In A Bit Of Estate

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Re: In A Bit Of Estate

Postby lesmond » Fri Jan 20, 2017 10:10 am

That is quite superb Bill - well done and thanks for sharing. I'm really enjoying this build.

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Re: In A Bit Of Estate

Postby Bilco » Fri Jan 20, 2017 4:21 pm

Well, the halt at the Temple of Bacchus is open now, after some renovation work to the walls of the ha ha ...


Image


... Count Heinz von Pitze-Hütt and the Rev Ducan Donats have walked over the hill from the Big House and are waiting hopefully for a train. Conversation is rather halting as the Count's English is almost as bad as the Rev's German. The Count says he can hear a Kuckuck, but the Rev says he can only hear a Cuckoo ... he starts to pray that the train comes soon ...
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Re: In A Bit Of Estate

Postby NotHarryPotter » Thu Jan 26, 2017 11:10 pm

Just Magical!
Really enjoying this thread and your layout,
cheers Geoff
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Re: In A Bit Of Estate

Postby nu2ng » Wed Feb 01, 2017 2:52 pm

Hi Bill

I'll add my name to the growing list of 'likes' :D
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Re: In A Bit Of Estate

Postby Bilco » Mon Feb 06, 2017 7:38 pm

Well, the last fortnight has just flown by. However, I have been tinkering with things, and there has been a bit of progress ...

Image

The track at Temple Halt has now been ballasted fully, and the grass has spread out along the sides. Weeds have also started growing around the ha ha walls - Sir Macintosh will be giving instructions to Gari Biscuit to do something about that soon.

Image

There are also now walls on either side and a general tidying-up of presentation. Still lots to do ...

Ma'm'selle Étoile Michelin and Colonel Sanders are waiting for the next train. The Colonel has been taking the opportunity to practice his French on her. In his younger days he was ADC to the Military Attache in Paris, and enjoyed some cinq-à-sept time with a charming young French married lady called Hortense Michelin. He has been trying discreetly to find out when the Ma'm'selle was born - is it just possible that she is the result of his dalliance? ...

The Ma'm'selle has been rather distant. She was warned about les officiers anglaise and their winning ways by her mother - although maman had a slight smile on her lips as she gave the warning. The Colonel does speak much better French than most of the Englishmen she has met, however, and has charming manners. Peut-être ...

She gazes distractedly along the track - surely the train will appear soon ...

Meanwhile, things have happened at the Cascades ...

Image

A girder bridge with brick abutments has appeared - although the right abutment seems to have been undercut by the water and tilted slightly ...

At the top of the bluff there is a stone-built culvert, from which the water flows down the cascades (or will do sometime soon -ish).

Sir Macintosh routed the tracks through a natural gully at this point, widening and levelling as required. He is contemplating having the estate workers create a sort of cut-and-cover tunnel on the left, with brick tunnel mouths and roofed with fallen tree trunks, of which there are many around the estate after the last great storm. Perhaps he can re-create the scenes he saw from the train through Switzerland on his way to Rome - tunnels followed by bridges - in miniature here. He has the plans in his head - time to get Gari on the job here, too ....
Bill



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Re: In A Bit Of Estate

Postby lesmond » Tue Feb 07, 2017 8:31 am

Bill - thanks for the update, I enjoy very much the characters ongoing stories.

Looking forward to seeing the Cascades develop too.

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Re: In A Bit Of Estate

Postby Bilco » Mon Feb 13, 2017 3:55 pm

Many thanks for the kind comment, Les - very much appreciated.

Gari has been busy this last week, building a footbridge over the tracks at Cascades. Sir Macintosh wants his guests to be able to walk up to the culvert to see the water tumbling down, the trains rumbling by below, and the views over the estate from the vantage point. He walked up today with Colonel Sanders to check on progress - he obviously has faith in Gari's workmanship, to the extent that he's standing on the footbridge ...

Image

"Not bad at all, Biscuit," he says "but it's a bit shaky, so fit some bracing to the sides. Oh, and don't forget to creosote it well when you've finished."

Another trip to the tap in the backyard before he's allowed into the house by his Ma, Gari thinks.

The Colonel and Sir Macintosh have been having a man-to-man chat about the Colonel's suspicions concerning the parentage of Ma'm'selle Étoile Michelin on the walk over. Sir Macintosh's advice is not to rush to tell her who her father might really be, and risk offending her Gallic sensibilities. He doesn't want to lose a jolly good governess - and she is rather easy on the eye, too ....
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Re: In A Bit Of Estate

Postby Bilco » Sun Feb 19, 2017 3:02 pm

Progress continues at the Cascades. Sir Macintosh was persuaded by the workers at the estate sawmill that he had more timber than they knew what to do with, so it made sense to make the faux-tunnel mouth from wood rather than brick, which he'd have to pay for. And Gari works much better with wood than with brick ...

"Right Biscuit, make a wooden tunnel mouth - and make sure it's well creosoted!"

Gari has just finished the creosoting, and been removing the results at the cold tap at home - that scrubbing brush his Ma uses on the front step doesn't get any softer.

Gari stands proudly by his erection ...

Image

...and he's also creosoted the footbridge on the other side of the Cascades. Sir Macintosh is bound to ask why he hasn't fitted the bracing yet, so that's his next job.

Image

Meanwhile, I'm off for a spot of winter sun. While I'm away I can dream of all the things I can get on with on the layout when I get back ...
Bill



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Re: In A Bit Of Estate

Postby southpier » Sun Feb 19, 2017 8:02 pm

Bilco wrote:...
Gari stands proudly by his erection ...

Image ...


aye, mate. we're all guilty of that at one time or another.

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Re: In A Bit Of Estate

Postby Bilco » Fri Mar 03, 2017 7:51 pm

Many thanks for the thought, Southpier!

Well, the winter sun was all we hoped it would be - Madeira managed 20 degrees C most days. I also discovered that there had been a rack railway from Funchal up to Monte - alas no more, but I saw a photo on a poster in the town, and a Google seach produced photos that suggest it was narrow gauge.

However, while I was away the grass has been growing at the Cascades ...

Image

It seems to bring the elements together a bit more now. Gari hasn't got round to fitting those braces to the footbridge yet, I see, although there is a good reason for that ...

Image

Sir Macintosh tasked Gari with getting the stable clock fixed properly in position - no more falling over in a high wind. Gari finally clambered down from the roof with skinned elbows and barked shins, and is now showing Big Mac the results of his labour ...

"Yes, very good, Biscuit, but you've forgotten to fit the weather vane on top. Up you go!"

Gari is muttering his usual refrain - "It's soooo unfair," but he daren't say it out loud. It looks like more skin will be sacrificed - and which way's north again?

"And don't forget those braces on the footbridge," is Sir Macintosh's parting shot ....
Bill



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Re: In A Bit Of Estate

Postby Bilco » Mon Mar 06, 2017 7:45 pm

Today I've made a start on the waterfalls/cascades. I've watched various tutorials on YouTube, and I've used the 'toilet paper and PVA' technique, slightly adjusted to the vertical ...

Image

... of course, I made things difficult for myself by having the bridge in the way. I've wrapped it in clingfilm to try to keep it clean, but trying to introduce sheets of toilet paper underneath without getting it stuck to the wet PVA required some more of those interesting and eye-catching phrases I learned in the RAF.

The close-up shows the texture I've managed to get ...

Image

... as well as a strange kink in the flow - I'd better get that sorted before the PVA dries hard.

Getting the right consistency of PVA seems critical to success - I made it too thin at first, and the paper tended to tear. It's also less controllable than the tutorial shows - getting the vertical flow stripes was quite difficult, and the result tends to suggest that the flow of water isn't very great. Once the whole thing has hardened off I can work on the painting, then I think I'll use acrylic gloss varnish to finish off.

Hours of fun.
Last edited by Bilco on Tue Mar 07, 2017 8:54 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: In A Bit Of Estate

Postby Jon Randall » Mon Mar 06, 2017 9:11 pm

Looks an interesting technique Bill.
The scenes are coming on very gnicely. 8)
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Re: In A Bit Of Estate

Postby docnjoj » Mon Mar 06, 2017 9:56 pm

It looks like water to me. I guess only rich people have their own waterfall.
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Re: In A Bit Of Estate

Postby Bilco » Thu Mar 09, 2017 3:30 pm

Having waited three days for the PVA on the waterfall to dry thoroughly, I made a start on painting it ...

Image

There's still a bit of a kink, more easily seen now, so I've more work to do there.

Image

This is the shallow out-flow, so I've tried to show gradations in the depth, and the muddy banks. The darker brown splodges are where the paint on the banks is still wet. I want to build up some stony 'beaches' at the sides once the painting's done.

There will be lots of white to come, especially on the vertical sections, but that's a job for next week - I'm off to Lunnon tomorrow.
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Re: In A Bit Of Estate

Postby Bilco » Tue Mar 14, 2017 7:45 pm

Meanwhile ...

Things progress slowly on the cascades, with painting the white bits, giving it an overall coat of gloss varnish, and waiting for things to dry ...

Image

A straight-on view of things ...

Image

... and a look downwards. I seem to have managed to get the thing vertical at last. Otherwise it's not looking tooo far off what I intended ...

At present I'm waiting for a coat of PVA over the whole thing to dry.

Hours of fun.
Bill



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Re: In A Bit Of Estate

Postby Bilco » Wed Mar 15, 2017 4:56 pm

While I've been waiting for glue, paint and varnish to dry I've filled the time with some more figure work This is the latest addition to the population of Berger Hall, although he's been mentioned ...

Image

This is Arthur (Arfur) Biscuit, Gari's Dad and the head groom to Sir Macintosh. I bought another set of the ICM 'Henry Ford' figures, and the basis for this one is the legs and shirt/waistcoat front of Henry Ford. They're remarkably well detailed, considering that most of it is hidden by his overcoat. I started by thinning the lower legs to make tight-fitting breeches, and built up the upper leg sides with Green Stuff putty to form jodhpurs. Then I built up the back of the assembled bits with more Green Stuff, and Igor supplied the head and arms from his usual undisclosed sources. His sideburns are more Green Stuff, and the strange pose is because he'll be holding a halter and hat in due course.

This is Arfur at the stables talking to Sir Macintosh ...

Image

They are discussing the colt that Sir Macintosh has recently bought ...

" This colt should have been gelded last Spring, Biscuit - send a message to the local vet to come and do it as soon as possible. Tomorrow at the latest."

"Tomorrow," repeats Arfur.

The colt is thinking about the filly that grazes in the next paddock - she's been sending out some very interesting and exciting signals, and he's very keen to get a lot closer to her. He thinks he knows a way to get over the paddock fence - he'll do it tomorrow ...
Bill



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Re: In A Bit Of Estate

Postby Bilco » Fri Mar 17, 2017 7:43 pm

Paint, glue and varnish drying is still on-going, so another figure project has been completed.

This one is a little less ambitious. The starting point was the Lemax "Elegant Lady" figure ...

Image

The first job was to remove her from the enormous concrete slab she was standing on, then the overlong rear of her skirt hem was cut back. She is a bit on the short side, compared to the other figures, so I fitted a pair of elegant black button boots underneath her, with a 'tail-skid' at the back to keep her balanced. A broad-brimmed hat brim was fitted over her cap and a repaint job into a less garish (yet curiously stylish) outfit completed ...

Image

Outside the stables - the 'tail-skid' is visible in the rear view - I must paint it in a less obvious colour ...

Allow me to introduce the diminutive American songstress Miss Su B. Way, currently drawing in the audiences at the Alhambra theatre in London in the musical 'Dinner for Two'. Although very popular with the theatrical crowd, her short hemlines - a good 2" above the ground - have caused some scandalized comments. However, Sir Macintosh and Lady Frideswide are happy to have her as their guest, and she is happy to have a little restful time in the country.

Surely that paint/glue/varnish is dry by now ...
Bill



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Re: In A Bit Of Estate

Postby southpier » Wed Mar 22, 2017 10:58 am

great perspective created here

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Re: In A Bit Of Estate

Postby Bilco » Fri Mar 24, 2017 8:20 pm

Colonel Sanders is very taken with the little American songstress, and insists on escorting her everywhere around the estate. He regales her with stories of his exploits fighting the Fuzzy Wuzzies, and has quite neglected his duty of keeping an eye on Graf Heinz von Pitze-Hütt.

For her part, Su B. Way enjoys his company – she loves his military posture, his derby hat, and his quaint accent - although she isn’t quite sure who or what the Fuzzies are, or why they don’t like it up them – or, indeed, what ‘it’ is.

Image

What the good Colonel doesn’t know is that Sir Macintosh is thinking of tapping discreetly at Miss Way’s bedroom door at 0130 tomorrow morning - he's sure he'll receive an enthusiastic welcome - Droit de Seigneur and all that …

What Sir Macintosh doesn’t know is that Su is hoping that the Colonel will tap discreetly at her bedroom door at 0030 tomorrow morning - he'll receive an unequivocally enthusiastic welcome ...

Indeed, Su thinks that it might be fun to marry the Colonel and take him back to her home in Kentucky. She’s sure that he will love her home cooking, especially her Mamma’s special recipe for fried chicken …
Bill



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Re: In A Bit Of Estate

Postby Bilco » Fri Mar 24, 2017 8:53 pm

I've reached the stage where I'm going to have to start planting vegetation around the Estate - a whole new ball-game. I found some plastic ferns on *Bay which could be the basis for something...

Image

... I've cut out one frond and then taken the tips of the side pieces (I'm sure that there is a proper term for them) and trimmed them down and painted them. The short pieces will make acceptable ferns growing in nooks and crannies, while the longer ones might work as bracken.

The big problem is trees. I prepared the ground with the Berger Hall back-story - lots of young trees, planted after the great storms of the 1890s...

Early last year I bought a couple of Woodlands Scenics tall trees from Howes of Oxford - they were going cheap. This is the complete tree ...

Image

... it has big blobby foliage made from sponge foam - it's very thick and completely unrealistic. I stripped the sponge off one of them, and was amazed at how much there is ...

Image

... it might come in useful for something ...

Anyway, I've been buying large trees from *Bay and have amassed a selection ...

Image

... there might be the basis for something there. The left-hand one is the tallest ...

Image

... it might represent a young poplar, with some work. The others would also benefit from a make-over.

The height of the tree is a problem in 1:24 scale. A 50' tree would be just over 24" tall, with a spread to match. One in the middle of the layout would cover the whole thing. So, young trees it must be. The thing that really shows in this scale is the leaf size - flock or fine sponge is all very well in the smaller scales, but something bigger is needed ...

Image

I got some coarse leaf material from Polak in a variety of shades - I've used some of the dark green for the ivy on the Temple of Bacchus. So, my cunning plan is to spray the trees a dark green, to hide the lurid colours and indicate the shady interior, then spray with a suitable adhesive and sprinkle on the Polak stuff. The trunks will need painting a greenish-grey, too, but I hope I'll end up with something that will look reasonable ...

Hours of fun...
Bill



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Re: In A Bit Of Estate

Postby PeterH » Sun Mar 26, 2017 12:03 am

Bill, I'm enjoying following your progress. And the carryings on of the characters you have unleashed.
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Re: In A Bit Of Estate

Postby Bilco » Sun Mar 26, 2017 5:42 pm

Many thanks, Peter - the 'goings-on' are definitely part of the fun, and the stories pop into my head in the periods while glue/paint/varnish is drying. I have a little store ready for some suitable occasion - some of them are quite scandalous ...

Meanwhile, I've had a trial at spraying the trees dark green, as the first step. The paint I've used is Railmatch 'GWR Loco Green', and it seems to achieve the effect I am after ...

Image

The left-hand tree might do 'as-is' to represent a Swiss Stone Pine or a Cupressus sempervirens -maybe you folks can suggest another suitable candidate Now I need to do some more work on the others with the Polak leaf scatter.

Hours of fun
Bill



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Re: In A Bit Of Estate

Postby Boghopper » Sun Mar 26, 2017 5:51 pm

I'm very encouraged by the treatment and result you've achieved with your trees Bill. I've got quite a number of similar specimens I bought on *bay and may well resort to similar treatments.
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Re: In A Bit Of Estate

Postby Bilco » Mon Mar 27, 2017 6:43 pm

Well, my first attempt at putting leafage on one of the trees hasn't gone well ...

Image

I used L'Oriel Extra Hold hairspray, but it seemed to lose it's adhesiveness very quickly, so it didn't catch much leaf scattered over the tree. The leaves didn't want to stay put very well, either.

Tomorrow I'll try the WWS Static Grass Layering Spray that I used to grass the areas on the layout. It should hopefully do rather better ...
Bill



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Re: In A Bit Of Estate

Postby PeterH » Tue Mar 28, 2017 2:41 am

I've used 3M super 77 spray for that, but I always ended up getting too much adhesive on the tree, so there was too much 'foliage' on the tree, and it looked like a cumulus cloud. I ended up putting on dots of PVA glue with a toothpick; it was much easier to control.
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