Langstead – Episode 18: Regeneration

So this is where we are up to. The new outer loop is fully operational, albeit with some scenery still to be completed. The layout now has capacity to run 3 trains and is controllable from my desk.

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It has long been my intention to add in some ‘height interest.’ Let me explain… If I was going to start again from scratch I’d hide half the layout behind some scenery, a wall or hill perhaps. Trains would disappear behind such a wall and reappear elsewhere which would look visually more realistic than being able to see the full oval. This after all is how many modellers design their layouts. Continue reading

Salford Chapel – Episode 4: More Visual Updates

Some further updates on the Salford Chapel layout:

To the left of the road bridge I’ve completed the laying of scenic scatter. The only area remaining in need of scenic scatter is seen to the right of the signal box (above top). This is because I’m waiting to add some maintenance steps on order from gaugemaster. I’ve added another small patch of painted road next to the headshunts, this plot also features a small shed with some wire drums stacked next to it. (See bellow).

The above shot shows the ‘main line’ diverging away into a ‘tunnel’ to the right and, looking back on Episode 13, heads towards the Manchester Central lines… In reality it heads towards the fiddle yard/track. The footpath providing access to the station from the road bridge has been fitted with a wall. 
I painted some cheap strip-wood from Modelzone, (which proved very easy to cut – you only need a Stanley knife!), and painted them using some matt grey model paint. Similar to the type pictured above. Miraculously the colour I chose was exactly the same as the girder bridge! Win!

Another shot showing the ‘main line tunnel’ and footpath linking to the steps.

I’ve added two semaphore signals, the one on the right is a station starter for the main or right hand siding; the one on the left services the headshunt.

They both formally started life like this Hornby example (above). I dismantled the top half and tried to glue it to the side of the footpath wall. The glue wasn’t strong enough so I dismantled it further and attached the signals individually to the girder bridge. An offcut of the signal support has been used as a ‘support’ for the footpath bridge. (See above).
The reverse shot showing pedestrian walkway towards the station. You can also see the area above the signal cabin which still needs some scenic scatter adding. I am wondering if the station starter semaphore (left) may be slightly too high and ‘out of scale’ with the rest of the model, particularly compared to the car pictured… Perhaps I will move it down eventually.

This shot better shows what I mean, it just looks too high doesn’t it!?

Anyway, similar to the footpath, some painted stripwood has also been added to the rest of the road bridge.

Another nice shot under the bridge.

Back in the station a wagon is loaded with two wire drums (Bachman) and some milk churns (Hornby Skaledale range). Some additional churns sit on the station. There are no shortage of wagon loads on offer in model shops, but you could also consider this neat little idea, showcased in Episode 9, for making your own.
The reverse shot from the station looking at the signal cabin. Come back soon for some more updates both on Salford Chapel and my Main Layout!

Salford Chapel – Episode 3: A Visual Update

So now it has a name I can update you on how it is taking shape…

As you can see I’ve added some grass scatter. You can check out my Main Layout blog and in particular This Episode to see my technique for adding scatter.

I’ve added some thicker clumps by the buffer stops and using my finger and some glue, smudged some scatter into the ballast to add to that authentic track-side vegetation look.

I’ve also painted on a roadway. I’ve actually used a Dulux tester pot in a matt grey finish. Now of course you can pick up proper model paints – and I have got some for smaller areas which will pop up in future episodes… However, for larger areas consider getting a tester pot from your local hardware store, you’ll get more paint for your money, it drys super fast (or at least this one did) and at the end of the day it was very easy to wash off your bush! It also provides a really nice finish! 
In the background you’ll notice the bridge now looks, well more bridge like…
These are plastic Peco Bridge Girders and I picked these up from a couple of quid at John Dutfield in Chelmsford, but I’ve since seen they are pretty common and pop up in modelzones too. You’ll also notice I’ve laid some tarmac, this is the Noch stick on roadway stuff left spare from my Main Layout
For the red-brick-Manchester walls I’ve simply used sheets of printed pattern. Again, picked up from my favorite model shop for a few pence. To apply the sheets to the wood I created a very watery PVA mix, wallpaper paste like, and this worked perfectly – although it was ever so tricky to stick into place, especially under the bridge. You could of course consider printing your own, or even painting, but this method really is very cheap and easy to achieve something very aesthetically pleasing. I would however recommend sticking the texture sheets onto the wood first and then assembling any structures 2nd…
This is exactly what I did for the rear station walls. Was so much easier! 
Again, this wood came from the B&Q wood yard, but I’ve since seen that even Modelzone at Westfield’s stock strip wood similar to this. Theirs is much flimsier but on the flipside – much easier to cut! 
This close up shows the pre-printed texture sheets come with a finish at the top. The figures are from Noch.
I also came across a plastic stair case pack. This may be harder to come across in Modelzone or similar so I’d recommend your local model shop or the gaugemaster website. I’ve trimmed to size and will eventually paint for a nicer finish.
And there we have it! More updates soon!