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About this blog

UK outline train ferry terminal project in n gauge loosely based on modern southern region prototypes borrowing heavily from Dover Western Docks, Admiralty Pier, Folkstone Harbour, and a little bit of Harwich. Imagine if the channel tunnel hadn't caused the train ferry to close and instead the two complimented each other and built international traffic upto the present day. 'Seahaven' is my realisation of that idea. 

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Entries in this blog

Shedding more light on the matter...

Having learnt my lessons from yesterday I carried on with the lighting. Trying to get as much wiring done as possible so it could be hidden by the remainder of the landscaping.    The first item tackled was the Linkspan winding house. I had left the roof removable when I had first made it to allow lighting to be fitted later on. I wanted a white light shining down to illuminate the bridge immediately beneath the winding house along with my first try with fibre optics to provide some li

Paul Robertson

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Electronics for dummies...

With my initial success of my high lighting mast under my belt I set forth today to install a lot more lighting. I wanted the lighting under the bridge to represent sodium lighting which is typical of the prototype so installed a couple of LEDs in there and did my best to cover up the wiring from view.    (yellow lights installed in under bridge)    So far so good. Next was the Linkspan proper. I wanted white light on this as looking at prototype night shots from Dover

Paul Robertson

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A little lighting...

Not much time to progress over the last few days but before I did too much more I wanted to get some lighting in to ensure I could cover up the wiring fairly easily.    My first go at the high masts was with a yellow LED to represent a sodium bulb. Unfortunately having tried it out there wasn't enough light coming out of it for the effect I wanted and I didn't have enough room in my brass rod to get any more LEDs.    Initial trial with a yellow bulb. Can you spot the li

Paul Robertson

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Lining out...

This weekend was a chance to finish off painting the asphalt and to make a start on getting all the road lining and decals down. Ferry terminals seem to be covered with white yellow and red lining of different sorts so out with the acrylic pens and bendy ruler to start marking it all on.    (marking on the top road lines first using the bendy ruler for the corners.)   (I then marked out a chevron where the two routes split before marking the lines down the ramp.)

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Carrying on with paving...

Tonight I managed to finish off the point infilling and then get on with finishing off the paving.    (infill finished off along the dockside)    First of all I paid attention to an area of das clay I wanted to turn into concrete (wanted a bit of relief from the tarmac). Concrete needs a nice clean edge to represent the formwork so out with the craft knife and metal rule to straighten up the edges. After that I scaled down and scored 9m movement joints into the das surf

Paul Robertson

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Trialing my traction...

So having completed most of the infill and das clay around the dockside track I thought I better try out various items of stock to ensure different wheel flanges and wheel bases work before I start painting it all up.    The first to test were two of my cargowaggons with the class 66.  (class 66 going into the underpass on the headshunt for the train deck Linkspan)    I tried out various sidings and locations with this set up making sure they all worked nicely. The 66 wa

Paul Robertson

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Advancing the asphalt...

It's been a few days since I last posted but progress have been steady. I've been focusing on completing the das clay roadway around the Dock area.    More rolling between balsa formers to get the right depth before smoothing off with a shaping tool.    (rolling out the das clay to correct depth and standard width before laying on a pva layer)    There was a lot of cutting and shaping the clay to get it around lots of tricky corners.    (all th

Paul Robertson

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Taking care of the tarmac...

Having completed the cliffs and having an evening to spare I decided to tackle a fairly long section of road. Having learnt from my earlier mistakes with the overbridge and Linkspan I didn't try to put the ironworks in first. They can be a finishing touch instead which stops them getting bashed about. It also saves a lot of fiddly cutting about the das clay. I used the air dried clay again as overall I was pleased with the result last time and I still have a large block to use up! Sticking two s

Paul Robertson

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A quick update...

Just a quick update tonight as I didn't have much time. The shrubbery has grown dramatically today with the rest of the embankment covered up. I've left a small amount of embankment clear for a small diorama depicting a landslip.    (embankment fully vegetated)    There are two structures that will adorn the top of the cliff. The first was an abandoned WW2 observation bunker. These were always very crude bits of architecture so thankfully quite easy to model. Digging th

Paul Robertson

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The landscaping continues...

So having left the plaster to dry overnight today was a painting day.  Firstly I painted the soil a lightish soil colour having seen some photos showing how the underlying chalk affected the upper soil colour   (pic of light brown soils on the white cliffs)    (soils painted-its lighter than it looks)    Having painted the soils I then painted the cliffs some very light shades of grey and white. Initially my son asked me why I was painting my cliffs

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There'll be bluebirds over...

And so after a few false starts today was cliff building day. The cliff is the only major landscape feature on the layout and hopefully will really set the tone and feel for the layout and give it the character of the Kent coast.    First thing to do was to remove the polystyrene along the back scene which hadn't really worked and replace it with landscape mesh. To set the right angle I used cardboard from an old cereal packet to create some formers.    (cardboard forme

Paul Robertson

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Paving the way...

Did a bit of work around the station this evening. Produced some brick walls to the rear of the viaduct to represent the rear of the structure. I also used some modern platform paper to complete the finish of the platform surfacing.    (paving paper done from scale model scenery. Like the look of the tactile paving)    (brickwork parapets 'laid' along the backscene)    I also have had time to do a bit of bodge wiring. Whilst my father is a retired electr

Paul Robertson

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Railing against the machine...

A chance to do a bit more detailing this evening. I wanted to get some railings on the ferry. Using the same laser cut scale model scenery key clamp handrail as used on the Linkspan.    (handrails starting to go on)    (and another view)    Once both sides were safely railed up I painted all this white.   (finished railings)    (all painted up)    (rear view)    Not sure how long these will last b

Paul Robertson

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Making waves...

It's been a little while since I last posted. I've been concentrating on getting the sea finished. Eventually after 48hrs the PVA dried. Now for the fun part of tacky glue and making some wavy texture.    (Dock ready for texturing)    Put an angle on it to make it look like the breeze is blowing across the Dock. The glue holds its shape pretty well and with the aid of a cocktail stick I could get rid of the bubbly bits and make it more wavy. I did two treatments of this

Paul Robertson

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Stop Go...

So today the self adhesive road markings arrived from scale model scenery. Having read the instructions which seemed straightforward enough I gave it a go. Tried out one of the cycle lane logos first as a test which with a bit of help from a craft knife and a strip of masking tape. This all went well so tried a 'stop' white lining for the Linkspan. A few minor issues with trying to get the various letters to unstick themselves but in the end all was well. Having managed both stop white lining de

Paul Robertson

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Mixing the civil engineering...

So today was a lot of bits being done round the layout to complete minor bits and bobs whilst waiting for the pva glue water to dry out. The video I watched said the layer of pva would take about 1 hr to dry. Try about 24hrs! So I had plenty of time to do other things   First job was marking out the precast concrete units for the bridge abutments. Having completed this all the lines were weathered to tone them down a bit   (all lining complete)    (some

Paul Robertson

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I see the sea...

A family game that was played on the holiday car journey was who could spot the sea first from a glimpse down a valley. Whether heading to the ferry or just a coastal trip the first sight of the azure greeny blue sea on the horizon would illicit a chorus of "I see the sea, I see the sea." from the back seat of the car! And so it was my turn to try and create the alluring sea which I used to sea on my family holiday.    I had watched a video by Kathy Millett on an easy way to create wat

Paul Robertson

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Weathering the Dock...

Started on the dockside weathering today to try and make the plain painted balsa look a little more like concrete and a little less like, well painted balsa!    Firstly I wanted to mark out the tide lines. 3no 5mm bands would allow for different colour banding on the base of the Dock wall.    Then the concrete bays were added with black liner pen.    (black lining on the Docks)    (the three tide bands marked on in pencil)    The firs

Paul Robertson

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A good days work...

With rain stopping play in the garden I had an afternoon of painting and doing details.    First job was putting some signs about having printed off my sign sheet   (cutting out various signs for the models)    (the portakabin signed up)    Once I had done a few signs I switched over to painting the dock and bridge abutments concrete grey.    (Dock greyed up)    (abutments painted)    Whilst letting the

Paul Robertson

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Coming together...

Some times modelling can feel like a very slow process with very little to show for large amounts of time spent fiddling around. Then one day suddenly everything seems to come together to start looking as one might have hoped.    The past few days have been a slow process of trying to get the road surface looking right and introducing road markings. Lots of wrong turns smudges and lessons learnt. Today has seen a bit more progress in the right direction.    First job of the d

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Tidying the tarmac...

So today was trying to make the best of my clay road surfacing which hadn't come out as I wanted. Firstly I came out with the sandpaper to smooth the surface down as best as possible.    There had also been some shrinkage down the sides of the road overnight as the clay completed dried out.    (clay coming away from the kerb)    In order to fill these gaps out came the balsa filler which did a good job of filling this ready for painting.    My

Paul Robertson

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Paving the way...

Another new experience today using DAS clay. Never used it before so took a few tips from some entries on the forums here as well as some YouTube instructional videos before setting off.    I've seen lots of US railroading videos using woodlands scenic liquid plaster material to create roads in n gauge. Looked a bit messy and fiddly to me having to mix up the right amount mask off areas and make sure everything was dead level to prevent leakages. The effect of the plaster was effective

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Slow, Raised ironworks...

Having completed the painting of the structure the next task would be to complete the roads. I won't be able to do the lower Linkspan until all the track is laid and this requires the ferry to be fixed down. However the upper linkspan and concrete viaduct road deck can be completed.    Before I can put the road deck in (das clay) I bought some laser cut ironmongery from scalemodelscenery.    (painted the sheet with a very watered down black paint a couple of times) 

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Steel and concrete...

And so my baptism into the dark arts of scenery painting has continued on and off over the last few days. It has been focused on the Linkspan structure and trying to get the concrete to look like concrete and the steel bits to look like steel! Easier said than done when all I have is some cheap acrylics bought off the Internet and just need to keep on mixing and reapplying layers of paint until I'm finally happy.    One thing I have learnt is that you can never have too much white pain

Paul Robertson

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Painting some buildings...

Having completed the ship painting and decals I concentrated my efforts on the first set of buildings I had constructed. The station would need several coats of white paint to cover the balsa and in between that I painted the portakabin and security kiosks.    (first layers of white going on with the other buildings getting their first coats)    (the portakabin and kiosks painted up)    Five coats of white paint later and I was ready to paint the roof of

Paul Robertson

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