The last couple of weeks have been spent starting to finish off various buildings and get a feel for how it will come together. As mentioned in previous blogs the layout is built on sloping ground and many buildings were started so the topography could be built around them so they fit in and not on the layout, however there are exceptions such as above.
The other key part of the build program is to work out colouring, ballasts, grasses, vegetation etc. Being a light branch the ballast was probably ash. The photos of Camden yard in various publications suggest its mainly soil around the tracks and is very fine and dark. My initial ballasting up past the milk siding is probably not correct and I have changed the ballast formula heading away from the crossing at the milk factory. I am also struggling with a reasonable representation of soil using fine woodland scenics turf, which is still too coarse in HO. The Woodland Scenics Asphalt has been used for Camden Valley Way/ Argyle St and this is a great product.
My Noch Grassmaster fine nozzle arrived this week and is working out well for doing more controlled patches of electrostatic grass. I am experimenting with trees, I am now on the Mark 2 version willow which I will discuss in another blog. The poplar trees were custom made by a guy in Victoria and are really effective. There was a very thick grove of trees beside the milk factory and I have purchased a heap of different Woodland scenics trees. Many of these have been thinned out reshaped and a few tints put on the foliage and the trunks painted. Many of the less expensive trees look like lolly pops, blobs of thick ground foam on sticks (see trees under power lines) these are yet to receive the reshape and paint treatment. I have found lichen covered with ground foam to be a good representation of various climbing plants brambles blackberries etc. Sisal rope has been used for dozens maybe hundreds of grass clumps along the line and other areas of the layout.
Below are some works in progress shots over the last few weeks - Still a long way off but getting there. I am keen to get the scenery completed along the back edge of the layout so I can get the back drop on and hang a drop sheet to protect the layout as its currently in a large shed. The dedicated room has yet to be built at the back of the shed possibly after Christmas. Electrics and track testing is done before and after the scenery and is proving to work well. I have been using a Bachmann Spectrum 44 tonner to test although both 20 and 30 class locos are used in the final testing. A few problems I have found are buffer lock requiring longer couplers on some vehicles, bogies jamming against foot irons mainly on the MLVs into the milk siding and a number of wagons have steel weights which cause some very unpredictable behaviour over the under track magnets.
Until next time
|looking up Camden Valley Way towards the goods yard facilities|
|looking from where the stockyards are across the loading bank to the station platform|
|Looking down Argyle st|
|Looking down Camden Valley Way towards the Nepean River - this photo illustrates how some structures are built into the layout and the thick grove of trees beside the milk factory|