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Bavarian Layout - Members Personal Layouts. - Model Railway Layouts. - Your Model Railway Club
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 Posted: Tue Dec 25th, 2007 05:07 pm
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Neil Wood
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My layout has three main areas, a Scottish fishing village which was originally supposed to be in the West Highland but has turned out be a remarkable resemblence to Lower Largo in Fife where I grew up. There are two other sections; a Swiss mountain Scene which I am working on at the moment and a German city scene which has not yet bee started. The layout is powered by ESU ECoS, with a hand held Roco LokMaus 2 used as a slave and a soon to be added Remote control by ESU. It is all digital and I am trying to incorporate as many digital features as I can into it. There are three basic loops and two sets of sidings, a turntable area and two raised terminus to terminus shuttle lines.

I will start off by covering the Scottish fishing village as this is the most advanced part. I have still some work to do at the back of this part but the front is mainly how I would like it. I have done some work since these pictures but these will give you a fair idea of what this section looks like.


This harbour came from my previous layout and was modelled on Crai harbour in Fife.


As you can see there is work needing done behind the bridge. I have added another layer of epoxy resin to the "sea" since taking this picture.


Apologies for the dumped vehicles and hay bales. I am still in the process of tidying up under the bridge and need to instal a pavement along the side of the road. I have some Will or Ratio paving but am still pondering exactly how I want to do this.


This shows the part of the town in front of the Railway station. I have a bit of tidying up and fine detailing to do in this area too.


As previously said I am tidying up the bit under the bridge arch, it does ruin this photo a bit as it is right in the centre. The ice cream van still in its box doesn't help either.


I will probably pull or modify the pub on the top right of this picture as it is not appropriate. I am thinking of the half releif Townstreet one.


I have since done some work under the arches but it does need finished off.


I also need to plaster over those screws and I am in the process of replacing the backdrops where the glue has come through.


Got to have seagulls.


And fishermen.


I have since added some weeds to the top part of the viaduct. I also got a load of "local" coal wagons courtesy of the Bachmann collectors club. Photos to follow.


It wouldn't be complete without the drunken sailors.


I have started on the area behind the bridges using Siliflor moorland carpet mat. It looks better in real life than in photographs. Because it's synthetic it seems to give off a sheen when using a flash.


This area of moorland will be right next to a station which will be modelled on Rannoch Moor. This is one of two raised shuttle lines operated by occupancy detectors.



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 Posted: Tue Dec 25th, 2007 07:49 pm
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phill
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what a layout great pics and some wonderfull detailing.
Look forward to more info and of course pics.
Phill



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 Posted: Wed Dec 26th, 2007 02:24 am
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MikeC
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Looking great, Neil, with some terrific little scenes. That water's fantastic. I have tried to find the stuff you used - Timbercoat?? or similar. I have it written down somewhere. Our local Bunnings doesn't stock it, naturally :? :evil:
Lovely to see a lighthouse, and the beach looks great.
Had to chuckle at the van in the box, although if you hadn't mentioned it I would have missed it. Cameras sure do have the knack of giving us up :)
Looking forward to lots more.

Mike

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 Posted: Wed Dec 26th, 2007 02:52 am
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Bob K
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Neil

A super layout, you have packed in a great deal into a small space. It is good to see the track running over the scenery, on a viaduct as opposed to being at ground level. I recently travelled the ECML from King's X to Edinburgh and on to Aberdeen and your scene reminds me very much of the area just beyond the Forth Rail Bridge, as the line follows the coast up to the North. Great stuff - looking forward to seeing other areas of your layout.

Bob(K)

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 Posted: Wed Dec 26th, 2007 03:55 am
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Perry
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Very impressive, Neil. :D

I love to see little cameo scenes-within-scenes, such as your brawling sailors and the fisherman sorting their gear out.

Great stuff! :D

Perry



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 Posted: Wed Dec 26th, 2007 04:33 am
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henryparrot
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Superb layout there Neil i can see there has been an immense amount of work and planning gone into the creation of your layout .the work you have done gives you an atmoshere of the area you are modelling i assume your track areas beyond your piccys are to fiddle yards or are there other areas of the layout you are still developing?
I notice you are a multi era model railway modeler with the rolling stock
i am aswell i tell people my era is roughly the 20th centuryhe he.
cheers Brian

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 Posted: Wed Dec 26th, 2007 09:06 am
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Wayne Williams
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Very Nice Neil! I too like the close in detail pictures. When you stand back and take a picture of a fairly large area there is so much to see that I think I miss a lot.
Keep the pictures coming!
Wayne



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 Posted: Wed Dec 26th, 2007 04:48 pm
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Neil Wood
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Novice wrote:Neil

A super layout, you have packed in a great deal into a small space. It is good to see the track running over the scenery, on a viaduct as opposed to being at ground level. I recently travelled the ECML from King's X to Edinburgh and on to Aberdeen and your scene reminds me very much of the area just beyond the Forth Rail Bridge, as the line follows the coast up to the North. Great stuff - looking forward to seeing other areas of your layout.

Bob(K)


Thanks for the kind comments guys.

Yes, Novice this area is on the former coastal route between Leven and St Andrews. The line was removed in the late 60's but this part of the layout represents what was and might have been if they had not stopped the coastal service. Now the line goes overland from Kirkcaldy to Dundee but had this line not been removed we could have seen the GNER 225 and Voyagers on the Fife coastal route. I try to keep it sufficiently ambigous so I can run LNER, BR or GNER without too much noticable difference.

Mike, the epoxy resin is a hassle to find in Bunnings. They seem to move it between art supplies, paint and plaster areas according to whoever stacked the shelves. I sometimes struggle to find anything in Bunnings. I am looking for perspex to put on the side of my layout to keep young hands off, I am advised that Bunnings have it but I have never found it.

Henry, there is a four track station secreted at the back of this section. You can almost make out the tops of some of the trains here.



I did intend to show a track plan but had troublelaying my hands on a recent one. It changed so often in the planning. This is the latest version I could find and it has had a few changes made.



The section I have shown photos of is the section to the left. I do still have a lot to do but it is about halfway there. I'll post more up to date pictures and pictures of other sections as I go.



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 Posted: Wed Dec 26th, 2007 06:00 pm
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owen69
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hi Neil,nice pics of your layout,i like the scenerios too,
you and Jeff should get on, he cant stay with a plan either!!
:roll: :lol: :lol: 8)

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 Posted: Fri Dec 28th, 2007 06:24 pm
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Gwent Rail
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Thanks Owen :!: :!: As a matter of fact, Neil and I do get on, but it's nothing to do with not sticking to a plan :!:

Thanks for the photos, Neil, It's a larger selection that I've seen before and some of the work (finished areas) has excellent detail.
As with most of us, some of the areas "to be tidied up" still exist, I see :!:
The consolation is that when these are all gone, the layout will start to bore you and the urge will be to rip it all up and start again.
Voice of experiance speaking :?: You bet :!: :!:

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 Posted: Fri Dec 28th, 2007 06:43 pm
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rector
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owen69 wrote:
you and Jeff should get on, he cant stay with a plan either!!
Now that's not strictly true - Jeff gets other forum members to plan bits of his layout for him :!: :!: :!: :!: :!: :wink:

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 Posted: Fri Dec 28th, 2007 06:44 pm
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rector
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Very, very enjoyable, Neil :!: Looking forward to seeing more... Where did you get that excellent lighthouse :?:

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 Posted: Fri Dec 28th, 2007 08:49 pm
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Neil Wood
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rector wrote:Very, very enjoyable, Neil :!: Looking forward to seeing more... Where did you get that excellent lighthouse :?:

It's the Walthers one which has been modified. I chucked the accompanying building and repainted it.

Here's some pictures of the back part where the station is. I just noticed that I have forgotten to remove a wooden block that was holding the new backdrop in place. oo er :wink:







I have been working n the areas underand behind the bridges yesterday and today. I hope to get this area finished sometime soon. :?



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 Posted: Sat Dec 29th, 2007 04:08 am
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Les
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Hi Neil,

Thanks for this, I've really enjoyed looking at the photos of your excellent work. I too love those cameos and as a sailing type I'm fascinated by your harbour (drying of course) and especially the attention to the smaller details - seagulls, fishing nets etc. - quite superb.

There is also something else that has caught my eye, namely the white cottage with a conservatory just above the quay. Could you tell me whether or not it is a kit, where you got it etc? It seems impossible to get models of seaside type houses that were built in the 40's/50's and this could pass for one of them. :D

Les



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 Posted: Sat Dec 29th, 2007 04:46 pm
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Neil Wood
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Les wrote:Hi Neil,

Thanks for this, I've really enjoyed looking at the photos of your excellent work. I too love those cameos and as a sailing type I'm fascinated by your harbour (drying of course) and especially the attention to the smaller details - seagulls, fishing nets etc. - quite superb.

There is also something else that has caught my eye, namely the white cottage with a conservatory just above the quay. Could you tell me whether or not it is a kit, where you got it etc? It seems impossible to get models of seaside type houses that were built in the 40's/50's and this could pass for one of them. :D

Les


Hi Les,

the house is from the range made by Harburn Hobbies of Edinburgh. You can get thismail order from their website if unable to visit. Tyey are cast plaster and quite heavy but already painted. The conservatory is a Langley models brass kit. You can get this mail order from Langley.

Neil



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 Posted: Sun Dec 30th, 2007 05:41 am
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Les
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Thanks Neil. :D

Les



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 Posted: Tue Jan 1st, 2008 06:25 pm
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Neil Wood
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On another forum I have had a blog running for sometime about the progress I am making on my layout. I'm not sure if I'm alowed to link to it so I wont (as some forum do not permit you to link to other forums) but here is my latest entry.


Supergluing Squirrels to trees...
...amongst many other things was one of the scenery building activities I was undertaking over the festive period. Very slippery characters they are too!


I did a bit more work to my Swiss section.



A lot of plaster used here. My problem was that there is an access hatch which needs to be opened and closed for "maintenance" issues. This was a bit tricky to plaster and sceneic and be functional but I got there in the end.



This is a bit of an aerial prespective on how it currently looks. Still awaiting delivery of fir tree kits. :rolleyes:



I'm quite happy with this bit below, it just needs more trees. The other bits will get fiddled with a bit more.



In one of my last entrys I discussed using plasterboard for cuttings. I have discovered one of the main limitations of using thiis method. The difference between plaster soaked cloth and plasterboard is in the way they absorb paint and washes. With plaster it varies in how it absorbs paint and washes and much of the paint or wash runs down it to give a natural weathered effect whereas with plasterboard it soaks it all in so that it gives a uniform colour. For this reason I have put plaster of paris over some of the plasterboard to give it a more realistic weathered rock effect, as shown below.



A couple of shots of the Swiss station shown below. This area still has to get ballasted and catenary at some point and various fine details added, however the basics are there.





Finally an overall perspective from where this sectyion will be most frequently viewed.



With all this work on the Swiss mountain area I felt a bit guilty that I was not finishing off my Scottish section. I realised that I really need to get this area at least mostly finished as once work gets under way in other areas, it is probable that this section may get forgotten about. I intend to make a start on my German city section this Friday. I have a whole day to create an upper deck over the staging tracks and to add side panels. I have ordered the Faller road system starter set to install in this section as an added feature. I have also got a few completed buildings cluttering this section which adds impetus to the need to get this section started. However prior to this I wanted to get my Scottish section advanced significantly further towards completion.


There had been a few areas which needed decisions made on how to proceed. I decided that I would make a concerted effort to get this section over the halfway mark to make it at least presentable. What was outstanding, and probably the reason that I was giving this area a wide berth, was the area under and behind the bridge. I hadn't really made a solid plan about how I was going to finish it off. I decided to start with the definites and improvise from there on in.

I linked up the roads and paths with plaster, smoothed it when dry and painted them to start with.



Then put in a suitable girder bridge on the inner line.



I find painting the rails and ballasting pretty tedious stuff, however as climatic conditions were optimum (it was over 40 degrees for two consecutive days), I thought this was my best opportunity to get this part over and done with relatively quickly. With the high heat the glue and paint would dry rapidy and I could get it all done in one session rather than having to come back day after day. I thought I had ample ballast to get me through most of my layout. I have in fact used four bags of it on this one section!

I used Noch ballast as it is easily the best I have ever encountered. It is real crushed rock and is the colour of granite which is commonly used as ballast in Scotland.




So this was how I left things yesterday. The inner line was now looking a bit more complete.



I decided to do a bit more today and decided to ballast the outer two lines too. I also put in a new backdrop as the old one was inappropriate and the glue came through making it an eyesore. Only one of these still to replace now. The ballast on the inner section has been subjected to a series of washes to add realism.





So at the end of play today it was left looking like this. Almost there, just a few more weekends work and some half relief buildings in a couple of locations and some fine detailing, more people, weeds etc.



And the Squirrels? Well here they are along with a badger, a Ferret, a Hedgehog and some Rabbits.









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 Posted: Tue Jan 1st, 2008 06:31 pm
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Robert
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Feel perfectly free to place links to wherever you like Neil, as long as it's railway related. We aren't in competition with anyone here and we have very few rules.



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 Posted: Tue Jan 1st, 2008 07:38 pm
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Neil Wood
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Robert wrote:Feel perfectly free to place links to wherever you like Neil, as long as it's railway related. We aren't in competition with anyone here and we have very few rules.

No problem Robert. I am aware that MRF do not allow this and thought it better to err on the side of caution. Here is a link to my Blog at MRF, although I will post new items here too. http://www.modelrailforum.com/forums/blog/neil_s_wood/index.php?



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 Posted: Tue Jan 1st, 2008 08:35 pm
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Wayne Williams
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Wow, Neil, after looking at all those pictures, let me get my breath! You make it sound like you aren't getting anything done! NOT!

I hope you didn't remove that backdrop with the mountains in it. I thought that was superb. It really looks natural.

Keep them coming!
Wayne



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 Posted: Tue Jan 1st, 2008 08:47 pm
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MikeC
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Terrific pictures, Neil. Thanks for showing them.
You have some quite complex areas to manage there, and the layout is wonderfully unique and varied, with a good sense of fun. I've never been near Switzerland but to me it has the right flavour.

Mike

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 Posted: Tue Jan 1st, 2008 11:05 pm
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Neil Wood
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Thanks Wayne and Mike for your kind comments,

The backdrop with the mountains at the back was replaced recently but it was replaced with an identical one which didn’t have the glue marks seeping through.

I tried to get a bit of variety in this layout as I like to run trains from different countries. It is also nice to model these different areas and try different techniques. I am dying to get cracking with the German part on Friday. I have been looking forward to this for some time.



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 Posted: Wed Jan 2nd, 2008 07:25 am
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So you're from Leven, that would explain how you got the feel of the harbours just right :D very Crail \ Ainster like, you just need that famous chippie across the road from the harbour :D

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 Posted: Wed Jan 2nd, 2008 11:29 am
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Petermac
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What a great set of pictures Neil.

I particularly liked the shots of the curved viaduct - a favourite structure of mine and one I hope to include on my layout.

Also, the rock faces on the Swiss section are fantastic - so realistic. Maybe you could do a step by step thread of how you did it. To me, flat slab type rocks are one of the most difficult things to get right - maybe there's a lot in the painting ?

Looking forward to the next installment.

Petermac



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 Posted: Wed Jan 2nd, 2008 04:38 pm
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Neil Wood
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Lawrence wrote:So you're from Leven, that would explain how you got the feel of the harbours just right :D very Crail \ Ainster like, you just need that famous chippie across the road from the harbour :D

Hi Lawrence, the village is modelled on Lower Largo although the harbour was from a previous layout based on Crail which is why the harbour is shaped like the one in Crail rather than the river inlet in Lower Largo harbour. I had to make the viaduct curved for space reasons but other than that it is fairly close. The white building in the foreground is the Railway inn.

Good idea about the Anster chip shop, If I charged their prices it would fund a lot more construction. :lol:

Peter the flat slab rocks are made using plaster board, I did a entry in my blog on MRF on how to do this. I will put it in the scenery section here too.



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 Posted: Wed Jan 2nd, 2008 04:52 pm
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Petermac
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Sorry Neil - I noticed your link to your blog on MRF but hadn't been there !!

I'll have a look now. :oops: :oops: but it would be great to have it on here as well.

Petermac



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 Posted: Wed Jan 2nd, 2008 05:28 pm
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Neil Wood
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Petermac wrote:Sorry Neil - I noticed your link to your blog on MRF but hadn't been there !!

I'll have a look now. :oops: :oops: but it would be great to have it on here as well.

Petermac

No problem Peter, I have put it in the scenery building section.



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 Posted: Thu Jan 3rd, 2008 01:57 pm
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Just been on your blog Neil and what a blog, full of info and i will almost certainly be keeping a eye on it mate.
Phill



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 Posted: Mon Feb 11th, 2008 07:38 pm
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Neil Wood
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While modelling my Swiss section the other day I was suprised to see a Praying Mantis negotiating Susch station.



I have been doing other things lately. Mainly to the Swiss section of my layout. I bought a couple of Heki do it yourself pine tree kits; one which made 50 small trees and another which made 20 larger ones. I was fairly confident that this would fill up most of my alpine area.



This is what you get in the kit, a bottle of PVA glue and a bag of flock along with the appropriate number of pine tree frames. They are of the twisted wire variety but look fine once made. The biggest difficulty I found was flicking yourself and your surrounds with PVA glue.
So be careful where you do this. They make a pretty good Pine tree, I saw some out of the train window this morning that looked identical.



The trouble is now that I have added all seventy new trees to my layout, they don't really seem to have made all that big a difference. This is the area where they have been placed or planted rather and there is still a big space. I have anothe 20 large ones on the way from Germany so that should improve things a bit.



The other thing I did of late was to build one of the Sopa New Line Swiss railway building kits. I did a review of the kit here.

Here are some pictures of the building in place.









I have also been doing a fair bit of maintenance top my layout as I had been getting a short on one of my shuttle lines. It turns out it was the loco and not the wiring. My K.Pev P8 has some problem. It has already been in for repairs before because of the same problem. I removed it from the shuttle line and tried another loco which worked fine and another which worked fine. I then ran the P8 on the mainline for a while and I could see sparking underneath. I guess it will have to come apart for some inspection. I also had to de-assemble my Roco S3/6 for some maintenance and to instal a smoke generator. The problem here was that although theoretically you only have to push the smoke generator down through the chimney area, it will only go a certain way. So after dismantling it I got it to work and then put it all back together after lubricating it. Now runs like a dream.





P.S. I have just received news that a parcel has to be collected from the post office. I so hope this is my ECoS Mobile Control. :drool:



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 Posted: Mon Feb 11th, 2008 07:47 pm
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vinny
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Nice layout :!: :D Is the praying mantis in one of them wagons :lol:

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 Posted: Mon Feb 11th, 2008 10:16 pm
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Wayne Williams
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Super layout Neil!!!! I like those loco's! May have to rethink what I'm doing. :roll: :roll: :roll:

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 Posted: Tue Feb 12th, 2008 01:54 pm
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Petermac
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Neil - had to have a quick look at your "address" when I saw the praying mantis - didn't think they were too common in Switzerland !!

Love the shot of the pine trees on the hill near the bridge. I'd guess that's about the right density - as you say, there is a big space to fill.

Great photos. :wink: :wink:

Petermac



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Perth Buddy
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Neil

Just caught up with this thread and am gobsmacked at your layouts. The harbour one in particular is very lifelike and as Lawrence says very Fife.

Looking forward to the continuing development and maybe one day, just maybe .............

Happy Modelling

Matt

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Neil,great shots,know what you mean about trees,never
have enough and you already have the plsterboard piece
here, i have used it,thanks for that.
:oops: :lol: :lol: 8)

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Neil lovely layout am i correct to assume it is one layout but scenically split into three diferant areas Scotland, Switzerland, Germany
or have i got it totally wrong?

cheers Brian.W

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Absolutely fascinating Neil with some great shots. It's good to see the mix you have achieved. :D

The preying mantis crawling down the side of the station is terrific - how about a sci-fi layout? :lol: :lol: :lol:

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Neil Wood
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henryparrot wrote:Neil lovely layout am i correct to assume it is one layout but scenically split into three diferant areas Scotland, Switzerland, Germany
or have i got it totally wrong?

cheers Brian.W


No you have it right Brian. One layout three countries.

The preying mantis crawling down the side of the station is terrific - how about a sci-fi layout?

That's possible, Busch, I think do a UFO and some aliens.

Neil - had to have a quick look at your "address" when I saw the praying mantis - didn't think they were too common in Switzerland !!

They are fairly common round here. First one in the garage though.

Super layout Neil!!!! I like those loco's! May have to rethink what I'm doing.

It's worth putting a lot of thought into what you want from your layout before getting started. The locos by the way are a Roco K.Bay S3/6 and a Trix SBB Be6/8 Crocodile.

Thanks for the kind comments and I shall be working on my German city scene for a while. I have finalised the size of the raised baseboards and can now start to put in cutting walls. I just have to decide on stone, brick or concrete.



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Gwent Rail
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Neil, as always I'm seriously impressed with your layout as it progresses :!:
I've made no comment for a few weeks, but I think that you excelled yourself with your posting of Feb 12th.
Especially the third photo in the series of the loco about to go over the bridge.
The atmospheric scenery is awesome :!: :!:

Are the trees in that photo the Heki ones you made from the kit :?: They are as good a model of pines as I've seen (unless you want to pay Ł20+ for a hand made one)

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Just catching up, Neil.... thanks for reviewing that Sopa New Line kit - it looks really excellent, except out of place and period for my layout. I'm hearing some good things about that company.

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Hi Neil - Your layout looks great and so professional. One thing I would like to know though is how did you find the time to do the job the way you have? How many years?

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Neil Wood
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Gwent Rail wrote:Neil, as always I'm seriously impressed with your layout as it progresses :!:
I've made no comment for a few weeks, but I think that you excelled yourself with your posting of Feb 12th.
Especially the third photo in the series of the loco about to go over the bridge.
The atmospheric scenery is awesome :!: :!:

Are the trees in that photo the Heki ones you made from the kit :?: They are as good a model of pines as I've seen (unless you want to pay Ł20+ for a hand made one)



Yes Jeff, the Heki kits are available in 20 by 7-14cm trees Heki item 1502 or 50 by 3-7 cm trees Heki item 1501. These only cost me 15 euros from Modelbahn Kramm although I do get the vat off. http://www.modellbahn-kramm.com/index.cfm?sprache=E They are easy to make and better than many ready made. It is an excellent way to make a lot of forest cheaply. Suppliers in the UK will probably be able to order them in for you.

thanks for reviewing that Sopa New Line kit

The Sopa New Line kit is very good. They are pricy but you do get what you pay for.

One thing I would like to know though is how did you find the time to do the job the way you have? How many years?

Not as long as you think Rolbar, about a year and half on this layout I think.



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Neil Wood
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Having used plasterboard to reasonable effect for cuttings I decided to elaborate on what can be done with this medium and see how it can be used for brick. The end results are good but the process is laborious and messy. However I am no fan of card backgrounds and wanted something more authentic. Having said that there is a lot to be said for the easyness of Vollmer and Faller brick card and that I certainly would not quible with anyone who preferred to use that medium.

So here is the section which will be using the brick cuttings. This is going to be a German city scene with raised city street sections. The Faller road system will operate here along with a busy city street scene.



As before the first step is to strip the paper from one side leaving the paper intact on the other to preserve structural integrity.



Having done a fair bit of this over the last month I have found that you now want to file the stripped surface flat if you want an even new build sort of finish. If you do not then leave it uneven and it will represent older crumbling brickwork. The next stage is to use a steel rule to etch the brick work effect into the plasterboard.



The vertical lines have to be done by hand and yes, this is very time consuming.



Next step is to give it a colour wash with your choice of brick colour thinned with turps. I then add subsequent layes of water based washes to weather.



These are added in the form of tiles one by one to make up the area required. Joins can be disguised, if not tight fitting, by buttresses or weeds.
In this picture I am using some of my largest locos to check for width and freedom of passage as at this stage I am in a position to do somethinmg about it.



These are all attached with PVA glue. The ends and buttresses can be easily made up from small offcuts.





Here are some pictures which show my first efforts at the top and my most recent at the bottom. You learn as you go along. This isn't too much of a problem as they can be touched up with weeds etc to hide any major irregularities.





This is how it is looking pre-detailing.



Here are some close ups of the cuttings in their pre-weathered state with some gratuitous locos shots.





Here are some pictures after scenicing has been applied to the brickwork.

























In conclusion it is a lot of work but is worth it for the authentic effect. It's probably better for stone than brick as bricks are pretty small in HO/OO scales. I still have not decide exactly how I will tackle the opposite side but imagine it will all fall into place as it goes along. I have to install Tillig point motors underneath this section on all points before proceeding with this section so that will come first. I have done half of these so far. I will also at some point need to make bridges. Rather than buy kits I am looking at using the same process on a finer scale that I used for making my viaduct. This may be a while as the list of things to do on this layout is getting bigger by the minute.



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I don't think we'll have too many complaints about the gratuitous loco shots :lol: :lol: They look fabulous.

Neil your stonework is brilliant! That last picture really shows it well, with each block having rounded edges. Seriously good stuff.

Mike

P.S. do you have your big pine trees from Germany yet?

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Neil

you have devised a way of producing totally inique stonework.
every section is going to be differant as it would be in reality.
this is something you could never buy of the shelf as any production model stonework has to be repetative for production reasons.
I think you have made a great job of it .

cheers Brian.W

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Neil , very well done, I have sent one photo to Robbo.

One of my close friends does a lot of stone & brickwork by scribing into 2.4mm balsa & has done many, many buildings & walls, etc that way but Neil's method is very good as it is thicker & thus more stable.

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Petermac
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Neil - that's absolutely brilliant.

You've solved a problem I was thinking about - how to do stone retaining walls for my layout without needing a bank loan !!

All the photos are superb and the step by step appraoch is fantastic - it's amazing how it takes shape.

Don't say anything to the other members but I can see many of these photos coming up for "next week's header selection" :roll: :roll:

Maybe you've said it before but:
a. How do you get the paper facing off ?
b. How do you "file" a flat surface ?
c. Do you use a blunt knife for the scribing or shaped blade or what to get both the deep-ish mortar lines and the rounded edges on the stones ?

Great stuff - I'm very, very impressed. :wink:

Petermac



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MikeC wrote:I don't think we'll have too many complaints about the gratuitous loco shots :lol: :lol: They look fabulous.
Mike

P.S. do you have your big pine trees from Germany yet?


Yes Mike, I had actually forgotten about them. I still have those to make. These are one of the items on the list.

every section is going to be differant as it would be in reality.

That's right Brian. You craft each single section so no two look the same. It gives a genuine stone look too.

but Neil's method is very good as it is thicker & thus more stable.

Hi Ron, It is thicker but you have to be careful in regard to strength. Once you have peeled the paper on one side it becomes weakened and prone to fracture if not handled gently. Fractures are not too much of an issue as this is prototypical. Many old walls have cracks which go through the brockwork but for structural integrity you want to minimise this. I put the plasterboard on a flat surface while etching it to ensure that it doesn't gey broken. It also pastes with PVA glue quite readily so it would adhere to balsa. Perhaps Robbo could use the balsa as a frame to put this exterior onto?

Maybe you've said it before but:
a. How do you get the paper facing off ?
b. How do you "file" a flat surface ?
c. Do you use a blunt knife for the scribing or shaped blade or what to get both the deep-ish mortar lines and the rounded edges on the stones ?


Hi Peter,
a/ I take the facing paper off with a stanley knife on one side only . This maintains its strength. This is probably the hardest part of the process and should be done carefully. The more often you do it, the better you get.
b/ The surface is often not completely flat due to the process of removing the paper on one side. The knife often digs in to the plasterboard and creates ruts. This is good for cliffs and cuttings but not for brick. For brick you want it completely flat unless you are trying to represent really old crumbling brick. I use a large file which I clean frequently with a wire brush.
c/ I use a stanley knife for scribing the lines however a finer modelling knife would also be good.

Thanks for the kind comments guys. I'm may take a break before part two and do something different. Those trees for instance. I have to do the same amount of stonework on the other side and it will be a bit of work.

cheers

Neil



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Just caught up with this, Neil and once again I think you've come up with a total winner.
I've used various commercial walling products for retainers in the past and the best has been from International Models. This is just as good, has the benefit of greater variation and is one hell of a lot cheaper :!:

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Well even more stonework has been done on my layout. I wont waste time with the how to as I have gone through this before. Here are some pictures of the latest developments.

This is the basic frame to which the stonework will be attached.



It had to have a hinged lid as access may be needed in future.




Onto this frame was attached the precarved sheets of plasterboard. These have still to be weathered and weeds added. I will hold off ballasting this area for a bit as I have to install a few more point motors in this area and may need to move things around.













Just one more section to go and that's now underway. I will be glad once it's finished. I'm not good with repetitive boring tasks. Not long to go now. :rolleyes:



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Neil, when you have finished, come back here for a holiday & do mine - I have a spare bed :lol:

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By the time I get this finished Ron, I could probably do with it! :wink:



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Great work on those walls Neil, if I was doing OO I'd give it a go, but not in N :? Didn't realise how huge your layout is, fantastic body of work, certainly got your hands full for a while yet.

Not being to "up" on German railways so why did they paint the wheels red?

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Neil

Very nice, you are making excellent progress. Are you planning to install an operating roadway for you road vehicles as it looks like you are fitting a metal strip on to the road area - or is it me imagining things!

Bob(K)

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Neil Wood
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Lawrence wrote:Great work on those walls Neil, if I was doing OO I'd give it a go, but not in N :? Didn't realise how huge your layout is, fantastic body of work, certainly got your hands full for a while yet.

Not being to "up" on German railways so why did they paint the wheels red?


Hi Lawrence, I have heard ,but not confirmed, that it was because it is easier to see any cracks in the metal should they appear.

Over here a lot of people have big layouts as space is easier to come by to build in. Mine is smaller than most over here and would be regarded as a small layout at 5 metres by 3.

Hi Novice, yes I am installing the Faller road system, I'm still shuffling the route and buildings around and deciding where they will sit permanently. Thats why the wire is just taped at this point. here's a couple of pictures of that.




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I love the variety on your layout Neil. So many interesting loads in transit, too. Can't wait to see the road system up and running.

Mike

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Neil Wood
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MikeC wrote:I love the variety on your layout Neil. So many interesting loads in transit, too. Can't wait to see the road system up and running.

Mike


Hi Mike,

I have given it a few trial runs and it is pretty good. Adds another dimension to the layout. That will be the next thing after I finalise all the stonework.



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Neil,
Wow, what a layout you have there. I can't wait to see more about this Faller road system, never heard of it. Sounds very unique though.
Thanks for the blow by blow description on the walls, very nicely done!

Wayne



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Wayne Williams wrote:Neil,
Wow, what a layout you have there. I can't wait to see more about this Faller road system, never heard of it. Sounds very unique though.
Thanks for the blow by blow description on the walls, very nicely done!

Wayne


Thanks Wayne, here's some more info I did for a friends website and I have included a couple of pages from the Faller catalogue to wet your appetite.


The Faller Road System is becoming a popular addition to many layouts as it adds another dimension of movement to the layout. While primarily available in German HO outline it can be modified to cover other outlines such as American HO and UK OO with much success. In my layout I have not needed to modify it as I am using it in a modern German scene. The truck that cam with the starter set is an American Kenworth however these can be seen in many countries so it can fit many scenes.

I bought a starter set as it is economical and gives you everything you need to get going. The starter set comes with full English and German instructions and are fairly easy to understand. There are many accessories which you can use to enhance the basic starter set so it may be worth considering which of these you intend to install so that you plan for these when setting the set up. The system works by having motorised vehicles follow a strip of metal wire by means of a magnet attached to the front of the vehicle.

The first thing to do is to charge the battery and see how your vehicle runs. The speed is fine on mine. The next thing is to start to plan your route. The set includes the wire which the truck follows. It is fine to stick this down with tape to start with as you assess the ability of your vehicle to negotiate curves and gradients. This may take a little while.

Once you have finalised your pathway you then cover the wire with a clay compound which makes a road. This is then painted and there is a set of decals provided to stick on to simulate road markings. Once this done you switch your vehicle on and place it above where the wire is on the road and watch it drive round your model streets. Just one more thing to bring your layout alive.







If you've found this of interest then there is more on the road system in the Faller catalogue which can be viewed online on the Lokshop website.

http://catalog.lokshop.de/FAL/2006_2007/EX/page_32.html The Car System starts from page 380 onwards.



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Gwent Rail
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The road system has always fascinated me, Neil, but I'm not sure my skill stretches to integrating it with a 1950's layout

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Gwent Rail wrote:The road system has always fascinated me, Neil, but I'm not sure my skill stretches to integrating it with a 1950's layout

Hi Jeff, you really need to think about it at the planning stage as it needs minimum curves of 15cm's for turning. Most layouts have far smaller curves as they tend to have country lanes etc. It is very difficult to go back and do this on an established layout, however if you are starting a new layout it really adds a lot.

Neil



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I really had had enough of the stone wall carving so I figured it was time for something a bit different; brick carving, well a little bit. I needed to find something to cap the cuttings with and a brick wall seemed like a good idea. To do this would involve removing both sides of the paper from the plasterboard. This was difficult as it gets really fragile. It was also very time consuming. This was the result.





It's ok but not great and definitley not worth the time investment. So I have ordered about four metres of Busch ornamental railings to use instead. I will set it on a wood plinth soaked in plaster and stained to look like stone.

I also finished off the stone wall work. The next project was the middle bit between the walled city bit and the Swiss bit. This was a relic from my previous layout and needed an upgrade. I wasn't that happy with the river as the painting underneath wasn't brilliant but the option was to remove this entire section and to build it from scratch which wasn't an option really as I have build too much on it. So a cosmetic upgrade was the next step. Some serious scenicing had to be done. First step plaster over all the previous paper mache work. Paint it then a base coat of fine flock. On top of this I put a couple of types of reeds next to the river and various types of Siliflor for wild grasses and bushes. Some coarser flock too.









I added an iron girder type bridge and put this on brick supports made from, you guessed it: Plasterboard. I am happy with how the brick looks and now reckon I am about 80% done with this side of the section. The other side I will do later from the other side.















I have also started making level crossings out of wood. I have quite a lot of wooden strips from the days when I used to make wooded boats so a variety of strips were used, stained and then glued into place. I am not sure whether I want a fully tarmaced road. I am thinking once tarmaced but fairly crumbled and weathered. Still have to think about this a bit more.





So here are some shots of how it now looks. I have run out of ballast and other scenics so I will have to halt until stocks are replenished.









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MikeC
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Great going Neil. Is the bright turquoisey colour at the river's edges painted underneath the water, and therefore inaccessible? To me it's the only jarring note.

Would you get gorse in that region? I was thinking it'd look nice blooming there. Pretty easy to add the orangey/gingery blooms with paint. I just about managed it when trying for autumn colour.
The variety in grass textures and types is terrific.
Lovely photos.

Mike

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Hi Mike, the turquoisy colour is under 5mm of epoxy resin so I am in the position that I scrap the board and start again or use it. Another option which I am considering, as it really does ruin it, is mixing a small amount of epoxy resin with a dye in it to replicate muddy water and putting that over the top. The only problem with that is that the resin is already at the edge of the Board so I will have to add a new backboard to contain it but the more I think about it, it has to be done. Ah well off to Bunnings again!


Trouble is when you do a bit that looks OK the bits that suck become more prominent. :cry:

The area depicted is actually supposed to be Bavaria. I have put UK outline locos in it as mopst people aren't too interested in German outline. I honestly don't know if you get gorse in Bavaria. I have a lot of gorse in the Scottish section as we have loads of it at home.



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 Posted: Tue May 6th, 2008 07:01 pm
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owen69
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some really good pics,i do like the northumbrian train,smart.
:wink: :wink: :lol: :lol: :lol: 8)

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 Posted: Tue May 6th, 2008 07:19 pm
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Oh well, geography was never my strong suit :) :) :)

Could you maybe grow foliage out over the bright colour? It would narrow the river a bit, but it would save a lot of work. Might be worth a go just placing some foliage clumps on top to see. I like the rest of the riverbed.

Mike

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 Posted: Tue May 6th, 2008 07:44 pm
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Neil Wood
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MikeC wrote:Oh well, geography was never my strong suit :) :) :)

Could you maybe grow foliage out over the bright colour? It would narrow the river a bit, but it would save a lot of work. Might be worth a go just placing some foliage clumps on top to see. I like the rest of the riverbed.

Mike


I could extend the reed bed out a bit. I'll have a look when I go home and see how extensive this will need to be.



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 Posted: Tue May 6th, 2008 09:48 pm
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Marty
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I agree with Mike's comments, if you can get rid of that bright colour on the river edge it will be a great scene.
How about just painting some muddy acrylic washes over the top? and then adding more vegetation as discussed.
The grassed slope between the tracks is very good and the brick work very neat.
Keep 'em coming.



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Neil Wood
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Marty wrote:I agree with Mike's comments, if you can get rid of that bright colour on the river edge it will be a great scene.
How about just painting some muddy acrylic washes over the top? and then adding more vegetation as discussed.
The grassed slope between the tracks is very good and the brick work very neat.
Keep 'em coming.


The problem is Marty, that the painting is underneath a layer of epoxy resin, you can't paint on top of it without it looking far worse because then it would highlight the difference in height between the bottom and top layers. If you did it all over then you would lose the depth effect altogether. Cracking it off isn't an option as I already had to chisel out a little bit to get the brickwork in and that was a major feat.

The options are to pour another couple of mm layer with an opaque muddy colour or to put more reeds in to obscure it. I've been out to Hearns Hobbies at lunchtime and bought a couple more woodland scenics field grass things to do some more reeds with. That should hopefully do it. Will report back once done and see what you guys think. I can still always pour more resin if the reeds idea doesn't work.



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 Posted: Tue May 6th, 2008 11:15 pm
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Marty
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Bugger!
Something worth remembering when I get to pouring my rivers.
Thanks Neil.
I reckon that further reeds and may be a riverbank shrub or two, should do the trick.
Good luck.



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Neil Wood
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Marty wrote:Bugger!
Something worth remembering when I get to pouring my rivers.
Thanks Neil.
I reckon that further reeds and may be a riverbank shrub or two, should do the trick.
Good luck.


Thanks mate, I reckon I'll need it.



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As always a lovely layout, it looks fine to me but what do i know i am a very much novice.
But i still love it thou.
Phill



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Neil Wood
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phill wrote:As always a lovely layout, it looks fine to me but what do i know i am a very much novice.
But i still love it thou.
Phill


Thanks Phil, that's very kind of you. We are all learning in one way or another.



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Neil

I always enjoy looking at your layout pictures as there is so much going on. You have made terrific progress and I like the river bridges very much.

Great stuff!

Bob(K)

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Neil Wood
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Novice wrote:Neil

I always enjoy looking at your layout pictures as there is so much going on. You have made terrific progress and I like the river bridges very much.

Greta stuff!

Bob(K)


Thanks Bob, One of the bridges is a Metcalfe kit and easily available. The other one is two Peco bridge sides set on plaster inscribed to look like brick.



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 Posted: Tue May 27th, 2008 08:28 am
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MikeC
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Neil one of the reasons I find your layout so interesting is the multi-level design, but maybe more than that, even on low-lying parts you still have scenery below track level. It must give you endless variety when taking photos. Videos, too!



That's something I'll try to keep in mind when building my New England layout, although I can't elevate the tracks much because they must link with the other side. Thankfully I can excavate 2inches of foam base before I hit the table.

Mike

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 Posted: Tue May 27th, 2008 06:47 pm
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Neil Wood
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Yes, Mike. This is something I designed into the layout. There are actually minimal inclines on the main tracks on this layout, very slight. It is the baseboards that vary in height relative to the trackway. I felt that a three dimensional aspect was important as this how a railway line is in real life. e.g. the land rises and drops but the line remains relatively level. Actually having said that this is true of Scotland and Switzerland however other countries have more level ground. I quite like the perspective in the photo you selected as this is what we, as rail enthusiasts often, see when we are looking at real locos. In general we tend to look up at locomotives and trains rather than down. I had thought about doing some video but I'm not sure about how to upload it to the net and post it yet.


I have been doing a lot of reworking to this area since these pictures were taken as there were many things in the pictures I didn't like. Pictures really highlight things that often the maked eye will ignore. I pulled the Metcalfe card bridge and have made a new bridge out of plasterboard. I have bought a couple of packs of the Busch daisies which have been distrubuted around the area. I am still waiting on Lupins, ferns and mushrooms to finish this area off. I got some nice trees from Richard Johnsons place in Perth but will install them last. I have also added the remaining level crossings and continued with the ballasting. I'll post some photos once I have got the remaining scenics installed so you can see the changes.



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Marty
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Looking forward to those updated photos Neil.
I planned the NE layout to have the same feeling of a railway in the landscape as you have, still got to see if the plan works yet though on mine.



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Neil Wood
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Marty wrote:Looking forward to those updated photos Neil.
I planned the NE layout to have the same feeling of a railway in the landscape as you have, still got to see if the plan works yet though on mine.


I went for a minimalist approach as there is often only one or two lines going through the landscape in real life. You can't spend too much time in planning Marty. I left my tracks for about a year before I started ballasting so that I could rip it up and make changes too as often issues only come to light through running trains.



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Neil Wood
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After last months instalment I got a bit of feedback on an aspect of this scene which was a bit, well, not great. The green under the water was an issue and, as it was under 6mm of epoxy resin, it was not a matter of just painting over. Once epoxy resin sets it has to be chiselled off. This would have meant starting all over again so I didn’t opt for that. I have extended the water reeds out to cover the green bits and this looks ok, I think.









I have tidied up other bits that I didn’t like. The Metcalfe bridge is gone and has been replaced with a plasterboard etched facing, which I am quite pleased with. It’s supposed to be Portland limestone which has a creamy colour like buildings in Oxford. However some types of light makes it look a bit too yellow. If I get feedback that it’s a bit too yellow I might just keep piling on the weathering to loose that bright look.





I have also been on the hunt for willow trees. I liked the ones from Richard Johnsons shop however he’s out of them at the moment and got some other ones to try out. I will still hold out for the willow as I think it will look great in the section to the left of the stone bridge.

I have also been in the market for some Preiser figures. I thought some guys fishing would be good as I also enjoy fishing too.



Some water fowl too to make it a bit more authentic.



I have extended the crossing boards across another couple of tracks. I am leaving the final one for the moment as I will probably install point motors under the points in this section. This will inevitably require lifting the tracks or at the very least some movement from their current position.



I have weathered the road a bit to make it look dusty like a country road and it looks ok so far. I am looking for pictures of run down country road where the tarmac has decayed substantially so I have a better idea of what I am trying to recreate however there doesn’t seem to be many on the net for some reason.

I also got some Busch accessories to enhance things a bit. Tim Hale showed the use of the Busch daisies on his website which I was quite impressed with so I have added them. You get 120 in a packet, both yellow and white. I got two packets which I initially thought was too much however once you start adding them to meadows and so on they soon get used up. I also ordered some Busch ferns, mushrooms and wild lupins however they have yet to turn up. They will get added to this area in the appropriate places when they do.



I also added fencing to the top of my German city area. I have made backboards for most of the areas now as I need to protect the layout from people leaning on it and so on. I have also come up with a plan for hiding the pass through hole between the UK section and the German city scene. I will make a half relief stone bridge out of plasterboard to cover it. This will be high on my list as it is an eyesore at the moment.







All in all it is starting to look a bit better. I have a BRMA meeting in September at my place so I am hoping to get things presentable by then. Guess I’d better hide the German locos!











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 Posted: Mon Jun 2nd, 2008 11:37 pm
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Sol
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Looking good Neil, the water does look better.

the 3rd photo showing the new plasterboard bridge - very nice but it seems you have had some earth movement - large cracks at the top of the arches :P

Now re the forthcoming BRMA meet - leave the German locos on - sure to create a talking point :!:

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Neil Wood
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Sol wrote:Looking good Neil, the water does look better.

the 3rd photo showing the new plasterboard bridge - very nice but it seems you have had some earth movement - large cracks at the top of the arches :P

Now re the forthcoming BRMA meet - leave the German locos on - sure to create a talking point :!:


That's right Ron it is very brittle stuff to work with and easily cracked. However real stone work does crack under stress and it is not unusual to see faults like this in walls and retaining walls. Given the weight of freight that travelled over some lines since the 19th century some stone bridges would be showing similar signs of stress. I don't think it looks too out of line with real life.



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MikeC
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That's a terrific array of photos, Neil. I love all the small scenic touches and the river looks great and very fishable. Please reserve me a spot on the bank. Great job on disguising the turquoise.
I wouldn't have a clue what Portland limestone should look like, but you said you might weather it more yet and I think it'll continue to look better and better as you do that. Gee you have some interesting loads on your wagons!
Thanks for showing us all of that.

Mike

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 Posted: Tue Jun 3rd, 2008 01:40 am
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Neil Wood
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Thanks Mike, I wouldn't mind doing a bit of fishing myself.

The set on the middle bridge was Fleischmann anniversary set of antique cars and wagons.

By the way if an engineer is looking at this I wouldn't mind hearing your opinion on the bridge crack?



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 Posted: Tue Jun 3rd, 2008 01:47 am
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MikeC
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Just an idea, Neil - you could always place one of those iron bracings across it like I've seen on old buildings - it'd look rather good. [Looks good already]

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Neil Wood
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MikeC wrote:Just an idea, Neil - you could always place one of those iron bracings across it like I've seen on old buildings - it'd look rather good. [Looks good already]

I had thought about that. It would be easy to make them from strips of foil. I was also thinking about some type of creeping plant. Maybe clematis, then could add flowers.



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Bob K
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Neil

I love this layout and I very much like the way you have improved the bridge area. It looked good before but now is even more effective, with lots of nice little touches. You must be very pleased with the results. It is also so great to see so much progress on a layout.

Bob(K)

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 Posted: Tue Jun 3rd, 2008 04:32 am
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owen69
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they are cracking photos (no pun intended )the bridge is spot on,
i think a header pic is in the making !!!
:roll: :lol: :lol: :lol: 8)

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Gwent Rail
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Neil, once again your perserverence has paid off.
The bridge scene now looks the biz and the waters edge treatment has worked well.

I'd add my opinion to the others regarding the weathering of the bridge.
The colour as shown on screen is a pretty good representation of new Portland limestone, but in practice it didn't / doesn't stay as clean looking for more than a few months (especially in a steam railway location).
A few weak washes of some "dirty black/ burnt umber" mix should do the trick nicely.

As far as the old country road is concerned, a tiny bit of picking at the surface with a compass point (to simulate wear) and a wash over with the same mix I've mentioned above + a little dark grey, should help.
This should help to tone down the blue hue that is apparent in the photo (or is it the camera :?: )
On one road, I've built, I've actually gouged a small section out, filled it with fine ballast and painted it a very dark grey to simulate a recent repair.
I also used a small splodge of filler, ran through it (whilst drying) with an old lorry and painted it dark brown, to suggest mud left by farm machinery.
The possibilities are endless, but the good thing is that it's hard to completely wreck the job :!: :!:

Nice work and good photos. Thanks for the update, Neil.

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Neil,

It looks wonderful. I cant remember you getting comments about that area before but whatever they were it certainly looks excellent now.

Although it's a BRMA meeting, I agree with Sol about leaving the German locomotives on, remember this is basically a European layout and you would expect to see them. That 3rd Reich streamliner is a fabulous engine, and is not one that is usually seen - a real beaut. :D

Les



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What a cracking layout you have there mate, a excellent job. As for the German Loco's, leave them be its your layout if they dont like it tell them to leave mate :D :D
Love the fishermen and the one sat on the bridge, hope they dont blow the whistle on that loco might make him fall in :D :D
Phill



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Lawrence
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Great work Neil, really like the fishing scene and the reeds around the river look great.

The wall colour is excellent I think, the grey ends look a tad out of place tho, maybe it is just the light, if you are going to do any work I would try and blend the ends in with the sides cause the sides look great. :D

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Neil Wood
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Gwent Rail wrote:Neil, once again your perserverence has paid off.
The bridge scene now looks the biz and the waters edge treatment has worked well.

I'd add my opinion to the others regarding the weathering of the bridge.
The colour as shown on screen is a pretty good representation of new Portland limestone, but in practice it didn't / doesn't stay as clean looking for more than a few months (especially in a steam railway location).
A few weak washes of some "dirty black/ burnt umber" mix should do the trick nicely.

As far as the old country road is concerned, a tiny bit of picking at the surface with a compass point (to simulate wear) and a wash over with the same mix I've mentioned above + a little dark grey, should help.
This should help to tone down the blue hue that is apparent in the photo (or is it the camera :?: )
On one road, I've built, I've actually gouged a small section out, filled it with fine ballast and painted it a very dark grey to simulate a recent repair.
I also used a small splodge of filler, ran through it (whilst drying) with an old lorry and painted it dark brown, to suggest mud left by farm machinery.
The possibilities are endless, but the good thing is that it's hard to completely wreck the job :!: :!:

Nice work and good photos. Thanks for the update, Neil.


Thanks for the kind comments guys.

I had actually used dark grey washes on the bridge but what happens is that, because they are water based and the paint underneath is turps based, they soak into the lines to highlight the brickwork. I will use a more concentrated solution than before or maybe a turps based paint. I have some weathering powders so I may experiment with them.

The road is painted with Tamiya grey paint. It does look blue for some reason. I have rubbed it over with a mix of weathering powder to simulate dirt and debris. I willl try some of your ideas as they sound good. I had also tried using pva glue for puddles but wasn't pleased with the results so I painted it over.

They grey ends are supposed to be a different stone used in the cuttings and walls of the city. They do contrast strongly with the bridge though. However this will lessen once it gets more grimed and weathered.

Thanks for the vote of confidence with the German locos. I think the BRMA meeting is in for as surprise. Why not after all we had a selection of New Zealand locos at the last meeting!



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MikeC
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Neil I was thinking about your decaying road. Perhaps if you make its edge a bit more ragged, have some gravel at the edges [e.g. fine sand or sifted ballast] and then glue some of that fine stuff onto the road near the edges it might work. Jeff's idea of repairs is good too.

Some marvellous scnery of railroads [and roads] in a sad state of decay can be found here: http://www.oldnyc.com/index.html
It's American prototype, but bursting with inspiration for scenic modelling applicable to anywhere. I think you'll love it.

Mike

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 Posted: Tue Jun 3rd, 2008 09:46 pm
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Neil Wood
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Thanks for that Mike. I will give that a whirl I have some fine ballast which I can colour and use and an interesting selection of weathering powders. I will see what I can come up with.



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Marty
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A great job covering the turquoise at the river edges Neil, nicely done.
Looks like a competition to me... river must be a good 'un for fish.



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Neil Wood
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Time for an update on what I've been doing.

I added more weathering to the bridge. It could probably still do with some more though.



I also added some Lupins.



With the help of MikeC who provided some excellent rickety road pictures I added more weathering to my road.



I made more plasterboard walls to go round the German country section station. I will finish this off and scenic it a bit at some point in the future.





I was never happy with the backdrops so I have painted sky over most of them. The one where the German city scene backs onto the Scottish fishing village gets a walk over bridge to disguise the hole between the two sections. I am still deciding on how to do the walkway on the right. Probably have it coming down at 90degrees to the overpass.




The one which adjoins the German city section now has a cliff face on it. The opening between the two is now a tunnel.







Still needs tidied up a bit but you get the idea.

After that I returned to my Fife coastal village section to renovate and improve some of it. Continuing on the subject ofbackdrops I redid these too. I have raised the level of the horizon by bring up the sea.





However where it all goes wrong is the new raised backdrop I have put in to keep little hands off.



If you can drag your eyes from the crashed car for a moment you can see in the corner that the sea is pretty high up relative to the sky on the adjoing panel. I don't want to have a similarly high sea level on the side bit as it just wont look right. The high level at the front was supposed to give the impression of being high up as the viewer would be scale wise. I'll need to ponder this one a bit more.

I did a lot of tidying up and adding scenery to the fishing village. I made some gorse bushes using Busch foliage material. I find it better than the lichen stuff I used before. I also removed a building which just didn't belong to give more space.





I added some tyres to the side of the docks.



I put one of the cottages down on the pier which is a bit like the harbour at Cellardyke where there are a couple of houses at the side.



Here's some pictures of how it looks now.

















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Bloody marvelous mate, i just love this layout the more i see it and the scenery is just outstanding mate outstanding well done.
Phill



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Neil, well done.
It is as if you need a scenic divider betwen sea & behind the houses & yes, you will need to ponder on this.
The scenery experts are still asleep up north of the equator but the others down under may have ideas.

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Wow you guys were quick. I only posted that a fw minutes ago.

I have already come up with a plan. The Haven pub in Cellardyke.



I am going to have a go at making this out of plasterboard in half relief. I will then extend the sea behind it.



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Superb,
Love the sand with the high tide line and the high horizon works for me too.
Really good progress.

The Haven will fit in beautifully in the village but I'm not so sure how you are going to make the horizon transition from high to low as you go around the corner :?:

Is water in the harbour epoxy resin too? Personally I really like how you can see the bottom and sand through it.



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Neil Wood
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Marty wrote:Superb,
Love the sand with the high tide line and the high horizon works for me too.
Really good progress.

The Haven will fit in beautifully in the village but I'm not so sure how you are going to make the horizon transition from high to low as you go around the corner :?:


Thanks mate.

I will have to keep the sea at the same level Marty, but obscure it with some buildings and maybe a tree further inland. I may have to play around with it a bit.

Yes the water is epoxy resin. It is the best option for calm water as it gives you depth and reflection.



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It's looking great, Neil. I just love the variety of plant life near the road and between the rail lines.
I think the pub and some other buildings will work well. It should give the impression that the land doesn't just stop right behind. You'll maybe end up with the impression that you're looking along the coastline, and that would mean a lot less sea.
It's amazing the problems that this hobby throws at us.
Looking forward to the next installment.

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Marty
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That's a great idea Mike, and typical of that sort of coastline. The potential is there... realising it is the hard part.



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MikeC wrote:It's looking great, Neil. I just love the variety of plant life near the road and between the rail lines.
I think the pub and some other buildings will work well. It should give the impression that the land doesn't just stop right behind. You'll maybe end up with the impression that you're looking along the coastline, and that would mean a lot less sea.
It's amazing the problems that this hobby throws at us.
Looking forward to the next installment.

Mike


cheers Mike thanks for the kind words.

That's given me an idea about dropping the sea. If it did fade into the horizon it would drop a little on the left hand side of the side panel. I will have to find other sea pics as the sea one I have uised is very much head on. I will need one which gets more distant as you go left.

I really hope this isn't incomprehensible.



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...well it's getting a tad confusing :) I'm not sure if you mean you're going to alter the level where sea meets sky...? from one panel to the next...? I could be wrong but I don't know how you could get away with it.
I was suggesting the shoreline could climb towards the horizon, requiring less sea. Maybe you could even have some distant land to break up the emptiness back there. Getting a bit complex though :)

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Curvature of the earth at the horizon will allow for a little lowering I would have thought, I can see where you are coming from Neil and reckon it could be done.



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Yes I guess it could be done, as long as the join is blurry, as you said, Neil, and also assuming you couldn't see the higher horizon alongside. I guess the blurring is the key to it.

Mike

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Marty
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I think the concept is to start high at the join and then fade and lower into the distance along the side board, maybe have most of the sideboard as a headland and just a little bit of sea in the last quarter near the join.

Maybe something like this?



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Marty wrote:I think the concept is to start high at the join and then fade and lower into the distance along the side board, maybe have most of the sideboard as a headland and just a little bit of sea in the last quarter near the join.

Maybe something like this?


That's what I had in mind but didn't phrase very well. Thanks guys. I think we're all on the same track.



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As requested (elsewhere) here are some pics of the trees I made from the seamoss and Anita Decor foliage. At this point I have only used one colour of foliage. I have another darker Anita Decor one and some Busch stuff with a different texture. I will thicken this up a bit with different colours and textures to make it a bit more foliated. A lot of those track side dvd's show that there are loads of bushes and I have found that the seamoss is great for custom made bushes.

These are the freshly made trees.



Here they are in place.
















And a couple of warts and all ones.





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My goodness you have really brought this layout to life. Amazing what a bit of greenery can do. It looks superb.

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Marty
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Beautiful, great job. Nicely blended ground cover too.
I just have to be careful not to show T these photos or she is going to be wanting meadow flowers too... and in N scale that is going to take some doing.



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Lovely trees Neil - very impressive

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Neil that's just beautiful.

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Stunning mate :D

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brilliant
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Excellent Neil. You really seem to have developed great expertise with scenery and it shows. :D

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Superb stuff Neil. You can be head gardener on my layout any time!!!
Some candidates in that lot for a header photo too,I should think.

Cheers,John.B.

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Excellent trees and i too think the ground cover is cracking !!!

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Thanks guys your kind comments are much appreciated. I reckon the trees really cap it off well. They are not hard to make either. It's seamoss from International Models with Anita Decor foliage. Makes the best model trees I have seen.

I'm going to experiment with different colours of foliage next week as I have a bit of time off, supposedly for redecorating the living room but, hey, you have to do something while the paints drying!



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Neil Wood wrote: I reckon the trees really cap it off well. They are not hard to make either. It's seamoss from International Models with Anita Decor foliage. Makes the best model trees I have seen.


Does anyone know if these materials are available in the UK? (I've searched the web but couldn't find any suppliers here).
Ken



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no luck so far Ken, so i got some woodland ones to try,the armatures seem ok.
:wink: :lol: :lol: 8)

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Nice work Neil I like the ground cover and trees the layout is certainly coming to life now.

Ken wrote:Neil Wood wrote: I reckon the trees really cap it off well. They are not hard to make either. It's seamoss from International Models with Anita Decor foliage. Makes the best model trees I have seen.


Does anyone know if these materials are available in the UK? (I've searched the web but couldn't find any suppliers here).
Ken


Ken, for sea moss try Greenscene http://website.lineone.net/~john.s.lloyd/
Look under products for "forest in a box"

OR International Models http://www.internationalmodels.net/

Seamoss makes great Silver birch trees I'm going to get some for Pen-y-Bont.

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You can get everything you need on this page. Scroll down the page and it mentions the Anita Decor stuff.

http://www.internationalmodels.net/acatalog/Seamoss.html



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Looks really good,very impressed. All the different shades of green and textures are ace :D

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Sorry for the delay in answering, I've been redecorating the living room and was too exhausted to go on the net yesterday. As previously advised it is pretty much all from International Models. They sell some of the best scenic stuff available. There is a good starter set for the sea moss which includes all you need to get started making trees like the ones shown. It is the forest in a flash a 14quid and contains sea moss, glue and a bag of Anita Decor foliage. I have found the Anita Decor foliageto be the best I have seen so far. However you do want to vary it a bit to make different style trees. There is also the advantage of making small trees and bushes and they are all unique. The grass is Siliflor which comes in a variety of colours and sizes.

I have also got some bullrushes and Ivy (also from International models) which I have yet to use. The Ivy looks great and is only 5 quid a packet.

Thanks for the kind comments guys.



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Well I had a go at making a building from plasterboard. Here is how it went.

Fisrt step cut the front to size and mark out the windows and doors. Cut these out with a Stanley knife before taking the front paper of the plasterboard.



Plasterboard doesn't give you such fine edges as you'll need for door posts etc so I have used wood for these pasrts.





Here are some of the parts before painting. The roof is off a Hornby pub. I have painted the main facade however I tried tqwo methods to start with. The bottom has wooden edging which is easier to paint but a pain to do as you have wait on the glue drying before you can get cracking with the next bit. The top half I painted free hand.



Next I did two side pieces. This is only a half relief building as I wanted to see how it worked out before trying anything more substantial.



Here I have added windows taken from another structure. I have sorted out a chimney and some doors too.



I had to re do the sides as I noticed belatedly that the roof does not overhang the sides.



I started adding the drainpipes and pub sign etc as it's about finished now. The paint is still a bit wet. I will do some touch up once this coat dries. I'm quite happy with it for a first attempt. I have learnt a few things now to bear in mind next time.





This is what I am aiming to represent so judge for yourself how it turned out.



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That is first class, Neil - looks just like the real thing.
How long did it take to build?

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Neil,that is as close to the real one as can be with that material,
class job.
:lol: :lol: :lol: 8)

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Neil. You've done an excellent job. Looks like a very appropriate choice of building material. It's very convincing.

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very good indeed mate, looks as close to the real thing as you can get, been me doing it i would of beem thousnads of miles out, well done.
Phill



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Neil,

I have to say that when I first started reading I thought "this looks awful" and could not see why you were bothering! Within a couple of photos though it took life and the final result is just breathtaking!

Having never built anything from scratch I am in total awe of how anybody can see a piece of plasterboard and think "I can build a pub out of that" and then go ahead and make a totally convincing model. Amazing.

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Neil

Excellent result and a good way to produce low relief, inexpensive backing scenes. One question about the material though - is it plaster board or expanded polystyrene sheets that you are using, it is hard to be sure from the pictures? If the latter what glue did you use?

Bob(K)

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Thanks for the kind comments guys. This was mainly an experiment to see how good it would be as a modelling medium for structures. I didn't see why it wouldn't be good because this is pretty much what Townstreet use. It's Gyprock plasterboard and it glues with PVA. For plastic I used cyanoacrylate to attach it. I have learned a fair bit from this first effort and should be able to improve on subsequent jobs as I know it's limitations now.

It's hard to say how long it took as I have only had the odd saturday afternoon. So maybe two whole days all up? In future I would use wood strips for the edges of the doors and windows to get them more precise. I have finer files to use on the window and door areas however the gyprock clogs up the file and it has to be cleaned regularly with a wire brush.

The reason I used the gyprock material is for the realistic stome effect. Although this one is painted many are not and the effect comes through.



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Neil,
What a brilliant building! Well done,mate.And who would've thought to use plasterboard???

Cheers,John.B.

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You've captured the essential feeling of an old building there Neil - very authentic looking. Well done.

Les



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So good Les commented three times!!!!

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Just noticed - sorry about that guys. Is that a Cornish 3 Chris, I only have two on my screen? :lol: :lol: :lol:

Les



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:D :D almost a shame to delete two of them.

I'd love to give this technique a go - been eyeing our walls.

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Help - it's down to one now, what's happening? :shock:
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Ah now I see - they are being removed by our cunning moderator from downunder. Thank you Michael but I guess that makes ChrisT's post look odd now. :lol: :lol:



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:D :D :D I'm picking them off, one by one.... 8) :twisted:

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 Posted: Sun Jul 27th, 2008 07:29 am
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Les
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Ah so that's why I never get promoted on this forum. :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

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First time I looked at this topic all the pictures were there but now the last one is missing and I have the white square with the dreaded little red cross. Anybody else affected?



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 Posted: Sun Jul 27th, 2008 08:11 am
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Les
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All the pictures are there on my screen Bob. :wink:

Remember there has been an antipodean hand at work on this thread. :roll:

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Yep i also have a ickle red cross in a white square :?
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Perth Buddy
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Aye .... me too

Does it not have something to about the size of the picture it trying to display ..... there speaks a man who has only recently mastered the art of wiring up a set of points .... and then immediately took it out !!!!!

Happy Modelling

Matt


PS Oh by the way ... good job Neil !!!

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Robert
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Les wrote:All the pictures are there on my screen Bob. :wink:

Remember there has been an antipodean hand at work on this thread. :roll:

Les


That same hand can sort it out then Les. :roll: :lol: :lol:



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Les
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Oops, sorry Mike. :oops: :oops: :oops:

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Not displaying on mine either Bob, but seeing the prototype doesn't matter too much to me as I know the area rather well, and that building has Crail\ Ainster written all over it Neil. When are you going to do the chippie? :lol:

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 Posted: Sun Jul 27th, 2008 08:31 am
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Les
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Sorry I have just noticed the little red cross so it's missing on my screen too. :oops: :oops: :oops:

Les
(its not often I'm right bit I'm wrong again!)



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I don't know where it's gone. I see it's from a different source to Neil's photobucket photos. Maybe there's a problem with that site.
I'm innocent - honest :D

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I too is having the dreaded red square but it was the real thing that Neil had shown coz I read it just after he posted it .

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 Posted: Sun Jul 27th, 2008 06:24 pm
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Neil Wood
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Lawrence wrote:Not displaying on mine either Bob, but seeing the prototype doesn't matter too much to me as I know the area rather well, and that building has Crail\ Ainster written all over it Neil. When are you going to do the chippie? :lol:

It's the Ship Inn in Elie. It's down by the harbour. I wouldn't mind doing the Pittenween chippie. I think about that place almost every day. :cry: Every time I go home I have a pilgramage to the chippie at Pittenween and usually end up at the Ship afterwards.

I'd love to give this technique a go - been eyeing our walls.

Mike


You can get this stuff out of Bunnings $22 a 3x1.5m sheet I think it was.

The picture of the real pub seems to have come back now. I am now working on the backdrop where this building will fit in. I think I should be able to come up with something which I will be happy with.



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Neil, I've read your last project with interest. Don't I remember you saying (a long time ago, on MRF) that you were not very good at buildings :?:
Well that's not very accurate now, is it :?:
Excellent job, mate, well documented and a first class choice of material. That plaster board certainly does give an authentic finish.

Now a question ... If you are using the material I think, it comes with a paper covering on both sides. If that is the case, are you cutting your walls out before or after you've removed the paper from one side :?:

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Neil Wood
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Gwent Rail wrote:Neil, I've read your last project with interest. Don't I remember you saying (a long time ago, on MRF) that you were not very good at buildings :?:
Well that's not very accurate now, is it :?:
Excellent job, mate, well documented and a first class choice of material. That plaster board certainly does give an authentic finish.

Now a question ... If you are using the material I think, it comes with a paper covering on both sides. If that is the case, are you cutting your walls out before or after you've removed the paper from one side :?:


Definately before Jeff. Once you remove the paper on one side it loses a lot of its integrity. I neglected to show that I got a plain sheet first and marked out where the doors and windows were. Then removed these slots with a stanley knife. To get a smoother finish on the front I used the edge of a steel ruler to remove the paper. To get a stone like look I used a wire brush.



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Plenty of atmosphere in that one Neil, it will look a cracker in the harbour scene.



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Neil Wood
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Marty wrote:Plenty of atmosphere in that one Neil, it will look a cracker in the harbour scene.

Thanks Marty. I hope to finish off the harbour scene next week.



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Marty
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Looking forward to how you make the backscene work Neil.



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Just caught up with this one Neil.

That's an amazing little building in plasterboard. In my experience, it's a pig to cut straight lines in - just seems to crumble away no matter how sharp the kinfe. Is it standard 13mm thickness or something special?

Super job whatever the material. :wink:

Petermac



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Neil Wood
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Yes it's 13mm thick. It does crumble but it's not that crumbly that you can't avoid it if careful. It is easy to cut straight lines in but I often file it afterwards to ensure a flat surface where a flat surface is required. It tends to retain its intergity if the paper sheets either side are left on.

The type I am using is Gyprock which may only be available in Ozz. I'm not sure if this type is available elsewhere. It has a high gypsum content.



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Thanks Neil - I'd missed the fact that you keep both paper surfaces intact !!

I'll re-read before I put my foot in it again !!! Sorry :oops: :oops:

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Neil Wood
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Petermac wrote:Thanks Neil - I'd missed the fact that you keep both paper surfaces intact !!

I'll re-read before I put my foot in it again !!! Sorry :oops: :oops:

Petermac


No problem Peter.



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Neil Wood
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I have never been happy with my backdrops. There are many problems with them. Firstly I do not have the facility to print off one four metres long, which is a bit of a handicap. Secondly they are only A4 size and I would ideally like them higher. The other option is to paint a backdrop but I am definitely not Renoir or Constable. To date I have tried various backdrops which I have cut into sections and then glued together. My last backdrop on the front section of my Scottish section wasn’t too bad however I placed the horizon too high as I wanted o give the perspective of viewing it from a height. The problem there was that when it came to joining with the adjacent backdrop the water level was too high. So I dropped the water level and put in a new backdrop with more grey coloured water. More prototypical as they say.





Another problem here is that most glues come right through leaving the backdrop with large dark patches of discolouration. I resolved the glue thing by using a local equivalent of a Pritt Stick. This isn’t soggy and sticks well enough. The seams are yet another issue which can be hidden if low enough. I got round this by painting the sky and then gluing the town and sea onto the bottom part.

This was one of my mock ups to see how it would look if the water extended all the way round. This idea got canned. I brought the cliff in from the side and have topped it with wild moor grass. I’m not sure if I should have brought the grass all the way down to ground level though. A small pure rock bit might have been good. This scene shows the buildings and harbour scene as it now is.







There’s a visible join in the corner but I am thinking about using masking tape and painting over it to obscure it.

With the front backdrop I merged the land into the scenery by adding foliage. I made up a polystyrene strip with Siliflor and then Sea Moss tress and inserted it behind the dry stone dyke.








I also covered the other entrance to the harbour with a stone wall. Plasterboard of course. The harbour entrance will never be perfect because of the baseboard edge protruding however this improves it a lot.



So there we are. A backdrop I can live with.



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Wow!

The harbour is magic!
The glimpse of the white house beyond adds so much.
I'm very impressed with the distant headlands you have - one noticeably closer than the other. Both look great. So does the sea and the sky. Neil, you've done some marvellous work here.

I do wonder about that line of grass descending to street level. I tend to agree with you that maybe rock all the way down would be better. Would a strategically placed shrub help there? I do think that for the sake of representing distance, whatever you do there needs to be just a touch darker than the area beyond, and the grass does that, at least. I just don't like the line it makes.

Great stuff, though. I'd be proud to call it mine.

Mike

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Sol
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Good stuff Neil.

angled corners are a b***** to correct
& I do agree with yours & Mikes comment about grass down the rock edge, yes a bit too much!

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Neil Wood
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Thanks Mike. Thanks for the tip on the colour difference. I will try that. I will pull the Siliflor on the side as I am in doubt about it too..



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I think it looks excellent, my only comment would be to use sme white decorators caulk down the corner join, smoothed in then touched up with paint. If you use maskink tape you may loose the gap in the corner but end up with a seam down either side at the edge of the tape.

John
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Love the water in the harbour and the general harbour scene - excellent!

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Neil

You have made a superb job of the backdrops your idea of painting sky first then gluing the sea and other features aterwards has worked very well . I would agree the grass on the cliff face would only be on the upper part of the cliff so rock down the face would look better.

cheers Brian.W

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Neil Wood
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rjr wrote:I think it looks excellent, my only comment would be to use sme white decorators caulk down the corner join, smoothed in then touched up with paint. If you use maskink tape you may loose the gap in the corner but end up with a seam down either side at the edge of the tape.

John
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That's a good idea. I hadn't thought of that. I'll see if I can get some from Bunnings.

Thanks for the kind comments guys.

I've pulled the grass on the slope and it does look better.



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Lawrence
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perfect East Neuk scene Neil, spot on (but where is that chippie? :lol: )

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That backscene looks great and the harbour is fantastic

Lawrence :- You know what 'chippies' bring don't you

Bloody seagulls :lol: :lol: :lol:

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Neil Wood
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Kevr wrote:That backscene looks great and the harbour is fantastic

Lawrence :- You know what 'chippies' bring don't you

Bloody seagulls :lol: :lol: :lol:

Kev


There's plent of seaguls round the harbour. I may see if Prieser do seagulls and get some more.

The chippy will have to go up the top near the railway station.



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Gwent Rail
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Neil, the depth you've got into the harbour scene by showing some buildings on the backscene is excellent.
That last picture is surely a future header photo.

I go along with the comments about the grass strip and wait to see the reworked area, I'm sure it will be an improvement.

Re your quandry about what to use for glue on the backscene, I have always used a strong grip wallpaper paste and never had any problems (with a variety of differing papers)
I keep a small tub of ready-made in the railway room, which lasts for ages, needs only a small amount for each sheet I paste and is also useful for many other small jobs around the layout.

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Neil Wood
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Thanks Jeff. I am going to use the same process on my German city section so I will give the wallpaper paste a go there.

I'll try to get a photo of the degrassed slope and post it soon.



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Neil

I think your backscenes look very effective and are an improvement on what you had before. Where did the images of the buildings at the back of the fishing village scene come from - they look very convincing.

With regards to corners, one method I have seen, although not tried myself, is to use a strip of plain polystyrene coping. This is sold in DIY shops and is designed to soften the angle between the ceiling and walls in a house. The edges of this type of coping are ultra thin and should blend with the sky. Worth a look?

Bob(K)

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Novice wrote:Neil

I think your backscenes look very effective and are an improvement on what you had before. Where did the images of the buildings at the back of the fishing village scene come from - they look very convincing.

With regards to corners, one method I have seen, although not tried myself, is to use a strip of plain polystyrene coping. This is sold in DIY shops and is designed to soften the angle between the ceiling and walls in a house. The edges of this type of coping are ultra thin and should blend with the sky. Worth a look?

Bob(K)

Hi Bob,

the pictures came from a picture of Crail in Fife. The sea and land comes from a Photojenic backdrop.

Ill pop down to the local hardware store and see what I can find.

cheers

Neil



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Neil Wood
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While I was on the BRMA stand at Caulfield last Saturday I was demonstrating weathering models.  I took some old style private owner wagons and some new EWS ones too for a bit of variety.  I started to add the coal while I was there but I was making a hell of a mess and thought I'd better wait until I got home.  Here are the results below.











After adding coal to all these wagons I thought I'd better add some to the tender on the loco too.  The pretendy coal load in the 9f is very plasticy looking so it had to go.



The modern image ones came out quite well too however I ran out of coal after three thrall's.  They take a fair amount to fill.  ..and yes I did fill them up with polystyrene first.









The trouble with weathering is that once you start you pretty much have to do everything.  I will have to do my Class 66 next and then gradually everything else.



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MikeC
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I like those uneven loads, Neil, and some replaced planks too.

Mike

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While the layout is first class, I do like the second picture from Aug 26 collection.

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Neil Wood
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Thanks Mike and Ron for your kind comments.



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Time and talent well spent, Neil! Great pictures. My favourite detail is the faded lettering on the side of the wagons. Outstanding!

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As one of my favourite layouts on this site it is incredible how much you have achieved since your first post. I too very much like your weathered coal trucks on the viaduct. You are right - once you start weathering that's it, you have to do it all as the pristine items look out of place.

Bob(K)

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Neil Wood
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Thanks Tim and Bob,  I will have to weather an awful lot more now but at least I have found out how to do it now.

Cheers Neil



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I love those coal wagons, have to do mine when i get re strted on my new layout.

Phill



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Neil,
     fantastic job of weathering on those wagons.The pics on the viaduct with that dirty black loco look incredibly realistic.If we still had the header photo competition,that would run away with it!
    Excellent.

Cheers,John.B.

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Neil Wood
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georgejacksongenius wrote: Neil,
     fantastic job of weathering on those wagons.The pics on the viaduct with that dirty black loco look incredibly realistic.If we still had the header photo competition,that would run away with it!
    Excellent.

Cheers,John.B.


Thanks John B and Phil.  I hadn't noticed that the header photo comp had stopped.  I wonder if there is a way we couldstart that agin.  It was a bit of an institution.

 

Neil



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Neil,that whole scene looks great,the wagons spot on,as you say now they all have to be done.
:roll::lol::lol::cool:

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Neil Wood
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I have never really done much bird watching since child hood with a couple of exceptions looking at Eagles and Ospreys at home.  However there does now seem to be a dramatic increase in birdlife on my layout thanks to a Mr Prieser.  There are now Swans moving in on the Ducks and Geese.



Crows can now be seen uttering their guttural crawing. 





There are even birds of prey on the peaks. 



in the trees,



and by the roadside.



There are more seagulls.  There is a huge difference between the Langley ones and the Preiser.







Unfortunately most of what I have been doing of late is maintenance, track cleaning and reconnecting things for next weekends BRMA meeting.  This isn't particularly interesting or photogenic.  However there has been progress of sorts in some areas.

I used the Anita DĂ©cor bullrushes which are sold as cactus by International Models.  These are pretty good as water rushes and I have used them to obscure the area between a backdrop and the river.  What I would bring to any prospective users  attention is that they do actually seem to be small cactus type plants and have small fibres which get stuck in your fingers like fibre glass. My fingers have been nipping a bit all day since I did this yesterday.  They do look very good though so maybe wear gloves?






Siliflor ivy is very good.  Bit dear at five quid a pack so I have used it a bit sparingly at the front of the layout.  I am very impressed with this though.  I have used a bit on the city ramparts and on the Bavarian station.  I have also completed more ballasting and finished of the road to the station.  I will need to get some figures to complete this.  I am thinking epoch I so some period figures from Preiser will finish this section off nicely.





I finished off the wooden planked crossings and the base of the station.




I have also made a start into the turntable section.  I am trying to obscure this section with trees as the turntable is primarily functional for storage and not a scenic part of the layout.  Having said that it still has to look presentable so it will still be ballasted and sceniced.







I have also got into filming my layout now after doing a short to show the A4 sound decoder.  I may try to include this in future blog entries as it gives a three dimensional aspect to things.  Here's a couple of short films which offer a three dimensional prespective on the Bavarian part of my layout.










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:wowThere's so much to see on your layout. I love the birds, the made me smile. Preiser make such good quality figures. I MUST have some of those birds.
It's great to see such variety in plant life too, and the river looks sensational.
 Love the videos. It would take me a long time to tire of that sort of scenery because it's all so interesting!

 Mike

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Neat Neil, if the BRMA fellas turn there noses up, that is there fault.

 

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Cheers Guys.  I have some more stuff to come as I have been very busy of late.  Keep your eyes on the DCC section later today.



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Neil,
      Great little videos,this layout just keeps getting better and better.Love the birds and the fishermen! So much detail,and just so much 'joy',for want of a better word.Very,very inspiring indeed.

Cheers,John.B.

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Wonderful birds - love it!

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Great clickety-click, whistle and exhaust sounds on that last video.
cheers



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 Excellent layout Neil, the detail is superb, are you going to apply to be named as a bird sanctuary? :doublethumb :wow :doublethumb



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Truly marvellous Neil and a terrific layout with SO much to see. :doublethumb

I look forward to the video but although I have internet, it is more akin to dial up, so I have to be a bit selective with what I watch. Any chance you could hint at the running length of a video as you post it?:thumbs

Les



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Neil, truly you have a beautiful layout. So much to see. Those figures bring it all to life, too bad they have to cost so much. I guess it's just the price we have to pay to get the realism we seek.

Great job, and I really enjoyed those videos.

Wayne



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Thanks Guys for the kind comments. 

All the vid's are 1:10 to 1:30 so pretty big for download on dial up.

I may apply to be a bird sancutuary as even more birds have arrived.  Pidgeons and Doves.  These were so small I initially balked at putting them in but have now found a way to do it.  I'll take and post some photos when I get a minute.  Very busy at the moment as I have an army of model rail enthusiasts coming round on Saturday to inspect the layout.

 

In the meantime here's some more vid's

I am starting to do short films of my models now as I have got the hang of posting them on the internet.  I am trying to get an idea of what are the best perspectives and angles to shoot from.  This first set are taken from above the models at various angles.  These would probably give the impression of viewing from a bridge.









I've tried to do these from a few different angles to see what's the best.  The ones which follow are from track level and below giving a track side or platform perspective. 










Overall I think the best level is track level although below isn't bad.  Viewed from above doesn't seem as good though.

I think I want to put a bit more thought into where the trees are.  The autofocus seem to have gone for the trees and bushes instead of the loco and coaches.

Any thoughts?



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I doubt the autofocus would cope too well with moving trains even if there were no trees there.
Actually I like the views from the bridge just as much as the other viewpoints. They're all good videos - keep 'em coming!

Mike

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Neil Wood
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MikeC wrote: I doubt the autofocus would cope too well with moving trains even if there were no trees there.
Actually I like the views from the bridge just as much as the other viewpoints. They're all good videos - keep 'em coming!

Mike

Unfortunatelt because of the intended market for the camera it has no manual focus.  Often on my SLR I turn off the autofocus as I want to determine what is being focussed on.  My digital camera wont allow me to do this which is a pain.  I suppose at some point in the future I will have to get a Digi SLR.:hmm



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Wow you have been busy. You are posting faster than I can read your threads. The videos a really good, giving a great view of your layout. For me I prefer the low shots as i think they give a much more realistic perspective, however, the depth of view and getting the focus right becomes the challenge. With regards to your layout the shots of the green rushes reveal how very good the brickwork on the bridge supports looks - I like it very much. Your road crossing is just crying out for some lights and or gates. Wonderful stuff, thanks for posting it all.

Bob(K) 

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I really like the videos, I prefer low down or level myself the up high are what I would call helicopter shots !! The scenery as ever is stunning

John
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Neil Wood
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Thanks guys, I prefer the low level shots myself as this is how we usually see locos.



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Sol
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Neil, how was the layout received by the visit from BRMAers?

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Neil Wood
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Enthusiastically.  I think steam sound and scenery were the main features that everyone was taken by.  Few people here have DCC and those that do have very basic starter sets, so this would have been most people first exposure to a fully featured system.  I did get some interesting questions, "does the system stop automatically when there's a derailment"?  I wasn't sure if he was joking at first.

The main attractions were the new A3 by DCC concepts, the SWD A4 decoder, my modified 9F with sound.  The AD60 Garratt was very popular.  I did get away with running some German ouline; the Brawa BR06 so people could see sound and steam on a huge 4-8-4 loco.

I had my Turbostar with sound, the new Bachmann Class 24 with sound and a K.Pev P8 with interesting loads on shuttle lines.

People were quite interested in my scenics too and International models may get some orders generated by the meeting.  The Sea moss trees and Siliflor were popular products.

 

Damage to the layout wasn't too bad; broken fence, lost Pidgeon, Hawk on telegraph pole moved, few bushes knocked off.  Mostly easily fixable.

 

I found it quite hard to keep an eye on all the locos as well as field questions, of which there was plenty.  I was quite frazzled by the end of the day with so much going on.  One thing I did notice is that at other layouts people will take over and run trains whereas at my place no-one wanted to touch my system even when invited.  People were happy to have tours of the system screens and hear what they did but didn't want to have a go.  Wonder what that was about? Scared of breaking it or fear of technology?  Any way there was a lot of interest in DCC and sound.  Most seemed quite impressed.

 

All in all it was a good day.  A good time was had by all.  



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Glad it went well, Neil. I have heard of locos 'going walkabout' during open days

Mike

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Neil Wood
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I have to admit this was something I was worried about Mike. Didn't happen, either that or I have yet to notice!



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Neil Wood
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Of late I have been very busy doing scenic work.  I started on a new section of the layout mainly because I needed an unstarted section to demonstrate techniques for the Basic Scenics article.  The section I have now started on is the Highland station section.  This has a station (or will have) which will be at eye level and will require the best standard of scenic’s and detail I can muster.  My thoughts are a station on the Kyle line near Strath Carron.  The backdrop I will use shows countryside similar to that just inland from Strath Carron.  To define the partition between this section and the next I will use a large rocky cliff.

I started this process with the cliff section on the Scottish side of the bridge seen here.



As further detail was requested on the scenic process I then started a stretch at the end of the station (or where the station will be when built).  This is just at the left hand side of the bridge.



Continuing on from there I need to install embankments in the lower section, and in the upper section, make a three tunnel entrances or two.  I’ve made one tunnel mouth so far and some of the embankments.  Just really trying things out for size at the moment to see how they will look.

This is the piece of plasterboard I used as a basis for the cliff face. Biggest I have done so far.  I scraped a layer of skin off when carving the strata into this.  This explains the red marks you can see on it!



 I was watching the cab ride DVD for the Kyle line and along the line especially around Strome Ferry there are some pretty sheer cliffs composed of Lewisian Gneiss. I have coloured this to look like Lewisian Gneiss in this picture.



 Unlike many cliffs there will be no moss grass or anything growing out of the Gneiss as this rock erodes to make a very poor soil and doesn’t tend to have plants growing off of it. To be honest it doesn’t really erode much at all.  It’s strong stuff.  This is why little vegetation grows above it as there is often little soil and a lot of pooling of water.  Many of the plants which take root here are bog plants. 

However the embankments will support a variety of vegetation and I have been studying these for this section.  Also gave me an excuse to watch the Kyle DVD a few more times.

What I am needing for my scene is autumnal colours for the grasses.  I have started experimenting with Woodland Scenics Autumn grass however this is a long and tedious process laying down glue and cutting bunches of this to attach.  Looking at the size of the section I have, I could be here for some time before I get this done.





I’m also not that happy with the colour either too bold.  I need something more diluted.

I have ordered some of the Silflor Autumn grass to intersperse with the other moorland grasses.  If you look at the variety of colours on the backdrop; I need to match these colours with my scenery.  This will involve a degree of experimentation but should get there eventually.

I have installed a fairly lengthy backdrop for this part of the layout.  It will come between the rocky outcrop at the mountain section and the new cliff face I made.  I tried to reprint a new one however the colours weren’t as good as this one.  No idea why as they come from the same image.  So to cut a long story shot I pulled this one from a previous location and had to strip it of the backing and refix it here.  There was the odd tear however I can cover this with scenics later.  This was obviously a major job but I think it was worth it as this backdrop works better than many and fits the scene I wish to create.



The area at the back will have to get sceniced with lots of trees and so on.  This is how it looks at the moment.   I will have to get more of  those Heki fir trees kits. I think.



There will have to be a station building made at some point.  I am reviewing the various buildings on the Kyle line to see which to make.  I am currently thinking the Plockton one as it is made out of wood and will be a bit easier to make.  I haven’t made anything out of wood for a while so I do fancy this.





I also got some permanent way and British Railway workers to add to this scene.



Normally I have finished a scene when I write up my blog but this section will be lengthy and time consuming.  It may well take several months.  This is only the beginning.



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Marty
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Looking foward to seeing this come together Neil.
I agree about matching your trees and vegetation colour to that of your backscene, from my point of view, if they don't match then you are better off without the backscene.
The little wooden station looks grand and should be a fun build too.
Enjoyed the update.
cheers



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Great project Neil and it looks as though you are off to a fine start. I think the view in your second picture is very effective, with the back drop and embankment providing a feeling of real depth.

I am not sure what the original rocks you are trying to model look like, but a method I have seen used is to scrunch up some tin foil and then open it out again. Pour over some plaster and once set peel off the tin foil. This gives the effect of rough cut rock as found in cuttings etc.

Bob(K)

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That's great Neil - I hope your knuckles did not take too much of a scraping creating the rock!

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Neil, I like the different coloured clumps of grass, heather etc you have used here, can you remind me what they are please?

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thanks for the update Neil,this post should keep us happy for a while
you certainly have a lot to do.

:cheers;-):lol::lol::lol::cool:

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The layout is looking good, Neil. Enjoyed the videos. SWMBO wants to do an art gallery run to Melb soon. Maybe we can catch up. Cheers. Max



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Neil, could you explain how you did the purple flowers in the upper left corner of this picture? They look so real!

Wayne



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Neil Wood
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Christrerise wrote: That's great Neil - I hope your knuckles did not take too much of a scraping creating the rock!
Funny you should mention it but they're still healing up.



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Lawrence wrote:

Neil, I like the different coloured clumps of grass, heather etc you have used here, can you remind me what they are please?


A combination of different types of Silflor and Woodland scenics grass.  I'll give you more thorough information over the next couple of days.;-)

 
The layout is looking good, Neil. Enjoyed the videos. SWMBO wants to do an art gallery run to Melb soon. Maybe we can catch up. Cheers. Max
 

 

Sounds good Max, although I'd better let you know that all arrangements are tenuous at the moment.  My Wife's due in two weeks so we may have make that dash to the hospital at any given moment.  Drop me a PM nearer the time.

 

 

 






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Neil Wood
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Wayne Williams wrote:

Neil, could you explain how you did the purple flowers in the upper left corner of this picture? They look so real!

Wayne

Silflor Autumn moorland ripped into clumps.  Best Heather money can buy.  There will be more on this in the next couple of days.;-)



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Very gneiss indeed!
The bridge is a beauty, and what a charming station building.
Eager to see more.

Mike

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Oooh, a baby coming? Cool, congratulations and best wishes.

:doublethumb:Happy:cheers


Is it your first?


Can we have naming competition on the forum?
If it is a boy have you considered Isambard? :chicken :cool wink



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Neil Wood
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No Marty, it will be the second.  I don't know if it will be a boy or a girl yet.  It will be a surprise.  My wifes very fussy about names so I don't think a naming competition would be the go.



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Marty
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The way I did it too.... left it to chance and enjoyed the suprise. :thumbs

There is nothing as wonderful as the magic of the birth of your children.

I think we could come up with some great names...

OK, Isambard is a little out there but there is always...

Daniel (Gooch)
William (Dean)
George (Churchward)
Charles (Collett)
Fred(rick) (Hawkesworth)
Joseph (Armstrong)
Felix  (Pole)

:hmm



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Marty
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 Posted: Thu Oct 16th, 2008 02:02 am
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Christrerise
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If Isambard is too far out there then what about Kingdom instead? :twisted:

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 Posted: Thu Oct 16th, 2008 02:57 am
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Neil Wood
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Time for an update on my workbench.  Most of my work recently has been on my layout however today I did have to create a scenic item on my workbench first before fitting it to my layout.  I have started work on the rear section of my layout which is a Scottish Highland scene.  I have two backdrops of differring heights and needed something to partition them.  I initially did this cliff face however I thought it a bit too flat.



I then decided to model it on a real cliff face to see if that would improve it.  The cliff was to be made from plasterboard however this can be a bit two dimensional when used for large items.  I decided that three layers of ply would do the job and still fit into the allocated space of..an inch!

The cliff I am basing it on is this one from the Trotternish peninsula in Skye near the Quiraing.



This is the sheet of plasterboard with the rough outline drawn.  One metre long.



These are the sheets cut to size before assembly.



Here they are assembled with a first coat of coloured stain.



Some basic scenics added.



From here I have to fit it to my layout so suppose I had better continue over on the "on my layout thread".



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 Posted: Thu Oct 16th, 2008 02:58 am
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Neil Wood
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Continuing on from the "on my workbench thread" the picture below is the first instalation of the cliff face to see how it looks.



I then put a pile of grey pigmented plaster at the bottom to represent a pile of scree.  Sceneic s were added to the top too.




I will continue the bridge wall on the right angled bit but will start a fence after that to maximise visibility of the cliff face.  So this is how it looks at the moment.  I have still to properly scenic this bit I may also do more work on the cliff to make it a bit darker in some areas.  In fact I will as it has lightened up a bit since I applied the wash.






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 Posted: Thu Oct 16th, 2008 03:18 am
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Marty
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Huge improvement on the first "scratchbuilt" cliff Neil.
Agree that some more darkening and then highlighting will improve it further.
Rather than a far away cliff as in the photo from the train window, to me, it looks a little more like the blasted side of a quarry/cutting wall, which is perfectly acceptable IMHO in the situation it is in on the layout.
Either way it makes a good transition between the two backscenes.



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 Posted: Thu Oct 16th, 2008 03:45 am
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Alan
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Neil

I am really sorry but I have only just caught up with your thread, Great layout, and you have a brilliant touch for all the detail and scenic areas, also your photographs are top quality.

Just a thought about backscences in corners, have them on a bend, that way the view is constant.

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 Posted: Thu Oct 16th, 2008 04:32 am
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Lawrence
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Neil Wood wrote: Lawrence wrote:

Neil, I like the different coloured clumps of grass, heather etc you have used here, can you remind me what they are please?


A combination of different types of Silflor and Woodland scenics grass.  I'll give you more thorough information over the next couple of days.;-)

 
The layout is looking good, Neil. Enjoyed the videos. SWMBO wants to do an art gallery run to Melb soon. Maybe we can catch up. Cheers. Max
 

 

Sounds good Max, although I'd better let you know that all arrangements are tenuous at the moment.  My Wife's due in two weeks so we may have make that dash to the hospital at any given moment.  Drop me a PM nearer the time.

 

 

 




Don't worry about the baby, your good lady will take care of that, more importantly though, it is the Dundee show this weekend and I need to know what to look for ;-)

On a serious note though, I'm sure the thoughts and prayers of all on the forum are with you and your wife for your impending arrival, here's hoping all goes well for you (please give he \ she a good Scots name though eh!!:thumbs)

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 Posted: Thu Oct 16th, 2008 05:29 pm
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Neil Wood
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Lawrence wrote: Neil Wood wrote: Lawrence wrote:

Neil, I like the different coloured clumps of grass, heather etc you have used here, can you remind me what they are please?


A combination of different types of Silflor and Woodland scenics grass.  I'll give you more thorough information over the next couple of days.;-)

 
The layout is looking good, Neil. Enjoyed the videos. SWMBO wants to do an art gallery run to Melb soon. Maybe we can catch up. Cheers. Max
 

 

Sounds good Max, although I'd better let you know that all arrangements are tenuous at the moment.  My Wife's due in two weeks so we may have make that dash to the hospital at any given moment.  Drop me a PM nearer the time.

 

 

 




Don't worry about the baby, your good lady will take care of that, more importantly though, it is the Dundee show this weekend and I need to know what to look for ;-)

On a serious note though, I'm sure the thoughts and prayers of all on the forum are with you and your wife for your impending arrival, here's hoping all goes well for you (please give he she a good Scots name though eh!!:thumbs)

Sure will:thumbs



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 Posted: Thu Oct 16th, 2008 05:37 pm
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Neil Wood
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Marty wrote: Huge improvement on the first "scratchbuilt" cliff Neil.
Agree that some more darkening and then highlighting will improve it further.
Rather than a far away cliff as in the photo from the train window, to me, it looks a little more like the blasted side of a quarry/cutting wall, which is perfectly acceptable IMHO in the situation it is in on the layout.
Either way it makes a good transition between the two backscenes.

Yes it still doe look a little too two dimensional.  I had an idea which would lessen that though so I will give that a go.  As you say it does pass as a cutting so if I don't get time it looks ok anyway.



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 Posted: Fri Oct 17th, 2008 07:05 am
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Ken
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That's an ingenious way of making rock faces; I'll definitely be trying it! Incidentally, I presume this is OO gauge?
Ken.



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 Posted: Fri Oct 17th, 2008 06:01 pm
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Neil Wood
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Ken wrote: That's an ingenious way of making rock faces; I'll definitely be trying it! Incidentally, I presume this is OO gauge?
Ken.

Yes, however you could do this for any scale.



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 Posted: Sat Oct 18th, 2008 06:45 pm
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Gwent Rail
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I shoud mention at this stage (especially with all the interest in Neil's scenic work), that Neil has written a major new article (14 pages in MS Word) on basic scenics, which is lavishly illustrated with explanatory photos. He has kindly agreed to have it published on here and has sent it to me for that purpose.

So starting next week (and coming in at least 4 weekly parts) it will posted on here, whith a seperate thread for comments, queeries etc.

You'll love it !!!

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 Posted: Sun Oct 19th, 2008 07:13 am
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Trust me to be away when something like that comes on. Still, Jeff's the lad to take good care of it for us.



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Good luck with the baby, Neil.  Will he/she be the first?



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 Posted: Sun Oct 19th, 2008 08:00 am
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