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Posted: Sun Oct 25, 2009 6:42 pm
by Geno6309
Thanks for the photo of the sector plate. Very instructive.

Posted: Sun Oct 25, 2009 10:43 pm
by mud magnet
Very impressive. Such a simple concept, but you have pulled it off so well. The addition of a few weeds brings more atmosphere.
Look forward to seeing what you decide to load into on the road. How are you thinking of 'emptying' the road vehicle?

Posted: Sun Oct 25, 2009 11:58 pm
by foswaldy13
Bill, This is simply marvelous, and every time you update your progress the layout gets better and better. Good Work :!: :!: :!:

Re: Back on the Drawing Board

Posted: Mon Oct 26, 2009 12:34 am
by Glen A
Bilco wrote:A view of almost all the layout, showing the road and the tipping chute - now I just need something to tip whatever it is into.

:idea: An old truck ?
A horse and dray?
A wagon on a wider gauge railway?

Your sector plate is great, especially using the brass latch as a power connector

Posted: Mon Oct 26, 2009 1:11 am
by dieselwater
The Layout looks amazing, with so much detail giving a wonderful industrial atmosphere.

Posted: Mon Oct 26, 2009 1:55 am
by michael
Bill I think you have done an outstanding job on the layout so far.The backdrop buildings really do look cracking!

Posted: Mon Oct 26, 2009 3:54 am
by DCRfan
All the little details such as the variety of weeds make the scene. Really well done.

Posted: Mon Oct 26, 2009 3:59 am
by underworld
Awesome work!!!! :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
I really like the steel retaining wall! I was just
fishing near one today....yours looks so real!!!


Back on the Drawing Board

Posted: Mon Oct 26, 2009 9:00 pm
by Bilco
Many thanks for the kind comments chaps. The problem with those close-up shots is that I can see all sorts of things wrong - bits that need a further touch of paint, or some detail that isn't right yet. Still, the overall effect is getting there - slowly!

Glen, the old truck is a possibility, or maybe a skip - I've got a resin one from Mac's Moldings ... s/id8.html that would fit the bill. If I bodge a hole in the bottom and down through the baseboard the stuff that gets tipped would drop down into a container, to be put back in the tippers and come round again!

Ah well, back to planting grass :roll:

Re: Back on the Drawing Board

Posted: Mon Oct 26, 2009 9:25 pm
by Ian-IoM
Bilco wrote: ...I can see all sorts of things wrong...

:shock: Looks pretty good to me :!:

Excellent ground detail, I like the three dimensional nature of the design too with no flat baseboard to be seen, it certainly shows that a small layout with a simple trackplan needn't be boring :)

Posted: Mon Oct 26, 2009 10:13 pm
by Steve Bennett
Great progress Bill, with each update it improves, the little details really make a big difference and your attention to them is impressive. Long may you continue to add to it, you are giving me new ideas all the time, so thanks :) .

Posted: Wed Nov 04, 2009 4:03 am
by JT Previa

Wonderful project, especially love the rust, all shades and textures. Concrete details an backdrop facade are great too. Do you reveal your magic ingredient rusting technique?

Posted: Wed Nov 04, 2009 8:40 pm
by Bilco
Thanks for the comments, gents. JT - it's not really a mystery how I make the "rust", just a mystery that it seems to come out well - most of the time :oops:

I bought some artists acrylics at a closing-down sale of a local art shop. I use the burnt umber with a touch of the cadmium orange - it's very bright, so you don't need much to produce a nice orangy-brown. I tend to keep the mix dark. Then I sprinkle in a little ground turmeric - the one I use I pinched from the kitchen, and is very finely ground. Mix well.


Finally, I dilute the resultant grunge with windscreen washer fluid. It's important not to put too much turmeric in, or the finish looks like the rust is the result of years at the bottom of the sea. Also, it's important not to over-dilute, so that the turmeric clumps. I use red oxide car paint as undercoat.

Once the lumpy paint is dry I give it a wash of very dilute Railmatch light rust acrylic, then with a less dilute mix touch where water would gather and newer rust occur. A finishing touch is to mix a little light rust with Railmatch oily steel to make a dark metallic rust which I dry-brush on edges to highlight them. I use a Derwent Inktense watercolour pencil in burnt earth to put in rust streaks - lick the end and you get a sort of thick paint - and a brown tongue :shock:

Other painting tips can be found here

Now, I d like the team's comments on my latest attempt at ground cover. I want to grass the top of the slope, and I've bought some Heki grass mat. As ever, the light green I really wanted wasn't available, so I had to make do with mid-green. I've laid a strip down - not stuck as yet as I would like to know if it looks right. If I use it I'll make the edge a bit more ragged.


The alternative is to stick lots of individual clumps of Woodland Scenics grass and other vegetation over the hilltop in a random scatter. The bushes are Noch HO trees - a tip that has appeared on the Forum. The 'tree' poking over the fence has had the trunk extended, while the little 'bushes' are branches cut off another tree. I have a couple more, and might stick them in somewhere. Anyway, what do you all think?

Posted: Wed Nov 04, 2009 10:38 pm
by Steve Bennett
The grass looks good Bill, had been considering using it myself and now I'm convinced.
A suggestion if I may, the clumps you have further down look a little too random and a bit dense. I think they would look better if they were thinned out a bit, or maybe use some of the grass mat around them, though how the colouring would work, is difficult to tell. Just a thought :wink:

Posted: Wed Nov 04, 2009 10:42 pm
by michael
Hi Bill I have not used the heiki grass yet it is very expensive in my local hobby shop $45 for the packet.
After you have decided whether to use it can the grass be combed so that it lays up (stands up) in the same direction, I think it would look more realistic that way.

Posted: Thu Nov 05, 2009 3:59 am
by JT Previa

Thanks for the generous rust tutorial, the results are great. I suppose it doesn't smell too bad either!

If I can comment on your grass in response to your request. I don't think the grass looks bad in of itself, but it changes the entire character of the diorama. From a dry, dusty industrial scene that was hostile to all but the toughest weeds, arrives a lush carpet of golf course green. I think you were right to try and use the lighter, less well fertilized version. Looking at the coarse rocky,exposed earth below the grassline, I don't think lush grass would survive on that hillside.

As an alternate, I would suggest some sparse, twiggy, leggy, viney overgrowth of varying, irregular heights, increasing towards the fence. I think this was your alternative as well? I'd look to have a some scraggly sumac type bush overhanging the fence (weeds love fences, they're always taller there!). Show some thin branches on those weedy shrubs. Keep the colors more neutral. Put this overgrowth in the same location you have the grass (but only in the left half, covering less area), with a sharp drop off to indicate the topsoil was cut away, revealing the rocky, barren slope below with only a few weeds. I wouldn't add any more random planting all over the slope.

The spare elegance of your diorama is like an Edward Hopper painting, it derives its strength from clear forms and strong composition, in this case of hard, dry materials, with a bit of green spice. I think too much greenery will take away from what you've accomplished so far.

Hopefully, I haven't said too much and overstepped my position! It is a wonderful model.

Posted: Thu Nov 05, 2009 6:27 am
by PeterH
I'd go along with what JT wrote. I've been looking at vegetation in factory yards recently, and it has a huge range of plants, mostly leafy weeds rather than grass. A lot seems to depend on how often and how it is cut - a scythe or weed eater removes the upright things (like grass) and encourages ground-hugging weeds. If uncut then longer grasses tend to predominate for a while and there is much old brown dead grass and seed heads; then small bushes start to grow. With weedkillers there is little grass or weeds, just small bushes.

Repeating the grass tufts and weeds you have used earlier down the slope would keep your layout consistent. I wouldn't apply model vegetation at random because different types of weeds grow in different conditions - usually sparser and shorter around the edges where it is drier or walked on and lusher in wetter places. On your layout: usually the top of a hill would have fewer or no weeds because it is drier.

Posted: Thu Nov 05, 2009 1:21 pm
by scott b
It does seem a bit brite but perhaps a pic of the entire layout with the grass as we may be getting a false impression of it as it takes up much of the shot. Thanks for the rust tutorial, I would never have thought turmeric, any animals in your household? :roll:

Posted: Thu Nov 05, 2009 4:51 pm
by Richard Morton
One solution I have seen used is faux fur for grass you cut it to fit the area glue in place and then trim with clippers to height needed. Air brush for colour wanted add some ultra fine dirt etc.. and vola Now myself I recall once (way, way back when) attacking my grand dads lather brush and using the hair for tall grass looked great but could not sit for a week lol

Posted: Thu Nov 05, 2009 5:55 pm
by Brack
I remember my dad regularly removing little clumps and tufts of my hair with scissors when I was about 6 or 7. Apparently my hair was a better shade and thickness than my siblings for scenic work. I believe its main use was long grass clumps and reeds.

Posted: Thu Nov 05, 2009 5:59 pm
by chris69
Great idea,but today that would be considered child non railroading do godders.....................

Chris :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :shock: :lol: 8)

Posted: Thu Nov 05, 2009 6:21 pm
by Steve Bennett
Brack wrote:I remember my dad regularly removing little clumps and tufts of my hair with scissors when I was about 6 or 7. Apparently my hair was a better shade and thickness than my siblings for scenic work. I believe its main use was long grass clumps and reeds.

:lol: Thats what Woodland Scenics use for their long grass :lol:

Posted: Thu Nov 05, 2009 7:11 pm
by Glen A
Steve Bennett wrote:
Brack wrote:I remember my dad regularly removing little clumps and tufts of my hair with scissors when I was about 6 or 7. Apparently my hair was a better shade and thickness than my siblings for scenic work. I believe its main use was long grass clumps and reeds.

:lol: Thats what Woodland Scenics use for their long grass :lol:

So are there streams of bald people walking out of the woodland scenics factory every day? :lol:
Stop buying woodland scenic's grass, and let an american keep their hair! :lol: :lol: :lol:

Back on the Drawing Board

Posted: Thu Nov 05, 2009 8:17 pm
by Bilco
Hi Chaps - thanks for your input to my request for views on the look of the Heki grass mat. As you will have gathered, I'm not fully happy with the look of it on my layout. I think it's quite a good representation of long grass, but on my layout the big strip of it makes me think of an ill-fitting wig! So, JT and Peter, I think your viewpoint is right for that particular application. Scott, here is the view of the whole layout with the grass mat in place.


I have used thin strips of it to represent straggly grass along the line leading onto the tippler, and I think it works quite well there. Maybe a little too regular, but a little pruning should take care of that.


Steve, I think you are spot-on about the grass clumps - definitely too big and full. I will prune them down in height and thin them out as well - pruning is needed in several places where I have put them.

I think I'll go for more thin strips of the Heki mat along the bottom of the fence, interspersed with the other vegetation - real grass seeds ala Steve, the chestnut husks, and the broad leaves I have dotted around the place. On the hill top I'll go for small areas of thinly planted grass clumps and other plantings, and some more rocks of various sizes. I also want to put a scrap pile spilling down the hillside on the right hand side, and I can put vegetation amongst that, too.

Loads of fun!

Posted: Thu Nov 05, 2009 10:23 pm
by Oztrainz
Hi Bill,
You could always keep the luxuriant turf....
and add a tap(faucet), hose and sprinkler and 2 freshly painted signs
"Keep Off the Grass"(obvious :twisted: )
"Groundcare Restoration - Wood Bros Garden Division" :D :wink:
or perhaps
"- Wood Bros Greenkeepers -
Able to Grow Lawn Where
No Grass Has Ever Grown Before"