Friday, 18 November 2016

Sandy Shores - Rock Armour & Landing Jetty

It seems the SSLR (Sandy Shores Light Railway) has been put to good use building up sea defences today, although some don't seem as keen to work!

In reality, this is just a test at the moment. Old DAS clay that had already semi-hardened was broken up into pieces. It's difficult trying to gauge how big the rocks need to be, but as it seems to vary a lot, I'm happy with what I have thus far. The scene above reminds me of the Holyhead Breakwater railway, with 2 huge slabs of limestone on a conflat wagon. I guess this is about as close as I can get with this being narrow gauge!

It also has reminded me that I am still yet to pluck up the courage to paint these flat wagons (designed for me by Mark Greenwood) and make up some Greenwich couplings. I found the couplings today and I think I'll put it off until just before I plan to exhibit the layout!

Anyway, the rock armour will definitely need small stones added underneath (I'll probably use ballast, but we'll see), as well as the fact that the boulders themselves will need burying slightly into the sand. And then of course, I will need to brave it and experiment with paint!

Another job has been carried out over the last couple days, and that is the landing jetty on the extreme right side of the scenic section. The eager-eyed amongst you may well have noticed the beginning of an outlet pipe taking shape under the landing jetty. You can't really see it from here, but I have scribed a semi-circle stone lintel above it too.

Meanwhile, Mr Remmington has leapt on the chance of the new fishing spot, with his tiny fishing rod...he really should get a new one!

And a final overall view of the current state of this end of the layout. You'll notice I've been playing around with trees again - I'm hoping a few trees will be all I need to hide the scenic exit. We'll see!

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Sandy Shores - Quay - Part 2

Work has continued over the past few days adding clay to the quay area. I've lost track of how many hours I've spent scribing, but I know the section to the right of the track in the photo below took 2 hours today (and I now have a sore neck to prove it!). I'm happy with what I did today, but not what I did in previous days. Note the section to the immediate left of the track - it is obvious that I just scribed the whole length and not individual stones.

I think it was Daniel who mentioned this on someone else's layout thread (but I forget who's), and now I've noticed it, I can't unsee it! I also scribed it in a grid shape rather than overlapping every course. Whilst there are prototypes for this, it just looks too neat.

So I'm not sure exactly how to continue. I could potentially try sanding the left side down and rescribing, but that may mean having to add another thin layer of clay.

The other thing I've made a start on is the wooden landing jetty. This is to cover up the join between board and backscene. I've made it narrower than I was originally planning so that there is definitely enough clearance for small boats as seen below. The next job is to finish the jetty supports and the quay wall timbers, and paint them all.

Thursday, 10 November 2016

Sandy Shores - Quay - Part 1

Since I can't work on painting the track (and thus also ballasting), I turned my attention to the quay area. Another one of those simple but tedious jobs I'm afraid! Time to roll out some DAS clay and start scribing...

Whether I scribe whilst the clay is still "wet" or wait until it has dried completely depends on the texture I want from the clay. If I'm after neat and non-rounded brick courses I will scribe it when dry. If on the other hand I am going to make cobbled or other rough stone surfaces I will scribe it whilst wet. Another reason to scribe wet is for curved walls - it is far easier to scribe whilst the clay is still flat in this scenario.

Anyway, an hour later we have the breakwater scribed. Note I am still yet to properly clad the surface of the breakwater - this will be done when all the walls are in place.

As you may have noticed I also temporarily assembled the backscene in place to make photography a little easier! You might just be able to make out that two of the three bits of walling around the quay have been made. The final bit will need to wait until I've installed the steps.

A pretty small update, but it is progress nonetheless!

Friday, 4 November 2016

Sandy Shores - Platform Maintenance

Despite the cold room in which the layout is set up in, I donned a hat and fingerless gloves to continue working on the platform and surrounding area. It has mainly been a day of painting as all the retaining walls have been painted. Whilst the paints were out I also made up the supports for the grounded carriage base. Unlike all the other wood on the layout, I decided to distress it before painting. You'll hopefully just be able to work out the lines I've scraped into the wood and the worn edges in places. Although pretty much all of this will eventually be hidden under the carriage, it was still worth doing in my opinion - not least because you never know where a camera will be pointed at the layout!

I also put the first layer of paint on the engine shed. I've been meaning to do this for well over a year - remember this is the same engine shed from Old AGWI Rd.! I know the wood looks extremely dark in the photos, but rest assured I will lighten it once I buy some light grey paint which I hope will help make it look slightly more sunbleached. The same goes for a lot of the wooden structures on the layout.

The next step is to apply sand to the immediate area to help bed in the retaining walls. Once that is done, and the extra layer of sand is added to the dunes, it should look a lot neater. The bokeh in the photos below helps to hide a multitude of messy gaps which will hopefully be filled later!

You may also have noticed that I've tried to replicate some pretty rusted corrugated iron on the shelter. I'm actually really happy with how this has turned out given that all I used were the same colours I used for weathering the wood (just in different proportions). Before any of you say "it looks far too bright!", I would have to disagree - going back to my trip to the IOW, there was an extremely bright rusted roof by the ferry terminal in Cowes. It was even brighter than I've shown here. As models need to be toned down a little, I feel the result I've achieved is actually not too bad considering.

Edit:For comparison, here is the photo of the roof in Cowes:

Thursday, 3 November 2016

Sandy Shores - Keeping the sand at bay!

Sandy Shores definitely lives up to its name! There's certainly no shortage of sand, and more is being added all the time. I've almost got full coverage on the layout now, with the exception of the dunes behind the platform. The reason for this is I realised that something was missing here.

As the only access to the platform is from the dunes, I figured the passengers would need a more substantial pathway to walk along than bare sand. And given the delicate nature of sand dunes, even irregular foot passage will cause damage. So I've started building a boardwalk from the backscene to the platform. All built using good old lollipop sticks.

Due to the difference in height, stairs were needed from the platform. I was going to add handrails to the path as well, but in the end I chose not to because:
1) The path is at ground level
2) The handrails would probably be damaged every time I took off the backscene board.

You'll also note I've continued to fabricate retaining walls from old railway sleepers. These will obviously need painting before being glued into place. Once these are in I can finish adding the sand to the dunes.

I've also cut the platform edge back because there wasn't enough clearance for stock to pass through.

I'm now much less concerned with the sand dunes - they are looking a lot better now that there are few gaps with which to see the plaster through.