I’m in the process of getting the basics of the topography of the layout before I finally fix down the track.
I’m using Woodland Scenics’ Shaper Sheet for the surface. It’s a very interesting material being a thick aluminium foil with a bonded textile surface on one side. Basically, I cut out a suitable shaped piece and scrunch it up then carefully smooth it out to the degree of the ground it’s supposed to represent. The surface is fairly resilient but will be reinforced by a layer of fabric and plaster on top and expanded foam underneath if required.
In this case, I’ve kept the surface to the left of the blue line fairly smooth because it’s supposed to be an artificial embankment supporting the track. Land to the right is “natural” Dartmoor.
In the case of Boltorr Road the land is rolling down on the west side of Dartmoor, so the ground can be pretty rugged looking. I’m hoping that some horizontal folds can be made to represent strata of the underlying granite. But I’m not talking the north face of the Eiger here, just ancient, weathered outcrops.
The image shows the position of the southern exit tunnel and terrain running down to a small river. The void to the left of the track has to accommodate a small reservoir dam and run-offs. This is actually quite hard to envisage in the limited space there, so I’ll be making a cardboard mock-up before finalising the groundwork between the dam and rail tracks. I want to avoid the impression everything has been shoe-horned in.
I’m going to have to follow a similar procedure for the tunnel mouth, a card mock-up before building a portal and blending it into the steep face of Bolt Tor. The cardboard tube is a found item which I hope will form a basis for the bore through the Tor.
The blue line is laundry bluing dribbled down the hill to find a natural course for a drain or spring running through the tunnel then down the slope to the river. I suspect this might be an issue for anyone who knows anything about civil engineering, so I’m open to confining the spring to a culvert.
To the left of the line the track eases out of the tunnel cutting and onto the embankment and bridge across the river to Boltorr Road Halt itself.