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

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