I happened to mention to SWMBO that I might build a Tinsley Micro plank so that I could take pics of my Lima shunter to Class 13 conversion in an appropriate setting. This sparked off the inevitable debate about the amount of time I spend modelling. However, seeing how SWMBO spends her time in the evenings watching all of the soaps (television I point blank refuse to watch) I countered that the micro could be done in an equivalent amount of time over a week or so. We finally agreed a ten hour time limit - from first cut of wood for the board to the first photograph. The prize - some goodies if I won! The following is the result. Unfortunately, in my haste, I did not document the build but have included a small demo of the method I use to build up the scenery.
The Lima conversion looks quite passable in these shots. The first shot was the first one taken on the new micro - the embankments and track ballast was still sopping wet, but I proved my point to SWMBO!
'Google Earth' view.
I painted this backscene for photographs some time ago now. I've never been able to repeat the realistic method for cloudy skies though.
The upper track is supported by a strip of 6mm ply on 75mm tall wooden supports - these supports are spaced every 2 inches. I then use cardboard to build up the profile of the embankments - the glue gun is brilliant for this as it gives instant results. Once the profiles are complete, I cover them in flower basket liner and then apply the static grass whilst the liner is still sopping wet. I prefer this method to ripping the liner off once the glue dries because the finished effect looks just like the dead clumps of grass underneath fresh growth as seen on embankments etc. Despite it looking all a bit flimsy, once the glue has dried the whole structure becomes stiff and is quite robust.
The prototypical concrete box tunnels are just knocked up from pieces of 6mm ply. Again, the glue gun is used to give instant results. The sides were scored with a screwdriver to give the layer effect - they were then given a coat of watery glue before being covered in a fine sand and fire ash mixture. Once dry they were given a black wash. The ash comes direct from my living room fire and the sand from Castlegregory beach in Dingle. The railings have been 'borrowed' from the turntable on my Barrow Hill layout.
A nice shot of my Hornby Grid.
The whole layout - exactly 3ft long.
My superb Bachmann Class 08 pulling a crane.
The whole thing took just under 10 hours to do and cost about £25! All of the wood was taken out of the scrap pile we use for burning. SWMBO argued at first that it couldn't be classed as complete until everything had dried out. However, I thought this very churlish seeing how I had done everything according to terms of the agreement - she finally backed down. I'm now very much enjoying tormenting her as to the value of the goodies I'm going to order!