These videos are split neatly in the middle between the technical part in the artistic part. This video is about beginning the scenery and working with styrene. The starting point though is building some styrene cutters. These are quite expensive creatures to buy but once you get the resistance wire you’re often running.
Now we start to layer the styrene and build the hills piece by piece. Every part of this is exciting as you see the hills and the Mt start to grow around your little railway. Patchy mates and quite exotic styrene cutters to get the River valleys nice and steep.
So we’ve made the styrene and now we get all of our materials together. To me that means red earth that I have dug from a siding, some stuff I use of the track beds, and lots of coffey grindings. Then we start painting the track from the awful dark brown that someone seems to think it should be, making roads.
So we finish making the roads, and we make a station that is removable because I have this fetish about removing things so that I can clean the track easily, and then start laying the red earth down. I can’t tell you how nice it is to do that.
Once the red earth is down we start to spread down and mix it with glue and then we get the paints out. I think when I retire I might become an artist because I took to this like Rembrandt to a canvas. It made me realise how deprived I have been ever since doing art classes at school. This is super fun!
We continue to paint the hills and add some extra colours here and there and once things are looking up to scratch we turn back to the track and start to lay the ballast. This is where the artist stands back with his thumb fully stretched to see if the proportions and the overall effect is good.
I now really get into the ballast helped by some jigs and it all works very nicely. I even made a little tool to help me clean the inside of the tracks after it was done then we glued it all into place and it looks great.
So now we think about greenery and grass and use a couple of different methods to get it onto our set. Given this is N-Gage really have to think about what looks real what doesn’t. I’m pretty convinced that you can’t see blades of grass on an N-Gage set, however you can see surface texture and so that’s will be focused on.
We continue putting some of the grass and then some bushes into place and then I want to start building gum trees it something up in dreaming about. So outcomes the industrial solder, lots of speaker wire and away we go. I’ve seen some amazing trees in the outback and I want every one of them on to set. Mind you I did have some concern when I began to think about how many trees would have to build so this became a production line.
The production line continued and I also went outside and found some very nice tweaks and sticks remembering that all Australian outback scenes have burn trees as well is leafy ones. In the end I have a lot of stuff to put on this railway.
So now outcomes the inner architect as we begin to design lovely weatherboard houses from scratch and construct them using plastic sheet with printed paper for weatherboards and structures made of all sorts of things. I also made some very basic miners huts which once again was a bit of a production line.
Now comes my coup de grace. I use aluminium flashing to make the most wonderful corrugated iron roofs you have ever seen. No, I’m not kidding, these are to die for. And so simple to make.
Once all the rooms and the houses are made within look about the set to think about where they should be as I haven’t planned it quite as deliberately as I could. In fact I shifted them around for quite a while on the red earth railway until I was happy with the overall make-up of the houses. I should note I bought some houses off eBay and properly threw them away. Home-made is much better. We end this by putting rust on the roofs.
We spend this movie making windmills and water tanks out of aluminium flashing, mosquito netting, aluminium foil and some welding rod. Perfect choice is in my view.