One of the best ways to get motivated is to spend some time with some train mates . I had a very enjoyable weekend in Melbourne attending the Southern Forests narrow gauge meet a few weeks back.
The organisers of Southern forests arranged for Puffing Billy to a run a special train for attendees. It was also a great opportunity to photograph some of the Victorian Railways narrow gauge equipment.
Dan is a very talented modeller and his skills at creating realistic Australian scenery are plain to see. Seeing his Splitters creek module in the flesh was great and I am keen to try his techniques for eucalyptus. Dan has covered building his module on his blog Somewhere on the workbench He also has a great post on the Southern Forests weekend.
I finally found some free time this weekend to do some work on the railway. I am keen to get started on some scenery around my pin truss bridge. I needed to build some abutments for the bridge to sit on before I could start creating the landforms.I decided that if the bridge had been an upgrade from a wooden bridge in the 1920's that the abutments would be made of concrete. I began by making them out of wood. It took a couple of attempts to get all the angles right but this is what I ended up with
Nothing glamorous but the right shape. To get the concrete effect I like to use plaster. I had some cornice cement left over from a recent project.It is ideal as it comes already mixed, sticks well, drys quickly and can be spread thinly. I just trowelled it on with a spatula.
I leave the plaster for about 15 minutes, and then use my finger dipped in water to smooth out the finish
After the plaster had dried, I stained it with a wash of Polyscale aged concrete acrylic paint that I diluted with water. Here is the end result with the bridge re-installed.
I have also installed a piece of MDF at the height of the river. I also spent a bit of time moving trees around, to get an idea of how the completed scene might look.