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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

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

Paul Robertson in Blog

Brutal functionality...

I have one space left for a scratchbuilt building. I've always been fascinated by the harbour control centre at Folkstone. Call it ugly or misunderstood beauty this bit of brutalist architecture stood guard over the harbour for all the time I can remember in the last 70s 80s and 90s only recently succumbing to the demolition man with the wholes ale redevelopment of the harbour. (a brand new control tower)    The control tower for Dover harbour looks like something from a sec

Paul Robertson

Paul Robertson

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

Paul Robertson in Blog

Linkspans and kiosks

Following on from yesterday's scratch building attempt of a security kiosk I had a look at it again this morning and decided I could do a bit better   (yesterday's effort was a bit crooked and lacking in detail)    I thought the scale looked a bit too big as well and a quick Google found the the height was a bit on the generous side for this type of building. Out with the craft knife and some more styrene angle to highlight window ledges and to make a door and I soon ha

Paul Robertson

Paul Robertson

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

Cones, parapets, and more signs...

Having done the detail up against the cliff base I thought I could build the parapet fence on top of the retaining wall. I was wanting to create something like the below:   (standard boxy parapet fencing)    I couldn't find anything off the shelf so it was back to scratchbuilding with plasticard strips.    I painted the strips up in the colour I wanted before predrilling holes for stanchions. These were glued in place before the long horizontal strips were stu

Paul Robertson

Paul Robertson in Blog

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

Paul Robertson in Blog

Getting to grips with some fiddly balsa

So this evening I have been working on the marine architecture and civil engineering with more detailing on the ferry, bridge, abutment and retaining wall. Plenty of balsa wood used to try and replicate the mooring details on the ferry which seemed to have quite complicated bollards on the nord pas de calais prototype. I assume this has something to do with the moorings linked to the computer controlled Linkspan. Anyway done my best to represent it and will make good with a bit of filler! The up

Paul Robertson

Paul Robertson

Gaining control...

Having constructed kiosks for traffic marshals there was a further one required for the upper linkspan where the control gear should be kept to operate the structure. These are usually small kiosks perched on the end of the Linkspan to give maximum visibility for the operator. Having looked at a few examples I didn't think my standard design used so far would be suitable. The kiosks I I could see on prototypes were more like rounded grp kiosks like those produced by glasdon without a roof overha

Paul Robertson

Paul Robertson

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.)

Paul Robertson

Paul Robertson in Blog

Chevrons and waterfilled barriers...

A bit of detail at the base of the cliffs today with crushed chalk added and some more signage and traffic management.    I wanted to make some water filled traffic barriers like this.    (this is the sort of thing I was after)    I started with some trusty balsa cutting into three strips and sticking it together.    (balsa strips stuck together)    Having stuck the strips together I chopped them into scale 1m sections before painting

Paul Robertson

Paul Robertson in Blog

Details, details...

So today I carried on the road cone production line as well as putting more signage about the place and making a couple of extra stop barriers for the lower Linkspan.    (cone and barrier production line)    I also added some more bases to some of the cones to make it look like they have been stacked up on each other.    The next detail was pre-bought. Some grit bins from scale model scenery.    (a pack of salt / grit bins. I didn't feel able t

Paul Robertson

Paul Robertson in Blog

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

Paul Robertson in Blog

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

Paul Robertson in Blog

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

Paul Robertson in Blog

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

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

Paul Robertson in Blog

Action Stations...

I'm onto the second to last scratchbuilt building for this layout. This is the station building itself which as mentioned previously I have wanted to build in the art deco style. Some examples I like are as follows:   (Surbiton station)    (DE la Warr Pavilion)    Firstly I completed the platform to give me a base to build up from:   (supports put in place behind the Peco edging)    (Thin balsa sheet laid on top of the str

Paul Robertson

Paul Robertson

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

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

It's been a while...

The past couple of weeks have been taken up with all things other than railways. The family invented an xmas card game which I needed to produce on the computer, and the emergency volunteer group I run has been involved in covid response recently. It hasn't been all quiet on the modelling front however. I completed the lighting on the ferry which now includes navigation and flood lighting.    (lighting now on board)    The train deck has three white leds to give that we

Paul Robertson

Paul Robertson in Blog

3rd rail and 4 lights...

Topping and tailing some details on the layout with the completion of the permanent way. Since we are in the southern region it only seemed right to put a third rail running down into the station. Due to the small nature of n gauge I didn't worry too much with the detail. I painted some 1mm styrene strip dark brown then cut a ramp into the ends. Having completed that the top of the '3rd rail' was painted silver.    (third rail installed)    (and from the other sid

Paul Robertson

Paul Robertson in Blog

Bridges, boats, and lighting mast bases...

So today has been spent on alot of detail. Taking lots of thin balsa strips and neatening tunnel mouths and providing a bit more structural detail on abutments (additional bridge abutment detail)    (tunnel mouth neatened up ready for some 'concrete' paper   After a comment from another user here I spent a lot of time checking clearances with two types of wagon before sticking down the walls to the HM customs warehouse    (an early train load

Paul Robertson

Paul Robertson

My first scratchbuilt building...

As well as more work on the civil engineering today I also made my first scratchbuilt building. A security kiosk. I need to make about 5-6 of these so this was just a trial run   With a bit of painting and so correct signage I think it should do the job. Greater scratchbuilding challenges lie ahead.    (first attempt at a light mast base. Unfortunately couldn't cope with my drilling a hole in it)    (attempt no2. Working better. This 5mm diameter 3

Paul Robertson

Paul Robertson

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