Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Prototype correctness or 'artistic' effect?

I have an interesting 'issue' on my Bylong layout involving the placement of the NSWGR trackside line poles.

Now, on the prototype the line poles are placed on the left hand side of the line when leaving Sydney however I have placed them on either side of the line due to space constraints and sometimes because they look better when placed on the wrong side of the track. This has been brought to my attention several times but I have resisted correcting their placement.

Sometimes the poles are placed so that they do not throw a shadow on the backscene and this can put them on the wrong side but then there are other places where I have purposely placed them incorrectly.

I have to say that I like to see the trains in the scenery and not running in front of it and this extends to the line poles if it suits the scene.

I haven't done a search of photos to determine if the line poles were sometimes located on the right hand side of the track when leaving Sydney so I don't know if this ever happened. It can be a problem when viewing photos to know if a train is an UP or DOWN train which of course would be necessary to see which side of the track the line poles are located.

Well I like the layout as it is so I probably won't change anything.

Here are two videos, the first shows the poles on the wrong side and the second on the correct side.


Wednesday, March 5, 2014

New Outer Teardrop Scene

The expanded foam eruption ended and I was able to start repairing the damage to and around the road bridge which I could have done without.

I then applied pre-mixed cornice cement to fill in any gaps between the foam pieces and to generally smooth things out. I then used some dry powder colour and a wet brush to apply a basic brown to the surface of the plaster to minimise the potential for any white to show through the scenery later.

After this I marked out the lineside fence post positions on the balsa and the foam, made the holes and put a toothpick into each hole. The reason for this was so that I could find the post holes after I had applied soil and then static grass, it worked quite well apart from the toothpicks getting in the way of the static grass machine.

I used fine sieved soil to cover the whole area and applied a slightly different colour in several places.

This was then sprayed with a methylated spirits and water mixture to allow the 'Long Life Self Shining Floor Polish' (an acrylic clear, available in Woolworths - 500ml or Bunnings - up to 5 litres) to easily saturate the soil. The 'floor polish' sometimes needs to be done two or three times to thoroughly bond the soil but I usually try it and only add more later in any problem areas. I think the trick is not to apply too much methylated/water mixture.

While the soil was wet I applied various colour static grasses, looking for a dry grass effect with a little greener grass in some low lying spots. I also applied some dark green flock to replicate some blackberry or similar low bushes. It was interesting trying to match in with the thirty year old scenery in the centre of the teardrop. I still have to add some dry static grass on the track side of the inner fence to help tie it together. Also the old fence droppers made out of thicker wire will have to be replaced with the new thinner ones.

Here is a picture of the scenery after this first effort, grass tufts and more shrubs and foliage to be added.

And here are a few photos of the first train through the scene.