Sunday, 29 April 2012

Grass, trees and bushes at last...

This weekend was spent putting down some of the green stuff (grass, bushes and trees)...

The Grass is Gaugemaster (Noch) spring grass mixed 50/50 with a darker meadow grass. Putting a layer of neat PVA glue on the area required for grassing and then using the static applicator made earlier (from a fly swat), gentle shaking and the grass stands up on end, giving a natural look to the grass. You can see it here applied to the backfill behind the platform and station building. excess was gently blown, hoovered and brushed away.

Trees and Bushes:
The trees were made using previously gathered dead natural sedum autumn joy, cut to size and coloured with added flock covering. The bushes were from Woodland Scenics applied with a  bit of glue to the platform diamond fencing. The fencing can be seen in parts when looking from the front.

Here's a picture from around 1910 showing the overgrown foliage we based the atmosphere of our scene from. Our model is based around 1916, so the trees have grown considerably compared to the photo.


Friday, 27 April 2012

Pear's Soap & Lipton's Tea

Take a look at this photo of Cliddesden Station. A sharper image appears in "The Book"*.

The Pear's advertising sign is clearly visible but what do the words say above the Pears name and what colour is the sign? A few letters can be discerned in the book photo but not enough to identify the words. A quick search on the web revealed this image of a near identical sign. It gives us the colour and shows the slogan "Matchless for the complexion". Comparing to the letters we can read in the book it is a match.

Mr. Bushnell (Station Master) is obscuring a second sign that can be seen in the book. The first letter is S and the second and third could be UN. Unfortunately I have not identified this sign. It could be Sunlight Soap but it does not match the style of sunlight adverts and I doubt two competitor products would appear on the same fence.

I'd like to put a sign there so, a look at Bentworth & Lasham in the book shows a Lipton's Tea sign. This time some words of the slogan can be read, being 'sales in the world'. Another search on the web completed the slogan for me as "Largest sales in the world" and the colour scheme is white on green.

These searches also revealed the signs date back to about 1910, which correlates with the L&SWR period photos in the book and the layout we are building.

Both model signs were created in MS Word but the font size could not be set small enough for 'n' gauge. Fortunately, my printer can scale. A transparent plastic film was stuck to the signs to represent the shiny enamel finish.

After all that research the slogans on the models can only be read with the aid of a magnifying glass!


* The Basingstoke & Alton Light Railway" Martin Dean et al.

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

More DIY 2mm scale people

Early in 1916 the Women's National Land Service Corps was formed to work on the land because most men were away fighting the war in Europe. This was a small voluntary force of women that later became the Women's Land Army in 1917. The Women's Land Army wore a recognisable uniform whereas the Women's National Land Service Corps were only provided with a beige arm band.

In this scene three volunteers are following the reaper during harvest to make the wheat stooks. This period video shows very well how it was done. One women is aligning the bundles, another has picked up two bundles and waits for the third who is about to pick up another and together they will make the stook. Their clothing is representative of 1916 being plain colours of black brown, beige and white. Styles are based on those seen in this video.

Here is Mr. Charles Bushnell, who was the Cliddesden Station Master throughout the LSWR period of the line.

He is in the uniform of the period wearing a frock coat and cap. Note the gold braid and badge on his cap and his characteristic grey beard.

For information on how these models are made see Part 1. However, models shown in this posting differ in so far as they have properly formed shoes, made like the hands, and one shoe has an extended wire for fixing the model into the ground. 0.5mm wire is used for the women's legs instead of 0.7mm.


Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Lunchbox Controller

With low cost in mind this handy lunchbox (£0.60) contains the home made circuits for turnout control and power control. Turnout control is uncomplicated with two push button switches (cheaper than toggles) for each turnout. Interlocking and route indicators are not installed.

On the side is the locomotive power control knob and direction switch. Cables exit the rear with a long umbilical plugging into the baseboard, thus enabling the operator to move around all sides of the layout with lunchbox in hand!  Two power leads also connect at the rear for the 15V (turnout control) and 9v (power control) DC bricks.

The big round button on top is in fact the top of a power transistor for the turnout circuit that did not quite fit in the depth of the box.

This compact arrangement is comfortable, dare I say ergonomic, to handle in operation.(No room for sandwiches though).


Sunday, 8 April 2012

Station Platform Furniture

 Diamond Pattern Fencing

The fencing was cut from mesh in the bat of an electric fly swat that was left over after its conversion to a static grass applicator! Remarkably the mesh closely matched the prototype in shape and size. The posts were cut from square 1mm rod.

LSWR Lamps

P&D Marsh B42 with the missing plinths fabricated from wire insulation.
Station Name board

Computer generated label on card with square rod posts. On the prototype the name board  leans back against the fence, as mimicked in the lower photo.

LSWR Notice Board

"L. & S.W.R. Beware Of The Trains". Computer generated label on paper with square rod post. A length or bullhead rail was probably used for real.

LSWR Bench

Frame formed from copper wire with card slats.

Telegraph Pole

Ratio product. Cliddesden was the only station on the line that had a telegraph facility for sending telegrams.


Friday, 6 April 2012

DIY 2mm Scale People

Having surveyed the market for off the shelf people, nothing found was ideal to reflect the costume of the period and the pose we wanted.

With some trepidation I decided to take my success in modelling people in 4mm scale to 2mm scale. My concern was whether or not this was at all possible for a figure 12mm or less in height. I surprised myself in discovering how simple it is to create an authentic model.

It did take two attempts to develop a method that works and we are helped by the fact that at 2mm scale it is not necessary, or even worthwhile, to apply fine details such as facial contours because at normal viewing distances they would not be discernable. This is not the case in 4mm scale.

The first figure I wished to model is the operator for the reaper binder, posed climbing onto his seat, just as I have seen in a YouTube video. Having looked at old photographs for the early 1900s I decided he needed rolled up white shirt sleeves, a leather waistcoat and cloth cap. This photo shows the construction method:

1. Body Frame, shoulders and Legs

0.7mm single insulated wire, bent to shape and its plastic sleeving cut to form the trouser legs. The feet are virtually hidden in the scene on the model railway so are simply the ends of the wire bent at 90 degrees.

2. Arms & Hands

0.5mm single insulated wire, bent to shape and its plastic sleeving cut to form the rolled up shirt sleeves. This part is soldered to the front of the shoulders using a heat shunt to stop the sleeving melting. Hands are the wire ends looped and a blog of solder fills the loop.

3. Torso & Head

FIMO clay applied to the frame and sculpted to shape. The head is FIMO rolled into an egg shape with a flat piece placed on top for the cloth cap (or hair). The lot is then cooked at 110 centigrade for about 15 minutes to harden the clay. Thankfully the plastic sleeving did not melt.

The model is then painted using a very fine paintbrush and cocktail stick and when dry Superglued into position on the reaper binder.


Thursday, 5 April 2012

Magnetic Buildings

The layout is portable and many of the structures are delicate. To minimise potential damage in transit we wanted the buildings to be removable for safe storage elsewhere when not in use.

There are many methods we could dream up to temporarily fix structures to the baseboard but perhaps one of the simplest is miniature magnets.

Here I am using First For Magnets F340 glued with epoxy resin into opposite corners of the building. They mate with metal washers embedded into the baseboard. This arrangement locates and fixes the building with just the right amount of adhesion.

Two magnets are used only where there is sufficient distance between them such they don't attract each other! On very small structures only one magnet is used because of this and care is needed in storage since magnetic buildings attract each other!


Sunday, 1 April 2012

Mr. McCormick's Reaper Binder - Part 5

Here is the reaper in the wheat field with the sun low on the horizon. The operator is making an adjustment to the machine as the horses wait patiently to complete their task before night falls.

Horses are by Langley Models and finely painted by Ed. The man is by Graham Farish, temporarily placed until a more fitting figure is found.

In the lower picture the operator is about to climb onto his seat. Note a bundle in the carrier and bunches previously dispatched from the binder. Women from the Women's National Land Services Corps (this is 1916 and the men folk are at war on the continent) are following to upend the bundles to form stooks to help dry the grain.

To Part 1