Monday, 31 July 2017


Himself has been working on some more trees and tells me he's already bored after only half a dozen of them!

That's something he's going to have to learn to live with because there are an awful lot of them still to make to go around he layout.

A good number of them will need to be planted on the top of the tunnel to represent the small wood there.

He's also joined the two boards either side of Goat Tunnel together to blend the gardens behind the houses into the rest of the scene.

Please forgive the slightly blurred picture, Himself's phone is clearly not as smart as it thinks it is.

Saturday, 29 July 2017

The Gardener's Been

The last of the landscaping has been completed around the new houses.

The bare grass at the back which I showed you a few days ago has had various bushes and other foliage added.

Hopefully you can see the clear differentiation between the rough grass of the field and the more manicured lawns.

At the front of the houses there have been a number of bushes planted, particularly around the entrances of some of the properties.

It's come together very quickly given that just a few weeks ago this area was just open baseboard frame.

Thursday, 27 July 2017


I like it when you get to the stage of adding those little details which really complete the scene.

One of them is the cemetery from which Cemetery Crossing gets its name which is shortly beyond the exit from Goat Tunnel, or shortly before, depending on which direction you're traveling in.

Himself has made a nice job of a batch of grave stones which he has set out in the enclosed area above the line.

I did offer to make some masters and cast them in resin, thinking it might speed up the process, but it turns out he's made them all from scratch.

Here's a shot he posed featuring our newest carriage, 150, and a Triple Fairlie combo.

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Fencing Continues

The cocktail sticks and cotton are still threading their way around the layout.

In the last couple of weeks Himself has changed around the boards which are up on the trestles and able to be worked on (because we don't have room, alas, to erect the whole layout at once) so now he's moved onto the Porthmadog end of the station and the section of line to the south of Goat Tunnel.

Here you can see the fencing has been completed along section by Cemetery Crossing.

And in the station area he's been busy fencing in the concrete pad where one day there might be a station building (?)

Even when it does get built ours will remain forever a concrete pad because Bron Hebog is frozen in a time warp around the period of the re-opening.

This view reminds me that I've still got to make some temporary toilet units to go in here.

Sunday, 23 July 2017

Slow Progress

Getting your mojo back when you return from a holiday is always hard.

I've been doing some short sessions on the superbarn 118.

The chassis has had the skirt - which is pretending to be the main frames - added to the bottom.

I've also marked and drilled the holes for the bogie pivot bolts, which seems a more challenging operation now after discovering I'd drilled then off-centre on 150 initially.

I've also created the false roof which will keep the body rigid and retain the glazing.

 Himself will fit a brass roof skin in due course.

The other thing I've done is clean up the interior castings.

I made these before we went away but I will wait until the underside of the chassis is finished before I glue them into place.

Friday, 21 July 2017

Growing Season

Foliage has been sprouting on the layout in recent days.

Firstly, Himself has added the long grass to the area around the back of the houses.

It still needs to be trimmed so that it is not quite so hairy.

He's also been making the old barn look more at home it its surroundings.

I do like the variety in the colours which makes the scene look more untamed.

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Tried And Trusted

Our approach to scenery is reassuringly traditional and our favourite way of creating bumply and lumpy ground it's the tried and trusted method of chicken wire covered with Mod Roc and then plaster.

With the houses fixed in position Himself has moved on to creating the landscape behind them.

There is a big step in the land immediately behind the houses which is represented here by the pieces of wood you can see, which also act as the anchor point for the staples which fix the wire in position.

In the picture below, taken a couple of days later, you can see the area now with its coat of plaster brushed on.

The next stage will be plant it with very hairy long grass.

Monday, 17 July 2017

The Gap Is Gone

It hasn't taken Himself long to get the new house painted and glazed - including that rather fiddly conservatory.

It does look very obviously empty but perhaps they're waiting for some new furniture to arrive?

Obviously there's still the landscaping and garden to be built up around it and the same goes with the parking area outside the front of the property.

Stepping back a little and looking at it in its surroundings I've very pleased with how this scene has developed.

I haven't looked back to see how many years it's taken to build all these houses - it must be at least 5 if not 6 - but it's been time well spent I think.

Saturday, 15 July 2017

Full Bloom

Himself has been busy adding some finishing scenic touches around the housing estate.

The gardens at the back of the row of houses behind the cutting have had a basic treatment of 'greenness' for some time but now he has gone back and finished off the gardens with hedges, bushes, trees and other sorts of foliage.

The lawns have been completed with static grass, which is all very impressive for a part of the layout which only really gets seen by the operators.

He has also given the extended roadway a coat of paint - it's hard to see the join - and the kerb stones have been put back.

Now the missing house is finished - you can see it in position at the top of the picture - he can get on with fixing the rest of that row in their positions.

I still have the final three properties which form a row at the front to fill that gap in the open baseboard, but that can wait until after I've caught up with a few more carriages.

Thursday, 13 July 2017

Unnecessary Expense

Don't you just hate it when you end up spending money when you didn't need to?

I really doesn't do much for the old cash flow.

I'm kicking myself for prematurely investing in a batch of styrene strips thinking I'd need them to finish off the guttering on the house.

(And incidentally, I was shocked by how much this imported American product - which is very good - costs now. Could it be the 'B' word to blame?)

Anyway, no sooner had I clicked on the order than I discovered some off-cuts lurking at the bottom of my styrene store which were just enough to finish off the window ledges and the down pipes, and then Himself brought over an almost unused packet of U section strip for the gutters, so I've been able to complete the house.

The final task was to bend and fit a question mark-shaped ventilation pipe which sticks out of the roof at one end.

Over to Himself for painting and glazing now.

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Here Comes The Sun (Room)

I had been concerned that the conservatory was going to be too flimsy, being fabricated out of 20 thou strip.

Since then, though, I have added on some brick courses on the bottom and a floor which has made the whole thing a lot more solid, so I was worrying over nothing.

I shall not join it together, nor glue it onto the side of the house, just yet because Himself won't thank me for that when he comes to fit the glazing and paint it.

Even so, I can pose it in position to show you what the finished effect is going to look like.

Sunday, 9 July 2017

Glass Ceiling

Or more likely polycarbonate....but that pun doesn't work so well.

I've had a go at making up the roof of the conservatory, which is a very simple ladder-style piece to fabricate.

I've not glued it together yet, because it might be that Himself would find it easier to cut out the glazing pieces while it is still in bits, but this picture (with it tackled together) gives an impression of what it's going to look like.

I'm quite satisfied with the way it's looking but now, when I see how much you can see inside, whether I'm going to have to try to make some stuff to go in it?

Friday, 7 July 2017

Lean On Me

The second session on the conservatory has involved fabricating the side sections which have the sloping roof.

Again there is a large degree of guesitmation involved.

I've assumed that not only is there an inward-opening door but that there is one on each end.

With the three parts made up they have been glued together so the basic shape of the structure emerges.

For a time I did consider whether I should make these up and cast copies from resin to make the structure more rigid and stronger.

I do hope I don't regret not doing that.

Wednesday, 5 July 2017


A snap decision to have a night out at the theatre by the ladies of the house meant I had an unforeseen opportunity to do a little more work on the house, so I decided I might as well have a crack at the conservatory.

This is another one of those features which is going to require a large degree of assumption, because I don't have much information to work from.

The one picture I have seen shows me that it is a modern uPVC structure and I've taken a guess that it is one of those designs where the windows go all the way to the floor all around rather than having a waist-height wall all around.

Thankfully it is quite a simple, lean-to, three-sided design with a flat sloping ceiling, rather than one of those ornate, octagonal structures.

So the first stage is to make the main section which runs along the front and which, I reckon, is comprised of a pair of sliding patio doors.

I've made this using 20 thou thick styrnene strips.

I do hope it won't prove to be too flimsy.

Much like the carriages it will rely on the glazing behind to act as a structural member and prevent it from sagging.

Monday, 3 July 2017

House Details

When a project is nearing completion it's not always obvious when new bits are added onto it.

So it is with the 'half and half' house I've been working on, but there are a few new features to point out

The ridge tiles have been added to complete the roof - and the chimney pot put in place as well - and I've added the usual couple of rows of bricks that are visible beneath the render.

The outstanding jobs now are the window ledges and the guttering.

Oh, and that damned conservatory on the back, too.

Saturday, 1 July 2017


Some ground works are required before all the new houses can be planted in position on the layout.

The first task is to widen to road through the estate a little and extend it down the hill.

Himself never does anything by half so a selection of G clamps were use to ensure the plywood base stayed in position while the glue dried overnight.

While the road was setting he did more more in the garden on the house at the top of the row, painting the plaster a nice soil colour and adding a stone wall around the boundary.

For this we use the Ten Commandments plaster wall units.

Putting the camera down at eye level at the end of the road I think it's starting to look a very effective scene, don't you think?