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  1. With time on my hands it's time for a long overdue update A big push towards the end of last year saw the layout almost complete - just a few details to add now. Work done in no particular order: Outer carcass and lid constructed and painted dark grey. LED strip lights added to lid. Initially these were daylight white but I felt them to be a bit weak and too blue so I've since added some more warm white strips. Backscene added. I created a simple graduated sky in Photoshop and had this printed onto self-adhesive sheet. This in turn was applied to a
  2. OK, time to bring us up to date. As of last weekend most of the ground cover is now down and blended in. I've used texture paint on top of modelling clay for this. It's maybe a little too rough looking, but photos I have show that the ground was actually quite rough and broken in places, more so than compact. I may yet sand some of it down. It's hard to see on these pics but the piles of ash next to the pit are actually sieved BBQ briquette ash. A few small bits of greenery have also appeared. I won't be overdoing this but I think it helps to soften the otherwise desert-like landscape.
  3. Hah! It won't stay that way for long. A weathering session is planned...
  4. Hello. I hadn't realised how long it had been since an update. A couple of posts to bring us up to date: The turnouts have been further detailed with cosmetic rail joints scored into the tops of the rails and C&L fishplates added. Detailing and painting continued on the fueling point. The oil stains are a Humbrol gloss oil product. The hoses are made from heat shrink sleeves. A larger size is used and shrunk down to the correct size and shaped to suit whilst still warm. Heat shrink was also used for the water crane hoses. The building adjacent to the fuel tank struc
  5. At the weekend I made a start on the fueling point. To build the structure as per prototype/photographs would require more space than I have and would be overpowering at the front of the scene so this is a much reduced version to give a feel of the facility. The scratch-built base is a plastic I-beam structure that the tanks sit upon. The adjacent area will house the pump equipment, etc. I'm using parts from both the Ratio and Knightwing kits for the tanks and pumping gear. This image shows the mock-up of the facility in-situ.
  6. An excellent article, very prominently placed, with in-depth and refreshingly serious content.
  7. With that done it was time to add the water. First, the tank interior was painted with a greenish-brown up to my desired level. Once dry this was varnished with acrylic. For the water I used Woodland Scenics Deep Pour Clear. This was not without some difficulty. I’d set my level at around 12mm, just less than the recommended single pour depth. Following the instructions to the letter the pour was completed and covered in a foil cap. All looked well until I checked back after an hour to find that the mass of water had contracted away from the tank sides and into a raised blob
  8. With the tower base complete the next job was to paint and weather the tank and add the concrete balconies and ladders. The balcony seems to be a later add-on given that it covers the tops of the ground floor windows. There’s a lot of artistic guess-work involved here since I have no photographs showing the north end of the tower and the building between it and the softener.
  9. A good while since an update. A few small jobs first: The water cranes have been painted and weathered, shown here plonked in place. The section of broken and odd-shaped paneling has been added to the coal stage. Mostly I have been completing the water tower. It took a while to get it to this stage. The corbelled brickwork is very much a simplified version of the prototype structure but still a time-consuming exercise. The lamp is from layouts4u. The balcony is still to be added.
  10. A little more progress over the Christmas break. First up, the coal chutes have had their chains and balance weights added: Handrails have been added to both sets of stairs on the coal stage and the whole assemblies have been fixed in place. Further detail in this area has been the addition of a timber screen between the stairs and the retaining brick pier that holds up the ramp. The three piers have had their concrete tops added. Finally, a start has been made on the water cranes. Photographs appear to show these in the ubiquitous silver/grey galvanised paint rather
  11. Over the last week I've built the two sets of steps that reached the platform. These have been done as concrete using the same techniques as the piers. Handrails need to be added next. The small angle brackets that allow the hut to cantilever out from the brickwork have also been added. The coal chutes have been further detailed with rivet decals and then painted black with rust effects added before fixing in place. They will need further toning in with the rest of the building in due course. Pulley wheels have been added above, ready to take the chains that hold the chutes in posit
  12. Nice work Ian. Did you open up the fishplates and then crimp them on?
  13. There is of course nothing to stop Peco from expanding this range and introducing more prototypical formations once they've got over the commercially logical nitty gritty of replicating the existing geometry. I'm not holding my breath though.
  14. Unfortunately, the weekend was largely filled with xmas shopping so just had time for a few smaller jobs on the layout. I’m trying to get the buildings finished before I start work on the ballast/ground cover. In particular, I want to get the coal stage complete and fixed in place. I’ve redone the hut with clapboard and incorporated some windows. These were drawn up and laser printed onto OHP transparency. Obviously, you can’t print white but the windows on the hut appear to be black/grey anyway. There was pretty much nothing between this hut and the North Sea, so to prevent the occupa
  15. Nice pic which reminds me that it's time for an update. At the weekend I started working on the water tower. There were two adjacent to each other in the period modelled but I only have space for one. You will note on the concept drawing in post #1 that I was going to model the strut-built one but instead I’ve gone for the brick one as it will be a better scene blocker. This was the first attempt at the tank built from plasticard with the curved corners/base from Maquette quadrants. The panel joints were simply thin strips of masking tape. As can be seen there was some warping and
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