Monday 10 March 2014

Freshwater at the Basingstoke Show 2014

I love the sound of deadlines flying by. Having a deadline certainly provides a bit of impetus to get things done, even if not enough things actually get done in time.

When I accepted the invitation before Christmas, I had just about got all the electrical and mechanical gubbins beneath the layout working as required (see umpteen previous posts) and so, 4 years after the initial deadline for the 2mm Scale Association Golden Jubilee Expo in Oxford, I thought the time was right to start some scenic work. After all, with just one baseboard to cover, and four buildings to make, there was plenty of time. Then I started to make the starter signal. After a promising start, weeks turned to months, and with the above ground parts completed and working, I had to put it aside and start on the terraforming instead of trying to connect up a minute linear servo underneath.

So, after carving the layers of foamboard using a ceramic kitchen knife to produce a smooth land surface, and then covering with simple paper maché sprayed with brown and grey aerosol paints, I started laying the reed beds alongside the river, and along the tributary. This was plumbers hemp planted in glue and later trimmed with scissors and brushed roughly with green paint. The river water was Deluxe Solid Water resin which has produced the desired effect.

The rough ground cover was formed using a new product, which is basically a cooker hood filter that has been spray painted. I think it is quite effective as an initial layer. Shorter grass was static fibres, but the application was not as successful as on my test piece, with very little of it standing up properly.

Lots of fencing was added, mostly etched nickel-silver, but with plastic strip added to the uprights to give them more body. Lots more needs to be added, but I think I wiped out the stocks of County Rolling Stock's N'Tastic online shop.

Roads and platform surfaces are fine wet-and-dry emery paper, and the 3D printed trestle platform (see earlier blog) completes the platform. Various scatter materials, and a little plaster, completed the ground cover. Again, this is just the initial layer which will be toned down and added to later.

So that is how far it progressed before the exhibition. The layout behaved itself admirably over the two days, the main problems being with the DG couplings on some of the wagons which will have to be worked on before the next outing. Apart from that, it was a pleasure to shunt for an hour or two at a time. The 'to do' list now reads: Buildings, Trees, Signals, more fences, appropriate rolling stock.

Spectators. So it did have some interest from the visitors.

Some inappropriate rolling stock (except for the road van)

Station building is missing (amongst other things)

River Yar

The complete exhibit, with cantilevered fiddle yard floating to the right.