Sunday, 29 April 2012

Backdrop Progress

This is just a quick post after a test this morning when we refitted the backdrop to see how things lined up. I have added a few photos to show the progress to date. I was very pleasantly surprised to see how much it seems to lift the Mount Windeatt area of the railway. These few photos capture the progress to date and identify where extra work is needed.

This photo was taken through the garage window being the only place where I could get enough distance to get an overall image.

Still a bit more work to do lining up the road and the terrain in the immediate vicinity.

This area still needs a bit more work with a number of trees to be painted onto the immediate foreground and probably a toning down of the green in the ridge in the middle ground.

Again, this section will also receive more attention. Mount Windeatt, the significant feature in the middle distance has already been recoloured to align the geology of the other visible rock faces. The white objects to the left are meant to be tombstones but need to shrink considerably.

This portion is very promising but the race track in the middle distance still needs finishing.

Saturday, 28 April 2012

April Activities


It's hard to believe that another month has almost disappeared. I still haven't found a solution to the chronic shortage of time. Yet there have been some small steps forward at Philip's Creek.

I managed to finish off at least one job this month with the MFE now back in service. I am reasonably happy with the roof for the first attempt and the interior detail can withstand reasonably close scrutiny although that's not apparent from the photo.

Work on the silo has resumed and the cupola is now ready for painting. The silo is a LJ kit but with many surfaces overlaid with other materials almost to the extent of being a 3D version of 'paint by numbers'. For example, the cupola shown in the photo is substantially complete having be re-clad with scale CGI. I will give it a coat of grey primer shortly and start to weather individual sheets. The cupola has not yet been permanently fixed to the silos.I know there are probably easier ways of doing this but it's an interesting challenge. However, I do notice also that Kieran Ryan is selling a etched brass component kit that will make things a bit easier.

The backdrop painting has commenced and moves ahead in fits and starts. But I can't complain - it took 10 years for my wife to knit a sweater and she still hasn't finished her first novel yet and it was started six years ago. However, she is also very quick to remind me that Philip's Creek is not finished either and I have been working on it for over 15 years! Still very much a work in progress and there are still another about another six backdrops to go.

Another small project that has been started came about as a consequence of the withdrawal of the CPH from service. I had constructed a small platform on a siding at the Colliery for the use of the mine employees. The CPH would then do a shuttle run from the mine through Philip's Creek and on to Mount Windeatt. With the loss of the CPH. I decided to relocate the platform to the closest point on the main line.
The existing platform will remain for freight and equipment delivered to the mine. Incidentally, the container to the right of the photo is a product that I purchased quite a few years ago from an art supplier for use as a platform surface. It contains a sandstone coloured paste with a black fleck that gives a reasonable representation of the fine gravel surface that I recall on some platforms in earlier years.

I have also recently purchased a EHO guards van and will probably be tempted to start building that kit sometime soon, probably to the detriment of progress on the silo.

And speaking of building things.....

"I wish the bloke who built this place had done a better job, he couldn't get the awning right and I'm always having to fix something!"


Sunday, 1 April 2012

Bits and Pieces

After quite a few years of modelling, I am quite convinced that the three main impediments to progress are time, finance and space. Of these, space is probably the least of these. You need only look at the variety of solutions published in magazine articles or on the internet to see the creative solutions that have been developed to deal with a lack of space. While we will often whinge about a lack of space, we do manage to create something.
 However, time and finance are probably the more difficult and unless you win the lottery, often mutually exclusive. When you have some funds coming in, often you are time poor and when you do have time available, you probably don't have a level of disposable income to expend on the hobby. Right now, I am very clearly in the first category although I can foresee that not too much farther down the track, the reverse will be true.
 This is a long way of saying that I haven't made any massive leaps forward over the past month and this arrangement is likely to continue for the foreseeable future.

The Silo

Work on the silo has almost stalled because I ran out of suitable corrugated iron and had to wait until I could get some more from my preferred source, Anton's. Work will resume on the silo after I have completed the 'filler' project that I started in lieu.

The MFE Upgrade

The roof has had some weathering with powders
 but not the extent described in Ian's article.

Very soon after I started work on Philip's Creek in 1997, I purchased a Lima MFE coach. While it had received a basic weathering, unlike my other passenger coaches, I had not fitted an interior. With an imposed delay on the silo, I took the opportunity to complete this work. I also decided to try upgrading the appearance of the roof using the technique described by Ian Phemister in his blog and article in AMRM. It worked well although I learned that there are tea bags and there are tea bags, and some are more suitable than others for this role. I also didn’t read his article closely enough and failed to work from both ends towards the middle.  However, I am reasonably happy with the end product and will probably tackle my FS and BS coaches when I can find time.
I purchased a MFE interior kit from Casula Hobbies and prefabricated the interior to be inserted after painting. After a primer, I hand painted the ‘timber panelling’ using a couple of coats of an acrylic paint, ‘raw sienna’. I wasn’t too worried about even coverage because the timber finish is not uniform.
It was also necessary to remove the thick glazing and replace them with a very thin clear material.
There is still some more work to complete by adding some passengers and refixing everything. I haven’t checked the under body closely at this time but suspect that any work there may have to wait.
The Backdrop
I mentioned backdrops in an earlier post.  My ‘better half’ has volunteered to paint these for me and I have now removed one from the layout to facilitate this. In the meantime, I grabbed the opportunity to take a few photos from angles not normally available when the backdrop is in place.

Projects for April

Bearing in mind my original comments, I hate to forecast anything but I’d like to think that I can finish what I started in March and move the silo project forward. Here’s hoping!
Have a great Easter break!