location of the prototype scene was probably further along Worting Road beyond the railway bridge and off our layout, judging by the wooden fence in the background of the Thornycroft photo.


Tuesday, 7 October 2014

More N gauge trees

On the right is the view from Worting Road railway bridge showing the line of mature trees that form the boundary of the factory in the late 1930s.

When modelling trees we have to remind ourselves that mature trees in nature are very tall. These are made from dead Sedum flower heads collected in late Autumn/Winter.

The method of construction is described here.

I used Sedum because the flower head has smaller petals than the Yarrow mentioned in the article and is therefore well suited to N Gauge. It would work for 00 gauge as well.

That red van is a set scene that will be featured in the next posting. 

Below is the view across some of the factory buildings to the other side of the tree line. I really like this composition, quite atmospheric except the yard is too empty for a busy factory. It is yard clutter that we will create next for the layout.

In these photographs a sky background has been stitched into the photograph of the model.


Sunday, 28 September 2014

Private Siding Gates

Latest additions are another palisade fence, this time from N Brass Locos, and private siding gates made from balsa wood. The style of gate we adopted is of the Southern Railway cross braced level crossing type.

The only photo we have that shows the gates is from 'Britain From Above', which shows a blurry distant view. Nevertheless we are pretty sure from this that it was a double gate but whether it had a red target like level crossing gates we cannot be certain. From other accounts we understand there was no standard in this respect. We have seen a photo of another location that has no red target plate.

To clear the rails the model gates sit a lot higher than the surrounding ground level. They can be be opened and closed by hand with care.

David & Ed.

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Small Trees and Shrubs

I use natural flora to create trees and shrubs, mostly dead stems and flower heads of Sedum or Yarrow. I had not considered delving beneath ground to utilise plant roots for tree construction until I saw this video. (advance the video to about 2 minutes).

Pulling the weed from gravel retains the open root structure well. I also found that if the weed is dug up from soil whilst retaining a clump of earth around the root and then gently ease it away in a bowl of water then this works too. The only weed I used is chick weed, which is very common. Care in selection is necessary to choose straight stem plants as some have contorted stems.

I followed the same technique as shown in the video to prepare the root but did not bother to beef up the trunk or use the elaborate method of making foliage. I simply used a mat of Woodland Scenics foliage. This was teased out finely to give a lace like structure, laid over the branches and prodded until a desirable tree shape was formed. The foliage end of the tree was dipped in 50/50 water/PVA glue solution to fix the foliage to branches. Neat PVA was applied to the trunk and the tree popped into a previously drilled hole in the scenery.

Unfortunately, the lace like foilage structure was too fine, making the whiskery hair of the matting too noticeable. This was corrected with judicious placing of foliage clumps, that fell off the mat during teasing, and then over sprayed with sticky hair spray to fix.

This method of tree construction is ideal for small N gauge trees but for large trees I prefer the more substantial form of Yarrow or Sedum flower heads.

The photo below shows some of the trees planted along the fence line behind the Wood Store. They are of similar size and position as appearing in a photo from 1928 of the real site.


Friday, 19 September 2014

Photography and Set Scenes

There was a photographic studio, or photograph store I'm not sure which, located near the main gate house of the factory. Photography at the factory was a prolific activity with hundreds of images taken of vehicles both in chassis form and complete custom liveried vehicles. A publicity film was also made in the late 1940s, as shown on our Thornycroft page.

A set scene I want to replicate was the Dunlop van being photographed outside the factory in Worting Road. For this scene a photographer had to be fabricated holding a camera pointed at the vehicle. In the 1930s single lens reflex cameras were available but fabricating a photographer in N scale holding a 35mm reflex camera would be quite insignificant. The larger format cameras were still used by the press so I decided to give him one of those. Next, I needed to understand how they were used so searched for a 1930s photographer and discovered a wonderful picture of the American photographer Rudy Arnold, who was famous for photographing aeroplanes. Seems entirely reasonable that his press style camera could also be used for photographing road vehicles. His pose was copied for our model, which was dressed smartly with waist coat like Rudy is wearing.

The method of making the figure is described here.

I had hoped to show the set scene of Dunlop van with photographer but the backdrop of trees and shrubs on the layout have yet to be modelled.

One scene we have finished is our recreation of this 1920s or 1930s view. It is an A3 6 wheeled lorry loaded with hay or straw that is being unloaded into the Wood Store. The lorry itself has no number plates fitted and no spare wheel so I think it is either a demonstration model or a production unit before dispatch to customer.

A3 photo by Ed.

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Let Phase 3 Commence

Phase 3 is about populating our Thornycroft Sidings layout with flora, vehicles, people and factory materials about the yards.

First up is an A3 class, six wheeled, flat bed lorry (actually second up because an A1 class Dunlop van was made earlier). The A3 was introduced in 1926 and could carry loads up to 50cwt.

Here is an unkind photograph of this very small model (about 40mm x 12mm x 17mm). The roughness is less noticeable at normal viewing distance.

Designed using FreeCAD as a kit of parts and then 3D printed, like the A1.

As with the A1 Dunlop van it will be set into a cameo scene on the layout that reflects that shown in a period photograph of the full size lorry. This will be the subject of a future posting.


Friday, 12 September 2014

Farish N gauge 57xx Pannier tank to G6

As mentioned in the previous post, we need a 0-6-0 G6 to work the yard at Thornycroft. There are no n gauge R-T-R models of this locomotive on the market, but a search shows up a brass kit made by N Brass Locos - this requires a Farish 57xx chassis. So the next thing was to find the chassis. A search of the popular internet auction site brought up a few options, as we only wanted the chassis we waited for an auction which started with a low price (£0.99), and waited to see what the price would rise to just before the auction ended. I put a late bid in and won it for £27.99 + P&P, not a bad price as most appear to sell for over £30, and only wanting the chassis did not want to pay over the odds.

One of our main concerns was the height of the guides on the wheels, as previously mentioned. The sizes seem to change depending on age of model. To our delight when it arrived, the wheel guides were on the low side which meant it would roll over our faux concrete track without any problems. The loco is in pretty good shape, and ran around our board without problems. The only minor issue is a few paint dinks, which are hardly noticeable. It'll be a shame to to change it's body, but a Pannier 57xx never ventured down the B&ALR line as far as we can tell.

Just need to order the N Brass kit next...


Monday, 25 August 2014

SR General Purpose Tank Locomotive

Bit of an impulsive purchase. I bid on the famous internet auction site for a "Graham Farish - N Gauge - SR General Purpose Tank Locomotive ' 2579 '" they appear quite regularly and can often be hand for about £20. From what I can work out the train would have been part of an n gauge Graham Farish starter kit but is not actually modelled to be any specific locomotive. I was attracted to it because to the non-concerning it looks a bit like a 0-6-0T G6, a tank engine which served the Thornycroft site during the period.

There was a bit of damage to the Tank loco, mainly with one of the buffers, and a screw holding the undercarriage were missing. The buffer was repaired with a spare we had and it soon looked as good as new, it took a little bit of fettling to get it to run, but after removing some carbon build up and giving it an oil, we managed to get it to run around the oval. Unfortunatly it would not run over our concrete filled track inside the yard due to the height of the wheel guides, obviously we could scrape out some of the faux concrete in the tracks, or replace the wheels - neither if which are a trival task. So, for the moment we will leave it as it is and actually source an n gauge G6 Kit and chassis (hoping it will have smaller wheel guides) this will also make it more 'real' as there is no r-t-r n gauge model on the market.


Friday, 8 August 2014

End of Phase 2

Phase 2 was about creating the groundworks for our Thornycroft Sidings layout. The photos below also show the buildings from phase 1 of the project. A back scene is work in progress and should prove an interesting subject to post here because of the novel design method being used.

The final Phase 3 of the project is about populating the scene with shrubs, tress, vehicles, people and factory materials laid about the yards.

This photo shows most of the layout area (scenic area about 4' x 3'). Maybe not as exciting as the usual low level magazine shots that make it look like the real thing - those will follow after phase 3 is complete.

And this is the aerial view of the real factory for comparison, except we have modelled the 1939 scene, which has some extra buildings to the 1928 view below.

  The Thornycrofts Motor Works, Basingstoke, 1928 - Britain from Above

Moonlit scene with building LED lights ablaze

There may be a delay in publishing more updates as we turn our attention to our Cliddesden layout in preparation for another exhibition outing (Details later).


Saturday, 2 August 2014

Laying the turf around Thornycroft

As with Cliddesden, we used static grass to lay our turf around the Thornycroft site. Unlike Cliddesden where pretty much 85% of the board was grass, only the embankments at Thornycroft needed to be covered.

The embankments were made using polystyrene cut to shape, and then plaster-of-paris was laid over top. Once dried, watered down chocolate brown emulsion paint was applied to create the earth, and then using neat PVA and our home-made static grass applicator (warning it is not a toy) I started laying the turf using a mixture of different height grass and colours to create different effects.

The embankment down the road is mainly low grass with a mix of autumn and spring colours (later this will have shrubs and trees on top). The height gradually gets taller and starts to mix with lighter "dried" grass heading down the track to the crossing. After the crossing by the back of the wood store, the grass gets a bit patchy and "burnt". These effects add interest and realism to the model.

All in all it was a few ours work, and a few electric shocks (from the static grass applicator) to lay the turf.


Wednesday, 30 July 2014

World War 1 Centenary

We settled on the year 1916 for our Cliddesden layout because we wanted to model the L&SWR in its later years. At the end of 1916 the track was lifted for reuse in France during World War 1 and whilst the L&SWR continued to own the branch line for many more years no trains ran until track was relaid in 1924 during the Southern Railway period. Summer 1916 was therefore the most recent L&SWR date that we could model. The fact that this was half way through the first world war escaped our interest until we began to research the area and period for the model. Only then did we began to appreciate the influence it had on life at home.

We have a few posts here that relate to World War 1 so, as it is the centenary on August 4th of the outbreak of war then you might like to take a look at these.

Women's National land Service Corps (link)

Remembrance (link)

(A 5 part series - follow the links in postings for each part)


Friday, 25 July 2014

Loading Dock

Our reference book* has quite a good photo of the loading dock with lowmac trucks carrying lorries in the adjacent sidings.

The loading dock is unusual in so far as the raised platform on the right of the siding is very narrow and of no use for loading; on the left is a retaining wall instead of a platform. The retaining wall seems to be there to stop loose materials falling on to the track. The buffer stop is simply a stack of track sleepers.

There needs to be some way of loading lorries onto lowmacs. My initial thought was that the lorries were driven up a ramp over the buffer stop (the top of which appears to be only about 6 inches above ground level) but the model has shown that there may not have been enough turning space there to line a lorry up with the truck.

Another mystery is the long channel between two of the sidings (there is also another one further along and out of view in this photo). Whilst they are clearly visible in photos of this area it is not known what purpose they served. The two ends look like metal square hoops with boarding between them.

This triangular yard  between the black shed and sidings was covered in various materials and this will be populated with such in phase 3 of the project. Beyond the shed is a dump of loose waste material that has already been modelled.

In latter years this entire triangular area is known to have been a dump for waste from vehicle manufacture and that may have always been the case, which to some extent makes sense of the retaining wall.


*  The Basingstoke and Alton Light Railway, Dean, Robertson & Simmonds.

Friday, 18 July 2014


With the ground-works complete around Thornycroft, it was about time we showed you some picture of the tarmac (and cobbles) as well as the outcome of "filling" in the points.

The DAS clay had a sprinkling of fine sand to add depth and texture as mentioned in previous postings, and then coloured with a handmade mix of white and grey tester pot emulsion to create random tone across the layout. This was then further weathered with black and white pastels.

It's possibly ended up a little darker than I was expecting, but it's pleasing to the eye, and looks realistic from viewing distance and close up.


Sunday, 6 July 2014

A Glimpse of Scenes to Come

Having completed construction of Worting Road and the factory boundary, but not the entire layout, it is time to see how our scene in this corner is coming together.

This is the view from Worting Road railway bridge across Worting Road, the palisade fence and hedge to some of the factory buildings. Behind the hedge shrubs and trees will appear in due course to reflect the prototype scene as it was in the 1930s.

In this photograph we get a real sense of the industrial landscape that we are modelling.


Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Applying clay in the turnouts improvisation.

As we were using ready made points, and being n gauge, there was no way we could apply clay above sleeper level as the point mechanism would no longer work. So, a comprise was reached where we only filled in-between the sleepers to the sleepers height. Still producing the effect of being embedded in the surface.

In order to get the clay in-between the sleepers an improvised syringe was fashioned out of the Biro which was previously scavenged for the "cobble former", and a screw driver which fitted the shaft perfectly. This was then filled with moist DAS clay, and applied between the sleepers of the points, using a knife and then fingers to gently press it into place, checking each time that the point mechanism still moved.

Modelling often calls for improvisation, and this was one of those times...


Saturday, 28 June 2014

Palisade Fencing too expensive?

The boundary between the Thornycroft factory and Worting Road is a metal palisade (black railing) fence atop of a low brick wall backed by a manicured hedge.

N gauge palisade fences are available from the trade in plastic or brass etch but have you seen the price? We need about 700 mm, which requires two packs costing over £10 mail order. I felt this was too expensive for a bit of plastic or brass so set about making my own, which is surely what railway modelling is about if you have the ability.

To be honest the hedge backing helped make for an easy (albeit time consuming) job.

I started with a Sainsbury's green scouring pad for the hedge. (Got this idea from Barry Norman) and pressed it onto double sided sticky tape.

Peel off the backing and stick the low brick wall onto it, which was made from brick paper on card.

I used a brass coloured embroidery wire for the palisade railings but copper wire would do just as well. This was cut to length and pressed onto the sticky tape taking care to ensure each rail was as straight as possible.

Next I wiped black paint across the wires taking care not to flood the sticky tape.

To enhance the hedge texture I dabbed  2 mm static grass strands onto the tape and brush over to lay them flatter.

For the hedge top and rear I spread diluted PVA glue and dabbed more static grass onto that. That was less effective than the sticky tape because the wetness caused the grass to clump. I may use sticky tape next time (but where the tape is not covered it glistens a bit in the light).

Instead of static grass green scatter could be used.

The finished result is quite pleasing although at the normal N gauge viewing distance the palisade is hardly noticeable against the dominant hedge.


Sunday, 22 June 2014

Weathered Concrete

What we need to achieve is the markings that appear on the concrete in this photograph of the wood store and class A3 lorry at Thornycroft.

First task was to lay down a covering of black and when dry cover it completely with light grey. Matt household emulsion paint is used.

The joins between concrete sections that we marked into the DAS (ref: previous posting) are gently scribed with a scalpel to break through the grey and reveal the black, thus highlighting the joins.

The whole area is then gently scrubbed over with a very fine grade of emery paper to flatten brush marks and deepen the grey in places as the black begins to penetrate.

Blotches of black were created by rubbing the grey away with a fibreglass rubber.

Next a stiff brush was dipped in black, wiped almost dry and  lightly dabbed onto the concrete to represent dirt and grime caught in concrete imperfections.

Finally, scrapes from a black pastel stick were picked up on a dry brush and rubbed over  the concrete in places for more grime especially at door entrances.

This was our first attempt at this procedure. The idea of layered paint and cutting through I remembered from a magazine article years ago.


Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Faux Concrete, tarmac and cobbles

This was the scenic part of the model we were dreading. How do we go about raising the level of the ground so that it is level with the top of the rails, which looks authentic and is easy to apply. Well as hinted in a few posts a go, we decided to use the method of flooding the raised areas with DAS Modelling clay.

A test piece was done to find out how we can realistically pattern the cobbles in the clay. The end of a Biro with the writing bit removed, is too big to make cobbles in n gauge, but would you believe it that the actual nib of the pen (non writing side), with the plastic ink tube removed, makes the perfect fit (if a little oversized) for n scaled cobbles. Luckily the area for cobbles at Thornycroft is relatively small, so all in all it took about 45mins of "prodding" the clay to lay the cobbles.

The clay was laid in handful chucks squished down onto a watered down PVA adhesive layer, and then levelled using a stainless steel metal ruler, block of smooth wood, and finger squishing. Although we could never get it perfectly flush and flat. Concrete slaps were scribed into the surface, and a sprinkling of fine sand to create the tarmac surfaces.

The clay was then squished down between the track and sleepers, making sure we kept the top of the rail clean, and the sides deep enough for the trains wheels. Although due to shrinkage the sleepers have left an imprint in the clay. Another thin layer should hopefully reduce this affect.

The buildings fit nicely in their holes, although a few required tweaking with a knife, to square of a few side. The cardboard formers with sticky-back-plastic edges worked pretty well.

It took 3 afternoons so far to get to this stage, and 2 Kg's of DAS clay. I think it was worth it, it has certainly brought the model together.

Painting up next, and working out how to apply the clay in the turn outs and still keep them working. Interesting conundrum.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...