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A scenic break part 2



Work has progressed on the scenery behind Diddington Station. Here is an update on developments.


Once the plaster earth mix had dried, the completed structure was blended in to the backscene with a mix of artex and PVA. Once this has dried, the completed structure was given several coats of burnt umber acrylic paint, and the back board was touched up with matt white emulsion.

The scenery looked like this at this stage.


Next job was to finish the ballasting of the Bay and private siding. The ballast was a mixture of Woodland Scenics fine granite ballast, fine ash, and chinchilla grit (which is a fine dust obtainable from pet shops, which chinchillas use to give themselves dust baths). The ballast was applied dry, and teased into place with a fine paint brush. I put some masking tape down alongside the track to give an edge to the ballast. I also masked off the moving parts of the turnout.. The ballast was fixed with a mixture of Johnson's Klear, Isopropyl Alcohol (obtained from the Chemist) and a drop of washing up liquid to break the surface tension. This was dripped on to the ballast from a syringe. I find this much harder to do than describe. Some people seem to do this effortlessly, with wonderful, neat results. I always struggle. I thought about applying the Klear with an airbrush, which I have read about people doing, but I felt if I did that, I would simple blow the carefully arranged ballast away.


Once dry, excess ballast was cleaned off the edges of the rails and sleepers with a sraperboard tool. The track was then sprayed with modelmates mud brown weathering dye. In some places a pass with a black dye was made as well, to simulate oil between the rails.


After this, a start was made on adding grass and undergrowth. Round the track this was done using a "puffed grass" technique. A small area around the rails was painted with white glue (pva), let down with a little water. Flock fibres were then puffed in place, This can be done using a static grass applicator, but I used a small soft plastic bottle with several holes of about 3mm dia drilled in the top. The bottle was hallf filled with flock, and squeezed rapidly to puff the fibres on to the glue. This action causes the fibres to stand up when they land in the glue. Once the glue is dry it looks like grass. (Until the glue dries it looks like a white sticky mess of the "what have I done?" variety, so don't panic.

On the scenery behind the track, some grass was added using the puffed grass method. Rougher grass was added using hanging basket liner. Clumps of hanging basked line were plated face down in a white glue/water mix, and the glue was allowed to dry thoroughly - at least over night. Once dry the backing og the hanging basket liner, and about half the liner itself, was ripped off. The remaining fibres we trimmed with scissors to give the appearance of rough grass. The hanging basket liner I use is a natural green, which doesn't need painting. In due course I might give mine a light dusting of dark earth from the airbrush to blend the various sections together, but I'm not convinced it needs it.


A hedge was added at the back using theatrical hair, coated with hairspray, and shaken in a plastic bag containg a mixture of Carrs leaves. The leaves stick to the hairspray, and the resultant strips of hedgerow were stuck to the scenery with more pva. The backdrop itself is plain white. The layout is set in East Anglia which is very flat, and much of the surrounding land would be below the level of the railway. The plain backdrop gives the layout an open feel which helps give the atmosphere of the area being modelled.


Here are a couple of pictures of the platform end. The first shows the track after ballasting, and the second, taken from almost the same place, shows the scenery treated in the manner described above.



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  • RMweb Gold

Evening Alex,


Nice to see you've been busy and have completed this area of Diddington. Looks like you've achieved an excellent result and it certainly blends into the surrounding area.


Look forward to the next instalment on Diddington which is always good to see on here.





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