Saturday, 23 November 2019

Bethungra Loop - scenery starts on the Hill

Bethungra Loop - Part 4. 

Scenery has never been my strong suit.  And this being my first attempt at anything N scale, I was not anticipating a quick build.

A picture taken from a 1997 Bevan Wall video shows LVR loco 5367 about to exit from the first tunnel of the Bethungra loop.  Bevan has made a lot of videos showing rail activity in NSW, and these never cease to inspire.
I like to get ideas for all my modelling from the prototype.  I am fortunate to live close by the loop, although I really do not have enough images to do it justice.

As before, I will let my in progress pictures do the talking

Many years ago, beer was transported by rail.  To stop the kegs moving in transit, large mattress sized polystyrene foam blocks were used.  These were discarded by the receiving depot.  The leftover remains of one of these mattresses recently came into my possession, (Thanks Steve) and I thought it appropriate to use it for this project.  But to go on record, I hate white polystyrene beaded foam.

My hotwire cutter made cutting the foam easier than a saw or knife.  Although I still had a garbage bag on standby to dispose the offcuts,

The Olympic way roadway was cut from MDF, and positioned.
4 tunnel portals constructed from MDF, and fitted.  There is not a lot of clearance for trains, and all locos, and carriages were tested.
Foam was cut, glued, and slid into position.  Some profiling is visible in this picture. The adhesive I am using is a water based Selley's "No More Gaps"
The hotwire cutter is not the easiest thing to use for fine shaping of the foam.  To complete the profiling, I use coarse sandpaper, with a vacuum cleaner to suck up all the foam particles dislodged.

Sculpt-it was my "plaster" of choice.  It is actually a paper pulp type product, a lot easier to use than traditional plasters, but used in a similar way.  I like it because it  sticks where it is put, has a longer work time, and can be added without too much mess.  Cost is at least double the cost for an equivalent quantity of plaster. 

Painted scene with 'Raw Sienna' colour water based paint , and "Zip Texturing"  (a light dusting of rock coloured plaster, from the former 'Tuft' range.).  The tunnel portal is still to be painted
Some small rocks, a hit of some greenery in the cutting, and ballasting with the Bombo N scale ballast from Chucks Range - acquired at the N scale convention last month.  The Museum had provided HO scaled ballast for ballasting, but the size was unsuitable.

You will notice that the ballast does not extend into the tunnel.  Something that I can correct, as I have made the rockwork above the tunnel removeable.  This is also an aid to cleaning the track, AND recovery of any rollingstock that happens to misadventure..  

An overview of progress with the scenery to date.  I thought it best to experiment with a small area first.  The dried grass is not that successful, although it can be disguised to some extent with trees. I will think about alternatives, as I would like a bit more green - particularly on the upper hill (see the picture on Part 1 of this series).  The rockwork, and ballasting are OK, and actually look better without the LED worklight washing out the scene

Next steps are to repeat this process on the rest of the layout. 

Until next time.

1 comment:

  1. Its really coming along quite quickly Rob. I'm both inspired and jealous!