Old Parrock

Discussion in 'Entries' started by PaulR, 9 August 2017.

  1. PaulR

    PaulR Western Thunderer

    I've seen a few entries that start with the statement something like, 'I'm entering this because I'm hoping that it will make me actually finish a layout.' - yes, that's me too! For that reason I think this is a great idea and I'm enjoying reading about everyone's different plans.

    My layout is 4mm, 00 gauge, Southern Railway, circa 1930-ish.
    Dimensions: 4'3" x 1'6" to fit in the car.
    As it will only ever have one loco at a time, I'm using old fashioned electrics.

    The Concept
    A couple of years ago I found photos of an old watermill in East Sussex, near Forest Row, close to where I grew up. The mill disappeared in the thirties; the photos show a run down but functioning building in 1903, with a sandstone base and clapboard upper frame set in a rural location - and I can't get it out of my mind - I really want to build it.

    The idea is that the old mill is used only for cattle feed now (1930), and a new mill, jointly powered by water and steam, has been constructed offstage which is served by the private siding. A coal merchant has also set up business there. The siding is set between Forest Row and Hartfield on the old LBSCR East Grinstead - Tunbridge Wells West line.

    All this fantasy is a combination of the actual mill, Tablehurst, combined with the concept of the two mills at Barcombe further south, both of which were served by private sidings, although one at least was worked by horses.

    The Plan
    Old Parrock Mill Plan 1.jpg

    Attached Files:

    AdeMoore, P-J.S., BCN-Pete and 9 others like this.
  2. PaulR

    PaulR Western Thunderer

    I'm challenging myself here, as I've done relatively little rural scenic modelling, and this has a lot of it, but I'm really looking forward to having a go. The track plan will not change, but the landscape has been constantly in a state of flux over the past weeks as I work out how it all might have looked before the railway arrived.

    The trackwork will be finescale 00 gauge. Does anyone know when Peco are bringing out the points to go with their new code 75 bullhead track? If necessary I'll build the trackwork for it. As it is a simple layout, I'm going to stick to analogue control as it will use different stock from my other project which is DCC (a layout set in South London in 1960 with mixed steam, electric and diesel stock). It's not radical, but given the amount of time these things consume, I figure that it's important to be happy with what I'm doing.

    As things go on, I'll post pictures of progress. The entry form went off on Monday - that's it, no turning back now!
    Gilbert, jonte and AJC like this.
  3. Richard H

    Richard H Western Thunderer

    It's great to find ourselves in this together - a mildly daunting challenge, but we know each other well enough for mutual encouragement to be the order of the day! I think you have a super idea here, and I'm looking forward to seeing your beloved Sussex countryside burst into bloom.
  4. PMP

    PMP Western Thunderer

    The Peco B/H points should be out by Warley (possibly earlier), is my understanding from a few chats with them this year, there have been some delays in the original schedule. Geometry is the same as the existing cd75 large radius point, so your planning and build could continue using those known dimensions. The OO Peco B/H streamline is easy to use and has same sleeper/rail height as the existing and forthcoming points, giving the option to build with existing points and replace them if you've not ballasted by the time the new B/H is out. They'll be the new unifrog design allowing for live/dead frog with the same product, and DC/DCC compatibility. I'll try and get an update on schedule this coming week.
    Gilbert, ceejaydee and adrian like this.
  5. PaulR

    PaulR Western Thunderer

    That's brilliant news - many thanks for the information. I'm going to Warley so that will work out very nicely.
  6. PaulR

    PaulR Western Thunderer

    If you're going to build a layout, where better to start than with a tree!


    Actually it's my first serious attempt at one, and it won't make it on to the layout, partly because it's too large, despite being a medium sized one, but also because it was always intended to be a tester and there are things that I know I can do better. I used an old foliage mat, not quite the right colour for an elm - so it looks, I think, a bit more like an ash. There's another one in the offing which I hope to post up in a few days.

    Brilliant fun to make though. My wife thinks that all I really want to do is make trees, and she is suggesting that my layout should consist entirely of woodland, with an occasional stream of smoke passing across behind.
  7. Heather Kay

    Heather Kay Western Thunderer

    That's a rather splendid tree.

    I realise you're probably following the recipes of other modellers for your arboreal pursuits, but would you mind sharing them with us as well? I ask, because I fear there will be a small forest I will be helping make for our club layout in the not too distant future.
  8. PaulR

    PaulR Western Thunderer

    Thanks Heather.

    I'm using Gordon Gravett's book as a starting point, but as always you never have all the stuff, or can't get the right materials. I've taken photos along the way and will put them up as soon as I have a moment.

    I'm obsessively looking at trees at the moment - it's so distracting I think I'll be driving into a ditch before long!
  9. Richard H

    Richard H Western Thunderer

    Lovely! The light coming through the canopies of foliage makes it very convincing, and the texture and colours of the trunk and boughs seems just about right. If this is what you do on a first attempt ... you are definitely barking up the right tree.
    john lewsey and Pencarrow like this.
  10. PaulR

    PaulR Western Thunderer

    Here's tree number 2, an attempt at a young(ish) oak:

    First, the wire frame, made from florists wire, and with a first coat of artex/PVA. I couldn't get artex pwder, but managed to get a pot of pre-mixed artex from Wickes which seems to work OK. I mix it with at least 50% of PVA glue and do at least three layers. It needs patience.


    Here's the tree after a couple more coats - and after painting. I tried adding a little ivy as well. I was concerned that the bark looks a bit green so I have since dry-brushed more light tan onto it.


    Postiche dropped onto it after a spray with hair spray, and...


    ...the tree as it looks right now.

    It needs more trimming, and I will probably poke around with it in the next few days. I haven't given it a final coat of matt lacquer yet. I'm quite pleased with it though. It's 150mm high, so about 35 ft tall and is going to form part of a hedge.

    So, here is what I learned.

    Firstly, I used the wrong hairspray which came out in heavy squirts rather than a fine spray, so the trunk also got sprayed as well. As result the scatter material stuck to the trunk, requiring lots of urgent rubbing and scraping to get it off, very frustrating. I've partly dealt with this by adding more ivy, and I've now bought the right kind of hair spray.

    Secondly, its just as well I was never a hairdresser, because once I started trimming it up, I couldn't stop.

    Photos are good for getting a defined view of your work. Take pictures and look at them - they are unforgiving.

    Scatter material gets everywhere.

    Finally, I love making trees - so more to come.
  11. adrian

    adrian Flying Squad

    That's very effective - are you working from photos or free-styling it?

    Never thought it'd be a question I'd ever be contemplating but just what is the "right kind" of hairspray?
    simond and jonte like this.
  12. PaulR

    PaulR Western Thunderer

    Initially I copied a real tree, but it seems to be impossible for me not to go 'off piste' so the final result is somewhat different - impressionism rather than still life!

    As to the right kind of hair spray, well, there's a question. My wife lent me a can which seemed to squirt out in wet splodges rather than a fine wide mist. I thought this was how they all came out (not being a regular user of the stuff - or irregular come to that), but later she told me that she hardly ever uses it either so it was probably bunged up.

    In short, the answer is - don't use hair spray with a bunged-up nozzle or you'll experienced the modellers' equivalent of a pratfall.
    Rob Pulham, oldravendale and adrian like this.
  13. PaulR

    PaulR Western Thunderer

    I've now toned down the ivy with some olive green acrylic and I'm more pleased wit it now. I'm happy with this tree and it will get a spray of matt lacquer as soon as I've sourced some.

    Two more trees to finish before I move on to a different aspect of the layout.
  14. PaulR

    PaulR Western Thunderer

    Here is a tree that I'm quite pleased with - the photos aren't great I'm afraid:



    I used the same methods as before, but with Woodland Scenics Medium Green foliage mat for the leaves. I seemed to lose tons of the flock while I'm teasing it out and gluing it on, but this was almost an advantage as I was able to regulate the density of coverage by spray the clumps with hair spray and sieving it sparingly through a tea strainer.

    I've been very interested in the methods used by Chrisb in his thread 'Winter is Coming' (Techniques forum). Like Chris, I'm struggling with getting the texture I want with artex. If you don't mind, Chris, I may have a go with Fimo at some point. I have one more tree to do for now, a small field maple which I photographed the other week while on a local walk. Then I'm going to play with buildings...
  15. john lewsey

    john lewsey Western Thunderer

    Theses trees are very good Paul
    PaulR likes this.
  16. Richard H

    Richard H Western Thunderer

    Fine indeed, and looks authentic. It's very well observed - lovely variances in shapes and density of foliage, then also in colours and textures.
    You're not starting to feel a little ... Entish, at all?
    Rob Pulham and PaulR like this.
  17. Yorkshire Dave

    Yorkshire Dave Western Thunderer

    Excellent trees Paul :thumbs:.

    For my tree (made several years ago) I used the usual twisted wire skeleton with a Polyfiller/PVA mix and during drying it cracked a bit. Before it had fully set I used a relatively stiff bristle brush and drew this lightly down the trunk. Here are the results the first photograph shows the bark finish and the second the foliage.

    The foliage is Woodland Scenics and to finish I sprayed varnish over this from the top and sprinkled Noch dark green leaves. The tree was turned upside down, resprayed with varnish and sprinkled with Noch light green leaves.

    'Somewhere in Kent' (the backdrop is one of my photographs taken from Tenterden)
    Somewhere in Kent 10 s.jpg

    'Somewhere in France' (Taken outside my house in Yorkshire actually).
    Diorama03 s.jpg
  18. PaulR

    PaulR Western Thunderer

    Wow - I really like that scene Dave. Not just the tree but the figures and vehicles too. Very atmospheric, in fact I'm sure I heard a Rolls Royce Merlin engine in the distance! And thanks for the tree making info - It's all going into the mix.

    I think I have about another seven or eight trees to make for the cameo layout, mostly quite small, but I'm going to change tack soon before I become completely sidetracked by them.
    Yorkshire Dave likes this.
  19. Alan

    Alan Western Thunderer

    Hard to realize the two photos are models. Lovely work.
    PaulR and Yorkshire Dave like this.
  20. PMP

    PMP Western Thunderer

    Just an update that may be of interest, the points are currently in production.