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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

Why Seahaven?

Whitsun week in the 1980's for me as a child was always spent camping on the coast at the Warren in Folkstone in a blue canvas clad frame tent. Days would be spent watching the Sealink ferries arrive and depart from the harbour along with the obligatory trip to the Romney Hythe and Dymchurch Railway and building massive sandcastles on the sandy beach, whilst at night I would go to sleep to the sounds of EMUs pounding along the Shakespeare Cliff coastal mainline (or rain on canvas!). My visits en

Paul Robertson

Paul Robertson

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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Underneath the arches...

Various odd jobs around the layout today. The first was an attempt at painting the Dock which utterly failed. My paints were cheap rubbish which I could do anything with so will have to invest in some better quality paints and try again. So with a quick change in plan I set about giving some relief to the railway arches which will form the base of my station.    (thin strips of balsa cut out to the arch shape and overlaid on the 5mm ply to give a bit of shadow and then a further

Paul Robertson

Paul Robertson

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

Paul Robertson in Blog

Transfer window complete...

Have completed the ferry painting I then wanted to try putting on the transfers. I had created the designs on Microsoft publisher having copied the ferry logo off a downloaded jpeg. Unfortunately the jpeg quality wasn't good enough quality just to scale it up so I redrew it using the block shape tools in the software and tries to get the colour as close to the original as possible. I had purchased some transfer paper off the Internet and printed off a sheet.  (transfer paper printed o

Paul Robertson

Paul Robertson in Blog

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

Paul Robertson in Blog

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

Paul Robertson in Blog

The train arriving at platform...

Today was spent working on the station. I have been trying to create my art deco feel and have tried to create the feel with the canopy and windows.    Started off completing the platform level walls   (walls all in and balsa edging around canopy edge to neaten plywood)    I also felt that the canopy needed some sort of support structure underneath so cut more thin balsa strips to represent  cantilever concrete beams holding up the main canopy.   

Paul Robertson

Paul Robertson

The sky's the limit...

A busy weekend only left me this evening to make a start on the back scene. I wanted the feel of a breezy summers day with high clouds and decided the impressionist look would likely be the best approach. So it was out with the acrylics and lots of big sploshes of very light blues (I had to lighten the first application as it felt too dark and rich and then using streaks of white brushed in with a bit of sky blue and a small amount of grey to give depth and shadow to the clouds.    Her

Paul Robertson

Paul Robertson in Blog

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

Paul Robertson

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The hills are alive...

The back scene painting has come on from doing the sky last time. I started with painting the hills into the cliff face. I had sketched in a viaduct in the background to suggest a mainline that the station and goods branches end up connecting to.    (initial hill painted in. A hint of woodland copses and hedgerows on the hills with scrubby embankments either side of the viaduct)    Following this I carried on with the hillscape round the layout until it came to another

Paul Robertson

Paul Robertson in Blog

The ferry painting completed...

Managed to get the train ferry funnel completed with a single top coat of black. Will need to do a bit of touching up but basically it's done. I slid in the vehicle deck to get some shots. Just some signage, transfers, and some handrails to finish it off then on to other things   Funnel masked and painted   Masking removed after a few hours and the vehicle deck slid into position   The rear of the ferry where all the tyres hit the deck from the lin

Paul Robertson

Paul Robertson in Blog

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

Paul Robertson in Blog

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

Paul Robertson in Blog

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

Paul Robertson in Blog

Sorting security...

With the completion of ballasting on the upper section of the layout yesterday I decided to get the security fence up between network rail and port authority land. This was laser cut palisade fencing from scale model scenery. Having painted it a suitable olive drab green on the sprue I predrilled holes with my hand drill and glued down.    (security fencing in place)    I had some further signage to put around the tunnel mouth along with a temporary crossing for road /

Paul Robertson

Paul Robertson in Blog

Some more progress

An evenings tabletop model railwaying and progress around the Dock area, bridges, Linkspan and ferry with plenty of balsa wood put in to fill in gaps and tidy up plywood edges

Paul Robertson

Paul Robertson

Small architectural details...

Large chunks of modelling time over the weekend had been spent constructing some wooden trestle legs out of wood I had lying about. Those are still work in progress but very much needed to get the layout off the carpet and away from little fingers and accidental bumps.    Tonight was my first model night of the week and so I first tried to make some gully grates out of balsa wood as I'm trying to cut down on the amount of money I'm shelling out. Unfortunately it wasn't a success so I n

Paul Robertson

Paul Robertson

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) 

Paul Robertson

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Slow and steady...

It's been a while since I last added an entry. Family life and slightly less photogenic progress has meant little visually discernable progress.    The first item of note are the trestle legs that I have been building with my rather rough and ready carpentry skills (nearly completed trestle legs)    They just need something at the base to stop them doing the splits when weight is applied. I have a bit of rope off cut that I think will do the job.    The other m

Paul Robertson

Paul Robertson in Blog

Sign of the times...

With family games night limiting my time on the baseboard today I decided instead to do a bit more on the signage sheet I've been putting together. I noticed that with the commercial sheets you buy there is inevitably quite a lot of wastage as I don't need most of the signs they supply. Also due to the very specific nature of my project there are also a lot of signs that I require that are not available commercially. I therefore decided to try and create a sheet myself. For the standard signs th

Paul Robertson

Paul Robertson

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

Paul Robertson in Blog

Reflections on progress...

So it's been a while since my last update. Progress has slowed on the railway through January and February as I have been volunteering at a vaccine clinic many weekends, work has been taking up a lot of time, and two children's birthdays needed attending to. I found myself with a spare couple of hours this afternoon so decided to work on the side back scene. Having spent a couple of hours trying to sketch in convincing perspectives to carry the quayside into the back scene it was proving impossi

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

Paul Robertson in Blog

Putting up the barriers...

Having finished my Christmas Dinner duties, boxing day allowed me a little modelling time. I had bought some styrene I beam some time back to create armco barriers to protect the Linkspan headshunt from wayward vehicles. Having completed the French drain and ground plain I thought I could give it a go. There are several ready made armco type barriers on the market but you are always paying a premium for not trying to scratchbuild so I thought I would give it a go.    Initially I tried

Paul Robertson

Paul Robertson in Blog

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