Monday, April 17, 2017

Loco shed for Evans Gap

The process of constructing and landscaping a layout, I've found, can be quite a fluid thing. When I was putting together the original ideas for Splitters Swamp Creek, I had fairly lofty ideas of what I could include in the design. As time has gone on I've changed some ideas and tweaked a few others, but overall I've stuck to the original concept.

Due to space restrictions I've had to alter some ideas, but I have found a little more room than I originally thought I had. In a previous post I put together some buildings with some new weathering ideas with the idea of creating a scene at the end of the layout. This was a complete departure from the original plan. The picture I had in my head for this area was well and truly out of scale. So it now resides elsewhere on a mates layout.

I reverted to the original plan that included some basic loco facilities. Those being a loco shed, coal stage, and a second goods shed. Once I'd made the decision to revert to the original idea things have started to move forward nicely.

I've began with the locomotive shed. The area that the shed occupies has meant that the baseboard has had to be altered to how I'd finished it for scenery work. Thats ok as like I said I need to keep the process fluid. I have worked out the footprint of the loco shed and the coal stage and they work in well. The coal stage has been finished and the scenery will be added to the base before adding it into the environment.

The loco shed has been a bit of a process to construct. I like to try and keep the timber to the scale sizes that were used in the original building, and also I like to try to copy my impression of how it would have been constructed in the real. I decided to build individual frames for each 'bay' of the shed, and then use a jig to hold each frame to then allow the studded walls to be added. In theory this would work. In practice it proved very challenging. A couple of photos here to illustrate.
 This first one shows the frame that I made up sited in the jig. These worked ok, but when added to the jig in the photo below and the wall detail added, they just weren't strong enough.
The individual noggins ( I hope that's the right term) had to be cut up in matching parts for bay 1,2,3, and 4. As you can see from the numbers on the plan.

It seems I'd forgotten a rule that I'd made up myself. That being that the model construction had to be as close to the original as possible, only as far as the resulting structure has to be strong and rigid enough to be self supporting. The building in the photos above was not.

So what now? Well I actually went back to online photos, whether they were from facebook or other sources. The result was an idea to construct the walls differently, and it seemed, closer to how they were, rather than the written plan. I need to be ready to restart something that just isn't working. Instead of flogging a dead horse.
Above you can see that I've constructed a whole side of the building over the plan. I did the same for the other three walls. I haven't discussed windows, so here's a photo update. I chose one as close as possible, however they are not perfect, but close enough I think. Those are the ones from tichy train group #8157.
With all four sides completed I joined them together and placed them on the layout for a mockup of that area of the layout. The coal stage is in the shot also. The base board has been trimmed since then to fit the space available on the layout.
Next has been the construction of the roof. I kept the original frames and removed the 'legs' to just have the truss. The jig is a simple one, but serves its purpose well.
Next is the addition of the smoke hood that goes down the centre of the building. This has been a little bit of a steep learning curve also, with a change of process on this as well. Basically it will be board by board as seen here.
That's where I'm up to today. It has been a challenging build, and not over yet by a mile, but enjoyable.
more progress soon.
Have a great week!

Sunday, January 15, 2017

More trees for Splitters

For a while now I've had a few trees half finished above the workbench. In the spirit of the New Year I thought it worth finishing them up. I also had a modelling night to attend a week ago, and the trees are something I can work on without much fuss whilst talking to the rest of the people that attended.

The trunk and branches are finished in the same way as previous trees, so I won't go over it again. I spent a bit of time painting the trunk and branches with a few darker brown colours, and then highlighted some deeper bark markings with a diluted black wash. It didn't take too long to do. I am finding that I tend to take too long procrastinating about a finish. This time I attempted to not go overboard on the finer details that no one can see anyway. I'm quite happy with the result, let me know what you think.
 Here I've finished the painting and I've applied a layer of flock to the branches with some matt fixative spray. The fibre I use for foliage is sprayed and the flock applied to it. Then I sprayed the tree and applied the foliage to it. A fair bit of trimming with scissors occurred then a final spray to seal it all together.
The finished tree is here. I have been looking at the photographs of willows that I've taken, and I'm not all together happy with the final colour. I've purchased some green acrylic to air brush on. I'll post some photos when I've completed the spray.
You can see the difference in colour when you compare the model to the actual tree colour, below.

As always I welcome your thoughts,
have a great week,

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Coal stage revisited

The start of the New Year had me addressing a few things on the modelling front. I spent a little time working out what conventions/shows etc I was going to attend this year (in a post on 'the Eugowra Branch', my other blog) and realised that I'd not posted an update on Splitters for a while.

Previously I'd shown you the top of the coal stage. Next was to build the mount for it. I want to be able to complete this project at the workbench so a base will be necessary also. The data sheet makes this job very easy. I used some dowel, and basswood and set about staining it before building, hopefully to make the job a little easier.

The stand is fairly straightforward, a simple jig to build each of the uprights
 Once all the uprights were built I installed them as you can see here.
 Then once it was all dry I drilled the posts and added the bolt detail. There are a lot more bolts present in the actual stage, but for the sake of my sanity, and what you can see I've only added them where they are plainly seen. 
 Out with the sculptamold to cover up about a third of my work. I wanted it to seem like it was part of scene not sitting on top of it. It also gives you a better idea of how it will fit into the scene. Anyone who has read some of my previous posts will see that the 'scene' of buildings for behind the stage are not there. I did enjoy working on them, but it just seemed too busy for a small layout like mine. I have a few other ideas for this area instead, stay tuned!
 The early coal stage was designed around the common D wagon, rather than an S. It has a smaller opening and needs to be set at a height compatible with this wagon. A trial fit in this location is seen here. The stark colour of the sculptamold will be covered up soon.
 A base colour is on the, well, base, now. I will build up the base  a bit with scatter and weeds, so that I don't need to get in there after it is placed.
That'll do for today. 
Have a great week!

Sunday, June 19, 2016

A coal stage for Splitters

Hi Everyone,
A little bit of progress on the facilities for Splitters. I've wanted to start this for a while. As I've said many times I enjoy working with timber and this project was a simple one to do on the workbench.
The Data Sheet available from Greg Edwards has two different types of stage and the 1900 one is the perfect one for my layout. There are a few different timber sizes, but basically the structure is the same for each design. 

I began with prestaining all the timber so that I didn't have to worry about trying to stain after gluing it up. I also prefer doing it first so that when it is built there are different colours to the timber that doing it after construction would be difficult to achieve.

I cut up all the decking timber first and had a pile to use. By laying all the decking down first I built this part from the deck down. So the bearers were glued on top of the decking timber and set aside to dry.

 Next up were the sides of the coal stage, one whole side and the other with a gap wide enough for a D wagon. This is one of the main differences between the two designs on the sheet was that the later design had a gap fitting much longer wagons, whereas the early ones were specifically for the shorter four wheeled D wagon.

I then simply glued the sides on and allowed it to dry. Then cut up the timber for the ends and installed them.
To help with holding the sides in place the universal jig, bluetac was put in place.
Once this had all dried out I did some light weathering on top of the deck to show some change in colour of the timber.
This photo shows up the variation in the deck before the addition of coal.
I've pre drilled holes in the timber uprights to hold the bolt detail, and they are being weathered as I write this.
Next up the base of the stage and there is a bit of cutting and sanding involved. So I'll leave it there for this post.
Have a great week!

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Constructing a new scene on Splitters, part 3

Hi Everyone,
I know, I know, three posts in less than three days! Let's just say I've a little ground to catch up on. Facebook and the few modelling groups I'm involved with do make it a bit easier to post quickly, but mostly it is about seeing what others have been doing for inspiration. So now a refocus on Splitters is more than passed time to happen.
Here's a photo of progress on installing the corro' iron on the roof of the shed. I tried to make it look like it had been added onto at a later stage, by laying the sheets differently and with different weathering pattern. The Woodstock is all basswood, I love this stuff! It stains so well. I've found a light sand between coatings enables a different result. It certainly removes any fuzz. There is another benefit in a light sand that being a big reduction in the shine that can be left when the stain dries. I also do it between paint colours to show some variation in patterns on peeling paint.
A shot from the rear before the paint goes on. I've used 'simply glues' wood glue as it dries quickly, even holding the metal iron in place.
I've posted this photo before but I've just realised its the only one I have at this aspect. Hopefully you can see the effect I was trying to achieve with the different weathering of the roof sheets.
I still want to have another go at the level of rust, with a dry brush of the grey of the sheets across the top of the rust, as the least rusted sheets rust in the low parts first. Does that make sense? Ok that's it for this project for a bit. Time to share how the other items are coming along.
Have a great week,