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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

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

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

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

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

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

Found it!

Researching the structures I'm wanting to build is always an enjoyable part of the hobby for me. Unfortunately if you are trying to build something that has been demolished you are left to scouring the internet for photos, the odd scaled drawing, and perhaps a book on the subject if you are lucky. One online article that has proved a mine of visual information and reference in planning for this project has been http://www.doverferryphotosforums.co.uk/ and an article on the Admiralty Pier Train F

Paul Robertson

Paul Robertson

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

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

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

A place to stay...

With the advancement of the back scene into the townscape I needed to create some building facades to try and link the painted back scene with the main model. The first building I tried was to the left of the station bridge. I thought this might work nicely as a slightly down at heal establishment whose heyday of catering for well to do passengers eager to catch the first ferry of the morning to get into Paris by midday has long since gone. Its clientele are now more likely to be railway workers

Paul Robertson

Paul Robertson in Blog

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

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

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

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

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

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

Paul Robertson in Blog

Fiddling with fiddly balsa...

Having got the basic shell of a station building I wanted to give a bit of detail and shadow relief to the structure.    (starting with the picture windows. In order to get the thin balsa strips to bend enough I had to cut against the grain to allow the grain to bend for me)    Having got the window sills and frames I then turned my attention to the first floor roof which needed a bit of filling. I wanted a lift shaft at the end of the station to give a bit of height. T

Paul Robertson

Paul Robertson

A temporary office...

So today I had a bit of time to do some more modelling and advance my scratchbuilding skills. I need a portakabin type structure to act as a combined office for the ferry and train staff on the quayside. Having done a bit of research on sizes of units and suitably scaled them down to n gauge I started to produce the model   (my sketch drawings and scaled dims of a standard 12155x4050mm portakabin. I initially cut the floor and roof out of thick balsa and glued together with stren

Paul Robertson

Paul Robertson

Painting the billboards...

You might have seen sometime back that I had created a sign sheet with some billboards. To test the theory and the new range of acrylic paints that I had just got I thought I would knock up some billboards and give it a go at painting them.      This was the sort of look I was going for which seem pretty standard with a timber close boarded base. So once again it was out with the balsa wood and marking and cutting    (a base blank marked out with the dims of

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

A mini production line...

So having created a security kiosk I was happy with yesterday and with only a limited bit of building time this evening I decided to set up a little production line to produce the two others I required.    (sort of cabin I was looking to create found on a Google search with some useful dimensions that just needed dividing by 148)   By close of play I had managed to complete all three:   (three completed cabins)    And located on the layout

Paul Robertson

Paul Robertson

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

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

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

Paul Robertson in Blog

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

Paul Robertson

Paul Robertson in Blog

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