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Just like a good backscene; see my A view from the line post regarding Fisherton Sarum’s backscene here, or my Canute Road Quay backscene post here; another area that I think is vital for any model railway layout, especially if being exhibited, is good lighting. There are a number of reasons for this: firstly and the main reason, is of course to show of your modelling efforts and skills in the best light (pun intended) possible, and secondly due to the fact the ambient lighting at exhibition venues can be variable at best. One key area to bear in mind is the colour / warmth of the lighting that you provide, more of which below…

Over the years a number of methods have been used with mixed results, such as using a number of spot lamps, fluorescent tubes, a mixture of the two and more recently LED strips. I am generally not a fan of multiple spot lamps especially facing in different directions as they can give unrealistic multiple shadows. Note also that technically you plant bulbs but use lamps as a light source in a luminaire…

colour-temperatureThe colour of white, might sound odd but in fact it’s actually a thing, or rather the colour temperature is. This colour temperature is measured in Kelvin (K). The slightly unnatural yellowy orange tint of a classic tungsten lamp would be in the 2700K (warm white) range, with the light becoming colder and whiter and slightly more natural, up to around 6500K for a cold blue light and even more blue up to 10,000K.
Many of us find doing actual modelling or craft work under a daylight cool blue white lamp (the daylight lamp I use is around the 4000K mark) easier on the eye and also better for rendition of other colours under this artificial light, this especially useful when painting.
Therefore the lighting that we use on our layouts will also benefit from being at the more daylight blue and more natural end of the white temperature spectrum.

A split image showing lighting on Fisherton Sarum from the public’s view (top) and operator’s view (bottom)

A split image showing lighting on Fisherton Sarum from the public’s view (top) and operator’s view (bottom)

On Fisherton Sarum I use, mounted inside the overhead pelmet (painted white inside), two daylight / cool white range (6500K)  florescent tubes to give the overall and even illumination, with two additional spot daylight rated (approx 6000K) spot lamps to give additional illumination to the front corners of the layout specifically around the shed and houses areas (these are far enough apart and carefully angled to prevent any unwanted / unrealistic odd shadows).

Many modellers are now using LED lighting for layout lighting and usually via the increasingly widely available strips of surface mounted LEDs that you simply cut to length. They either come with a transformer and or a controller of some description. This is what I have chosen to use on Canute Road Quay. Just like lamps and fluorescent tubes these LED strips can be obtained in a variety of  white colour ranges usually: warm (between 2700-3200K), daylight (4000-4500K) and cool (5000-6200K).

A view from the inside of Canute Road Quay with the LED strip installed in the underside of the pelmet

A view from the inside of Canute Road Quay with the LED strip installed in the underside of the pelmet

I obtained a metre long, cool white, self adhesive LED strip, plug and play kit complete with plug mounted mains transformer from LED Hut this was inexpensive, already the correct length and very easy to fit. The kit came with a simple plug and socket connection to the lead from the transformer, which I have extended to enable me to mount the socket under the baseboard.
With the overcast greyish sky backscene and drab industrial colours I am using on Canute Road Quay I opted for cool white as the more yellowish warm white would conflict with the overall layout colouration and appear to be less natural.

The even lighting of the LED strip can be seen in this picture of Canute road Quay as it currently stands

This strip has given a very even natural looking light, that alone slightly too bright for what I will want if and when I exhibit Canute Road Quay, I have therefore now added added an opaque strip of plastic in front of the LEDs to reduce the brightness slightly.
Some of the more expensive LED strips on the market allow you to control both the brightness and colour range, which would also give rise to changing the lighting to represents different times of the day etc.  and I can see such effects being utilised more and more in the hobby.

 

 

This months picture…

A Maunsell N1 class, a modified Bachmann model hauls ballast train past the shed. The SR Diagram 1774 40T hoppers are modified LIMA wagons on new bogies and other details. Salisbury Cathedral can be seen in the background.

A Maunsell N1 class, a modified Bachmann model, hauls ballast train past the sheds coal stage. The SR Diagram 1774 40T hoppers are modified LIMA wagons on new bogies and other details. Salisbury Cathedral can be seen in the background.

Although not strictly model news this latest book from the excellent Irwell Press stable will provide an invaluable resource for LSWR, Southern or Southern region modellers alike. ‘Southern Nouveau: An essay in concrete’ was originally published as a small paperback comprising of only 56 pages, 30 years ago in 1987 by Chris Hawkins and George Reeve via Wild Swan Publications,  and has long since been out of print, with some copies fetching silly amounts of money on well known auction sites.

The latest, hot off the press (last weekend in fact) publication from my good friends at the Irwell Press,  is “SOUTHERN NOUVEAU – And the Lineside.” a very much expanded tome at 400 pages and in hardback format  It covers much more of the story of the Exmouth Junction Concrete Works, from its early beginnings, the development of its products and is somewhat expanded, from the original publication, to cover many more lineside items as the title implies.
It includes pretty much all the Concrete items, from entire huts and footbridges, to humble posts in every conceivable size and configuration, that poured out of the special concrete works at Exmouth Junction and slowly caused the ‘look’ of the Southern to change. And that was before the celebrated Southern Art Deco buildings began to appear, which are also included in this publication.
This a comprehensive record and account of those years, of developments which rippled out across the wider BR network until even the 1970s. It uses a large number of photographs and drawings, along with detailed descriptions, of almost every facet of the Southerns lineside items as they evolved well into BR days, even including details of the official painting specification for the myriad of items that are included, ranging from Posts, Platforms, Name / running boards, Bridges, Huts, Stores, Stations, Engine Sheds and Signal Boxes.

I am pretty confident that there is no other single source in which almost the entire spectrum of lineside items of the Southern Railway / Region can be found and therefore it will prove to be a most valuable resource, so I wholeheartedly  recommend it to any Southern / Southern Region historian or modeller . I have even been able to provide a small contribution within the weighty book, see if you can spot it…

At the BRM / Warners / MRC London Festival of Model Railways this weekend Kernow Model Rail Centre have on display for the first time a full livery samples of the Bulleid diesels 10201/2&3.  The post also provides very first images of the Bachmann ex SECR Birdcage sets crimson livery sample unveiled at the show for the very first time. I also provide an update on other Southern / Southern Region related RTR work in progress and model news. This follows the recent release of the excellent Hornby original Merchant Navy pacifics, in SR malachite, the BR livery version are due soon, as reviewed in my post here. We look forward to their H class 0-4-4T arriving later in the year as well as tooling is well advanced and livery artwork specifications completed.

Kernow Model Rail Centre – Bulled 1C0-C01 Diesels 10201/2 & 3

Although announced some time ago, the necessary research for the production of the CADS for these diesels with their complex multiple curved exterior shape has taken much longer than planned. During last year additional information came to light that has assisted greatly with development progress.

K2701 Bulleid diesel 10201 (incorrectly numbered 10203) in BR black livery with early emblem. Picture courtesy and copyright Kernow Model Rail Centre

I have fortunate to have been party to progress that has been made during the last few months; firstly, with various sets of CADs, initial Engineering Prototypes and now the livery sample versions on public display for the first time this weekend.
By way of a recap four versions are being produced:

K2704 Bulleid diesel 10203 livery sample in BR Green livery. Picture courtesy and copyright Kernow Model Rail Centre

K2701 Number 10201 in BR Black livery with early emblem.
K2701 Number 10202 in BR Black livery with early emblem.
K2703 Number 10203 in BR Black livery with early emblem.
K2704 Number 10203 in BR Green livery with late crest.

The purpose of the livery samples are of course to check the application and livery details, so being the first such samples there are a few known corrections to be made before these can go to production, such as confirming the colour shades, adding lining and changing to the correct late emblem and no interconnecting doors on the K2704 version. These models are fitted with now standard arrangement, for similar diesel and electric models of a centrally mounted motor driving each bogie via drive shafts and a gear tower.

[update 31/03/17] The  Kernow Model Rail Centre have further advised “The factory very kindly decorated this first sample from their own research, rather than supplying the model in unfinished grey. They also provided a sample of the version with a corridor connection that we were not intending to produce in the initial batch, having speculatively decided to tool this in case we wanted it! This again they supplied painted from their own research. Unfortunately the paint finish was incorrect and the running numbers applied were not correct for the tooling combination.”

Kernow Model Rail Centre – SR Gate Stock Pull Push sets and 4-TC Units

After what appears to have a bit of a long and frustrating wait, for potentially a number of reasons, the first livery samples of the Gate Stock Pull/Push sets have been finally received, via DJ Models, by the Kernow Model Rail Centre. Four livery versions are being produced, namely:

1st Livery Sample of K1001 in lined olive green. Picture courtesy and copyright kernow Model Rail Centre

K1001 Set 374 SR Lined Olive http://www.kernowmod…-Set-number-374
K1002 Set 373 SR Malachite http://www.kernowmod…-Set-number-373
K1003 Set 363 BR lined Crimson http://www.kernowmod…-Set-number-363
K1004 Set 373 BR Green (plated) http://www.kernowmod…-Set-number-373

1st Livery Sample of K1004 in BR green livery, and with plated panels. Picture courtesy and copyright kernow Model Rail Centre

There are a number of slight corrections already identified to be made, including the size and weight of the set numbers, running number and Southern sizes and positioning, the droplight colour on the olive green set and handrail colours etc.
Yes it is known that in the pictures left the bodies on these samples have been assembled on the chassis the wrong way around and swapped between driving and trailer cars, hence the steps not lining up with the gated entrances, and has since been corrected.

K1001 livery sample with Chassis assembled the correct way round!

The purpose of these samples is to confirm the liveries (and a small number of corrections made to the body tooling since the last Engineering Prototype) and no further tooling changes are proposed. It is good at last to see further progress made and hopefully once the livery amendments can be made production slots can be allocated.

Livery samples have also been received from Bachmann for the 4-TC units, also known as class 491 and later class 438, commissioned by The Kernow Model Rail Centre that were first announced in June last year.

36-640Z 4-TC in BR Blue Picture courtesy and copyright Kernow Model Rail Centre

Initially six liveries will be produced:

32-640Z Bachmann Class 491 4-TC Unit number 416 in BR Blue livery with small yellow warning panels and etched BR logos
32-641Z Bachmann Class 491 4-TC unit number 404 in BR Blue and Grey livery
32-642Z Bachmann Class 438 4-TC unit number 8022 in BR Blue and Grey livery with Network SouthEast branding
32-643Z Bachmann Class 438 4-TC unit number 8023 in Network SouthEast livery
32-644Z Bachmann Class 438 4-TC unit number 410 in BR Blue livery with half yellow ends Premier Charter with etched BR logos
32-646Z Bachmann Class 438 unit number 8007 in BR Research red and blue livery

Bachmann ex SECR Birdcage sets first look at livery sample and other Work in Progress

Bachmann in 00 gauge have a number of SR related developments as work in progress at the moment. The highlight at the show was the first appearance of the first livery sample pf the ex SECR Birdcage sets.

Bachmann ex SECR Bridcage set crimson livery sample

The ex SECR Birdcage coaching stock, are at livery sample stage. Three livery versions have been announced namely: SECR Dark Lake,
SR Olive Green and BR crimson.
Bachmann having now received and showing the BR crimson version so far, with the other slightly more complex liveries to follow soon. The expected delivery dates are currently September / October.

The Bachmann Birdcage set Composite coach livery sample

The ex LBSR H2 class 4-4-2, is awaiting livery samples and expected delivery dates are currently November / December
The Class 450 4 Car EMUs are at livery sample stage and expected delivery dates are currently August/September

The other Brake Third ex SECR Birdcage livery sample

No further news on the progress, other than being at the R&D stage, of the Class 414 2-HAP or Class 410 4-BEP EMUs, or the Ransoms and Rapier 45T steam cranes at the moment.

In N gauge the Graham Farish C Class 0-6-0 announced earlier this year is in the R& D stage along with the Class 319 EMU whilst the SECR Birdcage coaches are in the drawing office.

Dapol put N Gauge models in abeyance including Bulleid Light Pacifics

Dapol have have announced, that due to: “effects of the decision to leave the EU last June continue, particularly on the devaluation of Sterling and the increase in the general feeling of uncertainty as the actual leave date looms. These effects coupled with the continued inflationary pressures being experienced in China means that the decision to invest in projects and develop new lines is becoming increasingly difficult. Not only is the unit cost of models rising at an alarming rate but the cost of the tooling is also escalating.” They went on to say: “Unfortunately, some previously announced and mooted projects will have to be put on abeyance until the economic conditions become more favourable. This is particularly, but not exclusively the case in N gauge were the small size of the market, the relatively high cost of manufacture and natural cap on retail prices means that returns are least favourable. Projects such as the Class 50, Class 59, prototype HST, Battle of Britain and others are being delayed as result of this.”

The Dapol Maunsell 4 Compartment Brake Third in N Gauge Engineering Prototype

Dapol have confirmed that the N Gauge 4 compartment Brake Third and the Brake Composite are still to be released in the Summer and will not be impacted by the recent announcement.
I personally feel we might have to read between the lines a little on this, for example on what abeyance / delayed actually means…

The first test pieces for the Dapol ex LSWR B4 note the cab variations

[update 26/03/17] I can confirm that this not affect the  00 gauge ex LSWR B4, announced back in 2014, as this is in tooling and the had some of the first test pieces on display.

 

Delivered via its current day namesake, my Hornby 21C3 ‘Royal Mail’ arrived this week. It is gratifying to see a project that I have in a small part been involved with for nearly two years come to fruition. I have already posted on this blog a few times about the Merchant Navy classes, in connection with the prototype, my kit built examples, progress of the Hornby versions since their announcement in 2015 and also the variations possible from the first releases. Click here to see a list of such posts.

Hornby 21C3 with the detailing items added and the nameplates replaced with Fox Transfers etched versions

So far the first two have arrived in the guise of R3434 21C1 ‘Channel Packet’ and R3435 21C3 ‘Royal Mail’ with the other two BR liveried versions of the first releases due in the next couple of months. This post is not a full review as such but aims to discuss some of the features of the model, although I hope the pictures (and thanks to Andy York and BRM magazine for some of the images on this post) speak more than my words.  Ultimately tooling will be such that the majority of the number of the variations / modifications of the Merchant Navy class in their original form can be produced, but of course it will be a number of years before all will be seen.

An X-ray style view showing inside the body (picture courtesy and copyright A York /BRM)

Starting with the chassis and drive, a large 5 pole motor and brass flywheel drives the rear axle via a gear tower and provided very smooth and powerful running and impressive haulage  as I have witnessed on the High Wycombe and District MRS layout Hinton Parva. Electrical pick up is via the driving wheels on the loco and those on the tender, the drawbar between the loco and is of the latest permanently fixed style, with two positions via a screw on the loco, to allow close coupling should your layout curves allow.
The wiring between the loco and tender terminates in the usual Hornby plug and socket, but as the they are permanently coupled there should be no need to repeatedly remove the plug from the socket.

A close up of the chassis, coupling rods, and factory fitted brake rodding on 21C3

The coupling rods are some of the best I have seen on a ready-to-run locomotive, even down the to representation of the lubricating oil filler corks. The Bulleid-Fuirth-Brown wheels are well represented although the metal tyres might look better slightly toned down a little.

A close up of the cab and ashpan of 21C3

The fixed rear pony truck has flangeless wheels as is Hornby’s current way for pacific wheel arrangements allowing for a better representation of the ashpan etc. It may be possible if your curves allow to fit a flanged wheelset if you wish.  The pony truck is also a separate component, held on with a single screw which should allow for Hornby to change between the cast and fabricated versions of the different prototypes in the future.
Thankfully Hornby have decided to factory fit the characteristic brake rodding on both the loco and tender (although some owners have reported that they have had to re glue the rodding at some of the mounting points), the former, was on their past Bulleid models difficult to glue in place due to the small contact area and type of plastic they use.
For those wanting to get under the body it is easily removed by first removing the front bogie, held in place with one screw, and then the two chassis to body screws. The DCC socket and space for a speaker is within the tender, the body of which is simply held on with two screws.

The front end view of 21C3, the larger size of the ‘C’ compared to the numerals is correct to the prototype, noting the Fox Transfers etched roundel I have fitted

The body captures the shape and curves of the original well, being as in her very early condition with ‘widows peak’ cowl above the smokebox there are no smoke deflectors and if being a little critical the front edge of the body side, due to the limitations of the tooling for a mass production model ,are perhaps slightly too thick and I may well look to bevel these from the inside edge slightly to deceive the eye in the area (although part of me is still deciding whether to forward date this model by cutting back the front sides, fitting smoke deflectors and the later top cowl). Looking down the chimney you even see a representation of the locomotives blast pipe, (21C1 also has its unique chimney cover plate modelled in the open position).

The impressive cab detailing and printing (picture courtesy and copyright A York /BRM)

The cab is very well represented, complete with nice representations of the two part cab doors, with great attention detail internally with exceptional printing of the various pipework, handles, gauges and dials. The cab roof, complete with lifting eyes etc., has a separately applied ventilator that can be opened or closed. The side windows are neatly glazed and modelled in the open position (rear pane slide behind the front pane and are complete with the windshield.

The cab roof including the sliding shutter (picture courtesy and copyright A York /BRM)

The nameplates and smokebox door roundel on 21C3 and also the number and tender ‘Southern’ plates on  21c1 (with the roundel correctly being the initial style inverted horseshoe) are separate parts but flat printed rather than having any cast relief such as you would get with etched versions. I have therefore already replaced those on my 21C3 with etched plates from Fox Transfers. For those also wanting etched number plates and Southern plates for 21C1 these are available from C.G.W Nameplates. The nameplates are simply held in place by three spigots one in the middle and one at each end of the ‘Merchant Navy Class’ cross bar lettering and they came away from the model easily using the tip of a modelling scalpel enabling the etched plates to be glued in place directly to the body side. The overall painting, lining, printing of the numbers and ‘Sunshine’ Southern lettering, correctly slightly different between the numbers and the Southern lettering, and the larger ‘C’ as part of the 21C3 number is of Hornby’s  usual high standard.

A view of the other side of 21C3

Included with the loco is an accessory pack that contains a pair of front steps for the loco buffers (which might like the wheel tyres benefit from being toned down from the bright steel) and rear steps for the bufferbeam on the tender, cylinder drain cocks and also steam and vacuum pipes. As with previous Hornby Bulleid pacifics the front steps in particular require glue to affix and is a little tricky, I may well end up replacing these with more robust lost wax castings from RT models, the other items all have positive location holes for fitting. A front tension lock coupling is also included.

Just like when the rebuilt Merchant Navy model was first introduced in 2000 it raised the bar as far as models from Hornby was concerned, I feel that once again the Merchant Navy has been the cause of the bar being set even higher and I am pretty certain that it is no coincidence that it coincides with Paul Isle, whom it has been a pleasure to assist, coming on board at Hornby as head researcher. I look forward to the release of more members of the class and variations in due course, as they are sure to be popular.

 

 

This week saw the first of the new Hornby ‘Original’ Merchant Navy Pacifics hitting  the retailers, see my Talking Stock #35 post here for more details and also the full size ‘Rebuilt’ Merchant Navy Pacific 35006 Peninsular & Oriental S. N. Co. steaming in public service for the first time in 2017 on the  Gloucestershire and Warwickshire Railway (GWSR) for the week of services allied with the Cheltenham Races Festival. With this in mind I thought it was time that firstly I finished my model of 35006 in her as preserved guise (being a shareholder), and also that I mentioned the Rebuilt Merchant Navy Pacifics on this blog, although they are of course out of my usual 1946-49 modelling period.

Rebuilding the Merchant Navy’s

21C6 in original condition on Fisherton Sarum

Although in general the Merchant Navy class as introduced were a success, proving to be powerful and very free steaming, one of the outcomes of the less than scientifically carried out Locomotive Exchange trails in 1948 and further performance and efficiency tests carried out at the Rugby Stationary Test Plant between March 1952 and January 1952, showed them to be costing a lot in: coal, water, oil and secondly maintenance when compared to other classes. These costs along with issues of leakage of oil from the enclosed motion oil baths and the reliability and accuracy of the steam reverser / cut off setting led to the Southern Region looking at options to improve the engines.  The option chosen as opposed to trying to overcome the individual issues was to rebuild the engines with more ‘standard parts’.

Rebuilt 35006 in the sunshine at the Gloucester and Warwickshire Railway.

The task was given, in 1954, to R.G. Jarvis of the Chief Mechanical and Electrical Engineer’s Department at Brighton, his new design replaced the encased oil bath and chain driven valve gear with three sets of  more traditional Walschaerts valve gear, new style piston heads and rods, regulator and a screw-link type reverser. The ashpan and grate were also replaced and included hopper bottom doors and front and rear dampers. A new fabricated smokebox, superheater header and steam pipes were also fitted.
The frames, outside cylinders, boilers were retained along with the: Bullied-Firth-Brown wheels (although now needing balance weights to be fitted), axleboxes, the efficient ‘clasp’ locomotive brakes and the ‘Stones’ steam generator for electric lighting both for the engine headsignals and in cab lighting. The same tenders were utilised, albeit with the side raves cut down to ease water filling access and reverse running view. The drawbar between the loco and tender however was replaced.

Reflecting on  superb standard of external finish on 35006.

Externally the ‘Air Smoothed’ casing was removed giving the look common to the recently introduced BR standard classes, although the characteristic oval shaped smokebox door was kept. Sanding, from replacement sandboxes, was also added to the leading driving axle, whilst rearward application was incorporated to the middle driving axle and new mechanical lubricators were accessibly mounted on the running plate alongside the boiler.
In 1955 the British Railways Board gave authority for fifteen of the class to be modified and authority for rebuilding the remainder swiftly followed. In February 1956 Eastleigh works released 35018 British India Line in its newly modified form (35018 as the prototype rebuild remained unique to the rest of the class as the front sandbox filler position and injector pipework differed), by October 1959 all the class had been rebuilt.
Performance of the rebuilt engines was indeed successful, solving most of the maintenance issues, although one drawback was that they put greater loads on the track, than the largely self balanced originals, as a result of increased hammerblow, caused by the balance weights required for the Walschaerts valve gear.

My model of rebuilt 35006 as preserved

The release by Hornby in the year 2000 of the rebuilt Merchant Navy locomotive heralded a new generation of model steam locomotives by Hornby and was a step change of standard of models reactive to competition in the market place and gave us a new super detail standard featuring blackened finish handrails and wheels with etched brass valve gear, detailed cab interior, and a five pole motor housed and driving within the locomotive itself. Over the years a number of the class have been released with a few modifications to the tooling along the way, although as yet none of the first series engines as rebuilt have been released as the 5000 gallon style tenders they were paired with have not been tooled.

My model of 35006 in as preserved condition

As 35006 in preservation has been paired to a brand new built larger 5100 style tender I have used a Hornby R1038 35012 United States Lines (split from a train pack) locomotive as the basis for my model.
Firstly I removed the cabside number numbers via my usual method of soaking the Hornby printing in enamel thinners and rubbing off with a cotton bud and replacing with HMRS Pressfix decals.

A front 3/4 view of 35006 based on the Hornby Rebuilt Merchant Navy with detailing parts and etched plates from RT Models and Fox Transfers

New nameplates and smokebox door number plates were fitted along with an extched 72B Salisbury shedcode plate on the smokebox in the slightly higher position than usual, level with the lower smokebox  hinge, on 35006 which was a charactoristic of her when in service. All the plates were obtained from Fox Transfers.
I replaced the front steps as supplied by Hornby by the more robust lost wax cast versions, along with a set of the cylinder drain pipes to complete the front end look, obtained through RT Models, from his excellent Albert Goodall range.
As I am modelling 35006 in her preserved condition I want to to also represent her superb external paintwork finish with a reflective and classic oily rag polished hue and have therefore given the model a coat of Kleer floor polish to give a such a finish to the paintwork (and also seal in the decals).

More details of 35006 and the locomotive Society can be found on my dedicated page here.  Also it is worth mentioning the 35011 The General Steam Navigation Locomotive Restoration Society that was formed last year with the intention of not only restoring 35011 back to working order but doing so back in original air smoothed condition condition complete with Bulleid’s oil bath encased valve gear incorporating chain drive elements to fill the gap in preserved examples left by the entire class having been rebuilt.

Following on from completing the basic ground and the inset concrete trackwork areas on Canute Road Quay as detailed on my post here, I have now in addition to adding some ballast in around the point work and also the headshunt,  started to add the next stage of the ground cover and colouration of the concrete inset track.

Earth and Static Grass areas

A vew of the backscene looking to the LH corner. the still to be completed ground cover is evident

Green Scenes texture paint has been used to give the base colour to the earth and concrete areas

Once I was happy with the air drying clay used to form the basic formation of the ground cover, I used earth coloured textured paint from Green Scenes to act as the base and have now applied a couple of initial layers of static grass.

Static grass uses fibres to represent individual blades and strands of grasses etc. that is applied via an applicator. The applicators are usually battery powered,  that charge the fibres with an electrical charge. The applicator is also connected to the layout, near to the area being applied via a lead either using a crocodile clip attached to one of the rails (as in this case on Canute Road Quay), or to a small nail temporary inserted locally into the scenery to provide the opposite charge. This results in the fibres when shaken out of the applicator standing up, just like grass, with they land on the thin layer of rapid drying conducting PVA style glue on the scenic area. I prefer to use the excellent static grass applicator and fibres from W W Secnics. Their ‘Pro Grass applicator is made in the UK is lightweight, powered by a 9V battery, an illuminated on-off switch and has interchangeable sieve heads to handle a range of fibre lengths from 2 to 12mm.

The initial couple of layers of static grass have been applied

The initial couple of layers of static grass have been applied

Static grass comes in multiple lengths, and colours ranging from springs to summer  / autumn more yellowish colours, the reason for this is that you build the grass up to achieve a realistic looking grass and varity of tines to suit the location and time of year you wish to represent. I find that a lot of the available fibres are often a far to bright green, which is one of the reasons why I like the fibres from W W Secnics and even then I then to use their more muted summer and autumn colours.

Looking the other way to show the grassed area between the loop tracks

Looking the other way to show the grassed area between the loop tracks

Now that I have stated with the initial build up of the grass I will add further layers, where appropriate and also additional textures using some Woodland Scenics materials in due course for further complete the scene and the effect that I am looking for. I will also add some discolouration / dirt / oil stains etc. on some the grass where it has grown up between the sleepers on the track itself.

Concrete Inset Track

The expansion joints have been added to the concrete inset track area

The expansion joints have been added to the concrete inset track area

The Inset track area, having been initially built up with layers of cork has now also been a coating of textured paint from Green Scenes this time their concrete colour.
For such a large area of concrete, in real life it would soon crack due to expansion and so in practice it would be laid as slabs with a bitumen based expansion joint between to allow for any movement of each slab.  I have therefore added such expansion joints to the concrete area in the foreground of the layout leading up to the dock edge. IN practice the distance between expansion joints is dictated bu the thickness of the concrete slab and in this instance I have gone with joints set at 15ft intervals which would be appropriate for slabs up to and around 8″ thick.

Another view of the concrete inset track area and the expansion joints

Another view of the concrete inset track area and the expansion joints

To create the impression of the joints I initially scribed the joint lines into the surface of the concrete with the edge of a small screwdriver blade before running a soft pencil down the scribed line to give the weathered grayish look to the jointing bitumen. Some of the joints towards the edges of the slabs, i.e. those areas not seeing much vehicular traffic, will also get some fine turf Woodland Scenic material added in due course as I further detail the scene.

The overall view of Canute Rod Quay as it current stands is below, more updates to follow soon…

crq_march2017_5

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