Monday, August 31, 2015

Dry Land

So a little bit of paint later and I now have rocks and a stream bed. I'll extend the peat colouring onto the banks to give a base for the plants but for now this makes it clear where the stream runs.

From this angle the lack of depth to the diorama is more obvious as the land doesn't rise up behind the bridge as it does in real life but I think it looks pretty close all the same. Next up will be pouring the water which will take a few days to do the layers so it's unlikely there will be a progress report until I have something sensible to show.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Now With Sleepers

I've spent the last couple of days slowly adding the sleepers to the rails so I can see how the section over the bridge will look. The sleepers in the undergrowth can wait until later.

It's not a perfect replica, when compared to Bobby Mhor's photo, but I'm pretty happy with how that looks.

Thursday, August 27, 2015


Progress is moving along nicely now with my entry to the Dave Brewer challenge and today I can report that the girders have been detailed and both them and the rails nicely rusted. For a change I thought I'd show a different view of the diorama looking downstream from above the bridge.

From this angle you can't see the concrete support block although I promise it is there, and I think the scene is really coming together nicely now. The next two jobs will be to add the sleepers to the rail and to paint the rocks. I'm guessing I'll do these in parallel so I don't go crazy hand spiking the rail.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Rocks and Rails

Just a quick update on the diorama, as I've now scribbed the stonework on the right-hand bridge support and cut the rails to length.

The rocks were scribbed into the plaster using a dental pick, which worked nicely. The pattern isn't fully accurate to the actual bridge but I think it should work reasonably well once painted up and part hidden under plants.

The ends of the rails are likely to be hidden where the track is over grown so I've soldered them to copperclad PCB strip for strength rather than relying on the hand spiked sleepers to hold everything in place. This should also make fitting the sleepers easier as the gauge is already set.

While neither of these tasks are huge in themselves, I do feel that the scene is starting to come together nicely now. I see I still have a bit of work to do where the girders join the left bank (that gap needs filling) before I start painting the rocks, but I can now also crack on with building the track and detailing the girders and those jobs should move the diorama forward quite quickly.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

More Civil Engineering

It was a long day for the civil engineering team yesterday up on the wilds of Duchal Moor. By the end of the day though they had managed to build up the embankment and cut two bridge girders to size. They expect to have to make a few minor adjustments as building work continues but so far it's all looking quite promising.

The next step will be to scrib the stonework into the supports for the right hand side of the bridge. On the real thing these appear to be made from large local stones bound together with concrete. I did think about producing individual stones from DAS (like I did with the dry stone wall) but I wanted to ensure that I could colour them the same as the in-situ rock. I made the supports by casting a large flat sheet of plaster which I then cut into the relevant shapes. These were glued in place then more plaster used to bind them all together and into the scenery. This means there is plenty of depth of plaster to scrib and they should take colour nicely.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Civil Engineering

The civil engineering team were out early up on Duchal Moor this morning. They've already made initial measurements and started construction on the core of the embankment that will carry the railway over Blacketty Water.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Terraforming at 75%

Now that I'm fairly confident about how I'm going to model the water for my Dave Brewer challenge entry, I've started work on the basic terrain of the final model. So far I'm at about 75% completed.

As you can see, so far I've modelled the river bed, with a drop for a small fall, and the left hand bank where the railway enters on top of a rock. The right hand bank, although taking up a smaller portion of the diorama, is more complex as it contains a man made embankment for the railway to run on. I have some ideas of how I'm going to build that up, but it still requires a little more thought before I make a start on it.