Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Rounford Halt N Gauge Scenic Micro Layout with Continuous Run Part 12 Developing the Scenery

Aerial view of Rounford Halt N gauge scenic micro layout
 
The addition of crushed foam weeds over the grassy areas of model scenery on Rounford Halt helped to create a sense of depth and the irregular, uneven nature of the real landscape.  When walking through the countryside it is often hard to tell if vegetation will be ankle or waist height until you are actually amongst the brambles, nettles and grasses.
 
 
Rounford Halt N gauge branch line railway station and goods yard
 
 
Curved station platform with the scratch built shelter removed
 
The curved station platform featured in my blog post dated 07 January 2015 has been improved by the addition of Ratio kit 245 spear fencing.

The scratch built small wooden station building originally built for Hampford Halt, construction featured in my blog post dated 02 May 2014, was placed on the platform and the railings fixed in position around it.  When the adhesive used to secure the fencing had set, crushed foam weeds were added along the bottom.
 
 
Station platform with a gap in the Ratio spear fencing for the removable shelter
 
 
Ratio N gauge spear fencing along the rear of the curved station platform
 
 
Ratio spear fencing with imitation enamel advertising sign added
 
A small number of imitation enamel advertising signs added to the platform railings made the scene more interesting to look at and provided some extra colour.
 
 
Peco NB-45 flexible fencing along the road to Rounford Halt railway station
 
Peco NB-45 flexible fencing was added along the roadside with plenty of crushed foam weeds fixed along the bottom.  Verges next to the road were left as though the grass had been cut short.
 
 
Scratch built N gauge model pillbox overlooking the station and pond
 
The scratch built N gauge model pillbox added to Hampford Halt was also used as a feature on Rounford Halt.  Having a selection of removable model railway accessories which can be placed on different layouts is very handy!  Details on how I build an N or OO gauge pillbox can be found on my blog posts dated 08 March 2014 and 13 March 2014.

The pillbox was positioned below the top of the hill so that it did not stand out against the skyline, but high enough to provide a commanding view over the surrounding landscape.
 
 
Scratch built N gauge wartime pillbox reflected in the model pond
 
The raised position of the pillbox also enabled it to be observed reflected in the model pond.  I described the process I use when building a model pond in my blog post dated 18 February 2015.
 
 
N gauge first radius curved level crossing with gates added
 
With the crushed foam glued onto the grassy areas I was able to fix the delicate level crossing gates in position.  I had placed the crossing gates to one side for a while to avoid the risk of breaking them whilst brushing off excess crushed foam foliage.

I described how I went about constructing the first radius curved level crossing in my blog post dated 21 January 2015.
 
 
Close up of the imitation rock face at the rear of the railway layout
 
 
Elevated rocky scenery viewed from the rear of the model railway layout
 
The model rock face featured in my blog post dated 24 December 2014 was greatly improved once the crushed foam weeds were added.  Weeds will grow in any corner or gap in the rocks even if there is only a tiny amount of soil present in which to anchor their roots.
 
 
Aerial view of the loading platform with fencing and weeds added
 
 
N gauge concrete loading platform in the corner of the micro layout
 
Peco NB-45 flexible fencing was also added to the rear of the loading platform featured in my blog post dated 31 December 2014.

Rounford Halt is one of my N gauge scenic model railway layouts. To see more model railway layout baseboards I have designed and built visit my website www.brianford.co.uk.

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Cramford Trains 52

N gauge class 03 shunter D2011 and class 04 shunter D2264 with a train of brake vans
 
Class 03 shunter D2011 and class 04 shunter D2264 pass through Cramford with a train of brake vans.

Cramford is one of my N gauge scenic model railway layouts.  To see more model railway layout baseboards I have designed and built visit my website www.brianford.co.uk.

The N gauge class 03 and class 04 model locomotives photographed are product number 371-060 and 371-050A from the Graham Farish range by Bachmann.

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Rounford Halt N Gauge Scenic Micro Layout with Continuous Run Part 11 Making a Pond for a Model Railway

Rounford Halt N gauge micro layout with model pond added
 
The model pond was the last significant feature to be built into the landscape for Rounford Halt, an N gauge scenic micro layout.
 
 
A piece of glass cut to shape to make the pond for the model railway layout
 
I started by shaping a piece of glass using a glass cutter until it would fit into the remaining space on the layout baseboard.  The glass was cut to gain the largest reflective area possible.

When I make a pond for a model railway layout I prefer to use a piece of glass to represent the water as the material has a highly reflective surface which can easily be cleaned to restore its lustre.  I apply very light pressure when cleaning the glass to minimise the risk of breaking it.

In my experience a model pond constructed using resin can go dull after a while as micro scratches build up on the surface when it is cleaned.  I find that this is also the case when transparent plastic is used to make a miniature water feature.
 
 
The shape of the model pond marked onto the layout baseboard
 
The outline of the piece of glass was marked onto the layout baseboard.
 
 
Holes drilled in the layout baseboard along the edge of the model pond
 
 
Waste removed between the holes to create a slot for a pad saw blade
 
Holes were drilled around the shape marked earlier.  A chisel was used to cut the waste away between the holes to allow a pad saw blade to be inserted.
 
 
The pad saw used to cut around the outline of the model pond
 
 
Pad saw inserted into a slot in the baseboard when cutting out the pond
 
 
Hole cut in the layout baseboard ready to make a model pond
 
A padsaw is a very handy item to have in a toolbox for woodworking tasks.  The saw is easy to use and a very cheap alternative to a bulky electric jigsaw.  The padsaw was placed into the slots created earlier and used to cut away the wood so that the piece of glass could be placed below the level of the surrounding scenery.

Water features such as ponds and lakes tend to sit at the lowest level within the landscape which is why I wanted to enable the piece of glass to sit slightly below the rest of the railway layout scenery.
 
 
Plywood sheet fixed over the bottom of the model pond
 
A piece of plywood was cut and fixed to the bottom of the baseboard.
 
 
Glass to make the reflective surface of the pond sat on sheets of polystyrene
 
Sheets of polystyrene cut from pizza bases were then used to raise the piece of glass to the correct height.
 
 
Close up of the sloping landscape around the edge of the model pond
 
 
Model railway scenery shaped around the miniature water feature
 
I marked the level of the upper surface of the glass around the periphery of the pond and used woodworking tools to slope the land down to the waters’ edge.
 
 
N gauge model locomotive used to study reflections in the pond
 
An N gauge locomotive was placed onto the branch line to study the reflection captured in the model pond.  If necessary, I could have lowered the glass at this stage by removing a layer of polystyrene.  I was happy with the reflections I observed and therefore chose to leave the glass at the height shown in the photograph.
 
 
Glass painted green underneath and scenery filled in around the edge of the pond
 
The underside of the piece of glass was painted dark green to create the appearance of deep water.

Filler was used to bed the glass into the surrounding landscape and allowed to dry.

I painted the filler with green emulsion paint.  When the paint had dried I applied green scenic scatter to match the surrounding model scenery.
 
 
Railway layout miniature hills and scenery reflected in the model pond
 
 
Finished model pond ready to add ground cover trees and bushes
 
When viewed from the front the miniature water feature should capture the reflection of trains trundling over the level crossing.  If viewed from other sides of the layout the model pond should capture the reflection of the surrounding landscape which will look much better when trees, bushes and ground cover are added.

Rounford Halt is one of my N gauge scenic model railway layouts. To see more model railway layout baseboards I have designed and built visit my website www.brianford.co.uk.

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Cramford Trains 51

N gauge class 35 Hymek D7042 shunting mineral wagons in Cramford quarry sidings
 
Class 35 Hymek D7042 busy shunting a variety of steel mineral wagons in Cramford quarry sidings.

Cramford is one of my N gauge scenic model railway layouts.  To see more model railway layout baseboards I have designed and built visit my website www.brianford.co.uk.

The N gauge class 35 model locomotive photographed is product number ND084M from the range by Dapol Ltd.

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Rounford Halt N Gauge Scenic Micro Layout with Continuous Run Part 10 Road Constructed

Aerial view of Rounford Halt N gauge micro layout with road added
 
After building the curved N gauge level crossing, detailed in my blog post dated 21 January 2015, I created a road running from the edge of the micro layout to the rear of the station platform.
 
 
Curved road added from the rear of the layout to the station platform
 
Many country roads meander through the countryside in an erratic manner.  To create a realistic appearance I designed a curved road with only one straight length over the level crossing.
 
 
Road modelled at slightly different levels alongside the elevated scenery
 
 
Model road meandering towards Rounford Halt station platform
 
Country roads also tend to have lots of subtle gradients following the rise and fall of the landscape.  Though there is only a short length of road on this model railway layout I made an effort to construct it at slightly different levels where possible.  The rise and fall of the road is evident when it is viewed close to ground level.

The road was textured with fine sand before being painted with grey acrylic paint.  Strictly speaking the scale of the texture is a little too rough but I really dislike the appearance of very smooth roads with just a painted surface.
 
 
Road and hardstanding behind the N gauge curved station platform
 
I created a wide area of hardstanding directly behind Rounford station platform where buses or other road vehicles can turn around and wait for passengers or goods.
 
 
Imitation sandstone rock formations built into the model railway scenery
 
Whilst building the road I also made some additional model scenery on the right of the station platform.  I added some rock formations which were textured, painted and weathered to match the imitation sandstone built into the elevated scenery detailed in my blog post dated 24 December 2014.
 
 
Rear corner of the railway layout with model scenery added around the level crossing
 
The road sloped down to join the N gauge curved level crossing.  I built additional model scenery around the level crossing to blend the feature into the model landscape whilst also finishing off the last corner of the micro layout.
 
 
View along the road from the level crossing to the railway station
 
 
Rounford Halt micro layout with space left to build a water feature
 
Curving the road to follow the scenery at the base of the model hill ensured that a reasonable amount of space was left on the inside of the branch line for a water feature.

Rounford Halt is one of my N gauge scenic model railway layouts. To see more model railway layout baseboards I have designed and built visit my website www.brianford.co.uk.

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Cramford Trains 50

N gauge class 47 D1500 hauling a rural passenger train
 
Class 47 D1500 stops at Cramford with a rural passenger train.

Cramford is one of my N gauge scenic model railway layouts.  To see more model railway layout baseboards I have designed and built visit my website www.brianford.co.uk.

The N gauge class 47 model locomotive photographed is product number 371-825 from the Graham Farish range by Bachmann.

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Rounford Halt N Gauge Scenic Micro Layout with Continuous Run Part 9 Making a First Radius Curved Level Crossing

Ratio Plastic Models kit 234 adapted to create a curved first radius N gauge level crossing
 
I used the Ratio Plastic Models kit 234 at the rear of Rounford Halt which included level crossing gates plus timber ramps and decking for use with straight track.  A level crossing seemed the best way to enable road vehicles to cross the branch line so that they may travel to Rounford Halt railway station.  The limited amount of space in the rear corner would not allow the landscape to be dropped or raised to accommodate a bridge.  A level crossing was therefore an ideal feature as its installation would not require the surrounding landscape to be substantially lowered or elevated.

The level crossing would also be an interesting feature in the background behind the pond I planned to create.
 
 
Painted N gauge level crossing gates from Ratio Plastic Models kit 234
 
I was impressed with the very detailed crossing gates, the attractive part of the level crossing which I wanted to see reflected in a water feature.  Painting the different parts of the crossing gates took quite a lot longer than anticipated.  The red lamps and bulls eyes were fairly straightforward but painting the thin metal straps and hinges black proved quite a challenge.
 
 
N gauge level crossing ramps with timber decking painted dark brown
 
Crossing ramps were painted dark brown to represent timber treated with creosote.
 
 
Ballast removed to allow level crossing ramps to fit closer to the branch line
 
 
N gauge level crossing ramps placed next to the branch line
 
Some of the ballast laid earlier had to be removed so that I could position the crossing ramps closer to the track.
 
 
Level crossing gates used to position the ramps correctly
 
The crossing gates were pushed into the holes in the ramps without glue.  The gates met in the middle of the track when closed to rail traffic.  This helped me to determine the exact position of the crossing ramps which I then marked onto the layout baseboard using a knife blade.  I also numbered the crossing ramps so that I would know which one sat on the inside or outside of the branch line.
 
 
Underside of the level crossing ramps with stepped inner edge
 
The stepped underside of the crossing ramps allowed cardboard supports to be fixed to them.  The cardboard supports were for pieces of styrene sheet with a plank effect which I wanted to fit between the ramps and the outer face of the rails.
 
 
Cardboard supports fixed to the underside of the level crossing ramps
 
I fixed pieces of cardboard under the inner edge of each ramp.  An additional strip of cardboard was fixed over the first to create a strong arrangement.  The ramps were placed in the locations marked earlier and the cardboard pressed onto the track to create the outline of the outer edge of the rail.  The waste cardboard was then cut away using scissors leaving a shape which sat on the chairs around the outer face of the rails.
 
 
Plank effect styrene sheet fixed to the top of the cardboard supports
 
Styrene sheet with a plank effect moulded into it was fixed to the top of the cardboard.  The styrene sheet was then trimmed to match the profile of the cardboard underneath so that it would fit neatly against the outer face of the rails.
 
 
Cardboard packing added to raise the level crossing ramps
 
The styrene sheet sloped when the crossing ramps were in position so pieces of cardboard were cut and fixed underneath to raise them to the correct level.
 
 
Strip of styrene sheet cut to make the decking between the track rails
 
A strip of plank effect styrene sheet was cut to fit between the track rails with a suitable gap between the planking and the inside of the rail on both sides.  It was important to ensure adequate clearance for wheels of locomotives and rolling stock and I decided I would rather have a gap which could be considered a bit wider than it should be in order to have trouble free operation.  I packed the central strip of styrene with cardboard underneath but allowed it sit slightly lower than the crossing ramps, again to ensure adequate clearance.
 
 
Finished curved N gauge level crossing with decking painted dark brown
 
I painted the decking dark brown.  The fragile gates were put safely aside so that they did not get lost or damaged whilst I was busy with other construction work.

Rounford Halt is one of my N gauge scenic model railway layouts. To see more model railway layout baseboards I have designed and built visit my website www.brianford.co.uk.