Friday, 16 March 2018

DA1 Another Day

It was October that I last posted about this A1 Models etch to build something based on the ex-Bush Mill diesel 'DA1'. After that post there was a little adjustment work to my cab interior set-up to allow a small 1/48th figure to sit in there (I hesitate to say comfortably!)

As can be seen I raised the floor level and reducing the height of the checker plate. A piece cut from the cab interior of a Dapol Drewery shunter forms the control desk. Rather than create a seat over the gear tower as previously, I created it around it, once the driver is in place the deception isn't noticed.

Work on the 009 project then took over and the Tomytec chassis unit went on a diet to fit into an 009 Ruston Hornsby 3D print. After much thought about this project I was left wondering whether I could overcome what is the main issue to me, the underframe area. Having put this off for months, seeing the kit on sale at Narrow Gauge North and conversations about future O9 projects gave me a nudge to do something about it.

The idea is that this will be a locomotive under repair with no wheels and engine, so I have been able to put together a simple frame of 20thou styrene with a little re-enforcement from 40thou strip around the top of the frame. Making the whole underframe 2mm lower in height, the frames a lot narrower (15mm opposed to 20mm) and some shape to the buffer beams, has a dramatic effect.

Some further work added a 30 thou strip under the running plate, created a simple cab interior and added details on the bufferbeams, note the usual assortment of Dapol Drewery shunter and railbus parts!

I feel that in this form the model is much better balanced visually and I did wonder if I ought to make yet another version of the chassis to make it run again by getting a slimmed down Tomytec chassis underneath. This is possible without modifying the cut-out in the cab front, indeed there is allowance for the running plate to be another millimetre lower, the real loco is very low slung with the footplate about a foot from rail height.

The next job will be to apply a suitable paint job...


Sunday, 11 March 2018

In Search of Tiny Flowers

The scenic test piece I displayed last week has progressed a little, with the Silfor tufts dry-brushed to loose their sheen and some weathering powders added to the ground colouring.

At a recent exhibition I made a purchase of what on first inspection was a very random bag of coloured scatter. However, it has proved possible to make a newspaper mask to fit over a Silfor tuft, spray on hairspray and gently scatter on this mix to give a little bit of colour to represent flowers. This ought to work in 4mm scale but maybe not in 7mm...

Of course this little test piece is currently a little ambiguous in scale but I am really pleased with how it looks, so much so that I have started work on another to test the greener version of the Javis grass mat and some other ideas. This uses more recycled pieces including the very bit of MDF this scene started life attached to. At least they will be matching sizes...


Friday, 2 March 2018

Scenic Experimentation

Whilst packing the 009 layout into it's box the other day I reflected on the production of grass areas and wondered if some of the learning from the project could be used towards a technique that did not use hanging basket liner (shock horror!). 

I decided to carry out an experiment using a diorama base that I had started some time ago with the intention of displaying a Black Dog mine tub on it. A change of heart saw it abandoned and I removed the polystyrene layer (itself an experiment) from the MDF base, although I did then use it in experimentation for the layout. 

Cleaned up and with the carved polystyrene stuck to mounting card I re-purposed it as a test piece.

The layers of scenery added are:
  • Paint/plaster/PVA mix with a mix of brown scatters over the top.
  • Patches of the Javis autumn grass mat
  • Green Scene meadow grass, torn into patches, trimmed and sprayed with hairspray then ground foam sprinkled over - then glued into place
  • Silfor grass tufts in two shades
  • Mossy areas made using ground foam
The next step will be to dry brush the Silfor tufts and use weathering powders to add extra tones to the ground colour, rail sides and trackbed.