Good eveninng all.
I think (i.e. hope) that the end of ballasting is reasonably near. There are only a few metres lest to be done. The downside is that, no matter how hard I try, I cannot do a neat job.
On the other hand, one of the two signal boxes (Metcalfe) kits was a bit decrepit and damaged, namely, it had lost its steps (kept safe in another place) and the top storey had become separated from the ground floor on three sides, whereby it could be opened like a box. Its chimney also fouled the overhead viaduct. According to the representation of this layout on the front cover of the Hornby 1975 Track plan catalogue, this box was at the foot of an embankment, but I replaced the embankment with a viaduct and just above the chimney there was a curve, whereby the chimney was half under the viaduct. I toyed with the idea of buying a new one and then thought that this one could be restored, since it had become weathered with time and more in keeping with the layout, which is also showing signs of the ten years I have been at it. So, I carved it away from the baseboard, inflicting some more damage, removed the original chimney and covered the hole with a Metcalfe paving slab, stuck the top storey back in place and mounted a new chimney at the other end of the box, made from a plastic straw and held in place with a wire bracket. To fit the bracket, I had to prise the rear half of the roof from the walls, to bend the ends of the wire back against the inside of the wall. I also stuck a piece of balsa between the chimney and the wall to keep it from being squeezed. I than stuck the whole box on a piece of cardboard and restuck the stairs in place, hoping they will stay there this time. Finally, I touched up some surface imperfections with grey acrylic paint ass though it had been patched up with mortar. Here are a couple of photos of the finished job.
Good eveninng all.