Monthly Archives: February 2018

Greening up and Signal box

I’ve made a start on the coombe side at the back of the layout. First a coat of brown paint then a base coat of three shades of fine turf. I also added some course turf on one patch. I’m not sure it’s quite the right mix of shades so I’m mulling it over before adding some static grass. Once that’s done, I’ll be adding underbursh, shrubs and a few trees.

The signal box is also coming along. The window frames are fitted and glazed. It tried glazing them first before fitting but found it a lot easier glazing them once the frames were superglued in. I used Humbrol Clearfix to attach the perspex glazing.

Next I turned my attention to the signal and point lever frame and the etched levers. Quite fiddly! First I superglued the levers to the frame base whilst it was still on the sprue. Then I painted them. Black at the bottom, silver for the handles and releases at the top and the body of the levers according to their use. Red for home siganls, yellow for distant, blue for points, black for locking, and one white as a spare.

Next I’ll turn my attention to the block instruments and signal box cabin furniture.

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Posted by on February 8, 2018 in Dartley Coombe, DCC Layout


Signal Box and the Coombe Side Begins

Today, I’ve been alternating between building the Ratio GWR signal box and starting some terraforming.

The signal box is a nice kit but painting it is time consuming. I used Tamiya tape cut into thin strips to mask the frames before painting them. A cocktail stick came in handy for burnishing down the edges of the tape to miminise paint bleed underneath. On the whole, it’s come out well with only a little touching up required in a couple of places.

Ratio 223 GWR Signal Box

Alternating with this masking and painting, I made a start on the coombe side at the back of the board. First I drafted out the profile of the slope before cutting it out of Foamboard. Hobbycraft have a deal on, 4 A1 sheets for £10. I used Roket card glue. Sets quickly and give a strong bond to the Foamboard.

I then mixed up some Moulding Powder modelling plaster with a dollop of burnt umber artists acryllic. After the initial coating, I left it a couple of hours before applying a second coating where needed. This stuff goes off really quickly, in less than 10 minutes.

I need to tidy it up a bit but otherwise I’m very pleased with the result. In retrospect, I’d use more paint in the mix as it’s a bit on the light side but nothing a quick going over with some more paint in the morning can’t fix.

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Posted by on February 3, 2018 in Dartley Coombe, DCC Layout


Loco Shed, Coal Staithes & Office and Coal Merchants

Over the last few evenings, I’ve just about completed the single road loco shed, coal staithes and office. Final weathering will take place once in situ.

Ratio 203 Engine Shed

Ratio 229 Coal Depot

Meanwhile, work continues on the Coal Merchants.

Ratio 232 Coal/Builders Merchant

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Posted by on February 2, 2018 in Dartley Coombe, DCC Layout


Buildings and Ballasting Begin

The last weekend saw a brown undercoat being painted trackside prior to ballasting. For Dartley Coombe I’m using Woodland Scenics Buff Fine Ballast. This is a very fine ballast and I quickly found that my normal spray bottles were too powerful for it. When dampening it down, I was tending to push ballast around so I wasn’t getting as neat a finish as I wanted. Luckily our local art shop had an artist’s misting spray which is much better suited to the task.

I wanted to get the buildings at the back of the layout clear in my mind before I could turn my attention to building up the land at the back so I decided to start building the loco shed, coal merchants, staithes and office. None are quite finished yet but hopefully will be in the next day or two. All are Ratio kits.

The grey area in the pictures is where the platform stands.

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Posted by on February 2, 2018 in Dartley Coombe, DCC Layout

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