Saturday, 20 October 2012

Back at last

Apologies for the long break in updates but various other things have got in the way of blogging.  What modelling time I've had has been taken up with yet another re-think about Chipping Compton.  Only a minor one this time and no track has been ripped up or anything drastic!  It involved the area opposite the platform where the road down to the goods yard is going to be.  The way it ended up with quite an incline up to the imagined main road involved an earth slope down to the line which was way too steep.  I just wasn't happy with it so one Sunday I set to with a knife and demolished the honeycomb of card acting as the sub-structure for the scenery.  The road is now slightly raised above track level at the same height as the cattle dock which has been re sited opposite the platform.

Below we can see the cattle dock taking shape.  The earlier standard Great Western cattle pens made use of redundant Barlow rail held by uprights of early Vignoles flat-bottomed rail and I thought this was a non-starter to model until I saw my fellow 3mm modeller and avid blogger Steve Fackrell's blog where he used plastic "T" section to represent the Barlow rail.  I think this is a brilliant solution and whilst the pedant would point out the lack of recess on the rail base Steve and I both have other things to do so we'll put up with it!
I felt more comfortable using brass section than plastic (having half-demolished a previous cattle pen on an earlier layout) and actually enjoy soldering.  The "T" section used is from Eileen's Emporium and being milled is not cheap but well worth it.  This layout will hopefully last me a good many years so it's built to last.  The rail uprights are from rail meant for 14.2 gauge in 3mm scale and is a finer section that used on the running line.

The next picture shows my results with the method of ash ballasting as pioneered by Chris Nevard.  I'm more than happy with it and the rather poor picture doesn't faithfully show the subtle tones used.
The rails were already painted when the clay was put into place and some touching-up is required.  Likewise some use will be made of static grass etc to give it a bit more realism.