Simplicity Sidings

For discussion of the issues faced when building a model or layout - how to replicate wood, what glues to use, exactly how much weathering can a Gnat take, a good source of detailing accessories - you get the picture, I'm sure.

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Postby Steve Bennett » Sun Aug 16, 2009 2:10 pm

:oops: Had forgotten that I put about the seeds of the Sea Moss on here :roll: Sadly, that is one experiment that failed. the seeds germinated ok, some even lasted a few weeks, but then they wilted and died. I should have expected it really, throwing them into an old pot of soil was probably not the best move. Not deterred though, I will give it another go next spring with fresh sterilised compost. May get the same results, but worth a try :) .
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Postby Alan » Sun Aug 16, 2009 7:10 pm

I was privileged to see Simplicity Sidings in the flesh as it were yesterday and the photos here really don't do it justice. The layout is quite light, but not excessively so, and feels very solid/rigid. I'm very impressed with the construction board/polystrene sheet method of baseboard fabrication.

Even close up, those buildings look the part, despite simply being a 2D print. I suspect that's primarily because of the other 3D details, masking the lack of relief in the building. Perhaps running a used-up ball point pen over the mortar lines would help.

So Steve, thanks for this thread and the time on Saturday. I appreciate it.
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Postby Steve Bennett » Mon Aug 17, 2009 3:15 pm

Thanks Alan, the little layout is serving it's purpose very well :)

I was lucky on saturday to have the space to place it so that people could have a good look. I do intend to take it to most shows with me, though there will not always be the space to have it out on display, so if you see me at a show and want to have a look, just ask, there is a very good chance it will be lurking under the table :) .
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Postby Steve Bennett » Wed Aug 19, 2009 11:36 am

How does the saying go, "A layout is never finished", even one as small as this :lol:

At MOMING on saturday, Simon Andrews was kind enough to present me with some HO scale Sunflowers from Busch. On putting them together, I thought that these were very good and would really add a few touches of colour, so I went searching for more :roll: I ordered up a couple of packs of different flowers to give them a go. To aid anybody who might be interested:

HO 1207 MARGERITEN - Oxeye Daises x 120
N/TT 8103 SONNEN BLUMEN - Sunflowers x 96

I think the # for the HO Sunflowers is HO 6003 and come 60 to a pack.

Below is a pic of a few put together. From the left, HO 1207 Margerites in both yellow and white, centre, HO 6003 Sunflowers and on the right N/TT 8103, the N scale Sunflowers.

Image

Also worth noting, the petals from the HO Margerites and the N Sunflowers are the same mouldings, so are interchangeable.

OK, these are far too small for what they were intended for, the larger Sunflowers are just under 4mm diameter, while the smaller ones are a little under 2mm diameter, but they make great weeds or pot plants.

A couple of views of a few installed on the layout. First shot, the two different sized sunflowers on the left of the pic and a trio of white margerites just left of the right post.

Image

Second shot shows a couple of yellow margerites, with the centres painted orange, inserted into some paper leaves which were already there.

Image

OK, they may be small, but they really do catch the eye. Not something that will appeal to everybody, but I really like them, so a big thanks Simon.
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Postby Dallas_M » Wed Aug 19, 2009 8:37 pm

Ah, thanks to Steve and Simon!

I've had my eye on some of these (in catalogs) suspecting that they "might" work as small weeds / wild flowers ... and now it's proven (quite nicely!)

The small flowers in the tracks look a bit like weeds we have here called dandelions ... the flowers are small, rich-yellow flowers like the ones you've shown ... and the seeds are the little white puff-balls that kids blow and make wishes (and the parents wish they wouldn't distribute). Wouldn't be surprised if those occur world-wide, but the names may vary?

For those on this side of the pond, the Scenic Express catalog has a variety of the sunflowers, daisies and other items: www.scenicexpress.com

Great job and thanks for the info! :wink: 8)

PS -- They have a definite "plastic kit" look in the basic assembly shot, but blend nicely in your scene ... did you dull-coat or otherwise treat them? :?:
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Postby Steve Bennett » Wed Aug 19, 2009 9:11 pm

Glad it was useful Dallas. We call them Dandelions this side of the water aswell and yes, they are everywhere, probably the most prolific weed there is.

No dullcoat or anything like that, the only thing I did was paint the centre orange as it didnt look right in green. The leaves on the stems do look a bit plastic when viewed really really close, but they are so small, they are pretty difficult to see anyway.

If you want, I can put a piece together on how the paper leaves were done. They were always intended to represent a dandelion type of rosette, the flowers really did add the finishing touch :D .
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Postby Hans H » Wed Aug 19, 2009 9:38 pm

Now that was a nice thing, I've been thinkin of how t make small flowers such as those, it realy gives more life to a layou.
Thanks for the tips.
I bought me some fake learge green "leafs" that's going to be the start for my palm treas, I think I saw some one made palme trees around here, just can't remember where
Good show ol' sport
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Postby Dallas_M » Wed Aug 19, 2009 10:04 pm

Steve Bennett wrote:If you want, I can put a piece together on how the paper leaves were done. They were always intended to represent a dandelion type of rosette, the flowers really did add the finishing touch :D .


Sure, thanks for the offer! And, no rush ... I'm miles away from doing scenery ... I'm sure a lot of other folks will appreciate it too when you have the time. :wink:
Cheers,

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Postby Steve Bennett » Wed Aug 19, 2009 11:26 pm

I may have been a bit rash there. Forgot I had a tidy up the other day, will have to find what I did with the materials :lol:
Will see if I can get something cobbled together at the weekend :)
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Postby Jon Randall » Thu Aug 20, 2009 8:18 pm

Gnice flowers Steve.

That reminds me I promised a write-up for the flowers I made ages ago :roll: Now Dereham is over I'll make time.
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Postby Gavin Sowry » Thu Aug 20, 2009 11:27 pm

Steve Bennett wrote:
Jon Randall wrote:Cheers Steve I thought 2 kg was blooming heavy. I'm the opposite I can't work with imperial. I use the bag-of-sugar index. 1kg=2.2lb.
I had to google how many ounces in a pound. :roll:


See, we are from different generations :lol:
I tend to use the bag of sugar index as well, but it didnt register with this :roll:


:shock: I use the liquid conversion. In a jug of beer, there are 7x5oz beers, or 5x7oz beers, that's 35 oz = 1 jug = 1 litre.
Also, the table goes, 2 pints = 1 jug, 2 jugs + a 7oz beer = 1 flagon = 2.2 litres = half a gallon....... no wonder we went metric :!:
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Postby Steve Bennett » Fri Aug 21, 2009 9:12 am

Gavin Sowry wrote: :shock: I use the liquid conversion. In a jug of beer, there are 7x5oz beers, or 5x7oz beers, that's 35 oz = 1 jug = 1 litre.
Also, the table goes, 2 pints = 1 jug, 2 jugs + a 7oz beer = 1 flagon = 2.2 litres = half a gallon....... no wonder we went metric :!:


:? Uh thanks Gavin, I think :lol:
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Postby Imagineering » Fri Aug 21, 2009 10:05 am

Gavin Sowry wrote:
:shock: I use the liquid conversion. In a jug of beer, there are 7x5oz beers, or 5x7oz beers, that's 35 oz = 1 jug = 1 litre.
Also, the table goes, 2 pints = 1 jug, 2 jugs + a 7oz beer = 1 flagon = 2.2 litres = half a gallon....... no wonder we went metric :!:



Hmmm, Gavin, what have you been brewing at Haywards lately????
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Postby Jon Randall » Fri Aug 21, 2009 3:57 pm

Gavin Sowry wrote:
Also, the table goes, 2 pints = 1 jug, 2 jugs + a 7oz beer = 1 flagon = 2.2 litres = half a gallon
= 1 floor & 1 headache
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Postby Alan » Fri Aug 21, 2009 4:01 pm

Personal opinion, as opposed to moderation, but this is way off-topic for a thread that´s going to be visited frequently by new-comers.
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Postby Glen A » Fri Aug 21, 2009 8:27 pm

Hi Steve,

When you say you put the flowers together, what do you mean?
Do they come as separate stalks and heads that need gluing together or something?

They look great, especially when placed in the middle of the track.
Do you think it is possible to shorten them and put them in a piece of track which has moving trains on it, rather than the end of the siding.
Or do they stick up too high for safe clearance?

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Postby Gavin Sowry » Fri Aug 21, 2009 9:59 pm

Jon Randall wrote:Gavin Sowry wrote:
Also, the table goes, 2 pints = 1 jug, 2 jugs + a 7oz beer = 1 flagon = 2.2 litres = half a gallon
= 1 floor & 1 headache


:twisted: ...which leads to the famous saying, 'you can't get drunk on beer'. Think about it, you actually fall asleep drinking beer, before you get drunk.... so I'm told.
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Postby Steve Bennett » Fri Aug 21, 2009 11:49 pm

Glen A wrote:Hi Steve,

When you say you put the flowers together, what do you mean?
Do they come as separate stalks and heads that need gluing together or something?

They look great, especially when placed in the middle of the track.
Do you think it is possible to shorten them and put them in a piece of track which has moving trains on it, rather than the end of the siding.
Or do they stick up too high for safe clearance?


:oops: Bit dumb on my part, I should have shown the component parts, lets put that right :wink:

Image

As you can see, they come moulded ready coloured. These are the Margerites/Daisies which also have frets of white petals in the same pack. The stems simply plug into the ring of petals, though the fit isnt quite as tight as I would have liked. You can probably make out that on these I have touched in the top of the stems with orange paint, which improves the look and makes the petals a tighter force fit.

As to height, you can have them right down at ground level, the flower heads are about 1mm thick. They would look good with a little ground foam on the ballast and then the stems shortened or inserted into a hole, so the flower head is just above. Should be low enough to not interfere with anything on the rails.

I would definately recommend the Margerites/Daisies as the better option, of the ones I have tried. They are more versatile, you get two colours and because the flowers are horizontal, show up better from most viewing angles.

More on plants/flowers coming soon :lol:
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Postby Steve Bennett » Sat Aug 22, 2009 6:41 pm

OK, back for more horticulture :)
I'm splitting this into 2 parts, the first covering making paper ground cover plants the way I have been doing. This does involve a paper punch which will mean buying or borrowing (wont mention stealing :lol: ). If you have a partner or friend who makes greeting cards, they might have something suitable.

The second part will be a variation of this, but without the punch being needed. I thought this up last night, so it is still very experimental :wink:

So lets get started, the first pic shows the paper punch and what it produces.

Image

This particular punch is for cutting out flowers and rounding the corner of a sheet of paper, it's the bits normally thrown away that I'm using :lol:

As you will see, I'm using a green lightweight card, you might need to experiment with different shades of green to get the effect you want, as you will see later, this process does change the colour a bit. Here is a swatch of the various greens I tend to use. For this project it is the centre one.

Image

The next photo shows the process in full, so sorry, you might need to scroll up and down a bit when I get to the description after.

Image

Key item here is the scrap of red mountboard. It doesnt need to be mountboard, any thick card will do. Into this are drilled a few holes, approx 2mm diameter. These are used to shape the card/paper flowers. By pushing the flowers into the holes with a blunt round tool, they take on a cup like shape. My preferred tool is the on the left of the pic with the blue handle, if I remember correctly, this came from a refilling kit for an inkjet cartridge, but equally suitable is an old ballpoint pen which has run out of ink.
Once they are shaped, they are stacked on top of each other as shown top right of the pic, smallest on top obviously :) , then a pin mounted in a pin-vice is pushed through the centre. Next step is apply a drop of thin superglue to the end of the pin, this will get sucked into the card, sticking the layers together. It is worth keeping a bit of absorbant kitchen towel handy to suck up the extra glue, otherwise you get a plastic looking plant. Then simply slide the flower off the pin using some fine tipped tweezers and allow to dry out. You can see the finished item at bottom centre of the pic, note the change in colour the superglue has caused.

EDIT : :oops: I should have given a credit here, it was Gerry that came up with the idea of using an old ballpoint pen to shape the flowers, sorry Gerry.

A minute or so later, the rest of the bits shown in the previous pic stuck together as tiny plants.

Image

This whole process is really quick to do once you have the tools and materials to hand. A little fiddly as the parts are so small, you will find that some fine tipped tweezers are the most useful thing to have on the bench while doing this.

Part 2 coming up with a slightly longer but cheaper method :wink:
Last edited by Steve Bennett on Sun Aug 23, 2009 2:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Steve Bennett » Sat Aug 22, 2009 7:12 pm

So on to part 2.
I realise that not everybody will want to spend out on a paper punch if they just want a few small plants to detail a layout, so I came up with as simple a solution as I could think of. Hopefully most reading this will be able to do it, though it may look complicated, once you try I hope it will prove easy.

OK, rather than try and cut tiny leaf shapes out of card/paper, I came up with the idea of using a 4 pointed star. Why, you may ask :lol: well it's easy to cut out, here is the process.

Image

I started by marking out a grid of squares, 5mm here, or approx 3/8" in old money, the size is not really important and can be experimented with.
One block of 4 squares makes up each layer. You will see a small square in the centre of each block of 4, drawn freehand. These are an aid for cutting only, the one at the top left of the white paper shows the cut lines drawn in. As you can see from the ones I have cut out, they are not very symetrical, but that doesnt matter.

Once you have your little stars cut out, the process is exactly the same as the flower shapes in the previous part, using the mountboard with holes to form a cup shape, stacking together on the pin and adding glue. It really is that simple, here is a pic of some completed.

Image

To get a better view of the shape, a more overhead shot.

Image

All that remains now is to add flowers if you want. Rather than plant them among other greenery, I thought a bit of paving with them growing in the cracks would show them better. A bit too many here, on a layout I would be a bit more subtle, but I hope it shows the effect. I have even included some scale boots to give a better idea of size :wink:

Image

Hopefully this will fuel a few ideas and that I have managed to show how simple it is.
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Postby Little Andi. » Sat Aug 22, 2009 7:18 pm

Excellent job Steve............... a really clear STS too. This is something I'll definitely salt away until I need to produce anything similar.
It really adds another - and "very believable" dimension to the flora and detritus one might find around discrete and undisturbed quiet locations.

Great job................... Andi

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Postby foswaldy13 » Sat Aug 22, 2009 7:56 pm

When I saw your first method with the punch, I thought that I needed to go get one, but after I saw the second method, I liked it so much, I am positive some of these will make their way onto the Wildcat Brewery Grounds.

Thanks for the how to Steve.
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Postby Glen A » Sat Aug 22, 2009 8:28 pm

Thanks for the ideas Steve.

That second method can be use to produce plants of bigger sizes too.
The people who build in S scale here in NZ have produced some great flax bushes by cutting more leaves per 'unit', and making them much longer. But same basic idea.
The only downside is large paper bushes are quite fragile and subject to damage easily. No problem for small plants like yours though. :wink:

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Postby Steve Bennett » Sat Aug 22, 2009 9:12 pm

Thanks guys, glad you approve :)

On the subject of strength Glen, the secret is to let them soak up a thin superglue, they wont be delicate after that. I needed to make the central hole bigger on some of these, easy I thought, a pin should push through. I was wrong, I had the use a drill bit in the pin-vice to enlarge the holes, it was tougher than working through plastic :roll:
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Postby DCRfan » Sat Aug 22, 2009 9:47 pm

Great tutorial. Thanks. Now just need to figure out a use for the offcuts from the corner-rounder process.
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