Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Stick, stick, stick, Ouch!... Stick, stick....

Off we go, glue gun at the ready the hard shell starts to take shape

Today I have spent a few hours working on the section of layout that I am using to test out my silent running theorems. The hard shell of the landscape needs a support. Over the years I have used all sorts of materials. Chicken wire was a hot favourite, in the early days, I could buy small amount of it in the hardware shop when I was a kid. These days I am not sure where I would get it from without doing an internet search. It did the job at the time but there are all sorts of advances in materials and glues since then. In the mid 70's I wrote a small book on landscaping, while doing some freelance work for a publisher I used to work for. My little book explained the various techniques in common use at the time, nothing startling.  A few years later, while working on another model railway magazine, I had the good fortune to meet the late Jack Kine. For those of you who don't know the name, Jack was the driving force behind the BBC's special effects unit for the best part of 40 years (Google his name for more information). In his retirement Jack set up a small cottage industry selling scenic materials aimed at the railway modeller. Jack changed my approach to landscaping completely and I have used and adapted his basic ideas ever since. Jack too wrote a book on landscaping - far more interesting than my meagre offering of a few years earlier. He was always willing to try and share new techniques. I got on with him very well on the few occasions I was privileged to spend a few hours with him and we discussed new ideas and current projects. His method of translating the real thing into model form made a lasting impression on me and my modelling. I still follow his basic methods today. Sadly Jack died in 2005 at the age of 83 but his book lives on, though out of print it does appear for sale from time to time and if you see a copy, grab it. It is only a small paperback but it is full of Jacks superb illustrations and very readable text.

The finished lattice all trimmed and ready for its covering

Sympathy please - Injured in
the name of modelling
The landscape hard shell starts with a lattice of card cut from old cereal packets. This is archetypal Jack Kine. In his day the strips would have been stuck together with Evo-stick or white PVA. either of which will do just as well today. However I am a great fan of the glue gun for its speed and of use and 'drying' time. Love 'em or hate 'em glue guns do make a job like this much quicker. If only I could stop gluing my fingers to the job!

The lattice is open in the areas of open landscape and the tighter weave is employed where exposed rock will be modelled. Even without any other covering this area is very rigid. Next it is out with the scissors, dishcloths and a bag of.... No, you will have to wait and see...


No comments:

Post a Comment