Wednesday, 27 June 2018

Coming Soon

Being back in the UK with no prospect of travel has been so liberating, especially with the Summer evenings. I've never been a Winter modeller.

So Rails Round The Rectory Mk1, RRTR1 from now on, has made comparatively rapid progress.

Track is laid, and since the layout is so short and straightforward I've succesfully installed a simple shuttle module, as there is no point in using manual operation. I'm kicking myself that I spent ages over complicating the wiring before working out a sensible combination of two pin connections to allow for both automated and manual operation.

I first used Liquitex to build up the bark texture on wire armature trees, but on RRTR1 I've used it to build the basic ground texture. What I should have done is to mix some cheap acrylic colours in with it first. I've also learned that the best approach is to build up thickness with multiple layers and only to add texture to a final top layer. I'm hoping it will prove more flexible than anything I've used in the past. and less messy! Results so far look promising.

Having mentioned wire armature trees I've actually decided to use the old standbys of seafoam and, primarily, Woodland Scenics plastic armatures for now. To be honest this is less from convenience than from wanting to try out a couple of  new ideas for "background" trees for RRTR2 that combine old and new approaches.

Background and back-scenes is another interesting topic with the diorama being built on such a small base. I'm simultaneously trying to open up views whilst also setting up cameo viewpoints. The consensus from exposure on Facebook is to go for magnetically attached back-scenes for photography but to leave them off for display purposes. That will also let me experiment with a couple of ideas, and settle on the final orientation for RRTR2.

The remaining big decision is about the Rectory. Whilst I have happy memories of it, it is hard to be enthusiastic about the real thing's aesthetic merits, so if I do add it to this scene it will be a small Victorian version. But I'm also not sure if even then it wouldn't unbalance the layout. I think I'm going to have to build something and then decide.

I'm going through a similar thought process with road vehicles. Again my basic conclusion is that most of them belong on RRTR2, not this version.  If I could find one I would model Teddy's Austin Maxi ,but instead, I think I'll include one of our family cars, probably the Mk2 Jag. At least I have a store of suitable vehicles for the next version.

Which brings me on to rolling stock. Part of the appeal of Cadeby as a model is the ratio of locos to wagons, and I think I'm close to emulating it rather too well, and with too many substitutions. In fact, true confession, I have enough locos to occupy the entire track layout of RRTR1. My excuse is that since I intend RRTR 1 and RRTR2 to co-exist I'll split the locos between them.

So that pretty much brings us up to date. Videos and photos will hopefully follow after another weekend of progress.


  1. Hi James

    I can't recall seeing details of your layout's design. May I humbly suggest that the Bachmann Georgian Town House would make a good substitute for a rectory. All a bit Sidney Chambers I suppose or even worse Geoffrey Archer.

    I have one and plan to adapt it to use as either a pub or hotel along the lines of the Turf Locks near Exeter or as a Solicitors office. Lucifer and Faust - Contract Law a Speciality.

  2. The original rectory was a rather nice Georgian one but the replacement was rather ugly, so I suppose there is an argument for a Georgian substitute. The real issue is it is a very small layout, on a 40x25cm baseboard, so I think any house might unbalance it. And being so small I'm not sure a resin building would fit in. I'll have a play around with some mock ups