Shifting Sands: Construction Scrapbook Part 1

Part of shiftingsands.fotopic.revisited

Based on material posted to in July 2006.

At long last the cork board is starting to look like a layout!

June has seen a big push on the scenic side of the layout, with landscapes formed, roadways and hard standing created, and the first greenery taking root.

An overall view of how the layout looked at the beginning of June, with buildings in place to get an idea of how it looked:

A view of the station and shed area, at this stage the sheds have yet to be painted, both are made from foamcore board with various cladding materials:

The station office. I eventually decided that the brick base needed to be sunk in below platform level as it just looked odd from this angle!

With a small layout such as this it is easy to get a long way in just a couple of days. Taking advantage of a day off work and a full weekend day to spare, I managed to get all of the landscaping completed and also the hard surfacing of the road and concrete areas. I had spent a few nights previously building up the landscape formers from foam core and corrugated cardboard in order to spend a day happily playing with plaster impregnated bandage, or 'mod-roc' as we modellers know it.

The real work begins! The shape of the sand dunes was built up with foamcore and corrugated cardboard, the 'ramp' will be a pathway eventually:

I also built up the ground level below the ice cream parlour, it didn't look much at this stage but once scenically treated looked at lot better:

The roadway is made from mounting card placed face down on the baseboard, with a thin strip under the middle to give prototypical camber:

The level crossing was built up from strips of timber and glued in place before the road surface went down. The roadway was then treated with 'button polish' to better withstand scenic treatments:

A constructive use for the local free paper.... I filled the gaps in the framing in order to give shape when the mod-roc is added:

The area around the turning point with mod-roc in place. The fence hides what is best described as 'a bodge':

The completed dune area with other bits also visible, I found it easier to do the whole layout in one sitting:

A cut-out in the landscape for the pill-box, which needs to be well bedded into the ground:

Areas of the layout after completion of the 'hard' surfacing. Concrete areas were treated with Green Scene textured paints and sanded down to slightly smooth out the surface. This was then colour washed to get the shape about right:

The tarmac areas were also treated with textured paint, but then had mix of paint and powdered filler added to smooth the surface out and get the right sort of colour. Tyre wear was added as weathering:

The dunes - two layers of very fine sand went on here, held in place with both PVA glue and Matt Medium:

The first greenery on the layout is some rather long grass around the ice cream patlour and platform areas. This is produced using a moss-effect hanging basket liner in a similar manner to the dyed lint once so popular for grass making. Once the intial layer of earthy ground cover is safely glued in place the area to be grassed is covered with a layer of PVA adhesive and the liner cut to shape and lightly stuck down. I tend to give the liner a brush over with a fairly stiff brush first in order to make the strands stand on end:

After a couple of hours the liner can be carefully removed and you (should) have very long grass standing on end. It is then down to skill with scissors, an old razor (lawn mower!) and the stiff brush to get the grass looking it's best. The best thing about this method is that it is very cheap!

The level crossing had this cross-hatching added by making stencils in Microsoft Excel and almost dry-brushing a yellow/cream paint mix through:

The workshop/shed with painting well under way. The breeze block walling is scribed straight onto the foam core surface:

A glimpse ahead, but one the hides a lot of work that still remains to be done!

More soon....

O9 Modeller would like to thank Mick Thornton for his help in creating this page.

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