Saturday, 12 May 2012

A River Of Dreams....Well Hopefully !!!


A quieter than expected workload this week, coupled with a new found enthusiasm for the layout, prompted a return to the layout room.

A start on scenery was the agenda & i decided to commence work on the river & riverbank portion of Fish River environs, complete this & then move out in both directions towards the tunnels & the Fish River station & yard area.

During this process i figured that as the scenery took shape a better idea of backboard requirements would begin to materialise.

At this stage i am thinking that the backboards will be constructed from landscape photos stitched together then digitally printed & laminated in long sections & applied to 3mm acrylic sheets...then again if i can cajole, bribe or otherwise interest my wife to bone up on her watercolour skills...a more traditional approach will be used.  Time will tell!!!

The week started off well with the landscape of the river valley being completed by mid week.  I then had the chance to use my new whizz-bang Noch static grass applicator. 

I purchased this unit some time ago from Scenery Express in the States with an absolute truckload of static grass following a frustrating search for a unit locally.

I was aware that cheaper units exist & of course there is the option of building your own...but i figured that with the amount of area i will be landscaping, then this purchase would well & truly pay for itself over the years....but i must confess i didn't expect the reaction...or more correctly non reaction of the local hobby shop fraternity... Ah well...

Even with the little use of the system so far, the results are in my eyes fantastic & i figure when i get proficient enough with the unit it will lift otherwise ordinary scenes &  my rather ordinary skills.

Back to the river...

When all scenery was complete i figured i would have a go at "filling" the river & after some to-ing & fro-ing  decided that synthetic resin with a dash of tinting would do the job.

I mixed 2 litres and went light on the catalyst so as a slower reaction would take place & hoped for success.... After this layer had set i figured i would add a second pour with very little tinting,  hoping this would add depth to the "water".

All went well for the first hour or so following the initial pour & indeed the girls briefly braved the stink in the room to inspect the work in progress... Everyone was impressed!!!

The second hour did not fare as well as the first... My next inspection revealed that Moses must have entered the room & fiddled with the river....

Huge cracks had started to appear & the shrinkage at the shorelines had to be seen to be believed....on top of that the whole surface had begun to warp...

As i stood there speechless my wife entered the room & uttered the words... "Hmmm very abstract !!!"....i was now as shattered as the river.

The next morning after the "tectonic plates" had settled down i set about chipping & scraping the mess off & after that commenced repairing the shorelines & river banks.

Following a two day post mortem & talking to people much more experienced than i.... the answer was that epoxy resin would have been a vastly better choice for the job & following a chat with the guys at  Barnes Supplies in Sydney... We now have a supply of the right stuff  along with the correct pigments

Tomorrow is Mothers Day & D day for a second attempt to be made....we live & we learn....

I have posted some shots of the river area before & after the clean up of the disaster.....enjoy....and i hope to post some more shots after tomorrows attempt.

Landscape taking shape...

Scenery well advanced & following the disaster during cleanup.


Another view of "ground zero"....note the damage ( missing timbers ) to the truss bridge caused during removal of the mess 

An example of the static grass & scenery....a first attempt...


  1. G'day Rod.
    I have enjoyed reading through your blog. A lot of what you have already achieved I have my sights set on as well. I have almost completed a purpose built "colourbond cave" to house a layout incorporating main and branch line operation with as many 'iconic' aussie structures as possible!
    You have captured that Australian feel in your layout nicely, something I hope to achieve.

    I look forward to following along.

    'Also Almost 50' Gary

  2. Garry,
    Thank you for your kind words & i have to pull you up on the age thing...I am not "Also Almost 50" anymore...I "Turned" last November...I am on the other side!!!....I will have to Fess Up on my profile...
    I have also been keeping an eye on your Blog & the birthing of the shed. I see a lot of similarities even down to the recent family losses you have encountered.
    I hope that over time this Blog generates conversation & at times it is a "lonely" experience & you end up getting too close to it all...A balanced view is great!!!
    Anyway thanks for your encouragement & please feel free to drop in if you are ever down this way...Always Wecome.