N Gauge railway ballasting and scenery – Elvenhome Ep37


Hello and welcome to Elvenhome and to
this episode where, as I promised in the last episode, I actually get on with
doing some ballasting up the incline, and a little bit of scenic work up there and
I’ve been very impressed with actually doing the ballasting or the
effect of the ballasting, not quite sure about actually doing the ballasting,
also we get to have a look at some of the RevolutioN trains Class B tankers
which arrived and are a crowdfunded project, which I ordered quite some time
ago, which I’m really very very impressed with. So let’s get on with the video and
I’m afraid the Class B tankers have caused a bit of a problem. The 4F has them in a rake of Tanks that it’s pulling round and is finding them a
bit of a handful and it slipped to a stand. So the Jinty, 3F Jinty, is going to
be dispatched to couple up to it so they can double head and clear the mainline [Music] You’ve just seen the goods train running
around in them you were seeing a trio of these Class B tanks which have arrived
since my last video but from RevolutioN Trains which as you may know is
specifically for N gauge, although I think they’re branching into OO gauge
crowd funded projects and the Pendolino has been taking the world by storm but
about, trying to think, over a year ago they were thinking about doing Class B
tanks for N gauge and I signed up for a triple pack which arrived with me, as I say,
just over a week or two ago, and I’m really very very impressed with the
quality in the detail on these tanks particularly given the size so if I put a
penny in there that will, just for those of you that are not familiar with the
N gauge, give you an idea of the size that we are dealing with. The quality of the
modeling, if I turn this under and show this hopefully get this into the light a
bit, let’s get this thing into..there you go you can just see the amount of detail that is in
the undercarriage their various brakes and pipes and drums and things, you can
tell I’m a technical person, and the Esso sign on the model comes separate its a
little metal sign that you stick on to the side so you get a really good 3d
effect and it’s already curved so that it’s right for the barrel of the of the
tank so I’ve been really impressed with this, there’s a good weight to
this as well and it rolls very freely rather good because it’s quite heavy and
I imagine it takes a bit of pulling so I thought I’d just show you one of these
in in close-up if you’re thinking about getting them you can buy them from a
number of stores I’m told though obviously it’s more expensive this cost
me I think £59 for the three of them and I got
a feeling I’ve seen them in the store for about £80 for the three, if you weren’t one of the crowd funders so I’m pleased to get these to arrive
and even more happy to have them working on the layout. Strictly speaking they are a
little bit late for my period I think they start from about the mid-1950s
whereas I’m pretty much the early part of fifties if not the very late 40s but
rule one applies they look good and given that my layout’s in a wholly
fictitious place with a combination of big four engines still in their livery
turning up after nationalization having some back to the future element really
doesn’t give me a problem either okey doke all right let’s move on to the next
section now and I’ll speak to you in just a moment
In the last video I spoke about the fact that I would have to do my first bit of
ballasting and that is what I’ve been doing and I’ll take you through what
I’ve done so far in just a moment. One of the things that I’ve been struggling a
bit with one is actually reaching over I mean as you can as you can probably see
I’m reaching over that distance to work at the back and it has highlighted to me
the importance of doing things from the back to the front from the beginning,
although having said that of course the track plan up the incline is very recent
and if I had have put the single line up there and ballasted it all in, making
the change to having a double line would have been a very difficult thing to do
and the second line went in because I’ve decided to change what will be at High
Elven, which will be the raised section that’ll be at the other end of the
layout from a little chocolate boxy village with a single branch line coming
into a quite small station to having goods yards and other things up in that
area. So there is an element to which that as your plans for the layout
develop inevitably you’re going to be changing the mind and if I’d have rushed off and done everything and ballasted everything in it would have been much
much harder to make the changes as they developed in my mind, but it has
presented me with with a number of problems and one or two of them were of
my own making. When I laid the track down on cork I used which you can
get from Gaugemaster some ready cut strips and I laid the track on the
strips and the strips actually are of something like three sixteenths
depth and of course at N gauge once I started spreading ballast it all just
disappeared and that combined with the fact that behind the wall that goes up
the incline there are some gaps because the it’s not stuck to an entirely flat
surface so I not only lost the ballast off of all the track it also decided to
slip down the back of the wall which meant that I spent a lot longer, that
little bit of ballasting you see there has taken me well over a week partly
because stretching over all that way has given my back one or two problems which
meant that I had to rest up for a bit so this has taken much longer than I
expected and I have yet to do, if I zoom in a little,
let’s take you up to the top and then I’ll come back and show you what I’ve
done when we get to the top there that is moving towards the part of the layout
that is that at my furthest reach so that may take me a little while to do
but I do intend to start work on that certainly up past the the corner, where
the copse of trees has gone in. You may remember that when I built that hill, one
of the comments that came back to me was from Andy Turner about putting a copse of
trees into the very corner to sort of break up the fact that it still looks
like a triangle, and I bought those trees from the Model Tree Shop, which appear at
quite a lot of exhibitions they’re a company based in Duns in the Borders
and I’m really pleased with those trees I’ll see if I can get a closer look
in a bit when I come up to the other end I want to talk about the wall that
I did but coming back to the ballasting coming back to
the ballasting I have used the Ballast Magic and I have ballasted as you can
see, it’s ballasted from just inside the tunnel so that the ballast doesn’t sort
of stop at the tunnels edge ,up through the station and on over the
points, the points were done yesterday very tentatively, and I had one or two
little issues of running but which I’ve corrected, and then all the way up the
line to where you see it stopping. I’ve also put some scenic work in to
provide a slot while an embankment or or an embankment or an edge to the line. That was done
using paper mache because I had to plug gaps where the cork had ended so there’s
paper mache gone in really on the same principle as I used down here if I come
gently so that there’s a bit of a contour there and then I’ve used a mix
of Javis grass scatters I think some spring, summer and mid green I think
to create my own mix and that’s gone over the top. Down towards the point
there I don’t see if it really is showing a difference, but the around the
point motor and up to the backscene is actually some Javis scatter which is
their asphalt scatter and that’s that’s gone down rather nicely to do that area.
The Ballast Magic, if you look you can see that it’s it’s slightly mottle in
look and some of it’s quite dark some of it isn’t now as it happens I’m not
unhappy with that because it almost gives the kind of automatic weathering
effect to the track because the ballast itself is really quite light you can if
I bring you over you can see the ballast in the tin it’s a quite light gray and
actually I’ve spread a bit more by the platform edge which is not
actually stuck down but as this is not going to move that is going to cause me a problem I don’t think with anything so the by the platform edge is the natural colour
and you can see that the Ballast Magic has actually made it go a bit black in
places or dark gray but as I say it gives you an almost automatic weathering
which is rather pleasing but the Ballast Magic has worked very well I have to say
I’m using a five to one ratio mix which is using it at quite a rate of course
partly because because I’m reaching so far over I really don’t want it not to
stick down when I get to somewhere where I can I don’t mind having to take it all
up again and put it down if I’ve not done a strong enough mix I will move
nearer to I think seven to one they think is the optimum that they suggest
is the optimum ratio but you can go down as little as ten to one but we’ll see so
I’ll try that out in another part but is more accessible and easier to clean up, when we come to do that, but it is very easy you mix you make sure you
give it a good mix a few sprays of water from it’s actually an orchid mister
but it’s much the same thing but not loads of water, leave
it a couple of hours you come back and it’s dry and it’s really working very
well and I’m really very pleased Ballasting I have discovered, which many
of you will already know, is a thoroughly painstaking thing and I’m not yet
entirely sure whether I’m ever going to enjoy it but we’ll wait and see it’s
probably because I’m stretching so far. What I intend to do next is to start
putting some bushes and things up the incline the coach that’s there, which is
rather defying gravity I’m surprised it’s able to stay there because it’s on quite
quite a steady incline there, its partly there to help me see how much clearance
I’ve got because you will have seen that with my brush I have managed on the backscene to have some big brown daubs but those are going to be covered up I think
what I’ll do is I’ll just build up some of the clump foliage in bits because I
don’t think I can actually cut it fine enough as a kind of low relief bush
that will hide a lot of that brown stuff and I want to put a few bushes in places
along there or the underbrush at the join of the grass but I’m really pleased
with the way the ballasting is going the it’s it’s doing what I want to do I’m
astonished at the difference that it makes and one of the things I know if I
depends which order I eventually put the video together but what I’ll do is I’ll
run a train cam up the incline one way and then back down on as it would in
normal running on the up-and-down lines just so you get a sense and I’m it’s
somebody did say to me I think it was Euan, he’s got the YouTube channel The
Growler, that once you start putting ballast down it will really make the
layout pop and I think it does it’s really very good
so that’s it for this section and I’ll come back and talk to you in a moment
just about the wall that I’ve been doing at the far end and the next phase of
scenic work that will be done up and around that area [Music] Well I’ve moved up to the other end of
the layout now just to have a quick look at the wall which I mentioned in the
last video that I’d be building it’s built from the foam board which I’ve
built the other parts of the wall from, there’s the foam board, and because I was
going around a curve I thought the most sensible way to deal with this was
actually to do it in short sections I did toy with the idea of seeing if I
could carve cuts in the back of the board that would then allow it obviously
to curve but that gives you then problems of how long the paper is on the
outside and I just didn’t want to get into that, particularly so that is just
simply the foam board on the back of the foam board to the top half, 3/4 of an
inch also has paper so that as the train is running up which you hopefully
will have seen in the train cam shot there is still wall on the other side. On
the top for capping stones this time I’ve used the same as I put on the side
wall by the church which is evergreen styrene strip I’ll post in here and
notes of which size it is and then at regular intervals you just are using a
hacksaw carve so that it looks like individual slabs and again each one of
those is the same length as the width of the wall so again that’s allowed it to
curve round and and it seems to work quite well it’s also helped that the
that as it goes around it’s not entirely even what the wall is standing on
so there there is a slight step down in two places but it looks quite natural as
if that is just what happens rather than trying to use one piece which would have
been problematic so all in all having taking that route has allowed me to be a
little more specific when I’m cutting and putting things on the wall is only
round as far as there because from that point on there’s less clearance and so
what I think I’m going to be using if I can just grab
piece of it instead of the foamboard is this stuff which is now strictly it’s
mountboard but I have to say it I think it’s pretty much the same stuff, just
thinner, only this was called mountboard rather than foamboard, which I got from
an art shop that will do just as well and actually at that point I can make
longer sections but I think what I’m going to do is not do that bit of the
wall until I’ve completed the ballasting all the way up from where it’s currently
finishes which is you can’t really quite see it here it’s just about where that
capital is on where the wall of the station ends and the new war starts
until I’ve got that round – just before the point outside Shark’s End because
I’ll do the whole of the wall and Sharky’s End station and finish off the
abutment which is only half made and all of that in one go and then that will
then be ready for when I get to design and build the raised area which is
going to go where all those things are sort of sheltering so
we’ll see how that how that comes off but that’s where we are with that wall I
don’t think I’ll do any more on that before the next video but I’m quite
pleased with that it’s it’s not entirely prototypical because the buttresses are
absolutely upright whereas they were and the wall wouldn’t naturally have an a
fallback to to spread the weight but it it fits in the space which is the more
important thing. Well that just about rounds things up for this episode of
Elvenhome, there was just one other thing which I keep forgetting to mention
which I was really impressed by. You may recall that a few weeks ago, a couple
several months ago I bought another one of these which is one of the Gaugemaster
walkarounds some indeed it was this very one and about three weeks ago
I was using it to control the train and then it suddenly stopped on to put it
back the screen it suddenly stopped
controlling the Train the lights were all on and I could press buttons but it
wasn’t sending any signal and I got in touch we gauge master and they suggested
one of the two things to try and none of which worked so they said well send it
back for inspection so I sent it back on a Thursday I think it was and by the
following Wednesday they replaced it and that’s the gauge master lifetime
guarantee in in action so I have to say to gauge master very well done and I’m
very impressed with that customer service so on that happy note and with
the engines happily trundling round let’s bring this this episode to a close
please do liked the video if you’ve liked it if you’ve got any comments as I
always say please do let me have the comments I really enjoy getting those
and responding to people and it sets off ideas in my mind that’s not always a
good thing, but it does set off ideas in my mind and also people are more than happy
to pass on their learning and knowledge of things which is which I’m really very
grateful for if you’ve not already subscribed well please do subscribe and
hit the bell notification so you know when I’m uploading videos and it would
be really lovely to to have you along and with that I think we’ll bring things
to a close and so until I talk to you again bye bye [Music]

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