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  1. I stumbled across your videos at the weekend Michael, I didn't realise you had a thread here. Really enjoyed watching the construction of the bridge bracing, looks great - the layers really work to add realism and interest.
  2. I've been experimenting with pre-colouring ballast. To be honest, I think it looks better than colouring ballast that's already glued down. I would of course weather the rails, and airbrush over the top of this to weather it down. This is just acrylic paint mixed with water, about 80% water in fact. Bottom of the plate is standard Scenics N/fine ballast. In reality, it's a bit 'blue' to the eye. Top of shot is a darkened version, it takes a little blue off. Next is more colours but with bathing sand, far right is Gaugemaster ballast (I don't like it). Obviously it needs sieving but the effect is really good. It looks more natural to me and has a very good mix of fine grains. I need to ballast some actual track to test, but what do you think?
  3. Brace yourselves - another thrilling update! Blocks are all wired for this section, I tried to be neat and label things The twisted bus wire is now gone as I don't need a traditional 2-wire bus All track droppers are wired for the Cobalt point power Just waiting on my accessories bus wire to arrive, to complete the install
  4. Thank you Rob. This was my first loco weathering attempt, the first time I've aimed an airbrush at one too! I have to say I'm very pleased with the result, it makes me excited to do more. Which is good news... I also have a few hundred wagons to weather! It's frustrating (I drop so many small pieces and spend an hour looking for them) but rewarding. I just love the scale and minute detail. You have to be more precise, that's for sure, but you can fit so much in to a layout! I don't want to offend 00 here, but to me personally - they feel toy like in comparison and less like a model. That's not to say I don't appreciate 00 models, because I really do - I'm just keenly biased towards N.
  5. Wiring is slowly taking shape today - thanks to guidance and advice from @WIMorrison! All Cobalt iP's have been installed, tested and aligned.
  6. Finally I have finished the laying of this 5ft stretch - the 'Shirebrook approach'. It's take me ages because a) I'm slow b) I start over if it's not perfect and c) there are 22 blocks on this part of the layout alone! Completely OTT perhaps, but I want detailed reporting of where locos are and also the ability to shunt and stack with great accuracy. Next, wiring... And then filling all those gaps with sleepers!
  7. Thanks Ian, aside from the 37 I really do like these little 'rats'. I also did a sound install on this one... pretty much a running theme for me now, must have sound!
  8. As promised Ian @03060 , here's my finished Class 25 in 'winter' clothing.
  9. I should note, satin vs gloss is a personal preference. I wouldn't use matt personally, but I prefer satin (light sheen) to full on gloss. That said, gloss makes working with oils and weathering fluids a touch easier.
  10. Ed, Edward or Ted, either works for me! Here's the image, unfortunately it's not the best quality - looks to be a scan of an old photo. Hopefully you can work with it. Happy to discuss weathering, a good distraction and I'll certainly be talking about it here in the future! My technique was relatively straight forwards: 1) Mask windows 2) Apply a thin layer of Humbrol satin coat - allow a few hours to dry 3) Apply a slightly thinned MIG dark (pin) wash around shut lines and details 4) Mix a light yellow, pick out the top edges on the nose on edges the sun would hit (less is more) 5) Leave to dry for 24hours 6) Now I use oil paints to filter the sides and roof. My choice is "Wilder weathering oils" - they dry well and are less greasy than most. I pick 3 colours to suit the direction I want the colour to go. For example, for the BR blue I wanted a sun faded appearance. That means I used a white, light blue and blue grey/steel. I would then put tiny dots of these three paints all over the sides, like a polka dot! Then, using a small amount of thinner of a clean brush, I would drag these colours from top to bottom. The idea here is to create a very subtle 'filter' over the base paint, you shouldn't see each colour, just a changing tone. Very subtle, to the point you don't realise it's there. As these are oils, I'd give it at least a day to allow them to dry before doing any additional layers of filters. Even after a day, they're very easy to remove. Less is more! 7) The roof is pretty easy. Dark oils, lightly brushed side-to-side. Thinned with a clean brush where you want less grime. The opposite of course for lighter areas. You can treat good quality oil paints with a dry brush, moving them around softly. Doing this with a sweeping brush motion creates a very, very smooth finish with absolutely no brush marks. You can work with the oils for hours before they start to dry. If I were airbrushing, I'd just use Acrylics! Which brings me to step 8) airbrush grime and mud lightly over the sides (not see in my photo as that was pre-airbrush). 9) Add grease and oil marks where appropriate on bogies and tanks. Oh and another tip I stumbled across was to first airbrush a light mud colour on the sides. This is 'dried' mud. Then airbrush a much darker shade sparingly lower down. It looks super realistic, I'll get a photo of my 25 at the weekend to show you the end result. Obviously this tip isn't much use for people modelling the summer, but great for winter and autumn. 10) Apply a final layer of varnish if you wish - however, being oils it's not needed as they dry hard and durable. Depends on how clumsy you are when handling your models!
  11. Steady, but solid progress. What's slowing me down a touch is that every piece of track and point is a block. Including additional 'toe' blocks in sidings, so iTrain can register each loco and stack them in any siding. I've also create a very small drop at the rear for the two rails as per the real thing. It's only a few feet in real life, so quite subtle but I'm pleased with the effect.
  12. I am working on the layout, honest...
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