Scene composition

I keep staring at this scene of the east bank of the trestle I and keep coming to the conclusion that I’m not happy with it. The hardest part is that don’t know why. It should work. It ticks all the boxes: it has a mix of textures, materials, and colors; it avoids too great contrasts; I think it does a good job of reflecting the real world, while avoiding impressionism; and it tells a little bit of the story of the construction of the trestle. Yet I keep looking at the scene and finding it really boring.

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Trestle east side done

Hi everyone. Here’s an quick update on this project.

I’ve done the first pass over the east end (right hand side) of the diorama and added as much as I thought I needed in order to create a realistic scene. I’m happy with it so far. There are still more items to put into place but I’m going to take a two week break from the diorama to get back to the tracklaying on The Town. The last week has been an solid learning experience and I feel I’ve advanced as a modeler.

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Highgate Station

Back in the seventies I went to high school in a part of north London called Highgate. Highgate is a leafy suburb perched high up on a hill next to Hampstead Heath. Near the school, of particular interest to me, was this recently (for the seventies) abandoned station set between two tunnels opposite Highgate underground (tube) station. Continue reading “Highgate Station”

Trestle embankment

Hi all.

Here is the latest. I have to admit that the whole project has been stressing me out. The hard part is not knowing what the goal is. I mean I have figured out the stream bed and the road, but there are infinite choices for landscaping the embankment sides. As there are no rocks I have really only grass and I suppose stones to place. I started working on it earlier this week and then stopped because I didn’t know how to proceed. By yesterday I was ready to start again.

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Finescale Track

I’ve just finished reading an old Iain Rice classic: Finescale Track in 4mm.

I read the book back in the nineties when it was first published and of course that means that the book is over twenty five years old. I was not yet a modeler but decided that when I started modeling I was going to ‘have a go’ at finescale track using the methods described. My plans got derailed by a move to the States and switch to USA modeling.

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Calibration weights

One of the most useful tools I’ve purchased recently are calibration weights. I briefly mentioned them on the Railroad Line Forum but want to give a little more info about them here. Up till now I’ve been weighing things down using whatever I can lay my hands on around the workspace. Not only is it inconvenient, it is dangerous and time consuming. Inconvenient because often I need a weight right in front of me to grab, dangerous because I ended up using whatever I can lay my hands on without thinking how stable the objects might be, and time consuming because it takes time to find the right combination of paint pots, metal objects, and glass jars.

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Crossover finished!

At last it is done. This part of the project was the most difficult and stressful. The trackplan was designed around the crossover as I thought it would make for a visually interesting area of the layout. However having never built a crossover before I ended up spending alot of thought on the problem – going over the process again and again in my head before starting work on it. I’m glad to now be able to stop over-thinking the problem and finish the remaining turnouts. However I may delay wiring and take a break from the track once it is all laid. I want to start working on some buildings. I’ll see how I feel once I’ve built the final turnover. I still have three more turnouts and one more crossover to do. Turnouts take two hours each which I spread over a couple of evenings because I find it exhausting. There’s a lot to get right and a lot that can go wrong with handlaying track so it’s best to not work too hard and spread the process out over several evenings.

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First crossover turnout

Just finished the first turnout of the crossover. Nothing much to add other than I started with the frog and prefabricated all the pieces before doing any soldering. Everything came together nicely. I’m still getting to grips with the correct clearances – they are looser than they need to be – but everything seems to work fine. My little truck navigates the turnout without any problems. I still have to do some cleaning up but overall things look much tidier than my first turnout effort.

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