Not a lot of progress today, being a holiday weekend, thought I should spend some time with family
. So just a couple of small projects.
First little project was a timber walkway across the tracks, quite useful for handcarts and barrows. First choice here for me is Balsawood, so easy to cut and shape to size. It also takes weathering and staining very easily.
The frst job was to measure the gaps between rails and paving, to work out a reasonable size for the planks that were to form the walkway. It worked out that approx 4mm wide, which scales to around 4 inches wide should suit the gaps. A piece of 2mm thick balsa was then used to cut the various pieces.
As you may see from the photo, I didnt go for individual planks of wood. Instead, a simple black line put on with a fine tipped drawing pen, then the same pen was used to push in nail holes. Once stained it is surprising how realistic this method is, as I hope this shows.
For staining, my normal method is to use a spirit based woodstain, very diluted and explained in more detail here
. Unfortunately, these stains are getting more difficult to find and also with a view to keeping this simple, another alternative was needed. After a couple of tests with diluted acrylic and watercolour paints, I decided to go for a black watercolour here. It would be nice to give a guide to dilution, but there is so much variation from one paint to another, that it is almost impossible. I used a concentrated liquid watercolour from the Luma range of Daler-Rowney, let down about 1 part paint to about 10 parts water, for a non concentrated paint, 1 to 5 would be a better starting point to experiment from. When first applied as a stain to an absorbant wood like balsa, dont get too worried if it appears very dark to start with, as it dries, it will go a lot lighter, you may even need to apply another coat to darken a bit more. Experiment first on something of the same material to get a feel for the staining before trying it on something that has taken a while to make.
Here is the finished planking after drying out fully and set into position. Each piece is raised upto rail level using a piece of 1mm thick card underneath, which is also helpful to raise the planks above the moulded rail fixings on the ties/sleepers.
The next little project is the end stops or buffers at the far right of the layout, to prevent the wagons bumping into and damaging the brick wall.
Nice simple construction here, two posts and a cross beam at coupler height, to act as a cushion against run away wagons. I used 5mm square balsa for the posts, and a 3mm thick piece for the crossbar. Here are the pieces cut to size, with a little work done to take off the corners and put in a bit of grain.
and here are the same parts after staining, using the same methods as the planking above.
You will I'm sure have noticed that the made up one at the top right, has gained a bit more detail. Initially I was going to just use the marker pen again to depict it being nailed together, but went for a simple way of representing a bolt and washer. This is very simply, a small square of thin black card and a Peco track pin, which usefully, come ready blackened. A touch of matt black paint on the head of the pin to hide the shine and it adds a nice finishing touch. I did give a very light drybrushing to make them stand out a little better for the photos. These are at the bottom left of the photo, ready to be used.
Of course, if you already have stocks of nut and bolt castings from the likes of Grandt Line, use these instead, I almost did, but remembered in time what this thread is about
Here is a closer view, yes I made more than needed
just in case any went wrong, it's a lot easier to make extra, than to go back and do the parts for another.
So to finish off this little section, a shot showing both the walkway and buffers set into place.