Next? The Fjords…

I’ve spent a little time working out how to fit the Boltorr Dam and river bridge together.

In fact, it should not be as difficult as I first thought the problem might be.

Drone view of the realigned dam edifice. A couple of retaining walls should sort the topography out.
Drone view of the realigned dam edifice. A couple of retaining walls should sort the topography out.
Looking upstream with the new, more adequate retaining walls. Partially treated, but I'll wait until the whole structure is in place before final rendering and weathering
Looking upstream with the new, more adequate retaining walls. Partially treated, but I’ll wait until the whole structure is in place before final rendering and weathering

By moving the dam southwards; ie, toward the right, I can get a reasonably realistic looking watercourse for the Boltorr Brook, and, hopefully, maintain a realistic lie of the land into the river valley.

With respect to the bridge abutments I’ve increased the size of the retaining wall on the viewing side of the line. My next task is to firmly position the dam, establish the contours of the land and the embankment, then build connecting retaining walls, render and then finish the effect in situ so that there is a unified overall effect.

Another consideration is the profile of the rear scenic break as the slopes roll off the tor towards the river valley.

Easy, huh?

I’ll go through construction of the opposing abutment in the next posting.

Plus ça change

plo͞o sä ˈSHônZH

Well, I had this vision.

The branch vaulting the Boltorr Brook with the dam looming behind. And, you know, from some angles the view is actually quite impressive, but in reality jamming everything in is an issue.

Theview under the crossing towards the dam, looks plausible, but, I’m working on the principle of squeezing the illusion of as much space from an 8ft x 2ft plan as possible.

Looking under the Boltorr Brook crossing towards the Boltorr dam. It looks plausible from this viewpoint, but...
Looking under the river crossing towards the Boltorr dam. It looks plausible from this viewpoint, but…
Can the river emerge from under a bridge, Cadover style. There's a degree of elevation to overcome, but a couple of rocky pools and a "rapids" might do it...
Can the river emerge from under a bridge, Cadover style. There’s a degree of elevation to overcome, but a couple of rocky pools and a “rapids” might do it…

The prime aim of this layout is to look as if it really could have happened. The problem isn’t really the perspective from under the bridge towards the dam, which, though I say so myself looks pretty good, but being able to fit some realistic looking waterworks in between the bridge and the dam.

I think it can be done, but I might have to re-align the dam or think of some other way of making a scenic break. And the other question is, would there really be a rail embankment and bridge just a few yards downstream from a dam? Probably not.

From a bird's eye view, the real estate is very tight
From a bird’s eye view, the real estate is very tight
Imagine a railway crossing just downstream from here - Cadover Bridge : SX 554 646
Imagine a railway crossing just downstream from here – Cadover Bridge : SX 554 646

It’s pretty lucky that this is a figment of my imagination… or rather, another universe, so it’s pretty much up to me what to do next.

I think I’m going to have a retink about the positioning of the dam and see if it can be fitted in. It was a lot of work, after all. And I learnt that carving out every individual stone isn’t as good as placing them individually. It’s possibly quicker, but doesn’t look the same at all. Just look at the bridge abutments compared to the dam walls.

In the meantime I need to get on with the rail bridge piers. The retaining buttresses towards the front of the layout are now pretty much sorted. I’ve made them bigger than the last time they appeared so it looks as if they’re actually holding something back. I also need to sort out what happens between the bridge and the back of the layout.

Boltorr Road Halt – here we are again …

Well our move is over. Of course there are still one or two things which haven’t turned up yet, but there are still one or two boxes to unpack.

The Boltorr Road baseboard was spirited from its old home to the new with virtually no damage and now sits in our basement waiting for Creation to start again.

The layout showing the profile - I don't like the "nailed on a board" look
The layout showing the profile – I don’t like the “nailed on a board” look

Believe it or not, I’m still working on Boltorr Reservoir dam. Made mostly from braced foam board and DAS air curing clay with every stone carved into it by hand. I think future stone construction will revert to the method I used for the Bolt Tor tunnel entrance. That is individual DAS blocks glued on piece by piece. I think it may be a bit slower but rather more satisfying and convincing.

Bolt Tor Tunnel mouth - every stone individually applied
Bolt Tor Tunnel mouth – every stone individually applied

So the dam is just about ready for rendering and placing on the layout. This means I should be able to finalise the lie of the land around the Boltorr Brook and start work on the water course.

The next “structural” construction will be the retaining wall for the passing loop and head shunt.

Boltorr Road Halt - track plan
Boltorr Road Halt – track plan

A slice of Devon in the USA