All change

Mixture of feelings today.

After much consideration, I have decided that for the foreseeable, Cwm Prysor will be a home layout. To put this bluntly, as well as trying to make a living I am the carer for my terminally ill father. He is housebound and on 24hour oxygen and although there was the plan for someone to be with him when I was to be away at shows, I ultimately do not want to leave him. One day he wont be here and I can do what I wish, but at the moment he needs me and I need him.

My whole enthusiasm for the layout has taken a knock recently, but the decision not to exhibit has given me a bit of a boost today, so the plan to finish the layout in the coming months is still on target for the summer and a photo shoot with Railway Modeller.

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I have now finished the bridge and the lake frontage, so my next stage is to texture the road surface, adding the dry stone walls before grass work will begin.

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Meanwhile, I’ve started planning the next layout, which will be a home layout. It will fit nicely alongside the opposite wall and to quite Monty Python, it will be a case of ‘ and now for something completely different’. I don’t want to say much more at the moment, but they do say variety is the spice of life! 🙂

Activity will probably be slowing down on here now, but I hope to post some more content in a month or so.

All the best

Tom

This week…. Ballasting!

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Yep, it’s that mundane task that we all have to go through at some point. Maybe it’s because I’ve only got a smallish single track layout, but I’ve actually enjoyed it. I tried out a couple of methods on a test piece but in the end went with the old and tested method of applying the ballast dry, wetting with water and fairy liquid before fixing with 50/50 water/pva. The first results were seen a month or so ago when I ballasted the area in front of the platform. I suppose although ballasting was the main focus, it is also the start of the scenic modelling on the layout, something I’m genuinely excited about.

I suppose my approach, was similar to how I would approach weathering a wagon or locomotive. For several days before hand I studied photos of the area around Cwm Prysor and although these were black and white, it gave me a good idea of how things should look, in particular the trackbed of the loop.

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The overall finish I’m really pleased with, but it took several hours to get the desired effect. The basis of the loop trackbed was Treemendus Earth Powder. Geoff Taylor had recommended this to me, and it’s a great substance to work with. I’m not sure what it’s made up of, but ‘Earth Powder’ really sums up the results. This was sprinkled on top of diluted PVA, before then adding the odd sprinkle of fine ballast. I then turned to Busch fine black ballast, a black sand substance which works well to represent ash ballast. This was also used as the basis for the the siding. Once applied though it didn’t look quite right, so after some further thought I decided to add some powder. This had the desired effect I was after, giving a textured feel. To create slight discolouration to the ballast, I added a dirty wash through a pipette which I found soaks evenly into the ballast giving a natural look as it seeps outward.

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The buffer stop has come out rather well I think. It’s the standard GWR design produced by Lanarkshire Models and has been on the layout for several months. It had been sprayed brown when the track  work was done. However yesterday it was brush painted (along with the rail edges) with Revell 84. Once dry this was given a wash with AK interactive rust streaks. This same method was applied to the rail edges and  I think has created the desired effect.

A rather productive weekend I think and it’s one less thing to do. Next week I’m going to Das the bridge buttresses in preparation for carving the stone work, the results have been quite successful on the culvert portal, and with some advice on painting the stone work from Geoff Taylor. Once that is in place I can mod rock the surrounding area and begin making the lake.

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So we are getting there I think and the target for summer is still looking favourable. I’m still learning, but the important thing is I’m still enjoying this strange, crazy yet wonderful hobby we share in.