SAR "Commercial Street" - LMS "Wellingford & Bakewell Bridge Railway" - GWR "Porthminster" - Port Dock Station

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Loughhead Viaduct completed

Some twenty months after starting this layout project, the viaduct scene is mostly complete. Only a few small details remain, but my fears for creating the right feel and atmosphere were allayed when the sea waves were finally completed.  I struggled with the arrangement of the beach scene, having never modelled one before.  My first attempt at getting the sea water texture right was a failure. Not happy with it, I scrapped it off and re-applied the colouring of the sea floor and waves.   I think I have the desired effect, with waves and sea water made from clear silicone sealant. The waves were made by squeezing out a rib of sealant where you need the wave front, and teasing back toward the sea with a finger. For the larger wave I did this twice to gain some height at the wave front. The rough water effect behind the waves were then made by dabbing the finger up and down. You could feel the sticky effect as you did this and it left a rough surface much like very course sand paper. Once dry, some white acrylic paint was applied at the wave front, only on top and not at the front of the wave edge, drawing the brush back toward the sea leaving a fading appearance. Once dry the whole water area was given two coats of gloss clear acrylic varnish.
Sea water with the new wave coming in over the previous wave,
and the wet sand at the water line.
The fresh water outlet
and point in the land
 across the base
board join.
The viaduct traverses an estuary and a scene with rocks and a shallow area where the sea meets the fresh water was needed. Considerable thought was given about the way the sea and land contour at this point was to accommodate the join the base boards. To avoid a join in sea water, the land swings out to a point right at the join. This has worked out well in creating a nice small cove for the fresh water outlet, and conceals the join quite well.

To give the scene a little more interest, a small flock of seagulls were added.
Seagulls at the fresh water outlet. Rocks were made using kitty litter,
glued downand then washed with a sloppy brew of plaster and water.
Sand is local beach sand near where I live. 

As mentioned in the introduction to this project, (see the first post for Porthminster on how I acquired the viaduct) I have decided to name the viaduct after its builder. The Moping Branch Railway built by Kevin, was begun in the 1960s and he had built the viaduct into what was a South Australian Railways layout. Though the railways never used this type of viaduct in South Australia, he must have thought it ideal to incorporate it into the layout as it was an important link in the railways operations, linking two stations across a large dip in the landscape. Kev’s surname, Loughhead has that British, very Scottish ring to it actually, so I thought it would be most appropriate indeed. Some extra detail has been added to the viaduct to complete its authenticity.  A number of the larger viaducts in Cornwall had refuges mounted along the deck. A very useful source of detailed information was obtained from John Binding’s book, “Brunel’s Cornish Viaducts” which shows that a refuge for the maintenance men were built into the deck at two span intervals.
One of the four refuges added to the deck, shown before painting.
Also this viaduct has the type “B Class” timber fan construction, so there needed to be wrought iron tie rods mounted between the spans. I added these, made from spring steel and work hardened copper wire, all soldered together at the intercepting points, representing the cast iron intersection plates. Each tie rod end was supa-glued in place to give the final touch to this magnificent structure. The whole viaduct has a very rigid feel to it now. Reassuring, considering its “lightness” in appearance.
Showing the arrangement of the wrought iron tie rods and a completed refuge.
I hope you are as pleased with its appearance as I am. Shades of the viaduct at Pendon Museum no less!  I still do intend to visit England for the first time one day soon, and Pendon will be one place I need to see.
Looking from the derelict tin mine end of the layout.
Looking from the Porthminster terminus end of the layout.
I chose to model the tide out on the beaches.
I was going to originally include a Fisherman’s Hut half way down the path from Porthminster Station to the beach, but it wasn't going to fit well into scenery. I then settled on a scene on the far end of the beach under the viaduct. This turned out to be a very pleasing scene with fishing boats tethered to moorings on the beach. A couple of old photographs come to light during my research of St Ives of fishing boats all piled up on the beach in the 1910s and 1920s, before St Ives become extremely popular with holiday beach goers. As more and more people came to the beach in these early decades, the fishing fleet was being slowly reduced. So a token small amount of boats are portrayed here. The hut is one of the Hornby Skaledale offerings and is a wonderful building with its leaning chimneys. Jewellery chain strung through steel split pins provide the barrier. All of the rocks in the cliffs are made from carved Styrofoam.
The Fisherman's Hut nestled
under the viaduct.

The local fishermen surveying the sea
for a chance to get a catch!
The building sits on a stone plinth,
high enough to avoid the sea
waves in rough weather.

The next part of the project is Porthminster Station and its village..............the last part of the layout's construction. Till next post, happy modelling and enjoy!

Sunday, 11 May 2014

The other tunnel gets attention!

The other end of Penwith Station has had the tunnel portal decorated and the under track access to the goods yard fitted out with bridge girders and stone walls.
Plastered in portal ready for the
underpass wall installation.
The retaining walls were all curved
so I used some double laminated
2mm cardboard to hold the shapes.
The landscape was then covered with polar fleece, the material pullovers or sweaters are made from. One side of the material is quite short shaven, the other has a longer "furry" look to it, which is the side I used to show. Its all glued down with PVA glue. Being a stretchy material it will pull over all types of undulating surfaces. Its then trimmed with a small pair of curved scissors along the profile edge.
What a difference some grasses, bushes and trees make here.
The bridge girders were scratch built from styrene of a typical design seen on the Great Western Railway. These were simply glued on to the 6mm MDF track bed.
The portal now requires the inside walls to be installed to complete.
The telegraph pole seen here is the last pole on the telegraph lines that come through Penwith Station. Above the portal there will be houses, so the communication lines need to pass through the tunnel. Therefore electric cable trunking was installed to this pole, down to the track side, and run into the tunnel. It would then come out the other end of the tunnel and up another telegraph pole and continue on to next signal box along the line.
Telegraph pole with cable trunking.
An update on the Viaduct side of the layout will be forthcoming shortly!