Progress Update July 20

I realised sat in the sunshine today that it’s been a long while since I posted a progress update to the site instead of waffling on about new releases. Consequently here we go.

I’ve added all the ensuing photos to the construction gallery as well to aid with the timeline effect.

Birds Eye View

I always feel the birds eye view doesn’t do the layout justice. Maybe it’s the clutter of the garage, maybe the image is a bit long and thin. Anyhow here we go;

Birds Eye View of Cottingfield July 2020

So whilst that gives you a feel for what the layout looks like now. Here is what I have been working on recently

Depot Entrance

Asides from the cluster of badly parked Network Rail vans (all Oxford Diecast models), the cabins are joined by some cars too now. The cabins used here are a couple of old Hornby resin ones I found in my box. The concrete fence / wall at the front of the depot is a Ratio offering.

The security gate still needs painting, and came from eBay. This was part of a very good value set that also included 20x 5cm security fencing panels. You’ll find that I have used a lot of this palisade fencing throughout the industrial area of the layout. It is a good fine item for a 3d print, and I am really impressed with the quality of it. Check out 3dpluss on ebay – the fencing is very good – as usual no connection just a satisfied modeller.

The stores area is a couple of de chassied Peco vans and two bodies from RES mail vans. The RES vans have been treated to a number of thin coats of matt varnish to give a more faded and tired look. The waste area and skips need some more weathering and I’ll feature them in a separate post in due course.

Industrial Area

A couple or three months ago this was just bare – lockdown has been kind to this half of the board. Following on from work on the depot area I have finished the Kestrel Industrial Unit kits. These kits are good value in my eyes, but don’t look good straight out of the box. However with some proper modelling they can soon be improved.

As assembled the model looks very plasticky, and has a horrible gap along the middle of the roof. However, there is nothing a bit of time can’t fix and 15 years of working on industrial estates. The gap in the top of the roof was remedied with a couple of beads of 6mm masking tape run along to create a ridge tile effect. Next step was to make the colours more realistic.

Industrial buildings tend to be a mix of shades of brown and grey, as cost obviously prevails. The metal cladding part of the building was painted in thinned down coats of Humbrol Rail Colour 422. Billed as ‘Intercity Grey’ I found this was a good colour match to the estate I work on. The brickwork was given a coat of Humbrol Brown too, as I wasn’t satisfied with the tone of it.

Adding Glazing & Lighting

Windows were created using my preferred ‘trick’. You will find all sorts of options on the market, however I always used good old fashioned overhead projector acetate. This provides a cheap way of glazing windows in N gauge, and more than you will ever need can easily be picked up for a pound or two online.

The buildings all have internal lighting fitted. Coming in the form of ‘grain of wheat’ bulbs on a 5v circuit these will all be wired in and independently controlled in due course. As there are only 6 warehouses this should take too long to complete the wiring under the board. However for now I have more ‘interesting’ things to do.

All roads lead to Cottingfield Industrial Estate

Or at least they will do when I’ve worked out quite how I’m going to achieve the effect I want.

Painting the surface to look like a road is the least of my worries, I’m quite confident in doing that. At the moment I am more concerned about how to hide the gaps and cracks.

The camera may add 10lbs to a human, it can also be very unkind to models, and from ground level there are some horrible gaps around all of the buildings, and also where the paving outside joins the road. Not too visible when stood by the board they look awful in photos as they are really amplified.

I’m still toying with which route to go to solve this. My old favourite would have been to get the Humbrol model filler out. However I have been reading recently about someone using a wash made from DAS modelling clay. This seems an appealing route, and I have some to experiment with. Watch this space!

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