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About JustinDean

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    Cromford & High Peak Railway
    Avante garde noise rock bands
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  1. Sealed the foam scenery this morning and started adding some more textures. The ballast still seems a tad too coarse so I’m going to experiment with some finer powders on this till it’s right. Once I’m happy the whole lot will receive layers of appropriate colored paints and weathering using powers I’ve made from pastels.
  2. Really enjoying watching this coming together on here :-)
  3. One of the things that nudged me back into modelling was seeing photos of one of Chris Nevard’s layouts. The track particularly struck me - it wasn’t buried in neatly packed grey boulders. Ballast was something that had always irked me when I was younger so seeing Chris’ use of DAS clay was revolutionary to me. Studying photos of Middleton Top reveals a few different textures in the track bed. Over by the incline it’s all wooden boards and dirt. The engine shed and water tank are has that very fine ash/cinder ballast which DAS is so suitable for. As the line leaves Middleton the ballast is coarser; it still has that almost black colour but it is most definitely rougher. I felt the DAS technique would be to smooth for this. I bought some Woodland Scenics fine ash/cinder ballast and tested a very small section. This was waaay too coarse. So what you’re seeing in the photo is baked dirt. Sieved in the back garden into an old roasting tin and popped in the oven on 180° for an hour. I feel this is a good starting point, a base layer, with the right colour and texture right out the tin.
  4. That would be one hell of a flock!
  5. The only issue is it would be yellow snow.....
  6. Scenery has started on the west end of Middleton Top - the photos on this page of the thread are a good reference to the area covered. I’ve started by carving cellotex with a saw. This is an easy lightweight material to shape but the dust particles are aweful so outdoors with a mask when handling is essential. I have an abundance of this material left over from the cottage renovation making it an easy choice. This has had a copious amount of filler applied around the edges and when dry they’ll be some finer more detailed sculpting going on. I’m now working on one board at a time due to space constraints but also intend to start the buildings soon. I’ve just received a lovely etch of all the windows for the engine house and loco shed prepared by Geraint (Middlepeak). Here’s a couple of iPhone photos to show progress. The spoil tip runs along the back with the meadow dropping down to the front.
  7. This is one of the threads on RM Web I keep coming back to - it all looks just superb.
  8. Just picked up this months BRM and loving the blown up in print photos Al. You’ve really captured the atmosphere of the C&HPR there; really inspirational stuff! I hope I can bring Middleton Top up to this sort of standard.
  9. Hi Bruce - just read that thread with interest. I’m not sure I’m on board with the ‘it’s bowed because of the weather’ response to be honest! I’m glad you’ve managed to rectify yours and would love to see any progress as you work on it. I’ll be using hot water and a rubber shrouded clamp to sort mine when I eventually get to it. On a 3 week holiday now so may be a while. Jay
  10. Congratulations on article Al and well deserved. I was searching through Flickr for C&HPR photos and came across Ladmanlow; it took me a moment to realise it wasn’t real and actually your layout! I look forward to seeing it in BRM :-) Jay
  11. Just been looking at the Modelu guttering this morning and most likely going to order some parts. Here’s the link Al: https://www.modelu3d.co.uk/product-category/detailing-components/architectural-detailing/guttering/ The house is looking great! Jay
  12. It seems to me the C&HPR was a very bleak line - one of the reasons I love it! Old photos show very few trees apart from a couple up at Middleton Moor in the distance. These days it’s very different, and a similar change has happened down at Cromford. With the layout I really want to capture the feel of empty sprawling fields and stone walls with a J94 off in the distance.
  13. The stone crusher looms like a dark shadow at the back of most photos of Middleton Top. I’ve been lucky enough to find one where I can zoom in and still find some detail. It’s another corrugated sheet building and sits between the railway and Redhill Quarry:
  14. The engine shed is a flimsy corrugated thing which has been burned down and lost its roof twice. Again I’ve not fully represented the windows on this drawing. Geraint (Middlepeak) has very kindly drawn up the windows for the shed and enginehouse for etching. There are several sheds dotted about Middleton Top and a couple of them appear on this sheet:
  15. I’ve started producing drawings of the various buildings at Middleton Top. The engine house really is the focus with its unusual shape, mix of materials, boilers and tall chimney. The drawings are more for me to get the main dimensions correct rather than the detail so ignore my terrible renditions for windows! I’m really lucky that I know a few staff at the real location and they supplied me with some plans they had drawn for when the enginehouse was renovated. I’ve used this coupled with photos and another plan I was sent to arrive at this:
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