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Wednesday, 25 March 2020
222 - Railway Project - Part 12

222 - Railway Project - Part 12

Hello everyone. I hope you are all keeping well with the current goings on in the world. Maybe I'll get around to painting some models....or not!

Anyway, my brother-in-law and I did mange to get a little bit more done to the layout before everything decided to go completely mad.

Now that we've got a lot of the groundworks etc done, we started thinking about little details. So first of all we have a bus stop, sign and bin. Metcalfe kit naturally. Nice and simple but will look good by the station.

Then we also have some benches. Again pretty simple to put together.

And they look very nice when they are complete. Not in need of much weathering either.

More benches! This time picnic ones.

Complete with umbrellas. Will look very nice by a certain building.

And finally a loading crane, complete with chain and hook.

Thank you for dropping by. Hopefully this has been a nice distraction from the world.

Keep safe and keep modelling!
Wednesday, 26 February 2020
221 - Railway Project - Part 11

221 - Railway Project - Part 11

Hello and thanks for visiting for Part 11 (!!) of the railway project.

Last time we got some ballast down, now it's time to start building on that detail.

Now it was time to start getting some flock and grass down. This is all from Woodland's Scenics, unfortunately I haven't got the specific code for which one's we used. The sidings and left side incline got a nice covering.

As did the right side hill. We also wanted to add some retaining wall to the siding on the outer loop. Our initial attempt was just a little bit tall.

And that was the same with the other end of the wall.

With a little bit of measuring and cutting, we got a nice height wall that scales nicely with whatever is in the siding - such as the Intercity shown above.

Not content with the one wall, we got to work building another by the main station. Only a low wall this time. Just something to stop cars or wayward pedestrians falling off the embankment.

The wall does extend all the way to the station itself. Here it is almost finished. Just a few more pillars to add so it doesn't look quite so odd.

And that's today's update done. Thank you for looking through the latest update.

Keep an eye out for more and a big announcement!
Tuesday, 11 February 2020
220 - Railway Project - Part 10

220 - Railway Project - Part 10

Hi everyone! Thank you for dropping in for Part 10 of this railway project. Still no name for the layout-  I blame my brother in law!

Today's update will be about ballasting! Exciting isn't it?

We actually decided to do a test of our ballasting on a small section of track before diving into the whole thing. The process we used is one that's tried and tested by railway modelers:
- pour the ballast on the track and be happy with how it lies, so not covering the sleepers completely

- mix water and PVA glue 50:50 and add a little bit of washing up liquid
- apply to the ballast using a syringe
- leave to dry for a minimum of 24 hours

Here is our test section once fully dried. Not too bad. With a bit of weathering it will look a lot less clean.

So we cracked on and did more ballasting on the inner loop.
And even more ballasting on the sidings on the inner loop. This section looks quite impressive and has enough space for some little scenes going on.
And ballasting in front of the station which really does look good. Starting to look like a railway now!

The weathering will be done using washes and possibly the airbrush to just add grim just to make the ballast look less like it's come fresh out of a packet.

Thanks for taking some time to view this update. Stay tuned for more!
Tuesday, 28 January 2020
219 - Railway Project - Part 9

219 - Railway Project - Part 9

Hi all, thank you for taking a look at Part 9 of the railway project.

I think that now we are on part 9, I can't keep listing the previous parts so you will have to look through the archive at the bottom of the page if you haven't seen them before, sorry.

In the last update, we had laid down a load of fine fill to create roads and texture and generally make the layout look like more than some insulation board glued together.

Having laid the fine fill, we then went about removing it. Only small amounts though. Using the buildings and platform as a template, we removed the fine fill that would be underneath. This then means that the platform sits a little lower than the landscape, making it look less plonked in place and more part of the scenery.

The same was done for the rural station on the inner loop. A Stanley knife and scraper were the only tools needed.

Station back in place and looking less like it's floating above the ground.

Across the back of the layout, by the viaduct, we wanted to add some retaining wall in. Unfortunately, the Metcalfe retaining wall kit isn't the same height as the Metcalfe viaduct. Whether this is a genuine mistake or the kit is designed to not work with the viaduct, I have no idea.

So we added a block of celotex underneath the retaining wall to give it the right height.

And then started to shape the celotex to look a little less like a big concrete block. 

Then it was time to go back to coloured fine fill to blend everything in together.

Even more fine fill! 

And this is how the layout is looking at the moment. Pretty much all of the celotex has now been covered with our makeshift landscaping material.

Our next challenge is to start ballasting the track and getting some flock and static grass down. Wish us luck! And thanks again for taking a look.
Monday, 23 December 2019
218 - Railway Project - Part 8

218 - Railway Project - Part 8

Hi, it's time for part 8 and I think it's about time my brother-in-law and I came up with a name for the layout, I can't keep calling it "The Layout".

If you're interested, the previous posts can be found here:

Having rescued the layout on the last post, we could finally start cracking on with the landscaping.

Filler mixed with green paint first to give a good base colour, cover up joins and add some ground texture.

Quite a large section to cover and blend into the base board.

The base colour becomes a bit more "earthy" as you come round to the main station area. We tried to keep this smoother with the buildings being on here.

More green filler was applied in the far corner and along the top edge of this section.

The nice smooth filler continued down the ramp that we added in as a transition point.

And the green continued in the top corner here as well.

We are planning on creating a road that will run from the main station, down the ramp to the inner loop station and beyond, so this area received some dark grey filler to create a more industrial base.

And the road will also continue through the viaduct.

Finally we used the earthy filler to block out nay spaces that hadn't been touched, such as the large blank space on the opposite side of the inner loop.

Thanks for reading through and again wishing you all a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
Friday, 13 December 2019
217 - Railway Project - Part 7

217 - Railway Project - Part 7

Hi and thanks for visiting for Part 7 in this ongoing project.

Previous posts can be found here:

The last update was all about the buildings that will be added to the layout. Todays update is about the layout itself, and a minor problem we encountered.

When I say minor problem, what I actually mean is a major problem that meant we had to remove around a third of the outer loop from the board. The cause of this major issue was the angle of the inclines. We calculated the ratio of the incline before we started and then based everything around it. Track was added and then we tested the incline. However, we only tested the incline using a little 0-4-0 shunter with one carriage. The shunter worked fine, but when we started using the larger locos, they would not go up the slope.

So drastic measures were needed. The first of which was to remove the track from the offending areas and safely secure it before commencing repairs.

The repairs came in the form of an inch thick sheet of polystyrene. We had checked that this would decrease the gradient enough for larger locos to make their way up.

The inclines then got hacked out for the track to be raised.

And the curved sections were raised too.

The blank spaces were filled in with celotex.

Polystyrene was used to create the landscaping for the new sections.

The process was repeated on the other side. The siding was also raised, but has a slight downward slope away from the main loop.

Minor disaster now over. We used some grey tinted fine fill and relaid the loop.

Now it was just a case of trying to blend the new sections into the original base. We're so lucky that celotex and polystyrene can be cut and shaped. It allows us to add in the ramp on the right side and attempt to cover up our mistake. However, it's all a learning curve and this is only the second layout we've done and the scenery is a bit more complex than the first.

Thank you again for stopping to check out the update.

If I don't manage to get another post out before Christmas, I wish all of you and your families a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!!

Wednesday, 27 November 2019
216 - Railway Project - Part 6

216 - Railway Project - Part 6

Hello everyone, thank you for taking a look at the latest update.

If this is the first time you've dropped in, the previous parts can be found below:

Today's update is going to be about even more Metcalfe card buildings. This one is quite picture heavy so have fun.

At the front of the layout will be the main station and that station will have some platforms which will be made from the Stone Platform Kit PO235. 

To create the platforms, a template of blank card is used, which is at the top of the above picture. This then allows you to attach the pavement sheets and cut them to the right shape and size. A front wall is attached and then the triangle supports are added as shown above.

This method allows you to create a platform of any length and also add some shape to the platform too. For example, if you have a platform on a curve, you can cut that curve out.

The rear retaining wall is added at the rear of the platform section to stop scale people falling off. This section is for the outside of the loop and is the largest single platform section.

Finally, stick on paving slabs are added on the edge to make the platform appear more realistic. This piece is for the opposite side and will have the main station building with it.

And this small section will go on the other end of the main station, as it comes wit a piece of platform already attached.

Here is the beginnings of the main station. This is the Mainline Station Booking Hall kit PO320 and really is an imposing and impressive building. You will have to wait for photos of the front of the building due to some glue issues.

You can however see the finished back of the building, with canopy and platform attached.

The large section of platform isn't going to be completely empty. We have built the Island Platform Building PO322 for this side, make use of many clothes pegs.

For a smaller kit, there is still a lot of detail and the above pic hopefully gives you a bit more of an idea of how these kits are constructed.

With the windows and roof added, we have a nice little building to add something more to the platform.

With having two platforms, we needed a way for people to get across the tracks. Enter the Footbridge kit PO236. This one was tricky to find a few months ago as there appeared to be a stock shortage, though they may have been updating it at the time of looking. The kit is made up of two stair sections with some nice window detailing.

There is then a central span, which can be cut down depending on how big the gap is that you need your bridge to cross. You can also combine the kit to create a bigger footbridge with multiple stairs if needed.

Here is the completed footbridge, ready for people to walk across to get to the other platform.
Every layout needs a signal box, and this one is no different. So we've got the PO330 GWR Signal Box. May not be completely accurate for the locomotives we'll be running, but this isn't a replica of anywhere in particular.

Unfortunately, we forgot to get the interior detail kit for the signal box which gives you signal levers and a fire place and other little bits. The kit still looks awesome and will be great on the layout.
Finally, there are a couple of buildings to be added to the hilltop. On the left is a workers cottage and on the right is the more impressive farm house. These come as a set in the Manor Farm House kit PO250. Unfortunately there are no WIP shots of these, but they will add some nice detail to the hilltop.

Cheers for taking the time to scroll through this update, there is a lot more to come.
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