Friday, June 30, 2017

Locomotive shed update

There has been some changes to how I've constructed the loco shed. Previously I had been constructing the shed bay by bay, unfortunately this meant the structure was not strong enough along its length to be self supporting. If I'd built it from the base up it may have worked, but this would have slowed up construction much more and brought with it other issues. A rethink, and a restart of the project was required.

So the new version has a top and bottom rail that runs the length of the building, thus meaning each of the four sides can be constructed on the plan separately then joined together. The resulting sides are much stronger and we're faster to build. I moved on to the roof trusses and made up a simple jig to hold them all in the correct  alignment.
 The four sides have been glued together, and can be seen here set on the baseboard, but not fixed down yet. I still need to build up the ground to sleeper height, and add the inspection pit.

I tried using a new product from Riot Craft stores for the floor of the shed. It is an acrylic paste with a fine texture in it. My thought was to then add some paint on this surface as the floor of the shed.
You can see in these few photos how I've put down the floor of the shed. I've left the edges free of the flooring so that the base of the walls sit on the balsa base. The rails are contained within the flooring and the surface slopes down away from the rails so that locos can run into the shed without the risk of not running back out.

 The paint of the floor is called blue bitumen from Modellers Warehouse. This paint really goes along way with plenty of coverage from a small amount, well done Dave!
I've installed the buffer stop that I had located on the end of this siding, and as in the
plan it's half in/out of the shed.
You can see here the main structure mounted on the base. From here it was onto glueing on the corrugated iron. Not a favourite job of mine that's for sure.

Here's a progress shot to show how I've glued the sheets on.

The shed has been set on the layout and I've begun the landscaping around it. This has been a longer build than I expected, but I'm happy with how it's come together. Those of you who've read previous posts would have seen this area with completely different buildings on it. Well I am much happier with this current arrangement and it was in my original plan.
That's about it for today,
Have a great week!

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!