The merry month of May has seen a return to working on the layout, which came as a welcome break from coach construction. Starting at the road bridge I’ve been slowly working my way back toward the cottage.
I had been struggling with the colour of the bridge stonework, but eventually managed to create several shades of grey using a mix of titanium white, neutral grey and burnt sienna artist acrylics. Underpainting and dry brushing the various stones in a random fashion as I went along. I also offered up various shades and textures of Silflor grasses that I planned on using to see how everything might blend together. I’ve used clumps and tufts of different material, including some ‘Woodland Scenics’ coarse burnt grass. The latter serves to fill any gaps that remain before applying different lengths and shades of static grasses which will bring everything together.
I had never really been happy with the area in front of the lime kilns which looked rather cramped. So after checking that locomotives could still run along the entire length of the siding out came the ‘DAS’ modelling clay to infill the track. After a couple of hours I stippled the surface of the clay with an old tooth brush to create some texture. Once the clay has dried out I’ll work up the surface and plant some weeds.
After checking the size of some small lime kilns on a recent field trip, I’ve reduced the height of the model so it is level with the top of the retaining wall. To my eye the area now looks far more spacious and I’m happy with the results. The next photo in the sequence hopefully explains my thinking behind the scene that I’m creating…………
I’ve simply added the stonework to the kilns and hut, which could feature a corrugated iron or slate roof, the jury is out at the moment. A suggestion of bushes and trees has been created with my simple photo editing software to make sure my ideas work.
Whilst waiting for the paint and modelling clay to dry on, and around the lime kilns and bridge I glazed and fitted the cottage windows. Then I turned my attention to the roof slates, after experimenting with the old method of using strips of postcard on the porch roof, I decided to carry on and cover the whole roof in the same manner. I’m rather enjoying the whole process and am happy with the appearance of the roof. So far I have only fitted one ridge, and once again I’m been experimenting, in this case I’ve used half round styrene section.
The ply perimeter wall around the back of the cottage has now been built up to include the shell of an outside toilet and some outhouses. The whole assembly together with the lime kilns is now covered in DAS modelling clay, and slowly drying out prior to carving the stonework.
In the meantime I’ve been trying out another of Gordon Gravetts hedge making techniques, which involves using teased out horsehair, static fibres and fine scatter. Early experiments are promising but I have failed to capture the airy look of Gordons examples. The good news is that I know where I went wrong, well I think I do! I have also discovered which shades of scatter I need for my future hedges so it hasn’t been a complete waste of time.