Friday, 29 March 2019

Scenery for a Micro-Diorama

With the foundations and ballast in place I have made progress over a couple of short sessions on this little project. The first layer of ground cover in place is my brown(ish) emulsion paint/PVA/filler mix with a blend of Woodland Scenics fine turf and very fine sand sieved over whilst wet and tamped in place. I have taken the earth mix over the edge of the ballast as part of my plan to blend everything together.

Inspired by a DVD of the Ravengass & Eskdale Railway that I had been watching I wanted to try and create the effect of the weedkiller train on the greenery along the ballast edge, turning the grass yellow with an almost straight edge to the colour join. I've not consciously seen this modelled on a modern era layout.

To achieve this I used a product I had first tried on my 009 layout, the Javis scenics Autumn 'rough terrain' mat. This is a mix of short yellow and green static fibres on a tacky, tear-able backing. Using narrow strips of this either side of the ballast soon achieved the look I was after - it is stuck down by damping both the ground surface and the backing. Liking the look this achieved I then set to with PVA over the rest of the ground area and stuck down segments of hanging basket liner in two different shades. It was so warm in the workshop that after an hour or so of mowing the real grass outside, I was able to lift the backing and surplus materials away and give it a brush through with both wire and tooth brushes, then an initial miniature mow with the hair clippers...

The blend between the 'dead' grass and the longer stuff has worked very well in my opinion. With a spare half hour or so the evening after planting I gave the grass a further manicure with nail scissors then made up some masks of small random shapes from newspaper. These were used to hide the rest of the scenery whilst hairspray was sprayed through, the mask removed and scatter sprinkled over. With three different masks and two mixes of scatter the effect is quick and easy. I then opted to stick the railings in place as it is getting very close to completion..

There's a bit more to add such as laser cut plants etc but I'm getting closer to having to dig out the basswood to make the essential light-wood surrounds.


Saturday, 23 March 2019

An Estate of Mind - Part 2

Motivated by the successful completion of the 4w works coach I looked at completing another item from the small collection living in grey primer. Next to receive attention are this pair of "estate" wagons last seen in 2017 not long before I embarked on the 009 adventure. 

Whilst they might look like a pair of Black Dog Mining WA04 opens, the bodies were actually scratch built to a slightly narrower width to suit my requirements (I'm just to fussy!). Having previously narrowed down the resin bodies I opted to scratch build as it seemed just as easy. 

Now painted with a weathered wood finish I'm rather proud of how they have turned out. 

The finish uses a coat of Citadel 'Baneblade Brown' over the grey primer as a base, not worrying too much that it covers in one coat. Then a wash of light brown, and whilst still wet a wash of Vallejo 'Black Grey'. A light weathering by dry brushing the base colour back over the top finished the first step.

The metalwork was picked out in mix of more 'Black Grey' with a spot of 'US Olive Drab' added to warm the colour. When dry this was dry brushed with a mix of gunmetal, a rust shade and a spot of grey. A spray of Humbrol matt acrylic varnish sealed the coats of paint, before a last dry brush with a sandy coloured mix and further weathering using powders on the interior.

The pair look ready for estate service, I just need to come up with a suitable scheme...


Monday, 18 March 2019

Evolution of a Micro-Diorama

Despite some progress on the mk2 version of the 'Beck Bridge' scene I still wasn't overly happy. So officially that project is on hold for a while - unofficially I have a 'cunning plan' but that will have to wait...

What has appeared is a 70 x 140mm 'micro' diorama to fit in my display cabinet in its place that is a lot more suited to the purpose - less is more.

The track came from from the bridge scene cut to length, I wasn't too sure about the fencing, feeling it might overpower such a small scene so after a little thought I tried some fencing along the back edge  that I made up 18 months ago based on some portable wooden fencing used by the Ravenglass & Eskdale railway, as described here

As much as I liked the 'Ratty' fence the more I looked at it the more it didn't look right - two long sections seemed to shorten the scene. The three panels of the concrete fence made it look longer. I therefore looked at other low options, and mocked up on this typical low wooden barrier.

The uprights are 7mm NGA wooden sleepers, a pack I picked up from 7mm NGA sales for 50p. Each was cut in half and notched at the top. The rail is basswood, it was 1/8" square but I opted to reduce it by about a quarter to reduce the visible impact, then sanding down the sides of the uprights to reduce them too. 

Deciding this was the way to go the wooden fence was given a wash of brown, followed by dry brushing in natural wood, darker brown and dirt colours. The metal plates securing the rail to the uprights were made from foil cut from a Mr Kipling style tray, probably from a Christmas treat! 

Further progress has seen the track ballasted using a blend of colours, laid dry, sprayed with water and secured with 'Kleer'. Scenic work can now begin using tried and tested techniques and hopefully a few new ideas.


Thursday, 7 March 2019

Progress without movement

Before Christmas I demonstrated progress with my 4-wheel coach conversion to a PW crew coach. After a few delays caused by the weather and illness, the end result is now this:

The yellow areas are sprayed using Halfords 'Broome Yellow' over a white primer, whilst everything else is brush painted in acrylics. Matt Humbrol varnish was sprayed over the completed modelling and weathering applied in the form of washes and dry-brushing.

Inside the figures are cheap Chinese ones sprayed with grey primer and then given a dark grey wash. Dry brushing highlighted the skin colour on hands and faces and orange on their jackets to look like hi-vis (but low-vis, if you catch my drift...). Windows are the Dapol originals and door handles are 7mm NGA ones chemically blackened and weathered.

A couple of other pre-primed items are now awaiting workshop attention, but don't get too excited...

In other news, despite some progress on the mk2 version of the 'Beck Bridge' scene I still wasn't overly happy. So officially the project is on hold for a while - unofficially I have a 'cunning plan'... 

In the mean time the bridge itself has been painted and weathered, which is a good encouragement to actually use it...