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Model Rail (UK) - - Scenery -

My early ex­pe­ri­ence on MRC taught me to be highly crit­i­cal of cover pho­to­graphs. Per­haps I’m too crit­i­cal, but I sub­ject my own modelling to the same scru­tiny and I’m sel­dom com­pletely sat­is­fied with my own ef­forts. I knew this pho­to­graph would be dif­fi­cult. I re­call an al­most com­plete re­build of the 1965 model be­fore ev­ery­one was happy with it. In par­tic­u­lar, the canopy had to be re­built from scratch and dou­bled in length. De­spite this ex­pe­ri­ence, I went through the same process again this time. In the ac­com­pa­ny­ing pic­tures you will note that the end valanc­ing has been changed and that the awning it­self has been in­creased in length. Part of the rea­son is that the Heljan ‘Western’ and the Mk 1 coach are scale length and quite a bit longer than those ear­lier mod­els. Also, I am us­ing my own lit­tle dig­i­tal cam­era, which gives me an in­stant pho­to­graph to study, rather than hav­ing to wait to process a film and find out, when it’s too late, that some­thing is wrong.

This is bet­ter, but the canopy needs to be length­ened and the valanc­ing changed. The Plas­truct gird­ers look good and the Pull­man ta­ble lamps are work­ing, but the track needs to look wet­ter. The bulb in the near­est sta­tion lamp (right) has blown, which means the whole lamp needs to be re­placed.

The blown lamp has been re­placed and an ad­di­tional grain-of-wheat bulb added un­der the rear of the canopy. The re­sult is get­ting nearer to what I want, so the next job will be to com­plete the awning and do the fi­nal fix­ing. I’ll prob­a­bly add an­other light coat of var­nish and then be­gin the de­tail­ing work.

I re­turned to the orig­i­nal idea of a free­stand­ing awning in­stead of the sta­tion build­ing. It is tem­po­rar­ily fit­ted, so it is not stand­ing straight, and the etched end valanc­ing looks un­tidy. The re­flec­tion in the var­nished plat­form is work­ing well, but the Pull­man ta­ble lamps are not lit.

A day­light test with the Ox­ford build­ing looks quite promis­ing, but it is not suf­fi­ciently like the orig­i­nal pic­ture to sat­isfy me. The light is il­lu­mi­nat­ing the Pull­man car, but that won’t be present in the fin­ished pho­to­graph. The Pull­man ta­ble lamps need to be lit! At this time there’s no gloss on the plat­form.

An af­ter-dark view with the re­vised and length­ened canopy, which is yet to be per­ma­nently fixed. A coach is needed be­hind the lo­co­mo­tive, but oth­er­wise the cam­era an­gle is bet­ter. The re­flec­tion is work­ing well.

The Pull­man lamps are lit but the sta­tion canopy needs to be along­side the lo­co­mo­tive, oth­er­wise one or the other will be out of fo­cus. The cab light in the lo­co­mo­tive is too bright, but I’m not sure how I can dim this un­less I put it on a sep­a­rate con­troller.

I have fond mem­o­ries of stand­ing be­side a ‘Hall’ af­ter dark at Swin­don, so I de­cided to re­place the Pull­mans with a steam lo­co­mo­tive. An am­ber grain-of-wheat bulb on the cab floor gives the de­sired ef­fect.

A sec­ond spray coat of var­nish con­fined to the ex­posed ar­eas of the plat­form gives a good con­trast with the drier area un­der the canopy. It also re­sults in a much bet­ter re­flec­tion of the ‘Western’.

I’ve now placed some fig­ures and added the backscene. The lat­ter re­quired some light to make it vis­i­ble but an LED torch, which was all that I had to hand, has turned it rather blue.

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