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Tim Hale

Building a Southern Region layout

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Trackside plants in the Dorset Stour valley

 

Railways are a micro community, often bringing rural flora and fauna into urban environments. two of the most common plants common to railways are shown below.

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Tragopogon pratensis, Jack Go to Bed or Meadow Salisify, the plant is distributed across Europe, commonly growing in fields (hence its name) and on tracksides. The local name derives from its habit of the flower head closing before noon, it is found in the south of England.  It can grow to over a metre in height and is a prolific weed, the milky sap can be dried and used as chewing gum.

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The other endemic weed often associated with railways is Chamerion angustifolium, Rose Bay Willowherb. Its tendency to quickly colonise open areas with little competition, such as sites of railway and forest fires, makes it a clear example of a pioneer species. Plants grow and flower as long as there is open space and plenty of light, it is found throughout  the south of England. 

 

Both are easy enough to replicate in model form but that will be later.

 

Cheers

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In the present generation, I believe Eurostar has been helping Mother Nature by unintentionally importing ragwort from France, where it grows prolifically, into England, where it is less common. Horse- and other livestock-owners will not be pleased, as it can be poisonous.

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3 minutes ago, Oldddudders said:

In the present generation, I believe Eurostar has been helping Mother Nature by unintentionally importing ragwort from France, where it grows prolifically, into England, where it is less common. Horse- and other livestock-owners will not be pleased, as it can be poisonous.

Ironically, the demise of steam has delayed the colonisation by RBW. It is no longer common in the Dorset Stour valley whilst Jack Go to Bed has finally started invading Sherborne in West Dorset and the common Lupin has begun to flourish. 

 

image.jpeg.6403d33f41bbf8c56f9ce0e38b978ff5.jpeg

 

Finally, a bit of excitement for twitchers, Red Kites have been seen in the valley, I saw one at East Stour though they are nowhere as common as the native Buzzards, currently the largest raptors in Dorset.

 

image.jpeg.5d0ee6155d22e562e1c906fc0c4b21f3.jpeg

 

 

Cheers

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Btw,

 

As justification for such arcane posts, the flora and fauna of any location can be as important as the colour scheme of the local station.

 

The old saw that the viewer should be able to identify the location without any rolling stock equally applies to the crops, cattle breed, and wild flowers as much as it does to the vernacular building style and bus company.

 

Unfortunately, all the above only really applies to a time before multi-nationals but at least the red kites would have been absent as would white egrets. Another reason for holding back the reality of time and progress?

 

Cheers

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Hi and as promised,

 

This is merely a test to see whether the idea will work, a bristle from a paint brush, the tip covered in PVA and dipped in pink flower scatter from Greenscene. Only when it was fully dry was it then planted in a blob of PVA and hidden with a dusting of Woodland Scenics grass.

 

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It looks OK to me

 

Cheers

 

 

 

 

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Anything in 4mm - or smaller scales! - can look cruelly imperfect in close-up, but this looks reasonable at both distances. This more than passes the 'near-enough' test. 

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The revenge of the Grassmaster - 2

Like nature, the grass on Child Okeford does vary, mostly in texture and colour but I do try to vary the length.

Grass1.jpg.8823fafbc0693df8116820109f76c438.jpg

 

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This is a small section of the latest test section, Heki 3376 direct onto PVA with a second layer of WWS dead grass applied to 3M Photo Mount using a Noch puffer bottle.

 

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Cheers

Edited by Jack Benson
Image added
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Time waits for no man because we have a 'end date' of mid-March when professional photographers should arrive.........oh dear, because everything needs reworking.

 

Big_Curve2.jpg.36692617eceae8ada5e68cbca6cd0412.jpg

 

And.....all the remaining scenic areas need a makeover, this is the 1,5m wide 'big curve' at one end of the workshop. It needs refurbishing and subtle details to bring it alive whilst the back wall definitely needs 'the treatment'. This backscene from ID seems to capture the eastern side of the Dorset Stour valley, it is rather lumpy as anyone who has tramped up Hambledon will agree.

 

ID_HD2.jpg.dd090cc6e1d0d807baad24b0740a70e2.jpg

 

It will need modifying but it is much better than dirty white walls.

 

Cheers

 

 


 

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This was always a favourite image from the late Bill Jones and although almost everything has long gone, it seems appropriate to capture the essence of the image for Child Okeford.

 

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Another series one was found at 2K Technologies and it is currently in the 'paint shop' in an attempt to make it look a little more like a typical Dorset workhorse than a 'Chelsea tractor.'

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The windows are covered in auto-masking tape with a very fresh coat of Dullcote and 30mins later.

 

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For the usual lane detritus and muck, a Tamiya weathering stick (light earth) and a wash of Lifecolour (frame dirt) will be the next stages.

 

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Cheers

 

Btw, the images seem to be huge compared to the actual size of the wee landy, just 45mm bumper to bumper.

 

 

Edited by Jack Benson
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And whilst waiting for the next installment of landy weathering, these little darlings have joined the queue for upgrading :-

 

 

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Just cows? Actually they are genuine 1:76 not the usual 1:87 cattle from Preiser that seem to be on every rural layout, however their buttock-clenching cost might be a factor. However they don't look like Mr Dimond's prize-winning Holsteins over the fence next door, the horns and udder colour are definitely wrong.

Next_Door_Cows.jpg.5b7544dc3cdfb619f2e90a2d0cd3e1c6.jpg

 

Cheers

 

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After a bit of an unhappy few days, this is to prove that active modelling is still progressing:-

 

IMG_1305a.jpg.d25893eb513cb80969c04e60ce27c12b.jpg

 

The trees have lain in storage for many years and were made from (I think) heather stems, we could not match nature's efforts. The neglected corner looks much better than an anonymous tunnel mouth just stuck on the backscene.

 

Cheers

 

JB

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Basic weathering

 

This rather despised Dapol revamp of the Hornby-Dublo Fruit D has been the test example for weathering using the most basic tools and materials:-

12mm chisel sable
Kitchen paper towel
Lifecolour US719 Frame dirt acrylic
Pipette and tap water 

First remove the body/roof from underframe by removing large self-tapper.

The technique is simple, diluted Lifecolour acrylic (pipette and tap water) is applied in layers, the first layer provides a 'key' for the others. As soon as the first layer is applied, most of it is removed by a gentle application of the kitchen paper towel, definitely not wiped off. Then wait to dry for a couple of hours and repeat until satisfied.

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The dirt emphasises the planking and ironwork but some wagon labels are needed.

 

Cheers

 

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The same technique has been applied to the ancient Bachmann Bulleid set. They were expensive at about £15 a pop when they were released but have not increased by a huge amount. They have Hornby metal wheelsets and homemade paper corridor connections. The complete set cost about the same as one Hornby Bulleid.

 

Before

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After

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The dirt-laden brush was dragged along the bottom of the coach sides and all over the outer ends of each brake.

 

A very reasonably priced Hornby exLMS non-corridor two-car set has just joined the much cheaper Dapol exLMS non-corridor two-car set, it replaces the Ratio exMR set which is definitely not correct for the SDJR. Both sets have received 'the treatment' except Humbrol dark brown wash was used on the Dapol coaches but it took ages to harden therefore the Lifecolour will be used on the posh Hornby coaches.

 

Cheers

 

 

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Return of the prodigal - episode two

 

In early October, a leap of considerable faith was made in the form of another Hornby West Country as the first example, after running for just 50cm, before the drive mechanism had failed by locking solid. 

 

As Camelford

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The new example was both tested and weathered by TMC before receiving a new identity as one of the few West Country Bulleid Light Pacifics that were loaned to the SDJR in the mid 50s. 

 

As Crewkerne

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That just about finishes the loco collection for Child Okeford, we continue to wait for Bachmann's 1P Johnson 0-4-4t, no doubt delayed by China's coronavirus tragedy - our deep sympathy with all those affected.

 

Cheers

 

JB

 

 

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