Wednesday 24 July 2019

A Simple 16 mm Scale Photo Plank

Until now I have photographed my limited number of 16 mm scale builds on plywood scraps against bushes in my garden - or in the caotic environment of my worktable. In my 1:35 scale modelling times I quickly got a photogenic module finished. I have plans for a small 16 mm scale layout but nothing has materialized so far. After a quick process over a few days I now have a semi-finished photo plank.
The photo plank's first task was to act as a stage for my train of four Hudson skips. With some of my garden's bushes it doesn't look too bad, does it?

I started making the photo plank by choosing a piece of left over plywood from the stash in my shed. On the 60 x 40 plywood I glued foam board for track base and some expanded polystyrene for the slightly raising ground to the rear. Once the glue had dried, I covered everything exept the track base with a layer of plaster.

Sleepers are being glued in place with white glue (PVA).

I used thin wooden profiles for sleepers. They were pre-weathered and surplus from an old 1:35 project. While far too thin to look like scale sleepers I thought that the ballast could serve to hide that. I spiked old H0 Peco Code 100 rails to the sleepers with ancient Roy Link track spikes. While a very small size, rail of that size was in use on narrow gauge industrial railways. With a weight of 7 kg/m it was solid enough for a short train of small skips. The rather coarse flanges of my 16 mm model does bump the occasional spike head so I have to use a rather larger rail size if I choose to scratch build my own track.

My Lister is progressing now. Here the plastered photo plank is used to show the partly primed Lister. Notice the light rail.

With plaster dried and track laid, I painted rails and spikes with two rust colours and the ground a dark brown. I added clusters of grass and some flowers before I ballasted the track with sieved gravel and some chunky chalky stones I had lying around in a bag. I used my usual mix of 50/50 white glue and tap water with some detergent added to make the mix loose surface tension. I dripped the mix over the ballast with a syringe.
Brown colour and clusters of grass added. Rails painted.

Track ballasted. Grass is next.
I skipped any experiments with grass application and simply used some Heki grass mats. The result is green but not great. Another method is called for in the future. Here and there along the track I added some dead leaves from birch seeds I had picked up in the garden. When added under a bush they can pass for dead leaves - better in 16 mm scale than in 1:35.

The photo plank can still do with some drybrushing of the rather harshly coloured grass mats and I plan to fit a wire fence too. Perhaps even a telegraph pole to add a vertical aspect. But the plank already works better than a flat piece of unpainted plywood - and that is what matters.
Along with the photo plank my I P Engineering Lister has evolved. The last bits have been glued on, the loco primed and painted. The RC-equipment was soldered up and I failed to make a disaster out of it. Everything worked and is currently being packed away inside the loco.

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