Thursday 29 October 2020

Sleeper Production

With the coming of Autumn and the traditional peak season for railway modelling arriving, I have been cutting sleepers for Nystrup Gravel. The sleepers are from Wenz Modellbau in Germany. I shortened them from their original length of 80 mm to differing lengths between 60-70 mm  (corresponding to a scale length of app. 1100 mm-1300 mm). I cut the sleepers with a standard junior hacksaw, removing any splinters with a sanding stick.

The major items involved in my first experiment with 16 mm scale wooden sleepers.

I then treated the sleepers with a variety of instruments to create the impression of worn and primitive wooden sleepers. With knife blade, wire brush, sav blade and coarse sand paper I created a rough surface structure to the sleepers. Some got a light treatment, some a rough.

A selection of roughed up sleepers on my worn cutting mat. The two upper left ones are representing emergency sleepers assembled from discarded sleepers cut up and held together with steel rod.

Having produced a batch of 40 sleepers I mixed a small amount of light grey water soluble wood stain and brushed the fluid onto the sleepers. The mix dried fast, and as I had used a decent amount of water, the mix was rather thin. I gave the sleepers from 4-7 coverings of the mix, creating some variation in tone. Some of the sleepers needed another pass with the sanding stick, as the stain had made some of the wood fibres 'stand up'. That created further variation. 

Staining in progress.

The result of several washes with light grey staining fluid. A light grey upper surface, ready for weathering effects.

I will now add a basic weathering to all the sleepers before they are ready for track laying. Further weathering will be applied after the track is finished.

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