Since my last posting here I have spent much time modelling but have not got very far with the layout. There have been a number of serious difficulties to overcome, the largest being devising a way to attach No.7's chassis to the body and conceal the rear end of the motorblock in the cab.
Since departure to university was imminent, further work had to be put on hold. I did however find the time to bring together all my Gn15 stock both completed and part-completed for a sort of Fleet Review.
Now I am settled into university and study has begun, I found the time to unpack the layout in my room, test it and finish off a few things that were in progress when I left home. The new location has the advantage of a table big enough to set the layout up at a comfortable height for working in a chair, but the lighting is very poor because there is nowhere to set up the LED lighting strips.
The stile was necessary because the end of the hedge that was there before fouled the tree at front right on the other board, and a piece of plain fence stuck at the end of a mature hedge didn't look right because there was no rationale for it. I created a footpath for it which proceeds at right angles to the railway. Oddly, this compromise to solve a problem actually has greatly improved the layout because it adds variety, and having an additional thoroughfare helps create the feeling that there is a world out there beyond the area in view, and the footpath creates a focal point in the otherwise rather plain front left of centre, helping to avoid focusing the eye entirely around the edges of the left board, which would throw the backscene into focus too much.
The railway gate was my chosen victim for an experiment in using various shades of graphite pencil to weather wood, based on the observation that old-ish unpainted wood is predominately greyish, sometimes a beautiful silver-grey that is slightly shiny.
How much can I say about the sign? It seemed a good idea to name the farm and a good place for a sign. I have now decided that individual plastic letters on a piece of plasticard is not much more realistic than a paper printed sign and more effort to make, but is much better for getting exactly what you want rather than what MSW formatting will let you have.
This shot showcases the poor lighting, but its purpose is to show the progress of the barn and the replacement of every other fence post with a length of rail. This I feel gives a much better fence without the heavyweight, overbuilt look of having it all wooden posts.
I also put up a short length of similar fence by the cattle stop to cover the slope where the wall is not high enough. I'll wait until more has been done at the forest end before showing that as I'm not daft enough to fill up the server with pictures of strips of plastic net bag (makes good barbed wire) glued to a couple of offcuts of dowel!
Yesterday I was brave enough to let my housemates and some friends of theirs look at the layout and watch No.5 do a bit of shunting. They were amazed by the spectacle and much was said of skill and talent (though it seems non-modellers generally seem very impressed by anything scratchbuilt regardless of quality). The thing which caused them most surprise, though, was my saying the layout is not finished yet!