the viaduct scenics

The big problem with this section is to create a gorge, valley and viaduct on a baseboard width of 30". The hill profile at the rear cannot be built as one would like as behind it are the hidden tracks of the return loop and the line to the harbour.   The illusion, or 'trompe d'oeil' has be be achieved by using trees of different scales and colours.

For us, 'scenics' begin once the basic ground has been constructed. The whole is then coated with matt brown plastic emulsion.

The first job is to add Polyfilla to where rock cuttings are needed. This is shaped using a small steel rule, dental picks and a toothbrush (always use someone else's) when the plaster is in varying stages of hardening. We find it is often easier working with the baseboard on its side.

The modelling is based on a photo shoot of the East Lyn Valley in June 2007.

8th Feb.  Brown out! The rock cuttings have been formed as the first step

the East Lyn River

The river bank in front of the viaduct is detailed. The East Lyn can be quite fast flowing during rainy periods and the banks are gradually eroded. This exposes tree roots and more boulders, which eventually fall into the river. In places, the bank will collapse. On the inside of bends, shingle can be deposited.

Firstly, the river is coated with PVA and Woodland Scenics talus scattered on the river bed.

After painting with the desired colours (browns with a few patches of green), the first layer of water is added. This is two part epoxy resin. (West epoxy). Shingle banks are carefully added while the epoxy is still wet.

The banks are modelled using Polyfilla, with talus pushed into the vertical surface and sea moss pushed in to represent tree and shrub roots.

here the banks are built up and detailed - click on image to enlarge

Once this is completed and painted, the surface coating of the river itself was modelled to give the river the impression of movement.

We have tried water effects by Woodland Scenics but do not like the finish, which is not sufficiently glossy. In the end, a second coat of two part epoxy was applied, and just at the right moment when nearly cured, it was manipulated with a dental pick with touches of gloss white added to simulate foam and movement.

A hard to take photo. The completed water effects: direction of flow to right - click on image to enlarge

the road

The road is then finished, with potholes and all, using a multilayer technique with very fine ballast and weathering powders. The top surface of weathering powder is attached using thinned PVA. When nearly dry, areas can be scraped off to represent potholes.

We use Woodland Scenics 'blended turf' as a starting point. This is applied over PVA. By lightly touching with a one inch brush in a downgrade direction, while the glue is still wet, the scatter will clump and following further applications of scatter make a convincing rough meadow.

Where there is screed or rock fall, the talus is glued on first, painted the desired colour and the turf scatter laid afterwards. I use spray mount round the screed to attach the turf.

While these glues are still wet, we attach clumping to represent bracken, and other growth. To start, we always use Woodland Scenics 'coarse turf, medium green'.

The photo below shows the start of the gorge detailing.

click on image to enlarge

The fence posts going into the distance are added, they become smaller and more closely spaced. The vegetation around the river is added. There is no variation in colour in the distance. The mid distance trees (just behind viaduct) are now being added which have a bit more colour variation.

The backdrop was then protected by Clingfilm and mounted into position. This helps with matching the scenery. The far bank of the gorge is covered by very small individual trees (about 550 of them!). These are lightly sprayed with matt black to darken the green and give an impression of distance. The mid distance trees are then added. These are much larger, lighter in colour and more detailed.

The photos below show the valley behind the viaduct completed. The road and river now disappear in a most satisfactory way.

 The forest behind the viaduct is finished and the river effects completed. The backdrop is now in place. - click on image to enlarge

A total of 830 trees planted so far of various scales- click on image to enlarge

The trompe d'oeil has been achieved by tree size and colour. The river and road look as if they are passing into a deep gorge  - click on image to enlarge

the area modelled viewed from above

The completed section - click on image to enlarge

The completed section with 3400 odd tress and plants laid - click on image to enlarge

the picnic - click on image to enlarge

watering the sheep - click on image to enlarge

the main line - click on image to enlarge

the harbour branch - click on image to enlarge

all the sections united for the first time
- click on image to enlarge