Page Highlights

A photoshopped shot

Hazy summer day


Construction of A Southern 3rd Rail Module

This is where it all started for the garage layout. I started with a module to build in the summer months while the attic was too hot. Before I knew it this had snowballed into the plans for the garage. Contruction was quick and fun, with a few mistakes along the way but all useful for building up experience.

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It started with a frame, 4x1 made from planed timber and braced with L barckets in the corners for extra strength. The ply top was brought this size but was to be cut to just a track bed later in the build.

Next Stage was building a girder bridge from plasticard, it was made as a full piece of egineering, not just sides. I wanted the bridge to have an underneath as it is the one part most of us ever see of a rail over road bridge.

The track bed was made raised about 4". Simple uprights with the position of the bridge planned in advance so when done it could simply slot in place. The ply cut just wider than the track width and to allow for track side detail.

The next stage was an enjoyable standard for modelling.. chicken wire landscape. After making the road from hardboard and the front and sides as well it was ready for muckiness.

Papier Maché time, the rear area will have a stream running down the slope to pass under the road via a small stone bridge.

More work on Bridges.. the retaining walls made for the road bridge and the small stone bridge made for the stream.

Once the retaining walls where made from plain plasticard they could be clad with bricksheet. Plain plasticard strips were used for the coping stones on the sloping walls.

At this stage I had got hold of a photo backscene and was using it, just a temporary job, not printed in high quality or stuck on with any conviction but it gave an idea of the scene I was trying to create. In these pictures you can see the white ground, this is where I have painted on watered down decorators filler to give texture to the papier maché.

Bridge and walls finished.

Overview. Other things done but not mentioned so far: Cork laid and painted, track weathered, road and front of module painted. The grey paint I use is a Wickes Grey Primer/undercoat. It is a good grey for under track prior to ballasting and also as it's a primer is perfect for painting on bare wood and cork etc.

Bridge painting. The Bridge with greys of varying shades, the brick with HUmbrol brick red. The motar was done by using a mortar/dirty white colour, quite runny, like milk! Painted on and wiped of with kitchen roll brfore it dries. Seen in the first shot. I also dry brushed on some other off whites to represent water staining/ limescale type marks, and some darker colours to represent dirt. The 2 other shots.

Tree Making: You know that dreadful wire they attach all kids toys to the boxes with? Save it and make trees! 1st pic shows the processs I use, twist, coat with decorators filler, then paint. The 1st brown was clearly too much like chocolate so was redone with a flatter grey brown colour! The final pic shows finished off with some Woodland scenics foliage. Various shades used.

Using 8mmx4mm strips of 1mm plasticard I made a cable trough along the side of the track. Painted with Humbrol Light Stone. You can also see I have bedded in the bridge with filler and painted the ground with a dirty brown colour

In case anyone was struggling with the track plan...

Ballasting: I use an extra fine grey granite chip from Modellers Mate and the normal methods of glueing. Watered down PVA, a drop of washing up liquid and I use a teet Pipette to drop it carefully between the tracks.

Moving on to scenic things, I used static grass on the embankments and other areas. I also ditched the photo backscene as i felt it overpowered the scene. I painted my own with acrylics, trying only to give an impression of country side rather than a fully detailed 'painting'. I also wanted a sense of UK weather so there is a big old storm cloud brewing a good downpour! In the 3rd pic you can see the beginning of the stream. I started with the long grass fibres glued in place and smaller clump foliage down the bed of the stream. I then began pouring many coats of clear varnish to build up a watery depth. I was trying to make a overgrown stream with lots of plants growing in the water.

This area was then covered with static grass, The photo doesn't show very well, but there are different lenths and shades of grass. Long and darker green nearer the stream and browner shades under the tree.. which hopefully you can identify as a willow. Further up the slope the cutting is looking green but a bit too tidy and uniform at the moment.

For bushes I sprayed some wire wool with a Vauxhall Leaf Green Car Spary paint and then glued on some clump foliage or various shades and sizes. Cheap and easy large bushes to look like a typical overgrwon embankments.

And some cropped and 'shopped pics:

3rd rail parts by Peco were used, weathered with Railmatch sleeper grime, on the rails and on the sleepers, ballast. I also added some fencing, along the cutting and down to the bottom of the embankment and the stream.

And that is about as much as I did before other projects took over, namely the 009 winter scene and then after that the garage project. So to finish I'll end with these 2 shots which are about the best I took of the module and something I was very pleased with.

And a cropped close up, hazy summer sunny days!

If you are still reading.. WOW!! But I hope you got something from this little project, I know I learnt loads, most of this were things I did for the first time:
1st scratch build, the bridge.
1st ballasting.
1st Scenic work, all bushes and greenery.
Which was nice!!


The Module has been Un-modelled!!!

The End Of This Story!!!