Tuesday 31 October 2017

A Foreign Layout!

Regular followers of this blog know that I tend to concentrate on backwaters - frequently in the west of England. As a nice change a couple of weeks ago I picked up a part complete project, the owner wanting me to add scenery and ground texture to his German layout. 20 hours work has produced the below.... shortly before we loaded up the car for its return journey we snapped a few photos 'under the lights'.

 It's based on a southern German pre-ware scenario in an area known for its sandy limestone soil. It was important too keep the colouring light.
 Arriving at the end of the line..
 Coaling up...
 A wide open feeling has been achieved within a relatively small foot print. Sometimes it's good not to cram too much in..
You can find out more about this layout here http://timhalesblog.blogspot.co.uk/
Drop me a line if you have a stalled project or simply don't have time to complete a project.

Wednesday 11 October 2017


Click to enlarge
The problem with with small shelf type layouts can be achieving a believable looking depth. Fountain Colliery is only 1 foot  / 30cm deep, so I've been adding some trees along the front to break up the open vista. The Forest of Dean, where this little layout is supposed to be, is obviously a rather woody place, so I need to add as many trees as possible.

Positioning the trees will take a little trail and error, they need to look natural position wise and not look too contrived like a parkland or ornamental garden. I also need to arrange them so they don't get in the way of operation. For the time being, none of the trees will be permanently fixed down as I access their position and practicality.

As recommended in the excellent Albion Yard Blog I've been trying out these Woodland Scenics bendy tree armatures as a basis for tree production. Of course I could wind my own from wire and plaster, but as is frequently the case, time is not always in my side. The tree below taking around 30 minutes from bending the tree to shape, spraying a dull grey ish colour and adding my own foliage dressing from flock coated micro fibre. They have the bonus of being very strong too, always as advantage when close to the edge of a baseboard.
Click to enlarge

Thursday 5 October 2017

Roger Sprocket

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The works train stops at the works halt to pick up Roger Sprocket - a tiresome man, who for all of his career has worked in the MOD film unit labs. His particular job is to manually check and count the number of sprocket holes that run down either side of 100 ft and 400 ft rolls 35mm motion picture film. He has a passing interest in railways, but his real passion is to hang around at bus stations wearing nothing but a dirty gabardine rain coat whilst shouting out in his irritating nasal
voice "hellllloooo layyyyydeees".

Meet Roger Sprocket and many others no doubt, at Brew Street & Fountain Colliery's first outing - Saturday 4 November, 2017 Wycrail

Click to enlarge

Sunday 1 October 2017

Coffee Stirrers

Toy trains don't have to be an expensive hobby, disposable coffee stirrer are a great source of cheap timber, or possibly free if you have a naughty streak (I'll leave that bit to your imagination, I don't want a global tax avoiding coffee shop knocking on my door).

So, a couple of hours messing about with coffee stirrers, PVA glue and static grass - out pops a rather rustic works halt, all rather Tollesbury Light Railway maybe?

I might add a little fence/barrier along the nearest edge to stop those entering the 2018 Darwin Awards from exiting the train, flying across the rather narrow platform and breaking themselves on the track nearest.

Operationally this will add a little more scope between the coal and timber (pit props with Scandinian pine) workings to and from Fountain Colliery on the next module down. Looking at that train, the brake van would have to have done a lot of work, the engine being steam brake only.

Click on the photos above and below for a bigger view...