After weeks of inactivity I have at last managed to make a little progress with my Llanbister Rd. diorama. Early last week I laid the rest of the plaster bandage and left it to dry out. It has since been skimmed with a light covering of plaster and PVA to seal the surface, and now awaits painting. The track bed, sleepers and rail also need painting and prepared for ballasting. Despite the plaster, the diorama is still extremely light, and its frame has remained stable, which is a huge relief.
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This is how the scene looks today, a small coal stage is taking shape but a question mark still hangs over the water tower. I have dropped plans for a grounded coach body in favour of a couple of rustic huts, but don’t read too much into the one you see here. The GWR buffer stop is an old Mainly Trains (Riceworks) kit that I had in stock, and will end up being buried in long grass, weeds or whatever nature throws at it.
I might yet abandon the idea of a through shed, if I do then the shed will be moved closer to the end of the siding, which might be more sensible as it would mask the end of the diorama nicely. But then again the original plan called for some trees to do that particular job.
The coal stage isn’t based on any particular prototype, instead I have taken various features of the stages that appeal to me, and combined them into one. It is far from complete at the moment, the walls are ‘palight’ foamboard with Wills half round ridge tiles on top. The stonework was scribed into the foamboard surface with an empty ballpoint pen, and the corner joints filled with Squadron Green putty. In theory the putty being solvent based should have attacked the exposed foam core of the board, but it hasn’t. So as an experiment the Wills ridge tiles were cemented in place, again on exposed edges with Revell liquid poly, and also Butanone without any problems. Despite the success of these experiments I am still wary, so be warned if you decide to do the same.
This is Silhouette / Mininatur meadow grass (late fall}, which I have been using for several years. First on Penhydd and then on both versions of Llangunllo, yes it is expensive but it is a quality product. Some of the material was actually salvaged from Penhydd and used on Llangunllo, something that is almost impossible to do with other ground coverings.
On a different note I recently placed an order for some scenic materials with Mininatur . It is possible to buy some of their materials here in the UK, but since the demise of ‘International Models’ I have been unable to find a stockist of their late fall meadow grass. So for the past few years I have ordered it directly from the manufacturer in Germany, who provide an excellent mail order service. The postal charges (DHL) might seem a bit steep but when you consider that it is a one stop shopping experience, it is no more expensive than having to make several separate purchases from different sources over here.
This is the same grass mat teased out into small clumps and mixed with a little hanging basket liner, the different materials being blended together with Mininatur static grasses. The beauty of these products is in their colouring, which to my eye is far more natural looking than cheaper alternatives.
Well that brings this update to a close, what I do next and in what order remains to be seen.