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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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

If it doesn't move, paint it...

So this week has been spent carrying on with the train ferry getting copious layers of paint on to try and get a decent finish. Having already applied the blue (4 coats) I then started with the white. This took 5 coats of paint to fully cover the ply, balsa, and blue paint over spill. The moment of truth came when removing the masking tape. Had all that resin prep been worth while and were there any bleeds of paint under the tape?      Pleased to report it all went pretty we

Paul Robertson

Paul Robertson in Blog

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

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

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

Linkspan structurally complete!

So a busy day of modelling today with the aim of getting the Linkspan winding house structurally complete.    Firstly I assembled the leg structure cutting the tops and bottoms of theain structural supports to get them sitting at an angle as per prototype.    (leg structure coming on ready to be attached to main support structure made yesterday.)    Having created the legs a quick check was made to ensure the legs lined up with the 'concrete' pile caps. 

Paul Robertson

Paul Robertson

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

Mind the gaps...

There were lots of large gaps in the ferry woodwork which needed filling. The chimney stacks consist of 3 pieces of 5mm ply stuck together which had been cut out with a jigsaw so not desperately accurate. Whilst balsa helped to cover over the crude edges there were a lot of visible gaps between balsa and ply. With not much time for modelling today (I had a big odd job 'to do' list) I decided that might be a good small job to fit in around chores. I had bought some balsa filler which seemed to of

Paul Robertson

Paul Robertson

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

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

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

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

Building the gantry sign...

It must be the inner geek in me but I've always found gantry signs interesting structures and have wanted to model one. This wasn't going to be a motorway gantry sign as the prototypes I've seen at Dover are a thinner a frame type structure than the massive monolithic structures put up by Highways England.    (prototype signage at Dover with a frame structural supports)    I started off making the sign face out of a piece of balsa sheet. I wanted this lit as per prototy

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

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