Sunday, 15 September 2013

Going Green!

With an impending house move bringing the effective deadline for this project ever closer I have been making progress on both layout and locos. This is an exciting time for the layout build as it quickly progresses from bare boards to a scenic layout. The first step in making it green is the grass: first I give the ground a layer of traditional flock as a base layer, then apply static grass using the cheap applicator I got last year. A blend of shades and lengths works best, with longer grass a straw colour.

Next up comes the bushes. I use a variety of methods, here rubberised horsehair covered with ground foam and flock makes quite effective brambles.

While here I've used lichen, teased out carpet underlay, with various flocks and foliage, and clump foliage. PVA neat and diluted is used, but cheap hairspray makes an effective way of sticking flock to bushes.

I felt the layout needed some trees to reinforce the feeling of being an industrial site surrounded by woodland. The method I use is the twisted wire approach, here I used wire that has been sold for this purpose but stripped multi-strand mains cable is just as good. This is surprisingly easy to do and each tree takes about 15 minutes to make up, though with hindsight I could have added a few more branches lower down. Once the shape has been made up I covered the trunks in PVA glue - about three layers helped hide the twisted wire.

Foliage fibres are teased out and stuck onto the wire with PVA, then covered with Woodland Scenics foliage, again teased out and stuck onto the fibres with the hairspray. More hairspray is applied and extra ground foam in a similar shade is added, including from underneath. The small tree uses a plastic moulding I picked up at an exhibition.

I haven't planted the trees yet as they will be close to the edges of the board and get in the way! However I have obtained a few accessories to dress the scene. I've failed to find a suitable fork-lift truck in 1:43 scale, so started looking for other suitable road vehicles, this Mk1 Transit by Vanguard should be perfect for setting the period between the late 60's and early 80's. It comes heavily weathered (though not completely convincingly to be honest), but was far more suitable than other available liveries. The pallets and concrete products are from Skytrex, a bit pricey but are ideal for the scene.

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Iain Robinson said...

The disused section and the way it blends into the backscene is very convincing. I love the Transit van....takes me back just looking at it! The concrete goods will make the finishing touch, too. You are right, this is an exciting time when the model really comes to life.

Phil Parker said...

Looking good. I disagree with yout about the twisted wire tree thing being easy - it's always defeated me!

Mark said...

I had to do a double take on the third picture as the model and backscene really do blend perfectly.

Unknown said...

Hi Michael

Just thought I would drop you a message to say that over the past few days I have found your blog-site and very much enjoyed reading through your blogs/journeys in modelling. I am new to narrow gauge modelling since Monday. Although I have been modelling in OO gauge for many years now, there has always been something about narrow gauge modelling that really got me curious.So on Tues I sold all my OO gauge trains/layout and have committed myself fully to narrow gauge. So the main reason for my message is .. I was wondering if you could or would not mind giving the Newbie some helpful hints on modelling narrow gauge??. I am a member of a local club down here on the Isle Of Wight and just joined the OO9 society this morning, other than that its all new start for me.
Many thanks and Kind regards Dan

Michael Campbell said...

Thanks for all your comments, I'm really pleased with the way it is coming together. Phil, you need to try harder! Making the tree is easy, making it look like a tree ... well!

Dan, welcome to 009, I'm sure you'll enjoy it, joining the society is a good move. There is a convention at the end of the month, but a bit short notice for you! Also EXPO-NG (Swanley, Kent) at the end of October is well worth a visit if you can get there. You'll get a lot of support and inspiration on the Narrow Gauge Railway Modelling forum:
If you want to e-mail me direct click on my photo to the right, I'll take any questions though I don't know it all!

Unknown said...

Hi Michael,

Thanks for your reply, I am hoping to go to a few of the OO9 events next year. But much like yourself a am a family man with a great supportive partner and 2 great kids .. so funds sometimes are bit limited. the next event for me is the Warley Nec show in November, it's there after last year when I caught the narrow gauge bug. Many thanks for the narrow gauge forum site, will certainly look into that. I have tried to email you but for some reason my pc won't let me, if you could please email me on
we could then perhaps chat more then, that's if you don't mind?. As for me, I have taken my first modelling steps and been in contact with CJ Ward the 3D printing models guy and was impressed by what models his company offers. have you used any of them, if so were they a good choice?. Many Thanks again. Kind Regards Dan