There’s been a lot going on over the last week or so and I’ve only had a small amount of time for working on the layout. I had a very rough plan to get the final layer of scenery applied to the area around the creek and mill building this week but things haven’t gone quite as planned out.
The photo above shows the right hand end of the third scenic module as it stands at the moment. I’ve removed the connecting river module so I can work on the area in the corner and this means the camera is sitting about where the pier and ship are located when the two modules are together. In making some changes to the layout a couple of years ago I pulled up a short length of track that sits behind the mill so this needed to have the ballast added again and I also took the opportunity to ballast the right of way of the line that leads out to the pier. This is the short curved length of track in the centre of the photo with sleepers and ballast but no rail as yet. I’ll lay the rail as the final step when all the scenery is applied.
You might ask why not lay the track and ballast it now when I’ve already got everything in place and the answer to this is bound up with ease of access. To get the track behind the mill building ballasted I needed to get to it and as the module sits hard up against two walls I decided the best way to provide myself access was to separated the modules and ballast both short lengths of track at the same time. Both as accessible and doing two lengths together provides a small economy of scale that wouldn’t be the case if I waited to ballast each length o track separately.
I was running short of my base ground foam colour so I took a run up to Brisbane yesterday and visited a hobby shop that happens to open on Sundays. I also met up with a couple of friends and had lunch and visited one of their layouts so it was a good day. Now that I had the ground foam I needed I was able to treat the little bushes that make up the bulk of the “shubbery” that covers my layouts. This stuff is from Busch and is sold as Naturbaum #6081 but it’s also know as seagrass and sold by a number of manufacturers. After trimming, cleaning and spearating the shurbs I spray them with adhesive and sprikle them with two colours of ground foam to bulk them up a bit. I had the armatures “bulked up”, plenty of scenery materials and glue on standby and then I decided to build a crane. Huh?
If you look the photo above I’ve marked the spot where the crane is going to sit with a white A. It’s not difficult to see where the existing scenery is (installed in 2013/14) and the areas I’ve finished over the past. The dividing line is between the old s demarkated by the groups of trees and shurbs in the centre rear of the photo and the new areas which run along the front of the module. I’d been planning to start on the left hand side and simply pour a load of scenery and glue into this front area till I’d filled it up with weeds and bushes but the crane model stopped my progress dead.
I’d had the Waratah Model Railway Co (which can now be purchased from ModelOKits) 5-ton yard crane for a few years and I’d intended to build and install it in the spot marked with the A when the scenery was installed in 2013/14 in the lead up to the Aus7 Modeller Group ExpO exhibition but I simply ran out of time. While I was really keen to get stuck into the scenery, I knew that if I did the scenery at the front of the module before I had installed the crane that it would be a real pain to come back and do it later. So I put the brakes on the scenery and got the crane kit down and took a look at it.
The 5-ton yard crane was ubiquitous in most small rail yards right across NSW and there are still plenty of examples sitting next to lines all over the state that a modeller can photograph for future reference.
My guess is it will take me another couple of days before I can make start on the scenery at the front of the layout. Those cows are just going to have to wait a bit longer but I can assure you now was injured in the writing of this blog post 🙂