I have recently started applying dirt and ballast around the turnouts at the Werris Creek end of Kankool. The picture below shows the initial application prior to gluing. The ballast tends to darken once glued, but I have been going over it again, once dry, with either pastels, grouts or dirt to lighten up again.
The section of track curving away in the upper right hand corner is the “run-off” from the loop on the falling grade. It is essentially a catchpoint protecting the main line. This short section will be modelled as overgrown with grasses and not much ballast.
Sleepers and rail have been weathered using pan pastels. The track has previously been sprayed with Krylon Camo Brown, and the pastels take to it nicely. In the picture below, you can see the difference between the weathered and non weathered section of track. You can see the difference in the rail colour at the extreme left.
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.
Since the last post, I have continued with the laying of rail from Kankool towards the bridge at Chilcott’s Creek and also for a couple of metres towards Ardglen.
This had come to a bit of a standstill due to me running out of the 3D printed fishplates a couple of months ago, but I have since come up with a new plan to allow tracklaying to progress independent of my stocks of fishplates.
I have started to paint the non-viewable side of each rail with the Krylon camo brown prior to fixing to the CV ties. There is no need to have fishplates on the non-visible side of the rail. That being said, I did fix them to both sides of the rail on the main and loop roads at Kankool, but only realised it was a waste after the fact! Once the half-painted rail is fixed down, I will then go along and glue the fishplates to the viewable side of the rail and then spray the whole track, including the CV ties, with the Krylon. I think this will aid in colouring and weathering the CV ties later on.
Over the last few months, in between other jobs, I started to glue down copious amounts of the XPS yellow foam in readiness to begin shaping the landform in the section from Chilcott’s Creek and through Kankool.
Apologies for the long time between posts.
Since the last post, I have completed the trackwork at Kankool, which included completing laying of the CV tie bases, fixing down the two turnout assemblies and gluing rail to the CV ties.
The above pictures show both the Willow Tree end and Murrurundi end turnout assemblies now fixed in place. Prior to fixing down, they were carefully washed in soapy water to remove any solder and flux residues, then painted with the Krylon flat brown paint. I’m hoping it will provide the same flat base to allow for weathering later on.
Once the turnouts were in place, I could start laying the rail on the plain track sections. The process is the same as was used when I laid the first section of CV ties and rail in the Temple Court section. Refer to this post as a reminder. The only difference now is that I am painting the rail with the Krylon prior to fixing in place.
Another extra task that is being done prior to painting the rail, is to add cosmetic fishplates. I did not do this in the Temple Court section, but they will be added to the rail later and touched up with paint.
I am using 3D printed 6-bolt fishplates from Ray Pilgrim. There are superglued every 40 scale feet along the rails.
They are a bit hard to see in the picture above, but I am hoping once the rail is weathered, they will stand out more.
To finish this post, below are a couple of shots of the finished trackwork looking from each turnout.
Recently, I decided to have a go at weathering a couple of my Auscision Models 45 class locomotives.
This all came about some time ago after I had opened up one of the models to determine what was going to be required to change the wheelsets to RP25/88.
A problem I found was that the half axles are shouldered, and would not have been easy to replace the wheelsets without drilling out bearings. After a number of weeks just sitting on the workbench, and pondering the NMRA Fine:HO standards, I decided to leave the factory fitted RP25/110 wheelsets in place, as these will operate on the new standards. Also, locomotive wheels are virtually hidden behind their sideframes, so the tyre tread width is not very noticeable.
So, having decided to keep the 110 wheels, and before putting the loco back together, I thought it was an ideal time to do some weathering.
The 45 class model comes apart relatively easily. The couplers are removed, then the four screw retaining the one piece body which reveals the chassis and motor.
The sideframes are amazing pieces of engineering, resulting in a highly detailed copy of the prototype. They also are very easily removed from the bogies.
The bogie keeper plate also unclips easily exposing the drivetrain. The wheelsets were re-gauged to the new back-to-back measurement using a new gauge obtained from DCC Concepts.
The weathering process involves using artists’ acrylic crayons ground into a fine powder then sealed with isopropyl alcohol after each application. The crayons are the Conte brand and were sourced from Art Scene. The technique was shown to me by good friend and fellow weathering artist Aaron Denning.
The photo below shows a locomotive separated into its main components, ready to start the weathering process.
The chassis is then masked off to protect the electricals and motor. The chassis and bogie sideframes are then painted with Krylon camouflage flat black and the body is sprayed with a matt clear coat. I have used Tamiya flat clear.
The sideframes and chassis are then treated with various colours of the powdered crayons, working from photographs to get the desired result.
Again working from photographs, the body is treated in a similar manner. An all over dusting is done to tone down the factory colour, then black is applied to the roof. In the pictures below, 4507 has retained the crew and had the windows opened, as it will be a lead unit. 4531 has had the crew removed and windows left closed as it will be a trailing unit in a consist. To do this, the cab needs to be removed and with a bit of delicate poking, pulling and pushing, slides right off the body. This was actually done prior to hitting with the matt finish so the cab interior gets done.
The following shots show the two completed models.
The last picture shows the inspiration for 4531.
That’s two out of eight done!
Work has progressed on the bridge over the last couple of days.
The bridge spans sub-assembly was washed and then some girder support pads were fixed in place at each of the girder section joins. These polyurethane castings are made from my own patterns.
The bridge was then sprayed with Krylon camoflague matt brown paint. This is a super flat finish paint that a mate introduced me to and is used as a base coat to accept weathering powders. More details on these later.
The spray went on very nicely and didn’t hide the rivet detail at all.
The photo below is the look I am trying to achieve with the weathering to come.