Friday, November 17, 2017

I'm now Retired - So let's Work

With the plug now pulled on my working life, it is time to start on the rest of my working life - my modelling work.  Now, continuing on with the dioramas I've been working on, the other week I did some more with them and laid cork on the two small modules.

First up it was out with the Surform to rasp off any glue or crap that was on the area where the cork was to go - the flatter the better.

The I got out the cheap version of Liquid Nails, the Maxi-Nails from Parfix. A thin bead was laid down, then smeared out with my trusty paint scrapper. The cork was then laid into place and squashed down nice and flat using the Seam Roller.

Next I got out some grey paint, I think a primer of some type, and gave the cork a lick of it to seal it a bit. I know, not necessary, but I like to seal it as it will allow me to get the track off easier should I ever want to in the future.

And that was it for a very slack day indeed. But I talked a lot of crap with the boys at the club and drank lots of coffee, so all in all it was a great day... Not having to go to work ever again, didn't hurt either !

Last Saturday, besides drinking lots of coffee and yakking with the boys (I do this a lot if you hadn't already guessed) I got out the Dremel moto-tool and hacked into the modules. I needed to carve the two larger ones so that there is a drainage ditch down either side of the track. So a sanding drum was mounted to the tool and a pile of small foam beads and dust was created so that my ditches were as I wanted. 

I couldn't carve drainage ditches on the small modules as the cork was directly laid onto the ply baseboards, but as I am making them out of the way branch lines with the track almost laying on the natural ground, the cork will suffice for enough elevation above the surrounding ground level. OK, it would be hard work and I'm a slacker, that's why. But I still like my branch line excuse.

Once I had finished making a foamy mess around the place, I decided to add some highlights to the cuts and crevices in case they show through the dirt later one. Some water based colours of slate grey and a light grey were made up into a watery wash and painted into the crevices on three of the modules - one is a rolling hill type so didn't need it.

So that brings us up to Wednesday of this week. So I continued on the modules by first sealing the drainage ditches with a lick of gap filler, colour and water. This just makes sure that when/if I use any foam eating glues or such while doing the drain scenery, that the foam is protected. You could also use a mix of white glue, colour and water, but I wanted a bit of texture and gap filling qualities, hence my gap filler mix. I mixed up the three ingredients nice and sloppy and brushed it only fairly thinly.

Now for some more mess all over the place - dirt. It was time to put some earth all over the modules so that the grass can grow later on. I used my own home made dirts that I had sifted a while back. 

I had a dirt from the creek out back (dirt coloured of course), a dark red, a light red and a slate as well. I mixed up a batch of glue by getting normal 'ol white glue (Aquadhere indoors PVA wood glue) and water and mixing it up about equal parts. This is pretty much the magic percentage for the scenery glue I use on all things from dirt to grass and ballast etc. There are a few drops of dish washing liquid in there as well to help break the surface tension.

In between doing halves of each module, I plonked them outside to soak up that lovely Queensland sunshine and mild breeze. It sure dried them fast. So now all the modules are up to the same level of completion, ie plowed.

Here is my workbench at the club at the end of my mess making and before my last cuppa before heading home to read train mags and maybe a cold one or two - I deserve it I reckon, as this retirement thing sure is very hard work !