Tag Archives: weathering

It’s summer…

It’s summer, so not much going on on the Boltorr branch at the moment.

I’ve just acquired a nice book, however:

Cornish Traction, Stephen Heginbotham, et al. 2018 Amberley Publishing. UK.

Cornish Traction, Stephen Heginbotham, et al. 2018 Amberley Publishing. UK.
Cornish Traction, Stephen Heginbotham, et al. 2018 Amberley Publishing. UK.

Excellent for checking out how diesels look after a hard life on the roads of the south west.

Bridging the Boltorr Brook

The dam complex is now hot-glue tacked in place, so the next stage is to blend it into the landscape and complete the permanent way from Boltorr tunnel to the Boltorr-Tavystock road bridge, then I can get on with laying the track.

The track levels should be in perfect alignment because I completed the track plane before sawing out the void over the Brook.

I had intended that the rail bridge be an open structure with gaps between the rails and the river below. However, this was going to be a modelling challenge, and besides, after thinking about it, I thought it unlikely that anyone, even Victorians, would allow a pristine water source to be contaminated by ash, cinders and grease dropping from a railway above. So, I’ve built a solid deck to contain the track and ballast.

Road bed set into the bridge before weathering and stuff
Road bed set into the bridge before weathering and stuff

The original bridge is a HO kit from The Micro Engineering Company – Single Track Thru Girder Bridge 75-520. Bollards are from Billing Boats and the railings are feed wires from various obsolete audio and USB cables super-glued into place.

The decking for the permanent way staff is made up from MicroMark Boat Decking and aged/weathered with Age-It-Easy. Yes. That’s what it’s called. Additional rivets are a MicroMark decal.

Final weathering and aging before being put in place.
Final weathering and aging before being put in place.

The rest is fabricated from styrene sheet and profiles from Evergreen and Plastruct, then “weathered” and further rendered with vallejo “rust” wash and varying degrees of acrylic washes from white to black from any craft store you care to mention.

Fortunately, there is a lot of leeway before you get the look right… But when it is, just fix with matt spray.

Next: blending the scenary or track-laying… Not sure what…

Time to get the mortar in – II

Yesterday’s efforts weren’t as effective as I would have hoped.

The blocking and embossing techniques are good at establishing the texture of a stone wall, but so far, all I’ve tried has knocked all the effort back into blandness, only a step up from using embossed plastic card.

So, for the next step, I’ve taken some time over making up a dilute wash of a vaguely cement/mortar type colour. The thing is, you can be too careful. At first the mix was far too dilute, and for me the correct mix seemed to be just past the point when you start thinking, “This must be too thick.” In fact in the end I went even further.

To apply the mortar I arranged surfaces to be treated as close to the horizontal plane as practicable. At first I used an ingenious combination of third-hands and a digital level to set the plane. But let me tell you. Don’t waste your time. If it looks close to, it’ll be okay.

Dropper and Dopper - see what I did there?
Dropper and Dopper – see what I did there?

So, here is the first pass. I used a dropper bottle, available from your recycling bin or local craft store, to dribble my acrylic mortar slurry – in this case, a slightly green tinged beige suggesting moss and algae for this location by a Dartmoor river/stream/leat – and after seeing how it was drying out, dopped off any excess with a stencil sponge. Is “dopped” a word? I think you know what I mean.

Already showing more character, even if it's looking like a new wall although the
Already showing more character, even if it’s looking like a new wall although the “mortar” drops back as it dries

Once that rendering was dry, I dropped a slightly thinner black wash to give a little more relief. Once again, areas which took too much paint were adjusted with the sponge dopper

Close to good... finishing will be done on the layout with other landscape features rendered in
Close to good… finishing will be done on the layout with other landscape features rendered in

The effect is far more evident to the naked eye, and will get a little more apparent upon receiving its final fine matte coat in situ.

So, the next step is the entire Boltorr dam wall itself. I learnt a lot from the smaller bridge abutments, so hopefully I’ll get this done quite quickly.

Before the structure is set in stone, as it were, I want to fix a couple of features, some iron rings, and possibly, where my masonry looks a bit suspect, a couple of ties, all nice and rusty and streaking down the wall.

I also need to get the roof of the brick arches correctly coloured before I forget!

Materials used: foam board, DAS Clay, PVA glue, heat glue, UHU cement, cheap acrylics and paint samples, Woodland Scenics Earth Colors Kit C1215, various cheap brushes and sponges, clay roller.