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jrb

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  1. This morning I got everything off my list done. With the exception of some figures, this layout is the first one I've ever built that could be called finished! I'm overjoyed with how it's turned out. There are areas I don't like so much, and things I'd do differently if I ever built a similar one again, but overall I'm really chuffed. I didn't have any figures, and it looked pretty barren without, so I made one: I also gave the stock a light dusting of white through my airbrush: As requested, here's a very short video: Unfortunately I couldn't reshoot it after weathering the stock, as my phone battery died, so that will have to do! JRB
  2. Clagsniffer, It's been requested that I bring it out for our next club open day, even though that's in April! So that will be twice next year. I'll shoot a video of it running later today, hopefully. JRB
  3. Started off today with the airbrush; I blended in the bottoms of the buildings, around the platform, and the tops and bottoms of the rocks. Also softened the joint between the top of the hill & the dark blue sky. Then applied the snow to the entire layout, working in sections, and snowed up the trees ready for final planting. Round the back I tidied up the lighting wiring, installed all the fibre-optics for the stars (though not hooked up to LEDs yet) and wired in the last street light. Even had the train running round at one point! All that's left to do now is: Touch up the snow in a couple of places I've missed; Glue the trees in; Fit LEDs to the fibre-optic stars; Paint the base black; Add some figures (don't have any yet, but hopefully should have soon) And then, I think, it'll be finished. At least for this year. JRB
  4. Not as much progress tonight - got one more street lamp installed (but not yet wired up), and got some holes drilled for the fibre-optic stars, but the main thing was getting some trees installed: They're not glued yet; I need to dust them with snow, and do the snow on the ground before I plant them permanently. One more thing - I mixed up some acrylic filler (caulk) with some white acrylic paint to do the snow on the roofs, etc*. I've applied some to a spare building, and am going to see how well that dries and adheres by Saturday. If it's successful I'll use that method. If not, I have some white Das clay that I could use, though I think that would take a lot longer. *I'm kind-of following the techniques used in this video for the snow effects, adapting them slightly to use the materials I already have. I will be using the airbrush with the white paint around the buildings as he's done, too. Hopefully that'll make the foliage in front of the house look suitably 'frosty', and less summery! A bird's eye view of the state of play: JRB
  5. Got a few bits ticked off my list: Paint the shelter, and fit lights to it; Paint the bit of retaining wall behind the pathway; Paint the rocks behind the house (will be a bit tricky now I've stuck the house down, but you won't really be able to see much of it anyway!); Fit 2 more lamps up the path over the RH tunnel; - Not sure if these are needed, I might give them a miss? Paint the pathways (so a bit of the colour will still show through the snow); Again, not sure if I need to do this. Paint the backscene; Fit some fencing to various areas; Plant all the trees - I've ordered a pack of 20, in varying sizes. Final snow effects & scatter. And a new addition to the list - Paint the 'backstage' areas that are visible through the tunnels in black. With regard to the sky colour, I bought a tester pot of 'After Hours' from Wilko, which was still too light but the right tone, so just mixed in some black acrylic to darken it down. The transition between the snow and the sky will be softened with some white paint through my airbrush (I'll be doing a lot of that for one of the snow effects) and will have lots of trees there, hopefully. The backscene paint is still a bit wet at the right-hand side there, that's why it looks a bit odd. I bought some cheap 0.75mm dia fibre-optic cable off eBay, so will be adding some stars! The shelter was just painted in a light grey, the details picked out in red, and glazing added. There's two yellow LEDs one for the shelter & one for the office, as well as a red LED in the fireplace! I've just noticed the light coming through the hole above the door, so I'll blob something in there to block that if I remember next time! JRB
  6. Only had an hour or so at the club today, but managed to get all the rocks at the front of the layout painted (using grey, brown, black, and green washes as per this tutorial) and once that was done (particularly the longer right-hand tunnel) I could glue the top on the tunnel & plaster over it. Also plastered in around the house: Still to do: Paint the shelter, and fit lights to it; Paint the bit of retaining wall behind the pathway; Paint the rocks behind the house (will be a bit tricky now I've stuck the house down, but you won't really be able to see much of it anyway!); Fit 2 more lamps up the path over the RH tunnel; Paint the pathways (so a bit of the colour will still show through the snow); Paint the backscene*; Fit some fencing to various areas; Plant all the trees (I need to buy some more of those in different sizes, the ones I've got are all the same size & identical!) Once all that's done, all that will be left to do is the final snow effects & scatter, and it'll be pretty much finished, at least for this year. *With regard to the backscene, I'm really not sure what colour to paint it; I could go for a sky colour, but with all the lights, and the fact it's going to be relatively dark under the tree, I think it lends itself to a night-time sky colour, but black would be too dark, and I've no idea how dark of a blue to go for. Any ideas gratefully received! I might even see if I can find some cheap fibre-optic cable, and put some stars in the backscene JRB
  7. I didn't get any more scenery done today, as my time was spent concentrating on getting the lighting sorted. I went to buy a cheap christmas light set this morning, intending to get a set of 20x warm white lights (by cheap, I mean the ones which are 3mm LEDs, wired to a battery box - usually only a couple of quid). I was planning on using only a few of these, just to light the house and the halt, but I spotted a nice set of coloured LEDs, which were tiny SMD LEDs soldered in parallel between 2 coated wires. Being wired in parallel meant I could cut them into shorter lengths - a good job, since there were 120 of them! Since I had these tiny coloured lights, I decided to fit them to the house, like proper outdoor Christmas lights, as well as lighting up the interior: They're still a tad overscale (!) but I think it looks ok. I also added an extra resistor to tone them down a bit, they were a bit too bright before! Also got the station/pathway lights wired in: I've still to illuminate the halt - a couple of other club members suggested stringing the Christmas lights round the shelter too, but I'm not too sure on that one. JRB
  8. For various reasons (including, but not limited to, laziness on my part) I haven't been down to the club, and hence haven't worked on the layout, for a full week now. Today I rectified that, and spent a good 3 1/2 hours there. I've made quite a lot of progress - I've painted the platform & fitted a couple of the lamps to it, as well as getting some primer on the station shelter: The missing bit of plaster between the track & the platform will be replaced once the platform is glued into position! I need to wire in the lights (including illuminating the shelter) and test them all before doing that. Not sure on the colour scheme for the shelter yet... Also got the layout of the right-hand side sorted (I've decided against using the church, just using the house) and got the polystyrene cut & glued into place, along with some rock sections and a bit of wall. I also fitted a couple of the lamps into position on the path to the station, and then set about getting some plaster on everything: The top of the tunnel, along with the rock piece to the front of it, were left loose so I could get to the track in the tunnel to plaster it, and so I can paint the tunnel lining. Then they'll be glued & I can then do the hill above: I still need to sort the lighting out for the house, and once that's done I can glue that down & plaster up around it, blending everything in. Here's the current state of play: Looking pretty good, I think! Still lots of work to do on it though. Hopefully I'll get another few hours done tomorrow... JRB
  9. Last night's progress - I got some plaster of paris on top of the bandage, smoothing it as it dried, as well as some more of the track. It's gone too far up the platform edge, so I plan to trim that back at some point (the platform will hopefully still come out!): Also, another club member has very kindly donated a couple of old continental buildings to the project: They're a bit big (particularly the church) but with a bit of judicious hacking I can make something useable out of them (and they'll look suitably 'Christmassy' with a bit of snow on!). JRB
  10. At Wakefield, I picked up a small Hornby platform shelter for the bargain price of £2, along with some cheap platform/street lights (10 for £5.99!). I totally failed to find any cheap tunnel mouths though, so I decided to make my own. I was going to use offcuts of embossed plastic sheets (I probably still will on the RHS) but then a fellow club member gave me some of his left-over pieces from the Woodland Scenics rock moulds, so I dived right in with some filler and plaster bandage, and made a start on the scenery: In my past model-making endeavours, I have been guilty of overthinking, planning every little detail in my head, which has lead to an awful lot of procrastination (I can't do A, because B, C and D need to be done first, and I don't have the particular widget I need to do D so I won't do anything, etc). On this build I've made a determined effort to NOT do that, and just get something (anything) done when I have time, whether I've planned it or not. 15 minutes before I took this picture I didn't even have the rock castings, and had no idea this would get done! I have found it enjoyable, although it does lead to other problems; for example, I haven't fed any wires to supply the lamps & station shelter yet, so that will be slightly harder now (though by no means impossible). JRB
  11. Today was quite a productive day, despite only having a few hours at the club. Took the layout down there & got to work... First job was to fix the controller to the back of the backscene, and wire up the track. Then I ran the loco in, with 4 lots of about 20 minutes in each direction (clockwise & anticlockwise, forwards & reverse). Once that was underway I set about making the Hornby platform look (hopefully) less like a Hornby platform - Having glued the 3 sections together, I used some embossed plasticard to face the front, and filled in the gaps and the holes in the top: I then blasted the plasticard with some grey primer, which made it look more like a Hornby platform again but nevermind! Once I get some colour on it it'll be fine!!! Once that was done I started roughing out the scenics with some polystyrene blocks & a hot-wire cutter: I think I've decided on the above location for the platform; I think on the other side I'll have a frozen stream coming down the hill, and under a bridge under the track, with a pond half-way up with some ice skaters on. I've also got a nice N gauge building to put up near the top for a little bit of forced perspective. Off to Wakey tomorrow, hope to find some tunnel mouths, a small platform shelter, and maybe a couple of other small buildings I can use. JRB
  12. Appreciate the suggestion, but I've already bought the platform so am going to use what I already have (I did originally consider just scratchbuilding a platform, but the Hornby ones were there & I'm inherently lazy!). JRB
  13. Last night I went to B&Q to buy a sheet of 50mm insulation, but it turns out they don't stock it at my local store! So a quick change of plan meant today was spent cutting some 18mm ply supports, and a trackbed from 6mm MDF scraps. The insulation would only have been £6, but I don't have much of the budget left so £6 saved is a bonus! The hole for the tree leg was boxed in too, ensuring sufficient space was left to get the base in & out of the layout without damaging anything. Then the track was glued down. Here's the current state of play, with the platform & the 4-wheel coach that arrived yesterday: I'm not sure on the placement of the platform yet; my original intention was for it to go in the centre. That would require cutting a small notch in the back wall of the centre section to clear the boxed-in part (not a big deal) but I think it might look better offset. That would leave one half for other scenic elements (maybe including a stream coming down the hill, and under a bridge before exiting at the front?). I'm planning to get to either Colne or Wakefield show over the weekend, hopefully to pick up some cheap tunnel mouths for either side. Now I've got all the woodwork done, I'll be taking the layout down to the club tomorrow, where it'll stay until the scenics are done. I've been told by the domestic authorities that I have exactly 4 weeks from today before the tree goes up... JRB
  14. Thanks Marly. I've just spent a most enjoyable hour or so going through the threads linked in your signature - they were all fantastic, but the Waverley Corner one was exquisite! JRB
  15. Phil, Thanks for posting that, it's a wonderful story. And I can't believe the quality of those photos! JRB
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