Sunday, 12 April 2015

Sturminster Newton - Landscaping - part 6

Well, one week of work down (admittedly it was only 4 days), and output has certainly dropped off!  I was expecting this, but after the massive progress of the past several months, it is a bit deflating!  This week I’ve managed UFO night, hold the monthly meeting (at short notice) and get in some fencing and gardening.
I decided to use UFO night to work on the layout, in particular fencing.  I initially started the fencing all way back in 2010, using Peco post and rail, mainly due to its accessibility here down under.  I have a limited quantity of etched fencing, but not enough, and the cost of getting it from the UK is a bit prohibitive at present.  Postage is getting out of control.  I was recently going to be charged £12 to send out a 35mm slide!  But let’s not get me started on that ………..
- fencing now on both sides of the mainline
As reported on Sithlords blog, I hosted the April meeting of the SEQ area group meeting for the NGS and 2mm scale association.  While Mrs Noswal tried to outdo herself with the catering, it was a good turnout.  It was great to receive some rewarding observations about Sturminster.  Several of the attendees had not seen the layout for several years so their comments were both pleasing and poignant.  While most of us build layouts for our self-enjoyment, well I know I do at least, it’s great to receive feedback from fellow modellers that is encouraging.
For what remaining time I had left of the weekend, excluding household chores, playing lego and watching my aussie rules team get smashed, I made an attempt on the greenery growing on/in/around the fencing on the down platform.  I had one good colour photo to work from.
- not long before closing, Sturminster in the summer of 65
- my attempt
From there it was the matter of teasing out small clumps to make up the flowers/hedge/ivy/weeds.  I used a variety of products; Mininatur, Noch and some cheap stuff I got from China, via eBay (pink and yellow flowers).  They have been glued with a variety of superglue and diluted PVA.  I just need to let them set and then get the vacuum cleaning in to clean-up.
- from the other end
Plans for this week are unknown, but I think the signal box needs to be finished.  The stairs have been built, the building undercoated and the signal levers painted.

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Sturminster NEwton - Landscaping - part 5

Work has been progressing, the updates have just been poor due to my laziness!  My long service leave is just about at an end, so my modelling time will now be reduced to after work, 1900 - 2200H and weekends, but this will also vary due to family and work commitments (away all of May) and level of enthusiasm.
- overall layout, 4m in length
As mentioned previously, the new LED lights have been installed.  I've now tidied up the wiring and now just need to remove them again, number for assembly, and paint.  It turns out they are not the brightest available, but also now the dimmest.  But at the same time, I should never be running the layout using these lights alone.
 - view from Butts pond
- view into the yards
A tip for those young players at home.  When conducting the scenic-ing of your layout, start at the back and work forwards!  It’s a mistake I’ve made, but remember in time to pause on the front, remove all the fragile items and commence on the rear.  It also doesn’t help to have a 3-4 year pause between applications of scenic grass, ballast etc.  The older stuff has sufficient time to “weather” and fad, and whereas and the new applications still appear a bit “shiny”!

So what has been done:
·         All 21 electromagnet uncouplers have been made (300 turn each), installed, wired and are now operating within the Sturminster yards,
·         Ballast all remaining track within the yards.
·         As result of the ballasting, the cattle platform needed some alteration in width (valve gear clearances.  Fortunately I had not secured this yet, so both sides got hit with the sander, removing about 2mm and then reapplying some brickpaper,
·         Installed retaining wall leading off the bridge.  This then lead to working on the main road heading out of town towards the creamery and Butts Pond,
·         Finalise dairy/creamery complex, install and adding fencing,

·         Adding managers/foreman’s and workers cottages for the creamery, pub and garage on the road heading north out of town,
·         Fencing off the allotments,
·         Applying more scenic material,
·         Applying static grass on new areas and conducting maintenance on old areas,
·         Fiddling with pointwork within the yards to ensure the work after all the ballasting etc.  (This did have a gremlin last Saturday, when I couldn’t get one of the double slips to work for 2hrs.  I cleaned, rubbed, wiped, scratched, vacuumed, jiggled etc etc all to no avail.  I walked away for 2 min to gripe to Mrs Noswal and then returned and it’s all working again),
·         Running in new 4F locos (so when does running in cease and running out begin?),
·         Repaint the shop,
·         Build Wickham trolley shed,
·         Add some water to Butts ponds,
What’s left to be done?
- Station rose's need some work
·         Layouts are never finished!  But seriously,
·         More trees
·         More fences
·         Telegraph poles
·         Road top
·         Weathering
·         And the list goes on, and on and …………………………………..
- Signal box, yet to be completed.