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Re: Frontington & Backwoods Railway

Posted: Sun Jan 13, 2019 7:04 pm
by minipix
A little more model making from me, this time another Dapol house kit. I had already made one (in the background, with the green doors), and I got another kit for Christmas, so last night I put that together as well. One of the first challenges was getting the colours to match - it's been a while since I did the first one, and I couldn't be sure exactly what shade of anything I'd used before! In the end I just painted until it looked about right, and I think it's come out all right.

I deliberately didn't try to make it look identical. My layout is set roughly modern day, with a heritage railway nestled in the countryside, so the houses wouldn't be new. So I've deliberately made them different, because of course different owners would do different things with their houses. In this case, the first house had upgraded to white uPVC windows, whereas last night's house has older wooden framed windows. I've left the doors wooden as well, although to my mind they need more colour - it feels a little brown-heavy at the moment. I'm also thinking of adding some ivy growing up a wall somewhere, if I can figure out a good technique - anyone tried that yet?

Re: Frontington & Backwoods Railway

Posted: Sun Jan 13, 2019 7:51 pm
by glencairn
Two houses the same, but different. I like it. Maybe (as a suggestion for more individuality) one is up 'for sale'. There always seems to be houses for sale everywhere you look. :lol:

Glencairn

Re: Frontington & Backwoods Railway

Posted: Sun Jan 13, 2019 10:26 pm
by minipix
Nice idea! I'll bear that in mind next time I'm printing little signs.

Re: Frontington & Backwoods Railway

Posted: Sun Jan 13, 2019 10:45 pm
by Mountain
I am not 100% sure as I may have sold it, but I either have or had one of those houses. I don't remember if I still have it. Will need to take a look... Want another if I have it? :D

Re: Frontington & Backwoods Railway

Posted: Thu Mar 21, 2019 1:13 pm
by minipix
I've finally succumbed to the temptation of static grass! I bought myself one of those cheap fly-swatter versions and a couple of bags of grass. It's nowhere near as nice as what 'professional' static grass applicators can do, but for someone on a budget this actually works really nicely. I've done two areas on the layout so far, and I'm pleased with the results, so I'll do some other areas soon too. Really adds to the depth of the scene, and so much better than the comparatively flat scatter grass I'd used elsewhere.

For anyone that's interested in the technique, I used a thin layer of neat PVA on top of extruded polystyrene board that had previously been sealed with PVA and then painted with green acrylic. I used some 4mm 'summer mix' grass, followed by some 2mm 'core deep green' in a few patches to give some variation. Bushes and trees have been added too; they're not a perfect colour, but that's what I had in the drawer, and they do help break up the area.

Of course it could still be better, there's a lot of grass that isn't sticking up perfectly straight, and I'm sure my technique will improve over time. I've also laid some brown scatter for some soil, which has come up nicely too.

Re: Frontington & Backwoods Railway

Posted: Fri Mar 22, 2019 8:17 am
by mjb1961
Hi ,,,,your static grass is good ,I've also decided on adding static grass to my layout ,I bought one of those tea strainer types off eBay ,hopefully it will turn out as good as yours,,mjb

Re: Frontington & Backwoods Railway

Posted: Fri Mar 22, 2019 10:52 pm
by Bufferstop
I built my own "electric tea strainer" with bits from the pound shop, flyaway £1, set of three seives, £1, wire and crop clip from the spare box, as I still have two unused seives total well under £2. I cover my ground with strips of brown paper sacks soaked in PVA, then paint with neat PVA before adding the grass, any bald or thin patches look ok since they show through with an earth colour. Building up three or four layers of brown paper soaked in PVA and allowed to dry gives a shell that will flex a bit when pressed but is quite solid enough for fields etc, and doesn't crack or chip. It regularly gets checked out with a CAT scan, he walks all over it and selects a spot to curl up!

Re: Frontington & Backwoods Railway

Posted: Tue Apr 09, 2019 12:54 pm
by minipix
I've been doing some more static grass the last couple of days. Having dome some, it makes the areas I'd previously done with scatter look awful! Not sure I've perfected the technique though, a lot of my grass this time round is laying flat rather than standing up straight, not sure what I did differently. From a distance it's not too bad, depending on where you look, and I'll probably be able to hide the worst areas with shrubs and stuff.

It got me wondering though, where should I be putting the 'earth' wire for my static grass applicator? I've seen people embedding it into the baseboard, or attaching it to some nearby track. What is its purpose, exactly? Does it make any difference how far away the earthing point is from where you're applying the grass? Does it need to be in contact with the glue? Does having a polystyrene base make any difference?

Once the grass has properly dried I'll be going back in with some more detail. I have some flowerbeds to lay, and then I can glue the fence panels in place and add shrubs and trees in suitable places.

Re: Frontington & Backwoods Railway

Posted: Tue Apr 09, 2019 1:09 pm
by End2end
Yes that looks much better than the scatter. :D
From what I remember, (I haven't actually used static grass yet but have seen others and some videos on the subject) Insert the earthing point into the glue on the baseboard (where your going to add the static grass), then use the static grass applicator. This creates, for want of a better word, a circuit and should improve the "vertical-ness" of the static grass laid.

You may also find that the applicator is too far away. Try getting a bit closer to the baseboard if you can so the static grass stays upright.

Also to improve your skill try doing it on a small peice of scrap card etc rather than the main baseboard. This can be aded to the layout afterwards as a bit of "lift off" scenery.
Hope it helps
Thanks
End2end

Re: Frontington & Backwoods Railway

Posted: Tue Apr 09, 2019 4:39 pm
by Bufferstop
Damp the area where you are going to grass, push a track pin or similar into the surface at the edge of the area where you spread the PVA. I have a six inch plastic rod which I tap against the rim of the sieve to encourage the fibres to fall. Try to keep the bottom of the sieve about 2" above the surface, the higher it is the weaker the field which holds the fibres upright. Haven't a clue where the plastic rod originated but a plastic ruler would do just as well.
Having built mine from a genuine fly swatter the use of the wire and clip is obvious. The swatter has two sets of wires at right angles to each other. the two sets of wires are connected to the two leads coming out of the high voltage unit, so one goes to the sieve, the other to the target area. The surface, particularly when damp is conductive enough to charge up the area around the pin.

Re: Frontington & Backwoods Railway

Posted: Tue Apr 23, 2019 12:57 pm
by minipix
Some more progress happened over the Easter break. Pretty much all the static grass is now done, including all the little garden areas (not all the gardens will have lawns). I'm particularly pleased with how the area of scrubland between the road and the garden has turned out - I used a 4mm summer mix, with some bushes, and even added some dandelions using dabs of yellow paint! Not massively obvious, but it's the little details and subtle variations that make the scene more realistic.

Fences are going up too. I've embedded some painted matchsticks into the board (which was super easy because I've used polystyrene sheets), and the fence panels themselves are my own design printed onto card. They're glued in place with PVA, and I used the tried and tested method of using Oxford diecast models to prop it up while the glue dried!

Another addition I picked up during a walk in the park is a withered dead tree. It's just a twig I found lying around, but at this scale it works quite nicely.

Finally, I've added a little depth to my low-relief houses. It's not much, but it's enough to give the impression of there being rooms behind the windows, and might potentially allow for adding lighting too one day. The roofing was fiddly, and turned out not to be particularly neat, but it'll do for now. Adding fascia boards and guttering downpipes might help to disguise the roughshod work! Fortunately it's not a focal point of the layout, so quality isn't paramount here.

Re: Frontington & Backwoods Railway

Posted: Tue Apr 23, 2019 6:16 pm
by Bufferstop
Your static grassing seems to be coming along nicely.

Re: Frontington & Backwoods Railway

Posted: Tue Apr 30, 2019 12:51 pm
by minipix
A couple more photos of some gardening. Bushes in various colours and textures add some nice variation, although of course none of the plants are recognisable as anything 'real'.

The raised flowerbed worked out quite nicely too. It was originally designed as a wall, cut out of some polystyrene, about 1cm x 1cm cross-section, and was originally destined for a garden boundary. It was textured with a craft knife and then painted with acrylics. In the end I changed my plans and went for fences instead, but the wall actually worked quite well elsewhere as a raised flowerbed. I basically cut out part of the top and painted the recess brown, and added little clumps of greenery into it. Up against the fence, it looks fairly convincing! It'll probably need some colour adding at some point, because most people have flowers in their flowerbeds rather than just bushes/weeds... unlike my own garden!

Re: Frontington & Backwoods Railway

Posted: Tue Apr 30, 2019 1:21 pm
by Lysander
Those ‘30s-style Ex-Airfix suburban house kits are so evocative of the early ‘50s Bayco construction sets. Those of a certain age will immediately recognise them: the rest of you callow youths will have to use Dr Google to see what I mean!

Tony

Re: Frontington & Backwoods Railway

Posted: Tue Apr 30, 2019 3:40 pm
by Dublo
Hi minipix
Looking very nice around the curve now, and as you say some flowers will make all the difference.
A couple of years ago I found some of the original 1930s Plimpton Bayko at a car boot sale. Which needless to say now resides in my railway room, it is a shame that it is closer to O gauge than OO. I'm still looking for a set of the Meccano produced range.