Discussion in 'GB2. The Display Track Build' started by Overseer, 22 July 2018.

  1. Overseer

    Overseer Western Thunderer

    I have been thinking about a display / photo track for 1:48 models for some time. Something which just needs sky behind to keep things simple. I am going to try to build a small section of this over the next few months. It seems simple enough….

    The idea is a model of a section of Warrnambool breakwater. It was built around 1890 in concrete to a design by Sir John Coode. It still has very rusty track visible on the surface. I have been taking note of Neil's inset track, and other methods. Not that it matters for the model but the inland side of the breakwater faces north so is well lit, being in the southern hemisphere, and has the Southern Ocean beyond.

    From the air (not my photo)
    warrnambool air.jpg

    As it was
    Warrnambool bella.jpg
    The breakwater plan
    Warrnambool plan.jpg
    As it is today
    WarrB 4.jpg
    WarrB 3.jpg
    WarrB 2.jpg

    Now to work out how big it will be and what it will be built from so I can get started in August.
  2. simond

    simond Western Thunderer


    That’s a great idea!

    There are some similarities with the Folkestone harbour arm (there’s a chap doing a model thereof, it’s described on the G0G forum) in that they both have inset track, rust & concrete, but I guess that’s to be expected.

    I look forward to seeing this.
  3. Overseer

    Overseer Western Thunderer

    warrnambool 6922.jpg
    Breakwater construction has begun. No Titan crane, precast concrete blocks or poured in situ concrete though. A small 1200 x 900 sheet of 7 mm pine plywood purchased on sale for $2 from a large diy warehouse forms the structure. Cut into strips, glue and pin together, add some diagonals and a very rigid lightweight base results. This is much smaller than a normal baseboard being 1200mm long by 195mm wide. The height of the base forms the backing for the inland wall of the breakwater. The concrete walls will be 3mm mdf with laser engraved details. Some secondhand Peco OO track was bought a few months ago for a very reasonable price to provide track building material. There doesn't seem much point in using O scale rail when it will all be buried.


    I think it will work well as a photo plank. The plan is to use it outdoors with real sky behind and maybe a separate water board in front if taking longer views. There may be a bit of a delay before the next update.
  4. Overseer

    Overseer Western Thunderer

    Trackwork has progressed on the breakwater using secondhand Peco code 100 rail and as few pcb sleepers as I could get away with. All the ugly bits will be buried in the asphalt. It will be wired up so it can be used as a test track.

    break 4.jpg
    break 1.jpg
    break 5.jpg

    The laser has also been in action marking out the plank and pour marks in the in situ concrete wall. The idea is to hand cut the pour joints to represent the irregular breaking away of parts of the concrete. The trial only took a few minutes with a scalpel and I think will work once painted. Still to decide whether to represent the remnant wood grain on the concrete from the timber formwork planks. The lower wall will have timber vertical fenders to distract the eye so paint will probably do without extra texture on the 'concrete'.
    break 3.jpg
    break 2.jpg
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  5. simond

    simond Western Thunderer


    Good to see your progress, it looks very good, and I look forward to seeing your concrete painting.

    I rather suspect there are very few of us doing the Display Track Build. Mine has been pretty much on the back burner as I’ve been lasering & constructing my loco shed, but I shall get back to it in time to complete it in line with the deadline.

  6. Yorkshire Dave

    Yorkshire Dave Western Thunderer

    Concrete pour lines generally stand proud once the timber shuttering has been removed. Is the idea to cover the wall with DAS clay or similar, dust the engraved plank with french chalk/talc and press this on and remove to create the raised shutter lines?

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  7. Overseer

    Overseer Western Thunderer

    No, the breakwater shuttering was not as poorly put together as your example, or was not being used as an architectural expression, so the joints between planks are not as noticeable. There is some difference in thickness of the planks and the imprint of the planks can be seen in the concrete. The idea is to create an impression (as in give the appearance of rather than a literal impression) and a bit of texture to represent off form concrete. The photo plank is intended to provide a fairly neutral setting for photographing stock, not be the main feature.
    Rob Pulham likes this.
  8. Overseer

    Overseer Western Thunderer

    Breakwater is not going to meet the completion deadline but I might get some more done this weekend. This was the state of progress a few days ago. Most of the actual construction work is now done. A few more bits to add to the breakwater wall and then it can be glued to the base. I need to stick lots of bits of card around the track to reduce the volume of Das needed for the asphalt surface. A few mooring bollards and vertical timbers on the concrete wall then mostly painting. I was thinking of a gas lamp mounted on the wall but I think it would be more of a nuisance - who needs a fancy gas lamp sticking out of the top of the loco or wagon being photographed?

    Breakwater 2711 3.jpg
    Breakwater 2711 2.jpg
    Breakwater 2711 1.jpg

    This is what I will be aiming at for the asphalt surface. We will see how it goes. Due to the design of the breakwater and public access there are a remarkable number of photographs in existence showing the condition of the track and paving over the years.
    Wbool wagons.jpg
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  9. simond

    simond Western Thunderer


    Your gas lamp could indeed be a nuisance, but equally, offers an alternative focal point (and potentially some lighting effects).

    Could it be “plugged in” when required?

  10. Overseer

    Overseer Western Thunderer

    That's an idea. I could install a power socket now and make a removable lamp some time.
    simond likes this.
  11. Overseer

    Overseer Western Thunderer

    After a few years covered in part finished locos and wagons the breakwater has had some attention. A layer of red Das had been applied ages ago because the packet was starting to harden and I thought it would be better to use it to bulk out the asphalt surface on the breakwater than throw it away. Messy stuff. White is much nicer to work with and the surface is now mostly in place. There will be sanding to lower some parts and some hacking away to get it to look more like the prototype which was pretty rough even back in the day.
    Warr break r.jpg

    Warr break das.jpg

    I think it will work well as a photo plank and it is wired up so can be used as a test track.
    Warr break t.jpg

    Warrnambool Speculant adj.jpg

    Need to make some bollards and timber baulks but painting first.
  12. Overseer

    Overseer Western Thunderer

    Breakwater paint.jpg
    The Breakwater is progressing. First coat of paint is on all over. The high part of the sea wall is still separate and will be screwed in place once the painting is done. Excuse the mess, I should have cleared the table before taking the photo.

    A few test snaps to see how it will work taken with just a single anglepoise lamp providing light. Once the painting is finished and the baulks added along the wall (and with proper lighting) I think it will work well for taking portraits of models. A range of viewpoints are plausible, depending on the height of the ship or rowing boat the photographer is in at the time. I was thinking of using the plank outside but will probably get a photographed sky backscene so it can be used indoors anytime.
    breakwater paint4.jpg
    Breakwater Paint1.jpg
    breakwater paint3.jpg
  13. simond

    simond Western Thunderer

    It’s coming along nicely, and reminds me more & more of Folkestone.

    You remind me that I should get my finger out & finish mine…

  14. oldravendale

    oldravendale Western Thunderer

    Which also brings back a happy memory, Simon. The first model I ever built was of Folkstone Harbour, as I remembered it after a holiday there with parents in about 1952/3. I was so impressed by those triple headed trains. I collected all the cereal boxes and other scrap cardboard kicking around the house and a big roll of Sellotape I found in a drawer. I didn't stop until all the tape was used up. Dear departed father was not impressed - the tape was intended for wrapping Christmas presents.:)

    Of course, it looked nothing like the real thing but look where it lead......

    simond likes this.
  15. simond

    simond Western Thunderer

    There was a chap on the G0G forum doing a fairly ambitious model of Folkestone, but I am no longer a member, so don’t know where he got with it.

    They have prettified the real thing quite nicely, it’s still clearly a railway station, but it is now full of restaurants, bars, etc, and is rather nice when the wind is not in the East.

    I have some pix somewhere of the last steam loco on the tram road, which is the incline where the panniers worked. I’ll try to look them out.

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  16. oldravendale

    oldravendale Western Thunderer

    When I saw them it was R1 tanks, Simon. We went through Folkstone on the way to France about ten years ago, and although well preserved the station was clearly not in use and looked rather sad. For my memories I'm so pleased to learn that use is made of the facilities.

    I'd love to see the model to which you refer.