Monday, December 22, 2014


Ohh what a difference a bit of painted cardboard makes.

I've been getting a bit sick & tired of the look of the layout & the extremely slow progress of anything happening on it, & whilst I have been busy doing stuff, it certainly is not reflected on the layout and thats really frustrating, so I took the plunge & decided to make the backdrops for behind the lower level of the layout and I gotta say what a difference the backdrops make. It's taken me a few weekends to paint the set below but I'm pretty pleased with the outcome.

I've included a couple of before and after shots and while it's only a backdrop and nothing else, it hopefully does convey a bit of what I'll be trying to achieve.

So, what a section of the layout looked like before I installed the backdrop

I initially tried to force the 3mm MDF into a curve & whilst it does work (I used a steamer to help in bending the MDF) it unfortunately resulted in the roundhouse (or at least whats built of it so far) not fitting, but it did look fairly good to me and while it can't be made out in the photo the backdrop starts to curve from just about where the mountains are, (or are they hills:-)

I was contemplating cutting the roundhouse down from a 5 stall to a 4 stall unit, but then thought that a better option would be to cut a slot half way into the rear of the backdrop and to then crease in the backdrop to force it into a corner rather than a gentle curve, the result is as in the photo below, yep the crease is very visible, and whilst not quite a hard edge it is noticeable, but to me better than cutting down the roundhouse and I think is better than seeing the support timbers in the 'before' photo.

And the culprit in its position, sorta, at least it fits with about 10mm to spare, now I've just gotta get too & finish it.

I've also started doing a bit of modelling with a mate where we are setting aside a day a week or so to make something we both need, and our first modelling session is making some watertanks following Peter Jarvis's article in the April & June 2013 AMRM, I'm making a couple of tanks, one a standard Casula Hobbies 40,000 gal tank and the other a cutdown 20,000 gal tank. I've deviated from the article for the 20,000 gal tank by making a timber stand (I've based it on Rankin Springs as described on ghsignal's blog : link to ghsignal's water tank blog), I've used North Eastern Scale lumber to make the tank stand and it will be going on my version of Dunedoo, and I have to thank Rod's NSWGR Southern Line in a shed site (Southern Line) for the weathering tip using raven oil (I got mine from Blue Ribbon Saddlery @ St Marys, Sydney), I diluted it about 1:100 with metho as Rod recommends and I think it works like a charm, very happy with the result.
I'm hoping to have it, and it's 40,000gal counterpart, for which I have to make the steel stand,  finished early in the new year depending on how many sessions we can fit in and how much of a hassle it will be making the steel stand and it's braces and I also have to hunt down a jib for the timber stand, pretty certain I have something somewhere, just gotta find it.

Anyways that's it for now, I wish all a very Merry Christmas and  Happy & Prosperous New Year.