Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Side Tracked Again - Damn that HO Layout

I keep finding myself drawn to working on it at the club. So over the Christmas break I got approval from the head layout coordinator and got out there and painted all of the track. I even roped in John Bushell at the club to paint the large fiddle yard as well. It took almost a whole day to clean the railheads afterwards!

This is the left hand end between what will be the silo sidings on the left and the small fuel depot sidings on the right.

Also on the working list has been to add some more 3 dimensionality to the area I have been working on. So the other day I got out the saw and cut out some bench surface, dropped in some support beams lower, and screwed the plywood back at this lower height - 68 mm lower in fact. On Saturday morning I added in some polystyrene foam (the beaded type) to allow me to carve in a creek or two and maybe the edge of a river. I also added some height above the deck. I think I'll start doing this on some other parts of the layout as well, as it is coming along well and give a bit of nice variety in height to the scenery.

Here we see a hill I have added and the beginning of the dropped deck area. Centre of picture you can make out a drainage ditch coming from the mainlines and heading to the edge where it meets the bend in the river.

Today was spent with my trusty Surform tools carving the foam up and giving it some shape. It sure makes a heck of a mess with little beads flying every which way. After the mess was vacumed up it was time for the trains to run being noon at the club - but it didn't stop me getting out three caulking guns worth of No More Gaps and some brown acrylic paint to mix in it so as to coat the foam to stop it beading and to give it a good rubberised coating for strength. I find this a bit better than using plaster and chux cloth, as I can easily modify the scenery with a sharp knife and planting trees is a breeze.

Full view of the work, with some temporary building in place and a tree on each hill.

I also filled in the gaps between layers of foam and holes I had, with the same mix, but with a pile of foam beads. These beads are the result of putting in scrap bits of foam into the Black & Decker Blender. A handful of sawdust as well and I have what I call my special filler/putty for working on foam scenery. This I have smeared on and in all holes and joins that didn't look too natural. It also gives a good rough natural look once spread around on the foam.

Bit of a view back down the other direction and a train sneaking past in into the view.

So at least I left the foam looking like it is meant to be there and we can now see better where we are heading with this scenery on this peninsula. I have a few more ideas for it and will add a few drainage ditches around the place to give little scenes of 3 dimensions here and there.

Full view, this time without a train.

Oh I should mention that one of the newer members, but not new to the game, is a fellow Tuesday Nighter and now RMCQ'er - Barry Petersen. Well Barry has become part of the crew and is helping me out with the scenery from now on. I gave him the ugly job of getting down under the layout today to open up the hole at the base of the peninsula so that a bit more than just a hand will be able to be put up inside the mountain for if ever a train derails in the mountain. With this almost complete, Barry and I will be able to add in the mountain face on the other side of the peninsula where we already working on. We can then continue and add in some scenery at the back of the layout from the peninsula through to the beginning of the yard at the station. John Bushell will also give we two a hand along this section as well.

We are also thinking of what to put in at the river to get that started and contoured to give some shape in that region of the layout.

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