Baseboard II

I started the experiment of using a mixture of flesh tint paint and a large proportion of white (Elmer’s) Glue to create two thick layers over the 3 baseboards that I had earlier coated with a dark mixture of sienna paint.

While the paint and glue mixture was drying, I proceeded to add some very fine pieces of sand and other materials. After several rounds of this and a couple of hours, I started to spray everything down with standard hairspray. As per the tutorials, I used a generous amount and several coats of the stuff.

The final results are shown here. While I’m pretty happy with the texture and overall success of the paint and sand; I think that I wasn’t bold enough to apply more sand and debris to achieve a more distributed look.

Still this is fine, given that most of the base should be covered up with track and scenery; and I didn’t want to overdo the amount of sand for fear of creating too uneven a surface for the upcoming track work





I made my usual purchase at the craft store of the thick white styrofoam that will form the base of the layout. 
This measures 90 x 60 cm, exactly the same dimensions as the one I use for Stratford.

This time I’ve also purchased a couple of thin layers of styrofoam that will add height to both the main level (thereby creating depth for the sidings) as well as for the raised mountainous track.

I’m still trying to master the color of the base coat. Stratford’s basecoat actually left me quite unhappy as it looked too pink and orange. I’m still trying to get that dirt color which is also like a dark skin tone.

My first layer of paint here is too dark and with my wife’s suggestion, I’ve actually gone to invest in a small tube of flesh/skin tone color to try and lighten it.

I’m also intending to try a few tips I’ve learned from the YouTube channel of Trackside Scenery where I mix in dirt with the paint and hold it down with hairspray.

Track Plan for Heartland

I’ve been spending the last three months using railModeller Pro to come up with a rough track plan for Heartland. After about five revisions and finally deciding to incorporate my Marklin turntable – I think I’ve arrived at a rough plan I’m satisfied with.

The layout will be the exact same dimension as Stratford (90 x 60 cm) and will also feature two main lines. In addition it will also have a (hopefully) busy siding area with working uncoupler track and a (very tightly squeezed) turntable to house my steam locomotive fleet.

Significantly, Heartland will be analogue and not DCC. It will also be run on Rokuhan track instead of Marklin.

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A new church

Been working on some new kits for the new layout. Shown here is a laser-cut set I actually purchased from Tokyo many years ago. I was a little unhappy with the thin, cardboard roof (shown right) even after weathering. So I decided to purchase some wood and stain it / weather it.

I eventually added the fence and base to complete the scene


So after almost four years…Stratford is almost (ahem) done. Well obviously a layout is never done. But you get to a point where, you feel that you have done enough to not have a layout that is significantly unfinished.

Most of the landmark pieces I’ve wanted to have are in place. Building and road lights have been installed. I’ve even taken care of the wiring below the foam-board to make them more secure and painted round the borders.

Stratford is now ready to run. And I’m ready to move on. I’ve always wanted a layout based on the steam era. Now’s a good time to switch tracks.

Forest From The Trees


It’s been awhile since my last post but it’s only been this blog that’s been ignored. I’ve had the opportunity to make some decent progress on the layout and it’s only when I look at my previous post that I realize the amount of progress made and / or rather the lack of updates I’ve been making on this site. With the majority of the grass successfully laid on the layout, I’ve been able to now turn my attention to trees and other more interesting pieces of landscaping. I’ve been successful at saving my trees (talk about conservation!!!) from my previous layouts and thus saving some money in the process and was surprised that I had well over 150 trees, without counting the new ones still in packaging. Now this probably means nothing to model railroaders who model in HO, G and even N; but for Z gauge; 150 trees is a lot! At least for me. So here some photos to show part of the lineup of trees, together with the Christmas forest area that was first to go up on the layout. I’m pretty happy with how that’s turned out together with the rocks and castle.

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Also a sneak peak at a new (and the only unfinished) area at one corner of my layout which was heat soldered to make two nice hollow shapes for a pond / lake / water feature. This photo shows the area already painted in with the default grey paint that came with the water kit. As I write this, this whole area is actually finished, with added figures and scenery – just haven’t had the time to take photos yet. That’s for the next post.



Since September, I’ve been working on my new layout fairly regularly, and been happy with the progress. I gave myself a rough deadline of having the layout ready by Christmas which was always going to be ambitious but that was the point. Still I am happy that I’ve more or less stuck to my timeline even though the expected audience for our annually planned Christmas celebration this year won’t be here.

As of this weekend, I’ve more or less finished with the bare naked landscape of my layout. This part of the process has had it’s ups and downs. Ballasting was extremely boring. Landscaping was nice. Trying (foolishly) to blend the Noch grass carpet with my own hand applied textures plus white glue / water was not a good idea. This is definitely a lesson for the future. But for the present, I’m (mostly) done. Except for one corner that is being left for a lake / pond / whatever water area eventually emerges.

I took a few shots tonight after cleaning the track one more time and then vacuuming the entire layout. The photos are here to remind me of this finished stage, before the application of trees, water feature, lights and other electricals …but for now, all the trackwork is done and the bulk of the landscaping is too.