Vol 21 Issue 2   June 2018

Page 6 of 7

What did I wish to try to develop? The wharf layout suffered from some drawbacks scenically as my ground cover and ballasting were inadequate. Having been shown how to use scatter material better I needed to try it out for myself and I was able to source and use finer material for ballast. In planning I tend to build up a concept of what I want to do in my head and do very rough sketches but in reality I feel more comfortable if I can plan things out full

size. When I built my large layout about 17 years ago I had the concept in my

mind and knew roughly what would 8it in the space I had but all was not set in

stone until I had erected the board and drawn it our full-size. For this layout I did

scribble on the insides of the box 8iles once I had joined them together but

reduced the complexity of the scenic work once I started building for real.

Having removed a right hand end from one box 8ile and the left hand end from

the other I joined the two open ends together and taped the boxes. I had also

removed the fronts this time and taped them back on so that they hinged down

on tape hinges. This meant that I had no obstruction for photography but could

fold them up and drop the lids down to keep the contents safe.


Elizabeth Wharf had two lengths of timber underneath for extra strength but in this case it wasn’t necessary, but some additional strength was provided by lining the boxes with mounting board.

Plan-wise there is a single length of railway track running across the board on a

slight curve with a canal in front (also curved as though the railway line was built to follow the canal) and then a road running straight across behind. To

achieve the canal I used the same technique as in the wharf layout by cutting foam board to 8it the inside of the box and cutting the course of the canal from it. The whole thing was then given a coat of brown emulsion paint to seal the surface before any other work began. Peco Code 55 track was used, glued down with PVA and ballasted with Chinchilla sand held down with the standard water/washing up liquid spray and diluted PVA from a dropper. I used modellers masking tape to ensure an even edge to the ballast but at present have refrained from colouring it. Although Code 55 looks a bit better than Code 80 it is less easy to 8lex to shape as the webs are cut on one side only so the future plans will probably centre round well weathered Code 80. A Humbrol ‘brown’ acrylic spray was used to weather the whole track rather than using rust paint to paint rail sides – I found this less obtrusive and more effective colourwise. No attempts

have been made to solder wires on for any electrical conversion in the future.

Whilst I have now had some experience of ‘looking like a snowman’ when cutting and shaping polystyrene foam, I opted to use cardboard, masking tape, newspaper and filler for shaping the ground. The road was constructed by cutting and gluing a strip of mounting board onto the surface with a very thin strip along one side about 2mm away to try to create some sort of roadside ditch although it doesn’t really show up. Having had some warping issues in construction of the wharf layout I made sure that the surface was regularly coated in emulsion paint which has prevented problems. The

surface has been given two coats of blends of scenic scatter the 8irst coat was

8ixed with neat PVA and followed by a spray of water and washing up liquid; the

second was 8ixed with dilute PVA. I found that two coats were adequate as I have

started to experiment with static 8lock on top in places. Fences and telegraph

poles were supplied by Ratio.

I plan to put a few items of clutter at one end to represent an area used by British Railways as a store and may add a canal narrow boat as in the canal wharf. I plan to re-visit Elizabeth Wharf to improve some of the scenery before embarking on the next stage of the ‘Grand Scheme’.                                                                                                  


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