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Blog- What have I let myself in for? - Can't think of a clever title - but things are getting close!


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The first ever Weston-on-Trent model railway show is getting ever closer. Here is the latest update!<br /><br /><br />I may have been a little worried as I approached the staff meeting last week. The Weston on Trent model railway show was the only item on the agenda, and I faced the task of persuading the female dominated staff of exhibition virgins to provide help on the day. Thankfully my worries proved unfounded. They seemed to get quite excited by the event and a few have got together to take on the organisation of catering. I had expected a few bacon butties, cakes, drinks and sandwiches. But they seem to be planning an even broader menu including jacket spuds and croissants (not on the same plate I hope!!).  A few others have decided on a “children’s room” so parents can leave their kids with the staff whilst they go off and spend money. Colouring competitions, Thomas videos and even a Brio train set where mentioned.<br /><br />  With the expected layouts having all confirmed things really are starting to take shape. I have now started the show guide, adding in those layout descriptions and photographs I have received so far. I aim to finish this during the school's October half term so that it can be printed in the week leading up to the show. Gradually I feel that things are "coming together"...now if only I could find a couple more small layouts for the second corridor I would feel like I have completed the job.<br /><br /> Talking of completing the job; I need to really get stuck into Skaleby West and get my layout ready for its exhibition debut. I was back on task last weekend with a rather bizarre modelling day. As Sky Sports showed the Nottingham Forest V Derby County match; there I was dressed in my Rams shirt, working away on the layout, whilst trying not to smirk too much as my Forest supporting wife shouted abuse at the screen (1-0, 1-0, 1-0, 1-0).<br /> I started by completing the hedgerow at the rear of the layout after finally managing to acquire the final piece. I then added further layers of static grass to hide any gaps at the bottom of the hedge where it refused to stick flush to the top of the embankment. Next I turned my attention to the platform. A few weeks ago I acquired some station fencing from a local swapmeet. This was a nice style, but looked just too bright and white for my liking. It needed some kind of weathering.<br /><br /> Now I admit I have never done any kind of weathering before. I have always been afraid to touch the expensive locomotives and carriages in my collection, preferring to buy factory weathered versions where possible. But as far as I know there does not seem to be factory weathered station fencing out there, so I had to take the plunge.<br /> First I used a modelling knife to cut the fencing from its plastic holder. Then, using some weathering powders acquired at the Loughborough show, I dry brushed some “muck brown” onto the rear of the fencing. I tried to ensure a good collection of dirt in the corners by the fence posts. I then turned the fencing over and dry brushed a covering onto this side as well. After shaking off the excess I gave each fence piece a generous coating of hair spray which I hoped would fix the powders in place. Everything seemed to remain in place when I glued the fence into position. Fuelled with a little more confidence I then tackled the telephone box. Unfortunately the powders didn’t seem to want to remain in place when treated with hair spray and so I will have to look at this again.<br /><br /><strong class='bbc'>A view of the newly added, and weathered, station fencing.</strong><br /><span style='font-family: Comic Sans MS'><span style='font-size: 12px;'><span style='color: #000000'> </span></span><span style='color: #000000'><span style='font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif'>So as the show gradually gets closer I look over the layout and begin to compile the final list of jobs for the big push to the end.  I can feel satisfied that many of these jobs fall into the “would be nice to do” rather than the “must get done” category. Ok, the layout does not have any signals and the point motors are not wired yet. But they can be operated, by hand, from underneath the layout away from public view. The layout also needs the additional detail. The recent issue of the Hornby Magazine had some free Sankey Scenic signs which would look great on the station fence. The platform also needs some additional detail including benches, luggage, milk churns and people. I would also like to detail the inside of the signal box and coal merchant’s wagon. </span></span></span><br /><span style='font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif'><span style='color: #000000'> </span></span><br /><span style='font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif'><span style='color: #000000'><strong class='bbc'>A low level view of Skaleby West station. It would definitely benefit from the addition of the extra detail described above.</strong></span></span><br /><span style='font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif'><span style='color: #000000'> There is one area that falls into the “must get done” category however. That is the goods yard area. Whilst all sidings have been ballasted, I still need to fill in the gap between this and the main running line. I had planned to have some kind of goods building here, but can’t find one small enough. It looks like I may have to try my hand at kit building. There was a small kit in the first ever issue of the Hornby Magazine which may just do the trick.</span></span><br /><span style='font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif'><span style='color: #000000'></span></span><br /><span style='font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif'><span style='color: #000000'><strong class='bbc'>Two views of the unfinished goods yard, showing the gap that needs filling in.</strong></span></span><br /><br /><span style='font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif'><span style='color: #000000'> As this scenic work was finished there was just 6 weeks to go until the show. Now, as I write this update, there is only 5 and I have done nothing more to the layout. Time to panic again???</span></span><br /><br /><span style='font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif'><span style='color: #000000'>Until next time....</span></span>

 

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