Tuesday, February 21, 2012


Progress been made lately.. After my not so successful attempt o fix ballast with Klear, I reverted to the tried and tested dilute PVA.

As this railway is supposed to be a fairly lowly affair, and yards rarely sported perfectly ballasted sidings anyway, I really wanted to 'bed' in the trackbed.

I took DAS modelling clay to build up the ground levels, and spent some time pressing it in all around the tracks, using a small old brush to tamp in between sleepers here and there. Once dry, this has been painted a mucky old grey colour.

I picked up some 'ash' scenic powder stuff at the Doncaster show (If I had a fire, I could have used actual ash.. and I suspect this is exactly what this is!) Anyway, a liberal coat of pva was applied, and the ash teaspooned over it. I found I really needed to pile it on to get good coverage.
Left it for a day and hoovered up the surplus.

A little filling in going on now, but after my initial fears that I had wrecked it all, I think it's starting to take shape.

In addition, I've put the platform in place, moving the station building along , which I feel balances the scene a little more.

The back corner and left hand side were bothering me, but I've resolved to have a grassy bank on both sides, rising up to a small wooden footbridge over the track in the corner. I know it's fairly improbable, but I'm hoping it will help to frame the scene too.

As I move along with various jobs, I'm puzzling over what to do with the area in front of the yard. At the moment I'm thing perhaps the edge of some allotments, or simply a fence, to break up the open space.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Klear cut?

A few years back, I had a go at making balsa and tissue freeflight aeroplanes.. I came across johnson's 'Klear', used instead of 'dope'.. marvellous.. no nasty smells, neat and cheap..
More recently I read about it's use as a fixing agent for model railway ballast, so I thought I'd give it a go on Winkford, seeing as I still had nearly a bottle full.

The results are mixed.
It's really easy to apply, dripping in, no need to pre-wet the ballast and it wicks away very well.

BUT.. 24 hours later, there are lots of areas not fixed at all, and those that are, are a bit flaky.
My guess is that this will work, but some experimentation is required.. maybe I need to seal the board first?

So.. tidy up and then it's the traditional PVA mix :-(

(Although I'm applying a 'traditional' ballast, the plan is to weather it all down and get it pretty flat and weedy by the end. Tempted to try Chris Nevard's clay method).

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Paper and Pigs

Pigs? Well.. it's funny how your brain can just miss the most obvious things. Winkford is supposed to be pretty local - Notts, Lincs 'ish'... but unless I move it quite a few miles Westwards into Derbyshire, I don't think there's going to be much use for those lovely W&L sheep wagons!

So, cattle van built, as we certainly have cows around here, and it occurred to me that there might be justification for the smaller wagon to be used for transporting piggies.

I've moved the loading ramp to the side of the goods shed now and off the headshunt too.

Paper? The little space front right of the layout, where the trains emerge and cross the road, was intended to be an allotment or similar low-level feature. But the balance didn't seem quite right, so I'm using paper mock-ups to see how a house would look, and to play around with the shape and dimensions before I commit to building it properly.