Watts'

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Bilco
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Watts'

Postby Bilco » Thu Dec 13, 2012 5:01 pm

Two days ago I dragged the layout in from the garage and defrosted it - no apparent damage after consistent sub-zero temps.

Then I got on with painting the track. First job was to rub the rail tops with a drop of oil to stop the paint sticking. Then I mixed up my usual rusty gloop - Burnt Umber, Cadmium Orange and a drop of light grey - and slopped it over everything - rail, sleepers, point blades - the lot. I forgot that stricture about not getting paint into the joint of the movable blades :roll:

Then I gave the sleepers a wash of light grey over the top of the brown - hoping to get a greyish-brown colour. When all was dry I scraped off the paint on the rail tops - the oil trick really works - and tried to run a loco over it. Amazingly, the loco ran through the points and over the track with no problems - lucky or what! :shock:

To celebrate the event a couple of photos were taken:

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An overhead view of a short train in the loop, showing the effect of my painting.


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A close-up of Diema-Like and a couple of tubs. Den has snuck into the shot again - he needs reminding that he's the driver of the Unimog, not one of the locos.
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Postby Bilco » Thu Feb 14, 2013 5:12 pm

When I read the reports of blue or pink foam being seen at Wickes I rushed over to my nearest one - they had nothing but the cream stuff with metal foil on each side. At least they have small sheets, and a discrete test showed that the foil could be peeled off quite easily, so I bought 3 sheets.

The sunshine today has encouraged me to drag Watts' out of the garage and into the light. I have been braving the cold off and on for the last few weeks to start building up the scenery - this is the state of things this afternoon:


Image


The shapes have been blocked in roughly - towering cliffs seem to be the order of the day. I've used Wicke's Instant Grab adhesive to stick the foam, with indifferent results - it was sploged on quite thickly, hence the yawning gaps between the layers. :oops:



Image

An overhead view, to show the whole layout plan. The white patches are good old polystyrene foam - terrible stuff unless you have a sharp knife - I use one of those snap-off blades at full extension. Of course, all the wiring and switchery is now buried under the foam - I'm thinking of running a sweepstake on where the wiring will fail.



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Looking towards the mine, which has a piece of foam-board to form the entrance arch. There will be wing walls of the same stuff in due course. The egg-box blocks for the walls holding back the stretches where depressions have been filled with rubble are in evidence.



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Looking in the other direction. The tall foam erection on the right is supposed to make a view block for the exit - I'm trying to get the effect of the line running away through a long, narrow defile, rather then into a tunnel (even if that is what it effectively does).


The next stage will be the messy business of carving and gouging the foam into something faintly resembling rock faces. I think I'll do that outside the garage on a very windy day - the foam debris should fly for miles. :twisted:
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Postby Gerry Bullock » Thu Feb 14, 2013 6:02 pm

Looks very impressive Bill, look forward to seeing the results of the carving.
One thing that puzzles me is that you haven't scenicked the ground area prior to starting the rock faces.
So little time, so many ideas!!!!! GerryB.
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Postby Glen A » Thu Feb 14, 2013 6:03 pm

WOW Bill,

Looking really great! 8) It will make a good diorama in its own right, or a great start to a larger empire if you decide to add more on the on the end later.

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Watts'

Postby Bilco » Thu Feb 14, 2013 6:46 pm

Gerry Bullock wrote:One thing that puzzles me is that you haven't scenicked the ground area prior to starting the rock faces.


Thanks Gerry - I didn't know I had to! As I'm expecting the base of the cliffs to change I thought I would do the flat ground cover after the shaping.
Bill

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Re: Watts'

Postby Gerry Bullock » Thu Feb 14, 2013 8:26 pm

Bilco wrote:
Gerry Bullock wrote:One thing that puzzles me is that you haven't scenicked the ground area prior to starting the rock faces.


Thanks Gerry - I didn't know I had to! As I'm expecting the base of the cliffs to change I thought I would do the flat ground cover after the shaping.


You certainly didn't 'have to' Bill, however I think it would have been easier to scenic the ground first in view of what appears to be access constraints with the rocks in place.
As far as the track is concerned all the layouts I've seen built at my Club always have the ballasting completed before any additional ground cover is begun.
My method as well, based upon the experience of modellers with upto 50 years of experience - way beyond my measly 10. :wink:
So little time, so many ideas!!!!! GerryB.

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Postby Bilco » Thu Feb 14, 2013 9:36 pm

Oh well, it's too late now :shock: It will be interesting to see how difficult it proves to be - I'll let you know!
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Postby Bilco » Tue Apr 02, 2013 4:14 pm

The sunshine has tempted me to bring Watts' out of the garage for a quick photosession. Apart from the reasons already given, the cold weather has limited the time I was prepared to spend outside doing the landforming. Despite that, it's got to the point where I can coat the foam with acrylic paste suitably tinted and get on with making it look a bit like rock.


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Front view. The gaps between the blocks of foam were filled with decorators grout, and some plaster filler covered those horrid expanded polestyrene blocks to stop the little bobbles floating about



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From over the exit looking towards the mine entrance - the plaster filler was smeared onto the inside of the mine entrance to look like rough rock walls. I've got to come up with a way to make the retaining walls look like concrete.


Image


From over the mine entrance looking towards the exit. The view blocker is doing a good job even from this extreme angle. I think that rock face on the right needs a touch more work.
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Postby Glen A » Tue Apr 02, 2013 6:02 pm

Hi Bill,

I like the rock texture in it. Its going to look great when painted.

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Postby Bilco » Fri May 10, 2013 4:22 pm

Some progress has taken place, thanks to the fine weather. I've given the foam scenery a coat of acrylic texture paste with added paint, to start the transformation into something approximately like a rock face ...


Image


Annoyingly, the photo shows that I haven't been as successful as I hoped at disguising the joins between the layers of foam. Perhaps I can make them look like strata?


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Looking towards the mine entrance - the best rock-like effect came when the foam blocks were placed vertically instead of horizontally - the foam reacts differently to having various impliments dragged downwards...


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... and looking towards the exit - that rock face on the right looks a bit better than it did.

The light grey colour is the starting point - next I'll give one or two very thin washes of burnt sienna to bring out the texture, then dry-brush highlights of buff and desert yellow to give some colour. Then I'll probably coat it all in acrylic texture paste and start again .... :roll:
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Postby Thorness » Fri May 10, 2013 7:01 pm

I think you cliffs look superb.
The joins are only joins to you because you know they are there. To anyone else they are obviously strata in the rock deliberately applied so as not to have a boring cliff face!
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Postby Glen A » Fri May 10, 2013 11:22 pm

I thought the joins were deliberate, not a mistake.
Yes they do look like strata.
So paint them so they stand out rather than trying to hide them and it will look natural.

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Postby Bilco » Mon May 13, 2013 12:33 pm

Many thanks Don and Glen - I mixed up a bit of the grey acrylic paste stuff with some buff and painted a band of it about a third of the way down to represent a slightly different stratum. Then I made up a very watery wash of burnt umber (not sienna) and slapped that on - a bit like my technique with weathering rolling stock - brush it on liberally then wipe off most of it. In this case, I blotted most off with a pad of J-cloth. This is the effect ....


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Front view - it certainly brings out the textures of the rock face...


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Looking at the mine entrance - the wing walls show the original colour of the whole rock face. I started at that end, and hadn't yet got into the swing of blotting off the wash quite.


Image


Looking the other way....


Image


... and a close-up of the rock face - does the yellowish band show at all?? The next step is to dry-brush - I think I'll use some of the original colour, as well as the buff and yellow.
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Postby Gerry Bullock » Mon May 13, 2013 7:22 pm

Hi Bill,
I don't think that the colours are sufficiently different to highlight the strata.
Take a look here:
http//preview.tinyurl.com/cr4ssfd
So little time, so many ideas!!!!! GerryB.

http://gn15gnutt.blogspot.com/

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Postby Bilco » Fri May 17, 2013 4:33 pm

You're quite right, Gerry, it's very hard to see the colour difference in the photo - it's a little better in real life. I've had a go at bringing out the high spots overall, dry-brushing first with the original pale grey, and then with Buff and Desert Yellow. I used the Desert Yellow exclusively on the stratum I'd coloured, and it seems to show up a bit more ....


Image


... seen from the front ....


Image


... and the mine entrance ...


Image


... and the exit end.

I didn't want to overdo the strata colouring and end up with a garish contrast between them, looking like a Walls Tutti-Frutti family block (if you're old enough to remember those).


I guess I'll have to start ballasting the track and doing the ground cover next - and you warned me about that ...
Bill

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Postby Narrow gauge Nutter » Sat May 18, 2013 8:48 pm

I remember Tutti-frutti.......

Looks great though :D

Keep up the pics.
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Postby Bilco » Sat Aug 30, 2014 7:06 pm

Hmm ... 15 months since I last posted :shock:

I have been rather side-tracked with figures and wagons and odd bits and pieces, but I finally dragged Watts' out of the back of the garage, evicted the spiders and brushed off the mouse droppings. It's time I got on with the ground cover, like I've been threatening to do for ages.

Basic materials are cat litter, sieved into coarse, medium and fine, plus a mix of my favourite 'road grit' - picked up from the sides of the main road outside my house and also sieved into big bits and fine dust, and some chinchilla dust ('Thames Valley Police baffled by disappearance of chinchillas in Oxford area.' Igor particularly enjoys throwing them into the blender ...) plus bits picked out of the gravel driveway. All stuck down with Woodlands Scenic Cement and Glue.

The results of a couple of weeks work:

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The mine entrance and loop.


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The right end of the loop with the track disappearing off scene.


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The mine entrance showing the weathered concrete supporting walls. The bare patch is where the Suffolk & Watt Multigen will go in due course.


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The line curving off behind the scenic break to the right side exit. Also visible are the extended sleepers for the point levers.

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Looking down on the loop - the puddles need a bit more work ...


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A close-up of the rocks and debris on the left side.


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Rocks below the rubbish tip - I'm trying to get the look of freshly-hewn stone.

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Close-up of the debris and talus on the right side.

The ballast is Woodlands Scenics buff with bits of cat litter and road grit thrown in. I still have to make sure there are no bits of ballast impeding smooth running.

The next job is to put down some vegetation - coarse moorland grass, weeds, and the odd fern or two. Hours of fun.
Bill

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Postby Gerry Bullock » Sat Aug 30, 2014 7:36 pm

OK Bill take comment back of yesteryear - the ground cover looks superb. 8)
So little time, so many ideas!!!!! GerryB.

http://gn15gnutt.blogspot.com/

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Postby Bilco » Sat Aug 30, 2014 7:43 pm

Thanks Gerry - though it was tricky getting the ballast and talus down in the narrow defile at the right end!
Last edited by Bilco on Sun Aug 31, 2014 7:36 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby ian holmes » Sun Aug 31, 2014 2:51 am

Superb work. I do like that.
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Postby Chris18 » Tue Sep 23, 2014 2:04 pm

Just read the thread. Brilliant ! :D
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Postby Bilco » Sat Sep 27, 2014 6:40 pm

Right, after a short holiday and some prevarication, the vegetation is just about complete. Not that there's a lot - up in the hills there's not much soil, so anything that grows has to find what little sustenance is around.

This is the range of products that I've used

Image

On the right is WWS Winter Grass mix 6mm, on the left some 12mm grass tufts I found on eBay - I only use the yellowy ones, below Army Painter 6mm Swamp Tufts, and in the centre brustles from an old paint brush, cut at about 10mm.

The overall look now -

Image


Along the tops of the cliffs the grass is sparse and short, with stalks of dead growth and occasional tufts:

Image

Above the mine entrance a trickle of water runs down the cliff from a crevice- it's the run-off from a pond higher up...

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... and at the bottom next to the multi-gen it drains down through a pipe into the gully below -

Image


Image


The view down from above the mine....

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.... and from above the exit...

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... and from inside the mine entrance

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The eBay tufts are quite large, so I've cut them up into smaller bits to suit the nooks, crannies and ledges. I've tried to avoid bright greens - it's all a bit bleak up at t'mine.
Bill

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Too soon old, too late smart.

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Postby Boghopper » Sat Sep 27, 2014 7:02 pm

I wish I could 'like' Bill, because you've done a fantastic job. The sparse grass really enhances the barren cliffs and ridges and brings the scene alive. Fantastic work.
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Postby martin » Sat Sep 27, 2014 7:49 pm

Really nice work!
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Postby Nevadablue » Sat Sep 27, 2014 10:54 pm

I'm glad to see this progressing Bill. I think it looks GREAT!
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