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Work has continued on at Pambula after the fascia has been put in place. It is not a large location so I thought I would finish off the layout between the fascia and the outer tracks.
I made the scenery higher in this section and cut the fascia to suit. It was then I needed to fill in the missing bit. Over the years I have tried a few methods, the old layout used the well used chicken wire and plaster where I was able to reduce our pile of newspapers into the plaster mix. This makes it interesting when demolishing the old layout and I always tried to locate some old newspaper with a date left intact so I could get an idea as to when this section was done.
I have moved on from the old plaster days (although it still has its place) and tried either the yellow foam board or foam. The corner section at Pambula called for a large piece of foam and having scabbed up two large foam pieces from a clean up pile I then looked for my electric knife to slice it all up. The electric knife was on its last legs for the last piece of foam I cut when the switch broke and was running as soon as it was plugged in. The knife had definitely cut its last Christmas ham long ago. When I plugged it in there was this burning smell and at the risk of loosing the shed to a fire, it was decided to chuck it in the bin, except for the blades. So this piece of foam was cut out using an electric hand powered blade. I must admit it took a little longer than using the power but I eventually got the job done.
Replacement electric knifes seem to be rare in the shops these days but as luck had it, two days after the knife went kaput there was a local garage sale supporting the local Mens' Shed. I was just about to leave and I spotted a Sunbeam electric knife. Beauty and after opening the box and seeing no residue of ham on the blade I asked the guys 'How much?' He said $5 but as I only had a $10 note I made a donation for their cause. I was more than happy with my purchase. I tested it at home, it worked but it is yet to be introduced to its first piece of foam.
The foam was glued into place and then came the decorating. The photo shows some yellow cloth which is a cut up piece of 'Shine Wonder cloth' that I purchased at Woolworths. I have used it often on this and the past HO layout and it works well to represent grass, at least I think so and is way cheaper than using commercial products. They used to make it in a green colour but I can only find it in yellow now, but it colours up nicely with Tamiya Flat green.
Scenery slowly greens up
The last time I used the foam for the scenery was when I did the scenery around the trestle area. I had almost forgotten how toxic the fumes were when I applied the soldering iron to the foam. It had to be done outside otherwise I reckon I wouldn't be typing this now. It was then painted up with my usual 'Harold' paint colour and some black oxide also used for highlights, plus some drybrushed lighter Tamiya paints. Most of this cutting won't be visible from the normal viewing angle so I only gave this location my 80% effort.
Mallee shelter location
One thing in my favour in regards to station buildings on the narrow gauge is that they were hardly elaborate structures. Many locations only had a nameboard which let you know where to stand for the train to stop and pick you up. More upmarket places had at least a corrugated iron shed with a seat at the back. At least it would keep the sun and rain off you while you were waiting for the train. Pambula is to get a mallee shed when I get around to building it. The layout will need a couple so I will make them all in the one go. I made a full size paper mockup which you can see in the photo. It helps visualise how it will look in the end. They didn't even have a platform so I have used some cork, coloured it to represent tarmac. Its the least I could do for them.
This article first appeared on southcoastrail.blogspot.com
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