Scenic practice

I’ve been doing a fair bit of work on the club layout lately. Along with making the signals (more on that later), I seem to have ended up doing the scenics too.  Given that my previous scenic ‘CV’ only extends to arranging some plastic fir trees around a papier mâché shoe-box tunnel, I thought I should perhaps practice a bit first…

So I’ve started a little diorama (60x40cm) using the same techniques as already employed on the main layout. First I butchered an old layout top to make a plywood frame for a single line cutting through a sloping hill side. The idea was to have ~half cutting and ~half embankment. I forgot the height of the track bed though, so it’s more embankment than cutting!


Basic diorama formers

I painted the frame white for some protection, and to see/fill the holes and dents in the old ply more easily. Then I added the basic land forms from chicken wire, mod-roc, and plaster skim (mixed with brown paint and PVA).  The plaster skim is also added underneath, which forms a nice hard shell.  This is the basic state the club layout is in already (plus track work of course). From here, I’m into terra incognita…


Evolution of the landscape

I’m not sure I’d use this technique again — the chicken wire is simply painful to put on, and I don’t think gives that much subtlety to the landscape. Next step is to put the track base down, then do the cess before laying and ballasting the track. The intention here is to go for a fairly well maintained single line from the 1930s…

Off on holiday next week, but a club mate has lent me this estimable tome. Looking forward to getting learnt about modern scenics 🙂


Holiday reading…


Mittwoch Mockup

Since joining the local model railway club ( a year or so ago, I’ve been helping out with their “Pentre Road” layout, which is based on the North-and-West route through Herefordshire.   Latest thing to worry about has been exit stage right, for which I’ve found a nice road overbridge just south of the Dinmore tunnels. (see here; – though oddly flipped left-right).

Below is a quick mock-up made from a pair of scalescenes kits I already had; the brick bridge download (R011) for the main dimensions, and an ashlar retaining wall (R013) for the overlays; modified to give the steeply descending road and slightly skew bridge. I think the final one will be in plasticard, as I do think ashlar/rubble type structure need the 3d relief that textures don’t give.  It’s not the neatest of builds, but will do for now and provide a reference to build the landforms up.


Mock-up based on overbridge just south of Dinmore tunnel