Ashwell Moor – Both Boards – weathering

I have now made a start on the weathering of Ashwell. The first job was to add the items that are permanent on the layout – these being Yard Lights and Buffer Stop Lights, plus a few bushes. Anything that is removable is added after weathering the layout as they are consumable and do not spend much time on the depot in real life.  These include people, pallets, drums, boxes and hoses etc. Weathering them in situ is a no-no in the main weathering. These items may well be weathered but to a far lesser degree and are done separately. I really hate to see figures weathered to the same degree as the layout – it looks unreal. While we are on the subject of realism, the Yard lights and Buffer lights are non working. Why do I need working lights? it is ‘blue sky’ and the middle of the day. I hate to see lights for lights sake – blazing lights on everything on the layout from every building and every railway item — all topped off with a beautiful cloudless blue sky!! If lighting is needed then a lighting rig is favoured – although I like to see the natural light at different venues. Of course you could model twilight!!!!!!

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Some more items are still to be added –  two cars, storage tank, chemical toilet, tool hut and four more people.

 

 

Ashwell Moor – Board 2 – getting there!

Another week of working on the O gauge layout for my son John. For the first time I actually feel an end is in sight.

The retaining wall is now painted and glued to the back scene. The fuelling Point is also now attached as is the staff accommodation.

The next step will be adding some items on order from Skytrex and making some Yard Lamps and Buffer Stop Electric Lights.

And finally put both boards together and blend and weather – probably only a week or two away!

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Ashwell Moor – Board 2 Retaining Walls

The retaining walls are now complete and temporarily fitted to check  clearances and joins. The next job will be painting and weathering them. Again RS laser cut items were used throughout.

To keep the scenario believable I have aligned the rear two track with a supposed closed tunnel mouth. This, in theory was an old goods yard on a once through route, converted to a Fuelling Point in the 1960’s when the through route closed.

It is not necessary to have a reason like the above – but I find thinking a particular scenario through helps with the ideas and the enthusiasm generated.

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Ashwell Moor Tunnel and Retaining Walls – Board 1.

The Tunnel and Retaining Walls are all KS Laser Cut Products. They are all MDF and available off the shelf. Although I did modify some parts to suit my needs, especially on the tunnel.

After forming the parts with PVA, I then ensured all parts slotted together on the backscene as required.

I painted all parts with Railmatch Enamel as required. I use at least four different colours for the bricks. After drying overnight, I mixed up some runny Polyfilla and forced it between the bricks to form the mortar. After leaving to dry well, I wiped off all the unwanted Polyfilla and then coated the whole area with Coloron Wood Dye. This dries very quickly and the final coating was Matt Varnish to seal the whole process.

I have now also added a very fine mist of grime overall and a little extra around bases of structures that are at track level. All that is needed to the Walls and Tunnel now is blending with the surrounding areas after they have been weathered.

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Track painting on Ashwell Moor (O Gauge)

With ballasting complete, next I turned to the sides of the track. I use neat Railmatch ‘Sleeper Grime’ for this task. This is a very time-consuming job but I prefer  brush painting as opposed to air brushing simply because of control ability and keeping paint away from places I do not want it! The Air Brush will come out for final blending and weathering with at least four colours including at least one dark Gloss colour for oil stains.

After completing both boards I started to put a wash on the ballast – this is again done with ‘Sleeper Grime’ but mixed 50-50 with thinners. This gets into every little crevice and starts to bring the layout to life. Again I prefer brush painting, but a larger brush can be used so its a quicker process.

It is essential to keep the track tops clean after each stage. I clean down with thinners and a ‘Track Rubber’. I am not a big fan of track rubbers, mainly because of the ‘debris’ they produce. However at this stage it is not important as I vacuum the layout between stages.

Sides Only

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Sides and Wash

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Painting the chairs

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Ballasting Ashwell Moor (O Gauge)

I started to ballast Ashwell yesterday – not one of my favourite jobs, but a job that can make or break a layout.

As this is a depot layout I used a mixture of OO gauge and N gauge Ballast with a little sand.  This Fuelling Point,  in theory it sees a lot of traffic and  it  is now over 30 years  since BR decided it needed a FP in the area. In all likelihood the depot never received new ballast in the first place – probably recycled was used when built. Over the years the ballast has naturally broken down under heavy foot fall, weather, fuel and oil.

The ballast is positioned as required, it is then wetted using a garden spray mister – I then used a large ‘eye dropper’ to add a 50-50 mix of PVA and water. Take care not to get any mix anywhere near points – I always do these separately with higher viscosity 75-25 mix – it runs less and I feel more in control of where it goes.  Don’t forget the drip of washing up liquid to break the surface tension of the mix.

Starting

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Finishing

Although very boring, I spend a lot of time cleaning up the ballasting when dry. I use a blunt old scalpel and clean all sleepers and rails of little pieces of ballast that ‘try to defy the laws of gravity’. This is very important on the inside of the track so that the wheels have a ‘clean run’ without any bumps or humps. Note:- Eye protection used – don’t forget!

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And the moral of the story —- take your time!!!!