zaterdag 11 februari 2012

Sorry to have kept you waiting... Destruction on Ninove Terminus

It's been some time since I posted but that doesn't mean things haven't been busy.

Here are some pictures of Ninove Terminus.
All the cobblestones are removed and the houses have been stripped down. This caused it's own amount af damage but looking at things before the 'demolition', it was clear that most of the buildings were already in a bad state.
This brings up the idea again of starting again in a different scale. I always wanted to do something in British TT scale (1:100, to keep things easy) but I would have to make Ninove Terminus in 2 segments. for it would measure more then 2 meters. (And 1m60 is the max I can fit in the car.)
What would be the advantages?
First, the complete layout would contain much more details.
Rolling stock would work better and would be a bit easier to make. (which has always been a struggle)
The chassis would N-scale (as would be the track)

Some disadvantages:
Starting it all over again...
Finding good cars and people in 1:100 scale...

woensdag 2 november 2011

Removing figures

All figures on the layout are glued in place with PVA or wood-glue (if you translated it literally from Dutch). To get them removed I read somewhere that soaking the base with water dissolves the glue and leaves no traces on the figures. In this case it did not work. Is the glue to strong or was I not patient enough? In most cases, it's the latter... But here the water had no effect at all.

After a few experiments, I found that the best product to dissolve dry PVA is isopropanol. A sort of alcohol used to clean wounds, so available at the chemist (in Belgium, in an case).

The isopropanol was applied by using a syringe, making it possible to apply a very small amount and aim it where it has to go. Wait for a few hours and some figures you will find lying on there side.

dinsdag 1 november 2011


One of the first things I removed from the layout was the barge.

The river it sits in, is made of Woodland Scenics 'Realistic Water' which is a sort of silicon that just needs to be pored and slowly dries over the course of a few days. Since it shrinks when drying, you need to work in thin layers of about 3 mm.

Mistake of the day: the river was made way to deep, so I had to use quite a lot of the product.

Removing the ship meant cutting around it with a box-cutter knife and cut away all of the excess product... The brown stuff at the bottom is an ER-decor product used to shape landscapes.

Knowing your mistakes!

Everybody makes mistakes, they say, but the best thing you can do is learn from them.

As I explained in my first entry, Ninove Terminus was the first layout for me. Mistakes were made, starting with the baseboard. It was constructed as a two layer structure: the lower for the water part and the upper one for the cobbles and buildings. And there occurred the first difficulty. I had forgotten to add enough openings in the lower layer to connect the electrics. The fabel of 'Digital only needs 2 cables' is true as long as you don't use switches. Then things become quite different. The trackwork was done before I discovered all this, so rather clumsily I drilled holes in the bottom layer and tried to add more connection points for the current. The result can be seen in the pictures...

Also the baseboard was made out of a lot of bits and pieces lying around, trying to keep costs at an absolute low. Again unfortunately this meant that the top layer was made out of 2 pieces that didn't quite have the same thickness and up until now, trams going 'offstage' on the righthand side of the layout still climb a small but visible slope.

At the end of the build I asked a member of our Modelrailroad club to build me a display with leds, showing the route a tram would take on arrival. This meant more cables, more clutter on the underside and more holes had to be drilled.

First thing I did was remove the tortoise switch motors and cut away all the electric cabling.
Later on this will all be replaced with a system made of datacable (which you find in computers)

dinsdag 24 mei 2011

Plastic buildings

On former layouts my buildings where all made from cardboard and textured paper, but since the largest shed of Bouillière has to be removed every time the modules are taken apart, I went for embossed brickwork plasticard and forex plastic board. The results are rather satisfying. Both sheds and the lamp house/water tower are finished but the station is more difficult because of the roughcast exterior. Also the central stairs that run through it are a bit tricky... I think I'll put that one aside for some time...

zaterdag 7 mei 2011

Basic volumes

To have a better idea about the size and placement of the buildings I've made some 'volumes' to shift around on the layout. They have outprints of their computer drawings stuck to the sides which gives the imagination a bit of a push in the right direction.

The original construction plans of the buildings were copied by an association in Brussels, MupDoFer, that has a vast archive, containing nearly every little detail of the old Belgian Vicinal railway. They had 3 different trackplans and all the plans of the buildings.
I scanned them and, using Indesign, downscaled each to 1:87.
All plans were then redrawn and printed.