Let There Be Light

First with Lamppost

My modelling has been a little slow recently. However, I’ve made a lamp for the station platform. It’s a Langley kit, and was easy to build.

After a little bit of weathering I fixed it in place on the platform. I think it looks good and hopefully it doesn’t give away that it was an afterthought!

I think my ‘First’ layout may be finished. There are two reasons:

  1. I cannot think of anything more that I want to add to the layout. Yes, there’s some more stock I want to build (a permanent way train, some cattle wagons and a quarry loco), but the layout itself feels complete.
  2. I’m thinking about what to do next. I’ve learned a lot from building ‘First’ and I feel it’s time to move on…

Can a layout really be finished? I think in this case it can.

 

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The Final Detailing?

Cottage GardenFor some time I have wanted to complete the gardens around the cottages. I had intended to add colourful flowers and beehives to create picturesque cottage gardens.

When I looked at it more carefully I realised that the colours would draw the viewers eye straight to the gardens… and away from the trains. So I decided to take a more understated approach and use green bushes and foliage to blend the cottages into the scenery.

My only concession to colour is a flower pot, next to the door!

I had intended this to be the last job on ‘First’. However, rummaging through my bits box I found a Langley Street Lamp. In the dark winter evenings the passengers will need some light to guide them to the station platform, won’t they?

And they say layouts are never finished…

Cottage Garden 2

 

 

Here Come The Hedges

First Layout with Hedges

No, ‘The Hedges’ are not the latest boy band. I’ve been adding hedges to cover the joins between the back scenes and the hills.

The hedging is mainly Olive Green Fine Leaf Foliage from Woodland Scenics. It’s easy to glue in place, although I did use a few pins here and there to help hold it in position while the glue set. I took my time and worked around the layout section by section. Giving the glue adequate time to dry, it’s taken three weeks to complete this (apparently) quick job.

I started working with the back scenes in position but got glue on them. I decided to fix the hedges without the back scenes in place and it was a lot easier. It didn’t take too long to sand down the back scenes and repaint them. I wont make that mistake again!

I’m pleased that I’ve finished the bulk of the landscaping work before Christmas. I can add a lot more details. It will be fun to do this in small sections, at a leisurely pace. I guess detailing is something that can go on forever….

Eagle eyed readers will notice the station building has finally been added to the platform. Made in June, painted in October, fixed in place in December. That’s leisurely.

Overall, I’m pretty chuffed with the results. It looks like a layout now.

Overall View of First Layout

Timber!

Village with Trees

I have spent a joyful Saturday morning adding trees to my layout.

The trees are from The Model Tree Shop and I have to say they are great. Each tree has a metal wire sticking out of the base of the trunk. It was easy to push this into the polystyrene hills to position the tree. Sometimes, where the hills are low, the wire went through the hill and touched the baseboard. For these trees I drilled a 2mm diameter hole through the baseboard to fit the tree. A touch of expoxy glue…. et voila… job done.

Layout with Trees

I added a small amount of scatter around each tree to cover up any excess glue. You can see this quite clearly on the countryside side of the layout. I will hoover this off tomorrow.

Countryside Side with TreesA very satisfying and enjoyable couple of hours!

 

Keep on the Grass

Static Grass on My First Layout

In the last two of weeks I have added more and more static grass to my layout. It feels like it’s taken quite a while, but in actual fact it hasn’t. Applying the grass was very quick, then I waited two days for the glue to dry after each application. That was the longest (and hardest) part.

It’s difficult to photograph acres of grass, so here’s a shot of the area around one of the cottages. The polystyrene ‘strata’ are clearly visible in the photo, eventually these will be covered by a back scene.

Next, bring on the bushes!

Static Grass Sorcery

Static Grass Experiment Number 3

Over the last few weeks I have been experimenting with static grass and, after a bit of trial and error, I’ve got some results that I’m happy with.

The picture is my best attempt so far, mark 3 I think. It has:

  • a base layer of Woodland Scenics Fine Turf Weeds scatter stuck with neat PVA (white glue)
  • a layer of a 50:50 mix of Light Green and Medium Green Woodland Scenics Static Grass stuck with a 60:40 mix of PVA and water (with a drop of washing up liquid)
  • a layer of a mixture of Summer Green and Lush Green Long Fibres from Green Scene; stuck with a 40:60 mix of PVA and water
  • some Woodland Scenics Fine Leaf Foliage (Light Green and Olive Green) in the background; stuck with neat PVA
  • Woodland Scenics Coarse Grass (Medium Green and Burnt Grass) in the foreground; stuck onto neat PVA

I’m using a Green Scene FlockIt static grass applicator which works well. Just load a mixture of the grass in the container, attach the clip to the track, turn the FlockIt on, give it a swirl for 10 seconds or so, and sprinkle the static grass from a height of about 1 inch (2.5cm).

Let the glue dry and give everything a good hoovering.

One other tip. Do not let your neighbours cat walk across the static grass while the glue is drying. Mainly because it flattens the grass but also because cleaning the cats’ paws is… erm… difficult!

I think the coarse grass in the foreground is far too dense. In future I will use it much more sparingly.

Now I feel like tackling the layout. The challenge I’m facing is I’m working in my garage which isn’t heated and the low October temperatures mean the glue is taking ages to dry. Patience, patience. Or a heater.

We Plough the Fields and Scatter

Layout with Scatter

I have added the first layer of scenery to my layout. I’ve used Woodland Scenics scatter materials stuck with a nice, thick layer of PVA glue. Easy to do and fun too.

Here’s a detailed picture of the ‘Village Side’ of the layout…

Layout with Scatter Village.

…and here’s one of the ‘Countryside Side’…

Layout with Scatter Countryside.

I am surprised by the improvement it’s made. It looks much less like a bare baseboard now!

One thing I would do differently is to use a greater mixture of colours. Everything looks too uniform at the moment. Hopefully, I can address that as I apply more layers to the scenery.