Saturday, March 30, 2013

The retaining wall

After much stretching across the baseboard and backache to scribe the pillars and paint the retaining wall, it's as finished as it's going to be.  From a distance, it's fine.  I just won't take any close ups.

Following a very helpful post on Iain Robinson's blog about painting stonework I thought I would experiment with shades of grey only.  I think I've been far too tied to brown hues. I am pleased with both the result and that I have learned something new.  Thank you Iain.

A bit more "infrastructure" work followed - levelling a corner of the layout to the left of the castle for a park and bandstand, cutting chapel and garage shaped holes in 4mm ply for them to sit in and laying the foundation of a road running behind the station.  (Despite the station having been lifted on and off the baseboard a number of times today, the drunken woman on the platform clings on limpet-like.  I am starting to respect her.  She may be a drunkard but her tenacity is admirable.)

I have decided that the weather will become threatening on this side of the layout. The backscene will show an approaching thunderstorm.  It's actually because I had lots of grey left over from the retaining wall.  I had nowhere else to put it so it's now the base coat for the storm.


  1. The retaining wall looks really fine...very believable. The chapel looks perfect in this position, a real focal point- and what a superb model it has turned out to be. I enjoy a bit of re-modelling and infrastructure work, it's strangely satisfying.
    Thanks for the link Chas.
    I did comment on your last post about the slate roof, but Blogger seems to have lost it!

  2. Your earlier comment has arrived and thank you as always for the encouragement. I rather like the look of the chapel roof against a dark grey sky. Very Blaenau!!

  3. ..... now thinking longer term, Blaenau would be great location on which to base another layout. I'm sure you said, Iain, that that was what you would model given time. The landscape and the colours of the stone and slate are so very striking and I have many happy memories of family holidays in the area. Time to start clearing out the garage.....

  4. Yes, could use the chapel straight off! I have photographed just about every building in the town and certainly all the quarries...but in that last respect so much has changed. But the town is so interesting architecturally, that a layout set in any period would be fascinating, but the thirties would be my preference with the slate trains from Maenofferen etc. You've got me going again now!!

  5. That retaining wall is looking pretty fine to me, Chas - a darn job job my friend. Is that the start of another, unblogged building I see there, or is it an unfinished project?

    I went to the York Model Railway Show today and visited the York Model Making stand - it was pretty good to see the stuff in real life. I spoke to a modeller demonstrating on his stand who was a bit negative about the slates, but only in so much as they can get a tad expensive when tiling a large area. He did one 7mm station building and it cost £100 to tile the roof!!
    On his stand he was making a 4mm building using individually cut out bricks and gluing them on one by one...

    I walked away relatively cheaply from the show with a small bag of DAS (yes, actual DAS, not a cheap alternative) for just £1 and a pack of evergreen half round - so expect some nifty guttering soon. I was very tempted to buy some white metal chimney stacks, but as I'm going to need 9, I thought I'd save my pennies and make my own...

  6. Thanks Lee. The unfinished building is one I put to one side to do something more interesting but I must finish it. In real life there is a stone house attached to the old garage in Denbigh. They looked very fine together, so that was the idea.

    The real enjoyment of a model railway exhibition comes from wandering around the trade stands looking at all the interesting bits and spending very little! And as regards chimney pots, who needs white metal castings when you have your ball point pen refill and now DAS??? Looking forward to seeing the station building guttering.

  7. Thanks for the comment, Layne. I'm very pleased you think it's useful.


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