Sunday, 30 December 2018

Kyeamba Bridge diorama fascia

A short update this time – the holiday season makes a mockery of my time management, and coupled with a week of unseasonal 40+  degree temperatures, and biting “stable” flies,
has limited the time I have been able to spend in the garage.    So, I have about an hour, prior to 9am about every other day.

3801, doing a run-around move, approaches the Best Street road overbridge

The Wagga station footbridge is a keen location for train spotting.  3801 has left part of her train of what remained of the Wagga sidings after CTC was introduced.  These pictures were taken in the 1990s.  A steam tour train is rare in Wagga, but a special event will add much interest to my future operation sessions, as well as giving me an excuse to run models that do not fit the 1970 timetable running period 

The Kyeamba Creek diorama will eventually be located on the layout’s upper deck, immediately coming off the helix.  As I have mentioned before, my intention is to limit the width of the upper deck to the area essentially within the railway boundary fences.  Coupled with the increased viewing height, the lack of layout width will be less evident.  But I couldn’t avoid the need of a fascia board.
Besides covering up all the white foam, the fascia needed to be deep enough to hide the layout supports, any underneath wiring, and a series of lights, which will hopefully eliminate the shadows on the lower deck
The first step was to make a cardboard template of the topology on the layout edge.  I did this with some thin cardboard, and a graphite pencil.  Cutting the template out with scissors, and transferring the resultant shape to my 3mm MDF.    A jig saw makes short work of the MDF. 

Cardboard template after cutting

Fitting the MDF to the timber base showed up areas of protruding white foam, which was removed with saw, and sander.  The MDF was then attached to the diorama with wood screws.  A further check showed areas where the fascia top needed some fine tuning with the jig saw.

As my MDF sheet was 600 mm long, I needed two sections of fascia.  Yes, poor woodworking has also introduced a gap between both sections – filler, and paint will fix this once the diorama is installed.   Note, I have NOT done a fascia board for the rear – this side won’t be seen, and the backdrop will go there.

Fascia board screwed onto the diorama.  It extends lower down so the workbench woodwork is covered

Whilst Junee is quite a dry climate, I need to paint the fascia before too long to stop it warping over the 20 year anticipated life of the layout.  I probably should have done this before cutting it to shape, but I am a bit impatient.  But what colour should I paint it?  I have seen some nice green facias, but I think a buff colour might be more suited.  The research continues.

Some extra scenery work has been performed on the unnamed creek bed.  Some 10mm long static grass has been applied (poorly – I am a beginner with this technique), and a quantity of sand added.  Plus a few branches littering the creek bed  from an earlier storm event   Soaked down with PVA glue/water/isopropanol .    It isn’t quite the effect I was hoping for,  but a good base for more tinkering. 
The unnamed creek bed no longer looks like a road, but there is a bit too much grass showing through, and I didn't get the sand drift colour that I hoped I would.  May be only a matter of another dusting of sand over the creekbed?  A bit more ground foam has been added to the banks too.   I am really close to permanently installing the bridge. 

All the best for the new year.


  1. Nice work Rob, happy modelling for 2019

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    1. You are most welcome Greg. One of the reasons for writing the blogposts is that it forms a record of my progress. Many of the problems I face, are possibly similar to problems faced by others, and as such, perhaps my experience and approach to solving can help. May you have success with your model