Saturday, October 21, 2017

Rainy Day - Let's Continue

Saturday dawns and it's rainy. Feel like rolling over in bed and staying under the covers and listening to the pitter patter on the awning of the drops of rain. But, I have things to do, people to see.

So read the news, drink my coffee and off to the model train club, the RMCQ, and chat with the boys and continue with my modules.

I decided I would finish the gooping of the modules today. First up I added a few more gullies and such and did a little more rasping of the modules. Then I mixed up another batch of Vermiculite, Gap Filler and Acrylic Paint.

The two small modules then got a good going over to give them the final shape I wanted with the goop. 

The larger Extruded foam module was the correct shape already and needed no touchup today with goop. So it was over to the blue Expanded foam module for a bit of a job as the foam beads were showing through quite badly as I'd done a poor job of rasping the other day. So I applied the goop with my artists spatula and really squeezed the goop down and got a pretty good smooth surface out of it. Here is before a good squishing:

And here it is after a good squishing of the goop into all the hollows and bead holes.

After all the goop was applied, the Expanded foam module looked like this:

So since no goop was required on the large Extruded module, it was time to add the track cork to it. I have decided this will be a dual track N scale module, so that meant a spacing of about two and one quarter inches between centres for the two tracks. Marks were made and then I  got out the 30 mm Seam Roller for pressing the cork down with, the Parfix Maxi Nails and Cork.

I cut the cork about 2/3 the way through every 20 mm or so to allow it to easily bend along the curve. You'll never see the cuts as the ballast will cover them all. I then put a bead of glue all along the cork and smoothed it out with a paint scrapper. Flipping it over and positioning it made it almost done. Then with the roller to smooth it all out and make sure no air pockets and bumps, it was down.

For the last bit of work today I mixed up the "other" goop - the goop without Vermiculite. This time I made it a bit thicker - about 1/3 water, 2/3 Gap Filler and a bit of kiddies acrylic paint. This I painted over all three modules I had Vermiculited today.

All tools were then washed up and put away and more gasbagging done before heading home in the arvo for a bit to eat and relax doing... whatever came to mind. AdiĆ³s.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Back to it !

So after the great Sunday modelling event, Model Railways for a Day convention, Scooter and I thought we'd complete a couple of the spare left over diorama modules. Scooter grabbed his and I'll play with the remaining two. So today I took them down to the club and started.

All I have done today on these two small modules is to carve them up with a box cutter knife a bit and glue a couple of small bits in place and a quick rasp over with my Surform tools. More on Saturday I think. Here are the before shots of the two small modules:

And here are the after shots from today of the small modules:

I will also fully complete the two large foam modules I used to show both Extruded foam and Expanded foam to the punters last Sunday. The Extruded foam is the yellow one here and the blue foam is the Expanded type. I have decided that the yellow Extruded foam module will be for a dual track mainline N Scale scene and the blue Expanded foam module will be a single track HO Scale line.

So the first of these modules worked on today was the Extruded foam one. Out with a box cutter and I shaped it up a lot as well as hoeing into it with the 150 mm and the 65 mm Surform tools. This gave me the rough shape I wanted. Here is the before and after shaping shots.

A quick check that 2 N scale tracks will fit properly in the right of way showed I was ready for the next step - putting up the gaps and making a few mounds to add to the shape of the hills. 

I mixed up my usual Vermiculite and Gap Filler mix with just enough brown kiddies acrylic paint for colour - Burnt Umber. 

With the help of  a paint scraper and my trusty artists spatula, the goop went into place and completed the hills nicely in my view. The module was then put aside for a while while I got into the Expanded foam module.

First up I used my rasps to shape the hills on this Expanded blue foam module to the way I wanted them. It is much easier shaping this Expanded foam compared to the Extruded which is a much tougher type of foam. 

So once the shape was right I then got out some cork for the base of the track and glued it down with Liquid Nails.

The Vermiculite goop was still viable, so a touch of water to keep it at the right texture and a pile of it got put to good use on this blue module. I didn't need too much patching, just enough to cover up any visible joins between sheets of foam and to add a smooth patch here and there as well as some small mounds. Filleting in the hills to the flats was also done.

With all the Vermiculite goop used up it was time to make another goop mix for use on both modules. This time it was the same mix but without any Vermiculite added. This will seal the foam yet leave a rubbery type film over it all that keeps it all together and can be modified with a knife later on if needed.

So in the end we have sealed modules in both cases, which were put aside to be worked on another day when they have dried - maybe Saturday I might be inclined to do some more work in between drinking coffee and gas-bagging with the fellas at the club..

Auf Wiedersehen.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

The Day of the Convention

After a partially sleepless night it was time. Time for the Model Railways for a Day convention.

So I loaded up the car with all the bits I needed for my talk and display as well as the modules Craig and I made the other day for all the punters heading to the convention. No room left for passengers, that's for sure.

We had all sorts of talks happening during the day as well as displays and discussions. Soldering, scenery, making trees, making dunnies (Scooter is good and making dunnies), research, spray painting, DCC, Ops, track laying, ballasting, static grass  and much more. It was a very full day for all.

Jim was there to show and talk about buildings and what great buildings he makes - master building this chappie.

Scooter, I mean Craig, was there showing building with styrene and ensuring everyone got a dunnie to build.

I was in the middle of the mix with baseboards for scenery and got to show off the various methods with my dioramas I built during the week.

Everyone got to take a diorama base of foam home with them to practice what they learnt.

Geoff was doing track laying and giving out some very good info - even I learnt something from him.

Kerrie was talking about making trees and wow, some of these the attendees were making after Kerrie show how, were great. Backdrops were also a specialty she was talking about.

Bob was there showing how to spray paint - he's good that fella is.

Ken was doing ballasting, always a wanted skill.

And you know what, I damn well forgot to get any shots of Martyn who was doing the DCC talks, Brendan who was doing Soldering as well as Arthur who did Operations as well as Making it Real and of course our Research King Mr Mewes.

I think I got everyone and I do know that the attendees did garner a great range of knowledge on the day and enjoyed themselves very much including we lecturers.

I'll leave you here with a view of Scooter yacking away in front of a rapt crowd.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Sowing the Seeds and Working on the Railroad

Friday saw me down at the club again working on my modules for the convention, as time is a tickin'.

I found that the grass was still wet, so I placed the modules out into the direct sunshine so that over time the warm sunshine will dry them out.

So today was time to plant some trees and lay a bit of track. I used a variety of trees, some were just cheapies that you buy online from China for 20 or 30 cents each. Others were some nice Pine trees from I know not where (maybe Woodland Scenics I think). Then there was the Woodland Scenics Fine-Leaf Foliage which I'd never used before - it has potential. Also for small stuff around the place I used the Woodland scenics Bushes and Clump-Foliage. 

So I laid out all my tools and stuff and got into it with of course my radio blaring away on 4KQ

So after drilling holes into the plaster and using an awl for the foam (much easier than plaster I can tell you) and fixing various trees into position with white glue, I then used the coloured foam Bushes etc to add in small details all over the place. Then it was outside for the modules to take in more of the sunshine we had on Friday.

Next I got the track laying gang out and laid some rails. I used Liquid Nails applied nice and thin to the cork and then pressed the track onto this. It is only a thin layer of glue and hence it dries nice and fast. Once I pressed the track down into it I placed some long sandbags we have at the club onto the track to hold it for a while to make sure it sticks. The sandbags are just 2 cm diameter material hoses a good members' missus made up for us and then stuffed with sand - think of draft excluders.

Once all four modules were done I got out a selection of various ballasts I had made a while back out of various gravels and slates and shale found in the area - hence free. I sprinkled it down and then shaped it with a small brush before spritzing on some water and isopropyl alcohol mix to wet it all down and then I dropped on some 50/50 water and white glue mix to hold it all together. Then I placed it outside in the sun to bake some more. After an hour it was hardening up nicely.

Then it was time for home and a relax and maybe a beer... or two.