Langstead – Episode 19: Scenic Cheating

Last time you caught me in the middle of upgrading the scenery and rearranging the layout’s buildings and town plan. Coupled with the addition of a new road bridge, this brought depth and a better focus to the layout.

As scenery development continues, I still have one problem left to deal with…

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The act of adding a new outer oval of track has truncated my original level crossing (seen bottom right in the above image). This is further hampered by the height difference of the two baseboards. Whilst it’s still possible to model the completion of the level crossing over the outer oval it’s going to prove tricky to get it to look right. I thought long and hard about how to do this.. modelling plastics maybe, carefully shaping some strip wood perhaps.. but no stand out ideas emerged.

Then I figured, why not just cheat…

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So what if I just purposefully DON’T finish the level crossing! The process was cunningly simple.. Dump loads of earth coloured scenic-scatters to hide the height difference. Arrange spare Metcalfe paving slabs in an untidy manner. Add a few spots of unruly turf… The result makes the crossing look like it’s still under construction!

OR, if you’d rather, maybe the crossing did exist but it’s being repaired… Or maybe it’s been closed completely and is being torn up. You decide!

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To help complete the look I’ve added in some road work furniture…

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They’re actually German-image pieces but I don’t think they look too out of place in the British backdrop.

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Eventually I’ll add some workmen and a white-van would look great too.

Elsewhere I’ve been concentrating on filling in some of the missing scenery created by expanding the layout.

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The retaining wall above was made by weathering Metcalfe paving slabs and sticking them to a piece strip wood.

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Tufts of grass and weeds complete the look.

Incidentally I haven’t added ballast here on purpose. Remember this stretch of straight track overlaps the two separate boards… I’ve used ballast in the past near this overlap (in fact you can see it on the two tracks in the middle and background. However, as this track needs to be removable, it never quite looked as good as the rest of the layout. So I’ve held off repeating this process and will go about studying non-ballasted track in real life to see how I could alternatively model this section.

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At the other end of the layout I intend to stick a few more trees (like this one!) and the water tower seen above. Then green scatter will be applied to finish it off.

Stay tuned as always, more updates coming soon!

– Andy Carter

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