Sunday, 10 February 2013

Its been a while since updates, & this one will be likely the last for a while also, as I wait on more specialists appointments, treatments & most probable further sugery on my back, which is likely to be fusions at 3 levels. Not looking forward to it but hopefully it will rid me of the various refered pain that is getting worse.
This has meant any progress on the layout has been minimal, with experimentations taking place using the old broken Super Trees armetures that I discovered in a bag from our move.  The worst part of all of the breakages is that there has been little of the larger armatures that have stayed intact, meaning a lot of short bits & a fair degree of glueing them together.

Over time I have concentrated on mostly the larger gum type trees, but the reality is that in many areas of the country & NSW there is such a huge variety of trees that also create interesting features for a model railway layout. A comment by one of the members of our weekly group made me sit up further & thinking much more along the lines of other than gum type trees.

This fellow is from the U.S & worked as a signalman over there, & he mentioned that in all his travels he has never seen anywhere else in the world like the Australian bush landscape, it does not matter where you go, its impossible not to take in the depth of the forests, & how little distance into them that you can see, While the large trees of many variations stand out, its the incredible variety in the undergrowth that is amazing, meaning that its rare to be able to see much deeper than 20-30metres as beyond is nothing but trees, & you have to be almost through them before being able to see open areas.

Since the comments I have watched as I drive through the many areas around here, & on the way to Sydney or Newcastle by train or car, & what he said is so very true, & a reminder to me of the scrub type forest areas in the Pilliga districts & others spread across the northern to southern slopes areas.
Thus my experimentation with the armatures & different flocking & scenery items has taken up what time I can get to the train room. The following are first attempt samples of using the small Super trees using differet types of scatter materials.
The first 4 all comprise of various ground foams, with 1, 2 & 3 being a fine JTT type., while 4 is Scenic Express
1.                                                                     2.

3.                                                                     4.

5.                                                                     6.


# 8 is a further experiment with old Willow tree experiment I did in Sydney, the low one next to the gum trunk. It came up ok for the distance & filled in a hole, this tree has old foam turf underneath with the Naturex finely sprinkled over the top.
9.                                                                                      10.


11. 9, 10, & 11 are experiments using static grasses, #11 is the last one I did with the other 2 being the first attempts, & not as good as I hoped, although they look better on the layout. 11 actually comes up quite good, & considering that there are lot of fir or needle type trees in the bush, then I will certainly be using this method for future trees & more low growth areas.

On a final note, I do not know what is going on with blogger, seems they have fixed the photo download problem but, the huge gap that has shown up in this post is not showing in the main page, seems something is amis with the formatting.


  1. Good luck with the medical issues and the surgery, if it happens.

    It's a great idea to model the undergrowth. It is probably an aspect that is often 'underdone'. I have only attempted one small area and it still looks quite sparse.

    cheers Phil

    1. Thanks Phil

      Will know some more in the next couple of weeks before we head away for 2 weeks.

      I am not too sure how to really tackle the underbrush. When I got stuck into the idea of finishing off areas, I sat back & looked at each of the areas, & I tend to like the more open or see through aspect as it seems to allow for a more sense of depth when the background mountain range is partially visible, so how much is needed.

      The best part of these broken sage armatures is, that after soaking in diluted paint for the trunk colour to penetrate its stronger & with foam leaves attached they can be used as low growth in clumps.

      Sort of the nutty professor experiments.

  2. Colin

    Good luck with the back operation, I know only too well what you are looking at as Chris is still working through the pain after hers in June last year.
    You are right regarding the underbrush density, I have tried on parts of Bylong to get the depth but Bob Stack is the master on his South Coast Rail blog.

    Ray P

    1. Thanks Ray
      One of the disc levels to be done is where I had a lamenectomy in 2008, that now has to be fused along with the levels above & below. I can handle the pain associated with the back as I've had since 1987 but the leg & groin pain is another thing.

      I have to totaly agree that the scenery in general of Boo Stack's layout is top class & certainly an insperation as he captures the Illawarra in a marvelous way.