Well I can hardly believe it's been 4 months since I updated my blog but the glorious Summer weather was not really conducive to locking myself away in the train room so not much happened in August or September.
Anyway, progress has recently restarted on the 'Parmouth' boards and, as well as completing the hidden storage roads I have also laid the visible part of the Parmouth Harbour trackwork and completed all of the under-board wiring of points etc.
View from Doorway
Looking back at Parmouth Town beyong the Loco Shed.
You will see that I have managed to locate a suitable picture which I intend to use as a backscene for Parmouth harbour – It's actually Brixham Harbour. I've cropped the picture down to form a long, narrow one which I've then manipulated with a programme called 'Posteriza' to produce a continuous backscene. This is just a test print and the eventual idea is to fix a sky background to the whole backscene board and then mount the picture, minus the sky part, onto card which will be fixed on top of the sky so that it becomes ultra low relief. Eventually, the row of street-level shops and houses at the bottom of the picture will be scratch built in low relief and mounted in front of the flat picture. I'm also toying with the idea of building the colonnaded walkway that you can just about make out in front of the street-level shops.
You will see that I have also managed to fabricate some illuminated buffer stops.
These are the standard Peco rail type buffer stops and the red warning lights are made from the Springside Models GWR Tail Lamps with the jewel removed and the centre drilled out to receive an 0.8mm SMD glued into the hole. This was no easy task as the lamps are only 1.2mm wide and it took me 12 attempts to get 5 usable lamps, with an 0.85mm hole drilled in the centre as, even using a pin-vice, the drill kept breaking out of the sides due to the very tight tolerance. The buffer stops themselves were assembled with superglue and then sprayed with grey primer before sloshing on some dark wood dye and wiping off the surplus to give an aged wood effect. They were pretty fiddly to make but I think they've come out quite well.
I've also installed an inspection pit and an ash pit on the loco shed siding with another 0.8mm SMD installed into the side wall of the inspection pit, this time a proto-white one. I'm thinking of toning this light down a little, either with a higher rated resistor or by applying a little yellow printer ink to it. There's still a bit of light leakage at the side of the pit at the moment but this will be remedied when I lay the 'concrete' floor to the loco shed. I still have to fit the internal roof lights and some internal tool benches etc. but it's otherwise, complete.
You may also have noticed that I do the main weathering to the track before laying as this avoids having to do it after the track is laid when access can be awkward. This basically comprises giving the track a good clean with an ordinary household cleaner and warm water to remove any oils left during the manufacturing process and, once it has thoroughly dried off, spraying the track with good old Halford's grey primer. The final stage involves sloshing on various colours of wood stain until the desired colour is achieved. This gets rid of the shiny plastic look of the sleepers but accentuates the wood graining and produces a more prototypical brown/grey colour. The top running surface and inner edge of the rails where it makes contact with wheel flanges are cleaned up with IPA after each stage and the finished article looks like this. You can, if you wish, dry brush on a little rust, track dirt or sleeper grime to vary the colour a bit but I prefer to do that level of detailing after the track is laid as additional colouring is generally dependant on the actual location of the track.
Meanwhile I've been making steady progress in the evenings on scratch building the Waiting Rooms and Toilets for the island platform at Market Havering. These follow the same basic design as Codsall Station buildings on which my previous main Market Havering Station was based. This is its' present state and, while it still needs gutters, downpipes and a little detailing, I'm quite pleased with how it is turning out.
That's about it for this update. Next task is to get cracking with the track laying on the Market Havering boards.
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