"Somewhere in England" N Scale World War 2 Railroad

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Re: "Somewhere in England" N Scale World War 2 Railroad

Post by armyairforce » Wed Nov 18, 2020 5:48 am

I liked the way it was shaping up.

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Re: "Somewhere in England" N Scale World War 2 Railroad

Post by armyairforce » Fri Nov 20, 2020 3:22 am

This was the start of the barrage balloon that will protect the quayside. The balloon was made from a lump of 'Chemiwood'. I could have turned this on the lathe, but wanted a slightly uneven finish as the balloons weren't perfectly symmetrical. To start with, a paper template was cut and a rough 2 x 2 x 5 inch block of Chemiwood cut on the bandsaw.

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The rough block was then cut to shape in plan view. The side view was drawn on next, and the blank tack glued into one of the off cuts to make it easier to go through the bandsaw.

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Re: "Somewhere in England" N Scale World War 2 Railroad

Post by armyairforce » Fri Nov 20, 2020 3:23 am

The corners were then sanded off to leave it an octagon section.

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From there, the smaller corners were sanded off, and then the shape was getting close, only needing to be rounded off with some sand paper, followed by wet and dry paper used wet.

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Re: "Somewhere in England" N Scale World War 2 Railroad

Post by armyairforce » Fri Nov 20, 2020 3:25 am

With the best will in the world, Chemiwood is never going to float effortlessly over the railway; it's just too heavy. So the balloon was cut in half, and hollowed out each side with a cutting wheel and sanding drum.

I forgot to take any pictures of that stage, but I left it with a wall thickness of around 1/8 inch. The two halves were cyanoed back together again, the seam filled and the balloon primed. Holes were also drilled for the tethering cables which will be brass wire on the model.

To help simulate the seams on the fabric, some of the 1/64 tape was wrapped around the balloon and it was given a number of coats of primer.

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When the primer was dry, the sharp edged groove was blended into the rest of the balloon with wet and dry, leaving slight depression where the seam was.

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Re: "Somewhere in England" N Scale World War 2 Railroad

Post by armyairforce » Fri Nov 20, 2020 3:27 am

The fins were next to be made. The rough shapes were cut from Chemiwood which were then cyanoed to the balloon.

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To make up the ribbed shape of the fins, the Chemiwood core was then covered in Milliput epoxy putty. Cyano was applied to the fins first to help the Milliput stick, and it was smoothed out with water before adding the grooves with the blunt end of a paint brush. This picture was taken with the balloon hanging from the ceiling in the workshop, and then rotated so it would appear the correct way up.

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Re: "Somewhere in England" N Scale World War 2 Railroad

Post by armyairforce » Fri Nov 20, 2020 3:28 am

Time for paint on the balloon. It was sprayed with a mix of grey and silver which gave a pretty good representation of silver doped fabric.

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The balloon was only part of the scene. I also needed the winch truck and the trailer with all the hydrogen bottles to fill the balloon. For the truck, I cast the cab, chassis and wheels from one of the GMC trucks I made for a previous layout. The rear body was then scratch built from styrene and a bit of etched brass from the scrap box.

The trailer used more of the cast wheels while the rest was scratch built. Several lengths of styrene rod had their ends rounded off to represent the gas bottles.

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Re: "Somewhere in England" N Scale World War 2 Railroad

Post by armyairforce » Fri Nov 20, 2020 3:32 am

The truck and trailer were then etch primed and left to dry, followed by the truck and trailer given a colour coat of green.

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The following day, the truck and trailer had their detail painting done.

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Re: "Somewhere in England" N Scale World War 2 Railroad

Post by armyairforce » Sun Nov 22, 2020 2:39 am

The cranes saw some attention next. The legs were sanded level and the bogies for the wheels glued on, one of which is drilled for the cranes lifting cable which passes down through the crane to the winch servo under the base. The balance weight was assembled next and the hinge pins glued in.

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The cable to hold the end of the jib level was also fitted. This cable forms a parallelogram with the main part of the jib which keeps the end of the jib level as the jib lifts and lowers.

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Re: "Somewhere in England" N Scale World War 2 Railroad

Post by armyairforce » Sun Nov 22, 2020 2:45 am

Mid March 2011 - Jumping back to the cranes, the operators cab glazing was made from blocks of clear cast acrylic sheet, cut on the bandsaw, sanded, and then polished with T-Cut paint restorer to get it back to clear again. The framing was done with 1/64 tape used on the buildings windows, then the whole assembly was coated in 'Future' clear floor wax to help seal in the frames and assist with the clear finish.

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The back of the clear glazing was painted dark grey, both to hide the glue from view and to create the impression that the area behind the glazing is open to the inside of the crane. Both were then glued in place.

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Re: "Somewhere in England" N Scale World War 2 Railroad

Post by armyairforce » Sun Nov 22, 2020 3:08 am

Finally, the end of the crane project. They went way over the planned time I'd allocated, as I just didn't realise how much work it would take to make the mechanism work at such a small scale. We do however have two working cranes now! Two sail winch servo,s that would be used to wind up the cargo, were fitted under the baseboard on 1/4 inch plywood mounts. A safety fence was added around the top of the walkway on the crane base.

Because the lifting cable wouldn't decend under its own weight, each crane needed a load permanently attached. One crane would be loaded with a Sherman tank. The white metal casting was quite heavy, so the inside of the tank was slowly machined out to reduce the weight. Copper wire 'chains' were glued to the tank and the cranes lifting cable attached to the copper.

The second crane had a cargo net full of crates. The cargo net was a womans hair net. These crates are hollowed out and a small piece of lead glued in the centre. A 1/64 ply end covered up the hole before painting. The weighted crates were needed as the wood only crates didn't have enough weight to pull the lifting cable back down.

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A third non-functioning crane was made from a kit and added to the dry dock side of the quayside.

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Re: "Somewhere in England" N Scale World War 2 Railroad

Post by armyairforce » Wed Nov 25, 2020 2:06 am

Since the quayside was so large, even with everything that is going on in this diorama, a number of spaces will need filling with something. Having looked at a number of period pictures, the dockside was full of shipping crates, tarpaulins, scrap timber and junk. I made a small number of 'test crates' to start with to see how the technique looked and how the wood reacted to different paint.

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The crates themselves were made from wood, cut on the bandsaw, and then sanded by hand to remove the fluffy edges. To make the reinforcing battens around the boxes, I cut some thin strips of masking tape which was then wrapped around the crate twice to give the desired thickness. It was a fiddly time taking job, but gave a good result. I used a couple of different types of water based paint sprayed on, which was partially absorbed by the wood, giving a handled, but not overly weathered finish.

After the initial batch worked, I set about making a larger number to see how far they would spread out around the quayside. Here's the first batch of sixty six, including the first few.

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Re: "Somewhere in England" N Scale World War 2 Railroad

Post by armyairforce » Wed Nov 25, 2020 2:09 am

I decided that the ship's holds could do with filling to some degree. To fill out all of the holds would take forever, but a full hold would look better. The solution was to make a false floor just below the hatch level, and put one layer of crates on top of this. Here's the first assembly with the crates glued on, but not yet given a matt coat.

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Fitted into the number four hold.

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Re: "Somewhere in England" N Scale World War 2 Railroad

Post by armyairforce » Wed Nov 25, 2020 2:16 am

Other crates were stored near the burned out buildings. These were covered by railway company tarpaulins, weighed down with large sections of timber to stop them blowing away. Here's the tarpaulin printouts, found on the net. The images were sized to fit rail wagons, and printed on the thinnest paper I could find.

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Each one was cut out and then rolled around a piece of 1/16 square section brass tube in a number of directions to weaken the paper fibres, soften the paper, and also give a worn look. The back was then covered in a thin layer of PVA woodworking glue, and they were pressed down over roughly cut blocks of wood to represent the crates. There was no point in spending time making proper crates just to hide them under the tarpaulin.

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Re: "Somewhere in England" N Scale World War 2 Railroad

Post by armyairforce » Wed Nov 25, 2020 2:23 am

Here's a few wargaming vehicles purchased off Ebay. A number of these woould be parked up on the quayside having just been unloaded from the Liberty Ship. The white metal vehicles are near enough the right scale for the railway. A load of Jeeps are amongst them.

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Each vehicle had a hole drilled in the bottom and a short length of copper wire glued into the hole. A hole was then drilled into the quayside where the vehicle would be glued in place. This gave a much stronger joint to support the metal vehicles rather than glue on each tyre. It was also neater.

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Re: "Somewhere in England" N Scale World War 2 Railroad

Post by armyairforce » Wed Nov 25, 2020 2:38 am

Since many of the vehicles have drivers in them, they couldn't just be parked up in storage, so the first few GMC trucks and halftracks are just driving out of the quayside, having been collected by the US Quartermaster Company. MP's will be directing the trucks and stopping them from crossing the yard tracks if there's a train coming. The barrage balloon is not fixed in place in this picture. It is still resting on temporary metal supports inserted into the rigging holes.

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It was going to take a lot of figures to fill out the quayside. Several packets of Model Scene unpainted figures were purchased and painting them in batches was the fastest way. It still took a few hours. The final number on the quay would be dictated by what looked right. Here's 70 people fully painted. After etch priming and the base colour coats, I started on the detail painting. The colour of odd jackets and trousers were changed from the base coat colour, then hands, faces and tools were painted.

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