Saturday, 23 December 2017

Weathered Wood

What follows uses a 4mm scale building for my 009 project but as with many things, the technique is transferable to larger scales so I have shared it here. Indeed, I actually first experimented with colour washes on some 7mm scale 'Ratty' fencing earlier in the year to get an idea of how the technique might work.

The base layer is Halfords grey primer, applied earlier in the year, progress being delayed by scenic work taking priority. The first stage was to apply an overall wash of Vallejo 'Black Grey' over all of the structure, woodwork, corrugated iron and the board and batten roofing. The paint was mixed about 50/50 with Vallejo matt medium before thinning with water. Once dry this was followed with a wash in a mid-brown colour (a hoarded pre-made product from the defunct Penhaven range) over the wooded walls and corrugated iron. A third wash was made using Citadel 'Baneblade Brown' (a bare wood sort of shade) and a spot of Vallejo 'Green Brown', again with matt medium before dilution, was applied over the walls. Lastly a diluted mix of rusty red acrylic was applied over the corrugated iron areas.


You may wonder why I chose to use washes to build up the colour rather than just paint a solid green/grey over the woodwork. My feeling is that this method actually gives more control over the colour and seems to give more colour depth without clogging the detail.

The next step (two days later) was another wash of Vallejo black grey concentrated into the joins in the timber and dabbed off in other areas. This was followed by the beginning of dry-brushing, using a mix of Vallejo 'Green Grey' and 'Light Grey' over the woodwork. I then added some suitable rusty dry-brushing to the corrugated iron areas.

The next day another wash was created, a blend of Citadel 'Baneblade Brown' and Vallejo 'Green Grey', plus matt medium, used to add some damper looking patches along the bottom of the wooden walls. Next a slightly thicker mix of 'Baneblade Brown' and Vellejo 'London Grey' was washed over the board and batten roof of the office building. The remnants of both washes were then combined and the inside of the workshop given a coat to hide the primer grey.


Work then concentrated on the corrugated iron. I added a darker rust colour to the corrugated areas but not as a consistent coat. Once this was dried I added various rust tones using weathering powders, plus some colouring towards the back of the roof to represent the fact that is sits under the trees.

As I suspect this is the last post before the big day - a very Merry Christmas to all O9 Modeller readers.

Colin





Friday, 1 December 2017

Hedging your bets

In the ethos of scenic modelling being applicable in all scales I felt I ought to elaborate on the scene presented recently in black and white.

The hedgerow itself is strips of rubberised horsehair teased out and used with the strands vertically. This was then treated a la Gordon Gravett - sprayed with matt brown and grey primer aerosols. Once dry the usual methodology followed of hairspray and foliage fibre mat. To add to the colour variation and the effect of being different bushes three colours were used from the Skale Scenics, Woodland Scenics and Green Scene ranges. This was followed by more hairspray and additional scatter.


After planting the bottom edge looked rather too straight so I added some small sprigs of sea moss to break up the edge and provide some more variety. I must get some concrete paint on that culvert outlet...

The overall view now of the project now looks like this. The eagle eyed will spot an extra tree to the rear left, a sea moss based silver birch (which was an experiment with a strengthened and textured trunk) has taken root at the back of the layout.


Another look at that view up the lane... there will be a short length of fence on the right hand side of the lane between the growths. I wonder if I will be able to pose O9 stock here for photography to and really fool the eye?


Colin

Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Forest in a box

Having teased you with a black and white glimpse of my 009 project the other day made me realise that I haven't covered a couple of scenic aspects that appear in that picture, so this is the first of two posts to rectify that omission.

Five sea moss trees were created to go across the centre of the layout. This was relatively quick process, these are 'background' trees after all. The stems were firstly soaked in warm water to re-shape any bent and squashed bits and then left to dry out. Once dry they were reduced to the desired height, well actually they were a bit bigger than planned, but with sea moss that just means lopping off the lower branches making ready made bushes in the process... With hindsight i would have painted the stems with a mix of Halfords matt brown and grey primer aerosols). After that it's just ultra hold hairspray and foliage.


The five new trees and their associated growths form an effective break across the centre of the layout, almost hiding the bridge behind the workshop building. From another view point it can be seen that this is partially achieved by having some growths coming out of the join between the rock face and bridge abutment behind the shed, effectively screening the abutment from view.


From the other side the screening is equally effective, you can hardly see the buildings on the other side. I have added all sorts of extra growths along the path and around the bridge from the stash of smaller branches I had treated alongside the trees.


More soon...

Colin

Saturday, 25 November 2017

Black and White

I've been making steady progress on my 009 project of late so won't bore you too much with detail about the processes, but did feel it worth sharing this view that I took and then played about with...


Colin

Friday, 27 October 2017

Of Muck and Raspberries

I thought that it might be useful to show the basic ground cover method that I have now started to use on my 009 project. This basic layer is my gunk mix (emulsion paint/PVA and powdered filler) painted on, and a blend of Woodland Scenics Fine Turf and very fine sand sieved over it whilst wet.


There are few bald patches, some of these are intentional as part of the effect that I'm after and will be blended in to the end result. Others will be hidden under the next layer and mainly occur around the edges as the mix seems to dry quicker there.  The large gap at the top is where a building and scenic feature will be positioned.

Jobs like this take advantage of short windows of opportunity. The previous morning a task I undertook was to add some raspberry bushes along the lane. The producer is Tasma Products and the range can be found here (but trade-only). These went into holes drilled in the scenery, glued with PVA. I did give the bushes a blast of hairspray before sticking them in as I feared loosing the berries and leaves!

ModelsOct1723.jpg

I have used 6 out of the 12 in the pack and I think that might be enough, there is a group of three as seen above, plus one on the right of the shot. The other two can be seen in the shot below, previously rejected until I played about with the photo editing software on my phone! I think that they are a good product, if a little pricey, but I couldn't easily make that myself very quickly so that's my excuse. Maybe I can use some of the unused examples on an O9 project in the future?



Colin

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Touching in my Roots

When I bedded in the taller of the trees on the 009 project (Hornby describe this one as a Sycamore). I thought it might be useful to take some pictures on my phone as I did.

Here is the tree as glued in with Gorilla PVA before I started to blend it in.


The 'gunk' mix, it lives in an old tester pot that formed it's basis some time ago (this mix is towards the end if it's life despite a recent revival). Application will be by dental tool.


Applying the mix and getting some shape to the top of the roots.


Applying acrylic paint, whilst the plaster mix was still wet underneath.


That's basically it - the colour I mixed is not that close a mix to the Hornby colour and I may need to touch in some visible bits of the original colour at the top of the tree to blend it all together.

Colin

Friday, 20 October 2017

More Green Grass... and Trees Too!

I thought I would share a few more pictures of progress with scenery on my (whisper it) 009 project. When this was last seen on the blog I had added hanging basket grass to the cutting side and some basic ground cover elsewhere.

After some thought about whether to change tack and go for a ground foam based approach, I continued on with a few changes to approach, notably using my 'gunk' mix - emulsion paint/PVA/filler - as the basis for ground cover, quickly adding a sieved on layer of Woodland Scenics 'Fine Turf' whilst wet to give a good mix of colour and texture. This finish can be seen in the picture below, with the addition of a representation of tree roots made using string and covered in more gunk. This makes up for the lack of any roots on the Hornby Skale Scenics trees.


Dead leaves, in the form of tea leaves and a sprinkle of sawdust, were added to the ground and held in place with PVA and matt medium. The Peco flexible fencing was left over from my 4mm 'Inglenook' project years ago. I had sprayed this with matt varnish for that project but the stuff is so damn flexible the paint falls off it! It was weathered with acrylics prior to installation and touched back in again afterwards where the paint was chipped during installation. The trees were fixed in place using 'Gorilla' PVA and once set the roots were joined to the trunks using more gunk and colour blended in with acrylic paints.


These images also illustrate my experiments with scrubby bushes. These were made as a batch on the workbench using Green Scene meadow grass mat, torn into random shapes, scrunched up and sprayed with hairspray then sprinkled in various foams. They are PVA'd in place once left overnight for the hairspray to dry. Some of these growths have appeared in the cutting at the top of the rock face.


This is the present state of the project. The tree at the right is another Skale Scenics example treated in the same manner as the smaller ones, including a waft of matt varnish over the branch structure; a few bald patches given extra density using offcuts of hanging basket liner and the whole thing covered in hairspray and given extra foliage coverage. This is good practice for the next trees which will be newer growths made using sea foam.
 

Colin

Friday, 6 October 2017

Box it Up

Not directly O9 related but the main focus of recent modelling time, I have now completed construction of a protective/display box for my 009 project. This is a miniature version of that used under 'Shifting Sands' and based on those used by Steve Bennett under his various micro layouts.

Construction is simple, 5 hardboard panels and 12 x 21mm pine section. Each side panel is framed top and sides with the pine section, then left for the PVA to set. After some tidying up of edges I paired each side and end and joined, the picture below was taken at this point. At this point the volume occupied by a very small layout seems to increase dramatically...


Having assembled the two halves I added the top and once everything was together all the edges were sanded smooth and the timber was given a couple of coats of varnish with a rub down in between. On the top four triangular pieces of plywood are in place to hold the layout in place whilst in use.


Bolting the layout inside is achieved with four M4 machine screws locating in captive bolts underneath the baseboard, located within blocks of wood. On the left you can see that there is an additional length of stripwood within the box edge. Whilst I would like to say that this is intentional to accommodate the plug sockets that extend beyond the board edge on this side, it is more a case that I was a little too generous in the clearances within the box!


Colin

Sunday, 1 October 2017

Not Quite DA1

Over the summer I received a couple of test etches from A1 Models for new O9 kits designed to fit the Tomytec 4w chassis. The first that I have tackled is very much based on the shape of 'DA1', the ex-Bush Mills Railway diesel at the Cleethorpes Coast Light Railway.


The kit is very much an 'inspired by' rather than an accurate model. There are compromises to the width of both bonnet and cab, the arrangement of grilles etc. When I first assembled everything I found that the chassis etch seemed to work against usual convention by having very wide etch lines on the outside of the fold and I wasn't too happy with how this looked. 


There is just room in the cab for a suitable figure, although tall, whitemetal 1/43rd scale figures may need to reconsider their application the drive...

After discussing the chassis etch with John Flower at A1 he indicated that it was intended to be built with the fold on the inside, despite this loosing the etched axlebox detail to the inside. As he had included some spare chassis frame etches I was able to build up another inside out and apply a degree of customisation . Having built up the width of the model to a scale 3ft by adding a 10 thou styrene footplate and added new buffer beams from 20 thou styrene, I opted to cut the axleboxes off the first frame, fit them in place and add some very basic detail around them. 


Just visible is that I have also started work on some very basic cab interior detail including a driver's seat, but this may be subject to change as I may have not left quite enough space for a driver... Ooops!

More as time permits.

Colin




Sunday, 13 August 2017

The Green, Green Grass....

I have finally started to add some colour and texture to the landscape of my 009 project. At this stage the process is very much the same as I would do in 7mm scale so I thought I would share some images here. When I first started the project I always had it in mind to start on the cutting side, so it was about time that I made a start...


Progress has been made using the following methods and materials:
  • Ground mix around the edges of the track made from Woodlands Scenics fine turf, a little (very) fine sand and dried tea leaves. This is laid over a PVA bed and then has matt medium dropped on the top to secure material in places such as where it lays over the ballast and darken the mix nicely.
  • Other ground areas get the Woodlands Scenics fine turf over PVA as a base for the grass.
  • Grass starts with hanging basket liner. I had a few bad patches on the first attempt at this and I nearly threw in the towel in favour of ground foam. I persisted and got better results once back in the swing of it.
  • In places where the hanging basket liner left bald patches I used pieces of Green Scene 'meadow grass' teased out and stuck down with PVA. This gives nice variety in texture and colour.
As an experiment I used some material from Javis (I think this is it) which is gummed and just needs wetting. to be honest it looked awful at first but with hanging basket and Green Scene materials around it it blends in quite well. There isn't really any visible in the picture above but a patch is just visible in the one below.

I've annotated the next couple of pictures to illustrate the variety of materials used. Here the light green oval is the Green Scene 'meadow grass', the dark green is a similar material in a lighter shade:


Here the Javis material can just be spotted as a yellow patch in the grass:


Having got to the next area of land I concluded that it needed to be more than just a patch of grass and that ideally I wanted something growing there. The hunt was on for a tree or two and whilst I have supplies of sea foam ('Forest in a box') I wanted something a bit more substantial in this location. A visit to a local model shop found a pack of two Hornby Skale Scenics 'eco' trees that with a little extra work will do the job quite well:


Ironically using these trees sits nicely in my aim to be able to use materials on this project that are available to 4mm scale modellers that I might miss out on working in 7mm scale. At least that is what I tell myself...

Colin

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

An Inspirational Estate

A recent trip to the National Trust's Belton House in Lincolnshire has found a few little inspirational thought for modelling projects, especially for anyone planning on modelling an estate railway in O9.

Whilst many visit these locations to admire the grandeur of the stately home and it's immediate surroundings, I often find that it is in the odd corners of a property that the really useful scenes can be found. Take this corrugated barn, a listed structure, that would make an interesting prototype for a model:


This was apparently once open-sided and it is thought the side panels were re-use of materials left on the estate by the army in war time.

Close by is this garage structure. Not only would it make a great miniature railway shed, but it also appears to be a full size kit-bash of the Wills 4mm scale garage kit!


This gateway caught my eye, not least because it was freshly restored, but also the layout of the hinges and just how useful it and the wall either side would be on a layout:


Those with the space for an estate railway may wish to include a folly of some sort (by the way I am aware of a 1/24th scale layout on just these lines):


I must admit that on previous visits to Belton as a child I cannot remember the folly being there. This may be due to it's proximity to the entrance to something that would be a big distraction, the adventure play area and miniature railway. In what must be one of my first miniature railway photos, here is the Mardyke 'Deltic' in the early 1980s:


Happily both play area and railway are still going strong, both having seen much investment in recent years. In fact, the miniature railway has gone through complete renewal over the years, new locomotives, followed by new coaching stock and trackwork. The old shuttle out and back layout has been replaced with a new station mid-way along the line and balloon loops either end. Sadly the charming original station area is now grassed over with little to hint at the past. The new station, incorporating the stock shed, is impressive in itself and quite model-able:


I'm not about to model an estate railway but one very useful piece of inspiration I did get was about ground surfacing. This acted as both confirmation that the work I have completed so far on my 009 project is right, and a reminder that in some areas brown scatter is just not enough, there are factors such as leaf litter to consider. On which point I have now dried out and opened up some tea bags...

Colin

Friday, 30 June 2017

Wither Photobucket

Alternative title: Where has that image gone?

Readers of this blog may notice that the photographs are missing from several of the pages and posts. Thus is because until relatively recently I used Photobucket to host the images used on this blog and various forums. I started to host images on the blog itself when Photobucket's interface became more and more difficult to use and ad-heavy.

Today Photobucket have informed me that they no longer allow third party websites to access my images unless I pay them $399 per year for the privilege, until I do I cannot access my account. Well no way.... that isn't happening and I view this as nothing less than extortion.

All the photos are backed up elsewhere so nothing is lost, however the process of uploading and replacing them on individual pages and posts on the blog will inevitably take some time to achieve. Forum posts will unfortunately be almost impossible to trace and replace. 

Reaction elsewhere on the Internet to this new development is of a similar level of annoyance. I don't give Photobucket very long to live with this business model.

Colin.

 

Sunday, 25 June 2017

Take a Fence, a Ratty Fence - Take Two

First posted Tuesday 02/05/2017: I was lucky enough to receive the latest Graham Whistler DVD of the Ravenglass and Eskdale railway for my birthday and I couldn't help notice some seemingly portable fencing between the platform lines at Ravenglass station. Further research finds pictures of this fencing in use at both Ravenglass and Irton Road stations.

This picture proved particularly useful as it clearly shows how the posts are separate to the panels, the details of the posts and how it fits together.


I figured that I could quickly put together a couple of panels from a leftover piece of the Parkside Dundas fencing used on both 'Shifting Sands' and in cut-down form on the diorama 'The Path to...'. The length used here was destined for that project but had unfortunately snapped during construction.


The posts are simply constructed from Evergreen styrene strip and as an added detail I split Grandt Line rail joiners in two to create a representation of the metalwork.

I have assembled one panel with two legs, the other with one. To aid holding during painting and to strengthen the future central joint 0.5mm wire has been inserted in the top and bottom rails - so at this stage it cannot be fully assembled as the wires are over-length!


This has proved a very quick Bank Holiday project. The paintshop awaits...

Take Two - update 25/06/2017: The paintshop finally did it's stuff almost two months later, the method of painting something of a trial. Over grey primer I have applied a dark grey wash, followed by a mid-brown wash. Once dry this was dry brushed in a wood shade, a further wash in the light wood shade, then a touch of green dry brushed up from the bottom, and a final lighter dry brush to highlight the edges.


I am happy with the result as un-cared for timber, without the fun and games of using full thickness acrylic paint to paint all the slats and edges!

Colin








Friday, 9 June 2017

When the mainstream met modelling miniature railways

I received a couple of messages last Friday night to the effect that the new edition of ModelRail magazine (no. 236) contained an article by Paul Lunn suggesting the modelling of 15" (or thereabouts) railways.
 

Having purchased a copy the article within has ideas based on Dungeness, Cleethorpes (Lakeside) and a room-filling Fairbourne. As is usual with Paul's plans, the presentation of them is well thought through with an equal dose of compromise and practicality. 

Looking closely at the plans there are a few pieces of artistic license, but that is typical of many plans published in the mainstream press, with track spacing, turnout length and curve radii the usual suspects.


Naturally I am quite taken with the Cleethorpes plan, despite it being a solid 8' x 3' lump. It could certainly be made to work, I recall making a plan for this part of the railway (in terminus form) myself in a length only slightly shorter.

One of my contacts did make the comment that no attempt is made to identify what locomotives or rolling stock could be used, maybe in part 2 we shall get some suggestions, though based on previous content in the magazine I suspect we may see a Farish diesel with a hole cut in the roof at some point.

I was only observing to someone at the Hull Summer Show last weekend that it was probably easier now to recreate a miniature railway in O9 now than ever before. Take your pick of quality N gauge steam loco, open up a driver's seat in the tender and build up some of Roger Chiver's plastic coach kits...

Colin 

Sunday, 4 June 2017

Ravenglass Visitors

Just a few pictures of 'Shifting Sands' from the Hull club's Summer Show in their HQ building. We were lined up with the two other narrow gauge layouts, 'Moorton Bottom Yard' and 'Mill Lane', giving the public a taste of O9, 009 and O-16.5.

We entertained a couple of visiting locomotives from Peter Leadley of the Clee Valley Railway. Here the N-Drive 'Katie' gives a demonstration of Estate railway motive power past and future with my own 'St Edwin':


The eagle eyed will see that 'Katie' is posed with something suitably Ratty....one of Roger Chivers' Theakston wagons:

 

'Bonnie Dundee' had a good run around the layout too, but due to coupling compatibility issues couldn't actually pull anything.


The opportunity was taken to recreate an image that I took of the real 'Bonnie Dundee' and 'Flower of the Forest' at Cleethorpes last year:



The club sales stand wielded a couple of 50p bargains that may find their way onto future projects and I picked up a scenic detail for the "other scale" from the trader present, Caistor Loco.

My thanks to the Hull club for the invite, I understand it is the first time they have invited a layout from outside the club to the Summer Show, we're honoured!

Colin

Sunday, 28 May 2017

The Road to Hull (alternative title: Keep You Motor Runnin')

With less than a week to go until Shifting Sands appears at the Hull club's Summer Show, I thought it worth showing off a few new details that I have added to the layout for this appearance.

The first is a Harley Davidson 'Heritage Softail' motor cycle. This is from a range being sold at shows by A1 Models, moulded in plastic and if I recall correctly are left-overs from a promotional collection. With a little work to lessen the appearance of mould lines on the chrome parts, some touching-in of paint, a coat of matt varnish and a gentle touch of dry-brushing it is ready to go on the layout:


I have added the pins underneath to enable it to locate on the layout, you may also just see that I have flattened off the base of the tyres so that it sits more easily on the ground. On the rear I have added a licence plate from Tower Models 4mm scale bus decals, with a little tinkering a 1970s mark becomes something that the DVLA has made a little money from:


This isn't the only scenic addition. I have also added and moved around some of the items in the shed area, a bit like real life really! In the workshop can be glimpsed some new items in the form of the wheelsets and pillar drill I made last year, plus a coat hung from the shelf bracket that dates from the same time (the drill sits on wooden blocks awaiting further use, they aren't using it on the floor!):


Another item created last year was a locomotive cab, which has been added to the area of junk near the front of the caravan, along with one of the containers displaced by the new items in the shed:


I look forward to meeting O9 Modeller readers at the show on Saturday 3rd June.

Colin