Sunday 29 December 2019

Bethungra Loop in N scale - part 6.

Growing weeds - Part 6 of Bethungra Loop layout build

The LRV train approaches the first tunnel.  This is one of my slides, not borrowed images from Bevan Wall's video on you-tube.  Picture taken into the sun doesn't help, nor does my poor slide to digital conversion.  But note the vegetation.   

The time has come to start the "greening" the layout.
First stage was to paint the exposed foam and plaster.  Burnt umber, and raw sienna are the primary paints used
Sifted "Builders Sand" is used to give texture to the foam

White glue was painted onto the painted wood, and foam, and the builders sand sifted onto the wet glue, then saturated with "wet" water, and allowed to dry 

 The Woodland scenics "Yellow Grass" and "Blended Turf" arrived in the post.  I also had some IHC brand of green ground foam, which I wanted to also use.  The IHC foam looks like it should work OK, but it just doesn't.  (There is a reason why it is cheap)

My shaker bottles for the ground foam.  Available from the pantry once the contents have been eaten.
The IHC foam was used on the hill.  The uneven way this foam falls would not be a major problem.   But I didn't like the colour, so it has also been blended with the Woodland scenics foams
An angle that will be impossible to see once the backscene boards are installed.  It shows the "flat paddock", with the loop hill in the background.  Woodland scenics foam used exclusively on the flat paddock, although the nature of the underlying polystyrene beaded foam has given unintended holes in the surface.  IHC foam was used between the up and down  tracks
The Olympic road needed the Sculpt-it treatment.  This was smoothed, and then sanded.  The white "plaster" dust blown off

More paint applied - some raw sienna has contaminated the burnt umber - not that it matters.

Sifted sand and white glue.  The MDF roadway was not sealed, so water spraying was kept as much as possible off the surface.

IHC foam doesn't settle in a fine layer of foam dust, unlike Woodland scenics.  Once trees and weeds are added, the extra clumping might actually be OK.  The "flat paddock" beyond only has Woodland scenic foam.  An application of Woodland scenics "dry grass"  blends the roadway area into the green grasses area.  Once the foam is down, the foam was misted with a weak PVA glue/water mixture from a spray bottle.  Note the raw plywood on the lower LHS of this picture.  I hope this will be a suitable method to identify that the track on this section of the layout,  is not part of the Bethungra Loop scene.  

What a difference the road makes.  Floquil grimy black painted by brush.  The road is a nominal 3.7cm wide - which makes each carriageway  3 mtres scale.  This is under the australian standard of 4 mtrs per carriageway for main roads, but reducing the width is a trick to make the scene look bigger.  It won't be obvious if I use Rosco's N scale cars, and avoid scale sized trucks.  And for the purest, I haven't added the passing lane, which now exists.  I plan to use Tuft brand "sand" sifted plaster on the road shoulders
Next stage is to add trees, and bushes, plus make a start on the backscene.

My thoughts go out to all affected by the current bushfires.

Stay safe.

Monday 9 December 2019

Bethungra Loop in "N" scale - pt 5

Part 5 - A sea of foam.

Another Bevan Wall video image of the 1997 LVR tour train passing through the cutting between the two tunnels on the Bethungra Loop.  Bevan Wall has made numerous videos of NSW railway action over the last 3 decades, and his DVDs are well worth purchasing (dare I say as a xmas present?).  This image is a screen capture from you-tube

Since my last post, circumstances have conspired to limit the amount of time I can spend on the Bethungra Loop layout.  I won't elaborate here as to the cause, but things are now improving, and may be back to normal sometime in January.

The rear tunnel portal will be impossible to view once the backscene is installed.  The foam "rockwork" above the tunnel is removable for access.

Looking back towards the hill.

Getting down the foam is like a 3 dimensional jigsaw, where all the pieces have to be cut to fit.  Fortunately, some of the foam sizes were at the correct thickness for the largely flat paddock that is between the road, and the railway.

Another view of the paddock, and foam rockwork, after a rudimentary smoothing with coarse sandpaper.  

After sandpaper smoothing.  The section between the two tunnels is nowhere as deep as the prototype, but the lack of depth was a compromise with keeping the grades of the model under 3%.  The three sections of foam visible above the trackwork are all removable

The thickness of the foam can be gauged by this picture.

As I am not a fan of white polystyrene foam, I am pleased to advise that this phase of the layout build is behind me.

I am doing some preparation work for the next phases of the build.  To correct my poor colour choice for the grass in the previous blog post, I have ordered some Woodland Scenics fine ground foam colours (Blended Turf, and Yellow Grass), which I hope will be arriving in my mailbox soon.  I also sourced some large sheets of 3mm MDF for the backscene, and have taken a couple of pictures of the upper loop, to aid with painting

Taken from the Olympic Way road, looking towards the railway.  The "flat" paddock is quite a feature, as is the line of trees hiding the railway.  Of note is the heavy tree cover on the hills

In the meantime, whenever I get a spare 30 minutes or so, I will be mixing up the Sculpt-it "plaster" and applying to the areas of foam that either need gaps filled, or cuttings/rockwork done.

Until next time