End of 2017 Update

Hi all,

Yes, it’s been quite a while since the last update, but I have been busy!

I have pretty much concentrated on scenery work from Chilcott’s Ck through to Kankool, including shaping of scenery foam, applying scenery materials around the bridge and installing the front fascia board.

The pictures below show the results of foam carving and application of scenery ‘mud’.

Between this point in time and the next set of photos, the fascia was attached from the bridge towards Kankool.  I prefer to carve the scenery foam to shape prior to fixing the fascia in place.  Once I have the final contours shaped, some 3mm ply is cut to the required width to suit the highest point.  I have allowed around 80mm ‘drop’ below the bottom edge of the benchwork.  This will allow the fitting of curtains at a later date.

The piece of ply is held or clamped in position against the foam and a line traced against the scenery contour on the inside of the ply.  The ply is then removed and cut to shape with a jigsaw.

The shaped ply is then glued and screwed to the layout.

Next came the task of fixing the bridge piers in place.

The process was rather simple after much thought!! The bridge itself was placed in position on the abutments and held down with weights. Then each pier was checked for height to the underneath of the girders. Where required, some extra packing was glued down first. A gap of around 2mm was left between the top of the pier and the girder. Then the bridge was removed, a bed of Liquid Nails applied where the pier was to sit, then the pier was lightly pressed into the glue. The bridge was then placed back in position and weighted down again, pushing the pier into the glue. To make sure the pier did not sink into the glue while it was curing, small pieces of wood were chocked under it to make sure it touched the underneath of the girder. Each pier was left for at least 24 hours to allow the glue to set. The above sequence was repeated for the remaining piers.

As can be seen in the first photo above, I had to cut out a small section of the scenery between the first and second piers to allow access to the first pier, as it is partly buried in the ground. The small piece of foam has now been re-glued in position.

The pictures above show all piers in position and the bridge temporarily in place for checks.

The next task was to apply a base cover of scenery dirt around the bridge area.  Coloured grout was used and sifted onto the foam using a small container with an old stocking stretched across the opening.  A 3:1 mix of water and matte Mod Podge was brushed onto the foam, the grout applied and then fixed in position with the same glue mix applied using a fine mist spray bottle.

Then came the beginning of the fun stuff – applying grass!

I found some grass mat by Silflor and decided to use this around the bridge because it was going to be difficult to get the static grass applicator in close enough to the bridge piers.

The first piece was cut roughly to shape and placed in position for checking.  I made sure the edges were ‘torn’ rather than cut with scissors to avoid a sharp edge.

The area was then masked off and a spray adhesive applied to the foam as well as the back of the grass mat.  This was allowed to go ‘off’ to the point it was tacky and then the mat pressed into position.

The above picture shows grass mat fixed in position.  The edges and joins will be hidden by more grass later.

Before I could finish applying the scenery dirt around the entrance to the layout from staging, I had to install the end section of fascia and valance.  This proved quite tricky as it was a compound curve.  The pictures below show it fixed in position and some shots of the rest of the fascia towards Kankool.

Next came the job of detailing the grass mat around the bridge.  Various products from Silflor, Mininatur, Woodland Scenics etc were used.  Fake fur was also used for grass tufts.  It certainly takes away the ‘blandness’ of the original grass mat.  The remaining scraps of grass mat were also glued down on the other side of the bridge with the remaining area covered by 2mm static grass in a matching colour.

A base cover of 2mm static grass was also added to larger areas.  This will be later detailed with tall grass.

With the majority of grass work now complete around the bridge, I could now finish of the tracklaying either side of the bridge.  I had previously left over length pieces of rail attached to the bridge to transition to the remaining track.  It was just a matter of again sitting the bridge temporarily in position and laying more rail to meet up with the bridge rails.  More fishplates were also added to this section.

I also completed the missing track link between the bridge and the Up staging yards.

Now that the track was pretty well complete from the staging through to Kankool, I decided to give it a coat of Krylon Camo brown.  The surrounding areas were masked off and the track was sprayed.

A couple of shots of the bridge scene.  The bridge is still just temporarily in position at the moment, as I want to pour the ‘water’ in the creek before permanently fixing it down.  There is still quite a bit more detailing to go, but this can be done once the bridge is fixed in position.

Now that the track was complete from staging onto the layout, I added some fall protection to the short section there.


Well, that’s pretty much where the layout is up to at the moment.

This will be the last post on the blog as I have decided to create a Facebook page to continue to show progress on the layout.  Please check it out.  The blog will remain as an archive.

All the best to all my followers for Christmas and the New Year.


*** NOTE: As of 7 March 2021, I have decided to resume posting on this blog rather than on my Facebook page.  I will move all the content from the FB page back here in dated order.

Posted on Dec 9, 2017, in Chilcott's Ck, Kankool, Scenery, Trackwork and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. How about an update, Ian?

  2. Ian, well done on the bridge area to date. It looks like it is coming together well. Now I need another visit to come check it out in person. haha
    I will now swap to the FB site to continue watching your progress. Cheers and a merry xmas to you and your family.

  3. Ian

    There is one useful thing that you can do with a blog and that is turn it into an actual book. At least you can if you are on Blogger, maybe check with your blog web site. Chris would like me to do this and I suspect it may run into several books and the last one of course would be the tricky one as I would have to finish with blogging eventually.

    Ray P

  4. I too, agree with Ray. Facebook is filled up with things that are “here and now”, but basically full of drivel, and a great time waster. A blog is a record of achievements, and progress that others can inspire and learn from. By all means, post items of interest on facebook, but I get a lot more from a condensed summary via the blog post. By the way, I really enjoyed reading about your bridge .

    • Hi Rob,

      Thanks for your comment. As I said in my reply to Ray, I may still do blog updates but maybe only twice a year. I’ll just see how the Facebook page goes.


  5. Great to see the progress, Ian, you’be been very busy!
    Regrettably shortly after finishing the main part of the benchwork for Weddin Jct, my wife & I split up, so the layout is now packed away awaiting a move to permanent accom, hopefully next winter.
    All the best for Christmas & a successful 2018 on the Liverpool Range!

  6. Ian

    I was enjoying your post until I read at the end that you were changing to Facebook (I am following it). Facebook is a poor comparison to a blog as it is too much in the present and is difficult to search or scroll back to find a particular post.While I use FB it is too transitory to be of much use in documenting what you have done.

    Anyway good luck with it.

    Ray P

    • Ray,

      Thanks for your comment. Whilst I did start the blog all those years ago to act like a diary, I find that I never seem to get motivated to post on the blog, whereas on Facebook, I can post about something as I’m doing it. I agree that searching in Facebook is not so good, but I’m hoping it will be OK. Who knows, I may revert back to making blog posts, but maybe only a few times a year.


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