Monday 25 April 2011

Operation Mirror Image - Day 10

Well there was yet another flurry of activity today. My dad volunteered to repaint the fascia. He opted for quite a nice green colour actually instead of the black. It won't match the layout curtain but nevermind! The standard gauge track was also layed on the extension and both the standard gauge and the narrow gauge lines have been raised up to meet the edges of the old layout as shown in the first photo.

So far the turntable has been nothing but a headache, but we are slowly getting our way through it. It will have two tracks on it which will be hard to get aligned correctly but we'll give it a go.

Whilst dad was sorting out all the painting I started focusing on the very front of the new extension. The beach was carved out of polystyrene. TOP TIP - hoover at the same time as carving polystyrene - saves hours of clearing up afterwards. This was then covered in modelling clay (not DAS this time but a cheaper and much stickier brand. What should have taken me half an hour, took an hour and a half! The 'promenade' was also built up and the slipway fixed into place. This will all be painted in due course.

Any suggestions let me know!

Sunday 24 April 2011

Operation Mirror Image - Days 8 & 9

Another joint blog entry today. We only have 5 days left to get Calshot ready for showing! 
Today saw the pelmet being constructed mainly by my Dad (as I had coursework to do unfortunately!). It was a right pain in the proverbial to do but we eventually got there! It's a bit Heath Robinson and very much bodged but it all works (just about). The boards were set up in the garage as it provides a bit more shelter from the heat than the conservatory does. This has the added benefit of being able to work on all sides of the layout. The pelmet is part recovered from the previous layout but there is one major difference- it is split into sections. The sections can be pushed together or taken apart to make transportation easier and are attached by dowels inserted into blocks of wood (that are screwed onto the pelmet). Although it looks a bit flimsy in the photos, it is strong enough to support it's own weight so there are no real issues there.
The train turntable did not work as anticipated so we had to cut it down. (This is because the circle wasn't particularly circular!) I am hoping that fixing aluminium angled strip onto the sides will solve the rotation problems and make it a bit more level.
The other obvious addition are the trees. These superb examples were bought from The Model Tree Shop. I'm afraid the photos below are a bit rubbish and don't show them off too well, however, take it from me - they really are great!
The control panel has had a wooden hardboard shell put round the back of it. This will not be left as is - it will be clad with corrugated iron and from the hangar that was there originally.

And finally...
 I would like your opinion about what to do with the backscene. currently it is far too short and will eventually have to be reprinted. However, I was thinking as a temporary measure of having a 'curtain' of white/pale blue around the back of the layout. This would be attached similar  in fashion as a net curtain. I would appreciate your thoughts on this!

Friday 22 April 2011

Operation Mirror Image - Days 6 & 7


  • Woodgreen Model Show is coming up and will be held in the village hall on 30th April - 2nd May. Calshot will be in attendance so come and have a chat and I hope to see you there!
  • I am now booked to appear at the Four Marks Exhibition on 21/22nd May (run by the scout group)

Using a quick bit of editing, here the pelmet and backscene have been magically attached!
[click for larger image]

I have posted this one as a joint entry for both day 6 and today. This is simply due to not getting enough done yesterday to warrant a new blog entry. However, today has seen a bit more activity. Not as much as previous days but enough - particularly in the heat! Silflor tufts have been applied towards the front of the layout as the next images show. I have two shades of these and I am impressed by just how much they add to the overall appearance of the layout. It does make a suprising difference.

I have also added some security fencing to keep the RAF personnel camp seperate from the main base. This is awaiting it's chainlink fencing (which will be sprayed to tone down the bright white colour). It took me a suprisingly long time to work out where the fencing should go and there were several revisions over the course of the day!
Above: I think you are going to see more shots from this angle! It is certainly very satisfying when you find a camera angle you like.

Above: I really like this little scene. The bright postbox makes a nice contrast to the dull concrete and brickwork. The splashes of green also do wonders.

Above: Just visible in the right hand foreground is the start of the front beach. Eventually this will be carved to form a more pleasant shape and sand will be added on top (I might even go for real sand if I end up at a beach somewhen over the next few days)

Wednesday 20 April 2011

Operation Mirror Image - Day 5

Op. M.I. Counter
Time so far today - 3 hours split as follows:
1.5hrs - applying hanging basket liner
1hr - applying vegetation
20mins - spray painting concrete
10mins - forming beach at rear
Running total - 14 hours over 5 days

Today saw another flurry of activity with the continuing warm weather. These next set of images show the work completed. First, HBL was applied to the banks of the river. Then ground cover was applied around the banks and around the engine shed using some Woodlands scenics foam based scatter. I also took this opportunity to add a few tufts from International Models at the front. The roads and aircraft apron were all spray painted to give a concrete feel to them similar to the prototype. Interestingly, the concrete really was the same colour as the Plastikote Suede Tan which is very useful. When using the same product, other modellers often tone it down with a bit of grey aerosol. The beach was also formed at the rear of the extension, but the only problem is that the baseboard was completely flat so I am not convinced by the results.

The last photo shows the board at the end of day 2. I have included this to show the two boards together. When I've finished all the messy jobs I will be able to couple the boards up so a more up-to-date photo can be taken. And just whilst I remember, I have ordered some trees for areas in front of where the backscene will go thanks to a suggestion from a couple of RMwebbers.

The next area to tackle will be the front of the layout - this will consist of a beach, groynes, sea and a slipway for the seaplanes.

Tuesday 19 April 2011

Operation Mirror Image - Day 3 & 4

Op. M.I. Counter
Time so far today - 6 hours split as follows:
3hrs - applying modelling clay
1.5hrs - ballasting
1.5hrs - painting
Running total - 11 hours over 4 days

As some of you may have heard, yesterday didn't go very well today. However, today was a different story and as you will see with the following photos I have made some rapid progress. The grass in the second photo by the engine shed will need to be considerably toned down as it is just far too bright. The modelling clay will be sprayed with Plastikote Suede Tan to represent concrete.

The abandoned Catalina is seen here grounded on the (as yet to be built) beach. An RAF personnel on a bicycle pauses on his journey to the spit head.

This shows off the painted stream and bank. This will eventually be covered in hanging basket liner.

Here is the NG engine shed in all it's dereliction. I have decided to portray it as a recently lifted line suggesting the demise of the NG. The shed will have a roof fitted eventually!
The concrete bridge is seen here in its unpainted state. It is constructed from foam board and balsa wood. It awaits handrails.
Hope you are enjoying following this quick build!

Sunday 17 April 2011

Operation Mirror Image - Day 2

So, another day is drawing to a close...

...which means I have been busy on the extension!
Well, truth be told it is not just me - it makes sense to use my dad's carpenter skills. Although I did do a bit of the carpentry, he did the vast majority. The turntable doesn't turn (yet!) but we'll be looking into that tomorrow I expect.

Op. M.I. Counter
Time so far today - 3 hours 20mins split as follows:
3hrs - woodwork for the baseboard
20 mins - engine shed alterations
Running total - 4 hours over 2 days

I must admit, I really do like the look of the new baseboard, it's a shame it will all be covered up completely! I have also worked out a way to have a detachable pelmet but I'm still working out how I will be able to create a detachable backscene...

Hope you are enjoying following this quick project so far. Shout if you want to know more about anything or if you have any ideas relevant to the layout at all.

Thanks for following,

P.S Images are clickable for full size versions