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Paul Robertson

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  1. Hi Neil - Much progress has been made since September although since February I haven't managed to complete the layout as family commitments have intervened. My Blog (See below) has all the latest updates. It has certainly been a very pleasurable learning experience for my first model railway in 30 years!
  2. So it's been a while since my last update. Progress has slowed on the railway through January and February as I have been volunteering at a vaccine clinic many weekends, work has been taking up a lot of time, and two children's birthdays needed attending to. I found myself with a spare couple of hours this afternoon so decided to work on the side back scene. Having spent a couple of hours trying to sketch in convincing perspectives to carry the quayside into the back scene it was proving impossible to find something that looked convincing that I could paint on. Instead, I decided to try a mirror. I've seen this done on other layouts in the past and it helps to convince the viewer that the layout carries on into the distance. Looking on Amazon I found some self-adhesive flexible mirror tiles which seemed to do the job so sent off for a pack. Having received them they were very easy to cut with a hacksaw (bit too thick for my craft knife) and then mount onto the hardboard back scene. (the basic tile in place) Whilst it gave a nice affect the transition from the top of the mirror into the back scene painted cliff was a bit abrupt so I wanted to place something here to cover this up. Scratching around in my offcuts box I still had some corrugated sheet and styrene strip so decided to make a link bridge from the station across the top of the mirror to the ferry for foot passengers. (Painting up the bridge) (pedestrian Bridge glued in place) I decided to use the mirror to my advantage by creating a half A-frame structure with a yellow concrete base and letting the mirror do the rest of the work (a-frame in place thanks to some smoke and mirrors) (the quayside doubles in length with not much more effort) Still working on the station detailing and building the control tower on the cliff which is work in progress.
  3. Some moody shots under the floodlights of 'Seahaven'.
  4. With the advancement of the back scene into the townscape I needed to create some building facades to try and link the painted back scene with the main model. The first building I tried was to the left of the station bridge. I thought this might work nicely as a slightly down at heal establishment whose heyday of catering for well to do passengers eager to catch the first ferry of the morning to get into Paris by midday has long since gone. Its clientele are now more likely to be railway workers at of place for the evening, or business travellers needing a quick booking. So I started off by cutting out some thin balsa wood and then cutting further thin strips to make some eaves. (balsa wood about to be covered with brick paper) I thought as the hotel was likely to be built at the same time as the original harbour station that a similar brick paper would be suitable. I then made up a sign to advertise the hotel to station passengers who might have missed their connection and are in need of a last minute bed for the night. (harbour hotel sign put on.) I then started painting on the rest of the building in perspective onto the back scene. Lots of masking tape was employed to get the right perspective lines. (painting on hotel front wall with the top row of windows) I used my acrylic pens to add the details to the roof and windows. (working on the next building using the same technique) I worked my way down the terrace of buildings using this technique with less detail as we got to the end of the street. Having completed this I then made a couple of outline industrial units to go to the right of the bridge. (corrugated industrial units made out of some leftover sheet I had in my modelling tin) This was painted up in the dull corporate Seahaven blue that other metal structures around the port have been painted (they must get a job lot of it and then paint everything that might corrode) (once painted up I then painted in the perspective roof again masking off to get the right perspective lines.) Having painted on the roof for the units I then used my paint pens to put on some skylights. The rough idea are these are part of the customs warehouse. (completed station backscene) Having completed the station backscene I then painted a backscene for the ferry so it feels like the ferry extends further than the model. (getting the block colour in place) (ferry backscene complete) I might start on the port control tower next. I feel I'm getting there. Thanks for reading
  5. The back scene painting has come on from doing the sky last time. I started with painting the hills into the cliff face. I had sketched in a viaduct in the background to suggest a mainline that the station and goods branches end up connecting to. (initial hill painted in. A hint of woodland copses and hedgerows on the hills with scrubby embankments either side of the viaduct) Following this I carried on with the hillscape round the layout until it came to another cliff and the sea. In order to suggest a rolling hill lighter greens were used at the top of the hill with streaks of white brushed in to give that curve feel. (The rolling hills heading round the layout to the cliffs) Having completed the hills I started adding some of the town scape using a square end brush and lots of different shades of brown and red to have the brick feel to match the brick paper on the layout. I also thought it would be nice to have a white horse on one of the hills and took my inspiration from Folkstones recent artwork. (the town heads off up the valley with the white horse looking over the scene) Finally I started to paint a beach scene from the cliff behind the station. (townscene coming on) Still more to do on the townscape and thinking about how to paint on a bit more of the harbour in perspective Thanks for reading
  6. Thanks Steve - I was going to put an mdf cut out piece along the base of the front of the layout to cover up the various bits of wood and filler and paint it black with a curtain to cover the trestle legs. Not sure yet about something across the top as it might get in the way of the eye line. Hope you're feeling better soon
  7. Looking good - I used this technique on my n gauge shunting layout 'Seahaven' and was really pleased with the results.
  8. A busy weekend only left me this evening to make a start on the back scene. I wanted the feel of a breezy summers day with high clouds and decided the impressionist look would likely be the best approach. So it was out with the acrylics and lots of big sploshes of very light blues (I had to lighten the first application as it felt too dark and rich and then using streaks of white brushed in with a bit of sky blue and a small amount of grey to give depth and shadow to the clouds. Here is the result so far: (overall effect) (a closer look) (and one more) Probably needs a bit of touching up in daylight when I can compare colours better. The next section will be the hills. This will be a bit trickier to get the right shades and detail. I'll probably reduce my brush size to assist. Thanks for reading
  9. Topping and tailing some details on the layout with the completion of the permanent way. Since we are in the southern region it only seemed right to put a third rail running down into the station. Due to the small nature of n gauge I didn't worry too much with the detail. I painted some 1mm styrene strip dark brown then cut a ramp into the ends. Having completed that the top of the '3rd rail' was painted silver. (third rail installed) (and from the other side) I also decided to put the extra lighting in the other high mast by the Linkspan getting a much better lighting effect. (lighting towers now giving out a lot more light) (note additional vehicles have now arrived) (much better flood lighting on the Linkspan) I've been sketching some perspective views onto the back scene and will hopefully start painting shortly. (all lit up) (suitable semi-trailer load now placed on ferry by the yard tractor) (lorries and coaches all lined up) Many thanks for reading
  10. With the completion of ballasting on the upper section of the layout yesterday I decided to get the security fence up between network rail and port authority land. This was laser cut palisade fencing from scale model scenery. Having painted it a suitable olive drab green on the sprue I predrilled holes with my hand drill and glued down. (security fencing in place) I had some further signage to put around the tunnel mouth along with a temporary crossing for road / rail vehicles at the tunnel mouth for maintenance. (Road / rail crossing and signage has now gone up) (another view) A nice surprise today was found in my porch. A neighbour who is a fellow train fan dropped some old n gauge catalogues through my door. Lots of childhood memories with the Lima catalogue and some interesting stock and track plans with the other ones Many thanks for reading
  11. This weekend saw a milestone reached on my layout as I finished off the last of the permanent way with more das clay and a final ballasting of the station branch line. It certainly feels like an achievement covering the last of the plywood after 5 months of solid work. The first area to be done was the station layover siding. This will be for boat train stock and the odd civil engineers train. I therefore wanted the siding to have a similar well worn feel to the lower yard and used the same das clay technique with fine ballast sprinkled on then pressed in. (das clay rolled out between formers to give right width and depth) (clay installed on the layout with ballast pushed in) Note I had also installed some scale model scenery catchpit drain covers between the siding and the running line. I cleaned of the das clay from the sleepers with wet cotton buds and left the whole lot to dry before painting with acrylics in shades of redy browns. (all painted up. Note tyre tra ks marked into the clay as a base for a civil engineers access track) All the black wooden sleepers were painted brown with an acrylic paint pen. Something else I worked on was the high mast lighting. They havent been giving out as much light as I hoped so a quick rebuild with three extra leds and the effect was much more pleasing. The tops are a bit out of scale but the amount is of light it produces is worth it a feel. (new light doing its job) Having painted the das clay I then set about greening it up with burnt grass flock material laid on pva. (flock material glued down whilst avoiding the access tracks. I even created a little landslip to keep the network rail engineer busy) Once the siding was complete it was onto ballasting the running line. This involved carefully applying fine grey ballast then brushing it into place and off the sleepers. I've tried to replicate the cess shoulders as well. (ballast brushed into position ready for gluing down) A pva, water, washing up liquid solution was mixed up and then applied using a Calpol syringe to fix it all down in the same way as I did for the french drains and chalk base to the cliffs. (ballast glued in place) A second brushing was done to push back ballast moved during gluing. It all goes very dark when wet but hopefully will lighten again as it dries. Next on my to do list will be putting up the network rail security fence at the top of the embankment but that will be for another day. Before I finished today I decided to get out all my n gauge vehicles and arrange them to get a feel for the loading of the ferry over the top Linkspan (lorries being waved on.) (network rail welfare unit in attendance) I have a large order for extra vehicles in with Hattons at the moment. (a late Xmas present to myself!) Thanks for reading
  12. More detailing around the lower yard today having painted the track work yesterday. (das clay and ballast on the lower yard) (trackwork painted) The first detail around the yard were more crash barriers to prevent vehicles driving onto the tracks (barrier by the parking bay) The next detail was point levers. I made these by bending some 1mm brass tube with plyers and sticking them in some 3mm thick balsa. (point lever installed) I then got on with more signs around the yard including stop boards, stop look listen signs, and no admittance signs. (stop board on the Linkspan headshunt) (lower yard sign, point lever, painted buffers, and barriers all installed now) (pedestrian access to customs warehouse with barriers and stop look listen sign.) (stop board and 25mph sign on exit from lower yard) (5mph signage now installed on the Linkspan) (a dramatic night time shot from under the Linkspan to newly installed barriers) Having completed the majority of the lower yard the next area I will start on is the upper rail area which will be the last major area of das clay Thanks for reading
  13. Many thanks Steve. Trying to give that heavy hand of officialdom feel that these places have now without over egging it. Glad you like it
  14. So today I carried on the road cone production line as well as putting more signage about the place and making a couple of extra stop barriers for the lower Linkspan. (cone and barrier production line) I also added some more bases to some of the cones to make it look like they have been stacked up on each other. The next detail was pre-bought. Some grit bins from scale model scenery. (a pack of salt / grit bins. I didn't feel able to scratchbuild these at n gauge) I placed these at the top of the ramp and at the ends of the Linkspans where a bit of salt/grit on a icy morning might be appreciated. (gritbin installed at top of ramp) (and another by the portakabin) Finally I added the signage and lifting barriers to the entrance of the lower Linkspan and some more signage to the upper linkspan. (lower Linkspan signage and barriers installed) (additional upper Linkspan signage with cones and grit bin in place) (a shot of this end of the layout now coming together) It might be time to do a bit more das clay work on another part of the layout to progress things on a bit. Thanks for reading
  15. Thanks. I've found by sticking on some extra bases I can create some convincing stacks and its a lot cheaper than buying off the shelf! Just need a steady hand getting the white stripe on.
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