Friday, January 16, 2015

New blog banner photograph!

As you can see, the familiar glinty-44-Class-with-grain-wagons is gone at the top of the page.

This has been replaced by a scene photographed just a few moments ago on the Buggardine layout, after a few hours of scenery work.

I bit the bullet and overcame my fears of installing the Anton's Sellers turntable  a couple of days ago, attaching the MRC auto-reversing module to the powerleads, drilling and installing the manual control rod through the fascia, and screwing the turntable itself into the baseboard. Then it was the usual track installation and today adding basic scenery around the turntable, tying it into the rest of the layout.

Yes, the locomotives clunk on and off the thing, just like they do on prototype turntables. And, yes, with the manual control, my hand after turning that little knob 20 or so times to turn a locomotive gives me the 1/87th equivalent feeling I'd stood in the pit and turned that thing by hand. Yessiree.

But the scene: there isn't any dirt, or vegetation, or dried grass, gravel or any of that kind of stuff. Right now, the scene looks as if the north slope of the Warrambungies has been in a pretty long drought. The layout will eventually represent a dry spell, but not this dry! So, for now, please excuse the lack of scenery materials. We'll get there eventually.

The structure on the right is the stand-in Station Master's residence. There'll be a small crew barracks in the distance at some point as well, and who knows where the trees will end up. And I'm hoping that Australia had the equivalent of a 1959 Chevy El Camino ute--a true Jetsons mobile.

So far, so good. I like the feeling I'm getting from this railroad.  And this scene, bleak as it is, really puts me there, in my fictional Buggardine, sometime around 1975. It's pushing 40 degrees C, there isn't a breeze to be found, and the photographer is standing under one of the few shade trees while the crew of the goods train is in the pit attempting to turn their single 49 class loco.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Nesting Instinct

One-third of the hard-shell is in place. This is the lower-end of the hill, where I've used aluminum screen as the sub-base for scenery, with plaster cloth over that and tinted plaster brushed on over the top of that. Will likely brush on one more layer of plaster. In the meantime, until some tinting and wash can put added before ground cover, it looks amazingly like Chile's Atacama desert!

There's a phenomena that expectant parents will keep busy before their newborn arrives fixing up the house, painting hallways, bettering the home for the day when the baby arrives.

I'm doing that right now, in a model railway manner of speaking.

After taking a break for the holidays from working on the layout, I've gotten back into it now as I count the days down while my trio of 48 Class make their way across the Pacific Ocean from West Ryde.

So, this weekend will likely be given to "making a bassinet for baby," by sanding, priming and painting the basic blue backdrop and getting started on hard-shell scenery coming down the hill from the entrance from staging.  Been a long time since I've done much scenery, and in fact have never tried the old-school hard-shell technique with aluminum screening covered with plaster. We'll see how THAT goes!

Funny how adding color to the backdrop and putting down a somewhat-appropriate "earth"color on the tabletop adds to the feel of the layout. . .