Friday, 30 April 2010

Sand and Cement equals Mortar

My hobby time often benefits from "the day job", yesterday for example I had to reset some car park gullies and ended up with a reasonable amount of mortar left over !

So tonight with the house to myself I made use of the time and wandered down to the shed with the said bag of mortar. From previous experience I have found for scenery purposes the mortar is best mixed with a 50 PVA /50 water rather than just neat water. It makes the wet mortar stick better and when dry it is a little more flexible.

This picture shows the contrast between the now hard foam base in its "naked" condition and the layer of added mortar.


In the subsequent pictures the mortar is in various stages of drying, with some still dark , wet patches





It looks a bit barren at the moment but in the coming weeks some greenery should appear....


Thursday, 29 April 2010

A "Shed" in the shed

My latest Ebay purchase arrived today, a nice suprise when I got home :)



Runs well and has front and rear directional lights, very pleased for £26.

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Foam Update

Went back out to the shed after the last post and found the foam had set enough to carve with an old hacksaw blade and sharp knife.

After a bit of a run round with the vac I dug out a can of chocolate brown spray, Its a long way from a finish but it gives a better idea than the cream foam colour.



Having taken a look at the existing hillside i now remember the surface was done with a runny mix of sand and cement mortar and basket liner. So at some point in the future I'll be needing a small bag of ready mixed mortar. But til then at least I don't have to look at the bare foam.


Foam hills

Im in mid progress making foam hills for the N gauge, I find its very quick, pretty cheap and simple to do.

In this case I have used B&Qs own brand 750ml aerosol for £7.98

I didn't take pictures of the spraying, the only important thing is to invert the can when spraying.

This is a picture taken about 45mins after spraying.


At this point the foam has nearly set but has a lot of air inside the still tacky inside. By poking a few holes in the skin a lot of the air can be squashed out to give a better look.


And here is a video of the foam being moulded.

Its not critical to get an exact contour as I will be covering it all with mortar or plaster.



Interesting how things can become popular or not ? Looking at my you tube stats this morning I am still amazed that my uploaded videos have collectively had 280 thousand views and the channel itself has 218 subscribers and 8600 views. It seems the more it has been watched the bigger it gets, seldom a day goes by now where I don't get an email saying I have a new subscriber.

Fascinating that a little shed in a suburban garden that houses trains can amass such an interest. Imagine how many followers it would have it it housed something important ! :)

If you have been and looked thankyou, if not it can be found HERE

Till the next time (probably tonight I have some shed time later) 


Monday, 26 April 2010

A bit of Ballast

My word, ballasting in N gauge is time consuming.

I hadn't planned to do any ballasting yet, but I just had to see how it was going to look on a small section.





Im pretty pleased with the results but don't plan to do anymore until some more scenery is done.

Sunday, 25 April 2010

West Highland Tractors

I came across this series of 4 videos on Youtube some time ago and have been watching them tonight, lots of inspirational views here !!

If you liked this, its easy to find the other 3 in the right side panel


Bridge in Brick

I had planned on the walls of the bridge being all concrete, but inspired by the new link road retaining walls at the Milnrow junction of the M62, I've gone for a stone with concrete capping, at some point the concrete may carry a safety rail along the top.

After a bit of fiddling I worked out how to print my previously downloaded OO scale stonework half size. (it can be found at Scalescenes HERE)

I love scalescenes, print it off, cut to rough size, apply some UHU glue to the plastic wall former then stick the paper on. Glue dries quick and a sharp blade can trim the printed paper to size if run along the plastic edge.



The observant may also notice that the gridge / girder has had some micro-strip added.


Weathered track

Yesterday (Saturday) was a glorious sunny day, all the chores had been done and apart from the odd taxi service for the kids I got to spend quite a bit of time pottering in the shed, with the door open and the sun streaming in.

The first job was to insert the missing sleepers that had been cut away to allow the flex to be joined. Job number 2 was to to carefully watch the train as it made its way round, using strips of plasticard to pack up hollows and even out any slight undulations in the track level.

Once I was happy the track was as level and even as possible, I used some 0.5mm plastic strip to add some superelevation on the curves.

The last track work job was to spray the whole lot dirty brown and then clean the rail tops back off.



The next job I tackled was to start getting the bridge to take shape, the great thing about N is that small scraps of plasticard can make entire structures !



The plan at the moment is to have it as a concrete constructed bridge.

A final picture, in which you can just see the starts of the line side cable ducting


And a video


Thursday, 22 April 2010

Choosing Pictures

I have just spent 20 minutes looking for more images that I can can claim to be amongst the favourites that I have taken. I find that from the 2000+ I have added to my photobucket account, I still come back to the same core group. 

Im not sure if I just like a certain type of picture or if now and again everything just comes together to give a reasonable outcome ?

Anyhow I found 3 more to add to the "favourite pictures" static page here (look to the direct right of here for a page link of that name !

And here is one to brighten up this page.

I have to say though that I do like the clarity and rendering that Blogger gives to uploaded images.

Video Action

As promised last night, YouTube has now processed the video of the first train running round the complete loop of track. To give an idea of how long a complete circuit takes,I have kept in the section of video that ran whilst the train was in the hidden section under the G scale layout.


Wednesday, 21 April 2010

A full loop

Following this mornings post and the discussions and thoughts that followed, today saw my mind being set on the open scenic option.

I had the track in and today I ended up with an off cut of hardboard, so a mix of an hour before food and a couple after has seen a decent progress that means I now have a full loop.

Here is how it shaped up. After putting the off cut on the base I marked out the track plan starting with the 18" loop at the end. This was then cut out with a jigsaw.


Then a mixture of packers were cut from timber, 6mm plywood and the 3mm hardboard and slotted under the track bed giving this.



At this point I went for my Pizza while it all dried.

To support the harboard track bed where there is no blocks expanding foam was squirted in, one of life's messy jobs !



Then the foam was allowed to dry (a bit) and the track laid no pictures but a video to follow :)  The scenic effect of the foam is a bonus but will look better when its cut back to neat embankments


Further thoughts and a plan

Yesterday I doodled in my head but it may not have been clear in words. Didn't get home from work till about 9pm last night so no model time but I did have a few thoughts during the day that I have converted to a google sketch up plan this morning.

As I attempted to describe yesterday the twin line over the large viaduct will enter on what is at the right of the picture above, split and create a figure of eight. tring to keep a bit of a Scottish, northern feel There will be a pine tree forrest to disguise the back of the loop and perhaps marshy land at the front.

It either that or a station type plan that has been suggested on CRM by Bob 
(image his copyright)


In this version the twin track appears to split at a junction but in reality the inner track of both routes is a dummy so are the points, this is because there is not enough space to create a complete inner loop in a reasonable radius of track.

I have to say both ideas have there merits but I am currently favouring the first all scenery open space look.. 

Thoughts welcome

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Elusive Ideas

Not that I have much free time this week but if I did I would be trying to find the "right" layout for the N gauge track on the left of the shed.

My original thoughts were to bring the double track to the front of the board then fold them round to the back into a loop that was slightly lower, hence hidden. I want them to be hidden as the radius will be tight and the long bodies of the DMUs will look wrong.

It soon became obvious when laying the track on the other side, under the G scale layout,  that a loop of track takes up more space than I expected. So my plans for the left were not to be.

My current thought is to split the double track and create a figure of 8, taking the rear track to the back then swinging it forward over the front track and joining the two to create a loop. This would give a bit of variation in track height, the higher track bridging the lower one would help hide how tight the rad of it is and the loop at the end could be hid in fir trees.

This is all hard to describe but its pretty muddled in my head too... No doubt during the next couple of days I will have a Eureka moment ...... I hope :)

Sunday, 18 April 2010

Blogging on Blogger

I have been slowly getting to grips with the blogger site. I am currently a regular blogger on RMweb and also add frequent updates to several Model Railway forums.

I have been toying with the idea of centralizing my internet activities and have tried doing this via a website (here) but a website is quite a static thing in many ways, Its more of a history than a current an up to date journal of exploits.

I have no plans to stop participating in forums, but I am mindful that in many cases I run the risk of boring the same people in different places. My thoughts are to post my most frequent updates here with more forum specific posts being made as and when.

If you have taken the time to come here via one of the forums and have an interest in RJRs garden and shed adventures, please add this blog to your bookmarks and visit often.

I have found it has taken a bot of time to get used to Blogger and wanted to ensure there was some content before advertising I was here. To the top right of the page there are links to static pages within the blog, which are a bit like webpages I guess. Below them there is a history of blog posts organised by date.

I have set permissions to allow comments by non Blogger members, it just means you will have to include your name or forum nickname in comments or you will be know as "anonymous" Overtime if spam comments become a problem I may have to review the permissions.

Thanks for visiting, please come back often for fun with railways from N to G

A little dabble with N

Adding a new scale to the fleet seemed like a good time to make a video and add a post to my personal blog, just to see how it all works :)


Wednesday, 14 April 2010

In the begining

Well this could be the start of something beautiful or just one of life's hikes into no where.
Prompted by the realisation you sometimes need a place of your own I plan to start keeping my model making blog here. At first it may well be in tandem with the blog I keep on RMweb but depending on hits one or the other may cease.

If like me this is your first visit here, its only fair to tell you what to expect. Pictures ... Videos... And very frequent updates of what happens on my workbench :)

While I get sorted with what I'm going to put here and in what format why not pop in to my website.


Till the next time



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