49 Weeks to D-Day 2019

No pressure then! – with the 2018 Derby Exhibition out of the way and consigned to the history books, I have now turned my attention to the Derby Show on the 11th and 12th May 2019 which is only 49 weeks away.

SPLOTT has ‘kindly’ been invited by the Derby exhibition manager to make its debut at the Derby show in 2019 which is now only 49  weeks – so as well as trying to do stuff at the show, there will also be a layout to set up and operate. All part of the fun! – If I keep telling myself that, I might start to believe it by May 11th next year.

Anyway, away from the show, I have been making steady progress with a few more elements on the layout.

The recent work has included the completion of the lighting to vehicles and some of the buildings, where I have used the small pre-wired LEDs that Layouts4U supply. I tried buying separate individual nano LEDs but I found soldering them pretty difficult so I bit the bullet and purchased some instead. Did someone say ‘chequebook modeller’?

Also on the layout, I have now added a few pigeons and seagulls to the roof lines of the buildings just to add a bit of variety. Please note that I am NOT planning on adding seagull sound effects to the layout!.  I have once exhibited next to a layout that had these effects on (not a scale sound) and it drove myself and my fellow operators batty.

 The most recent piece of work on the layout is in painting the backscene. I have looked at a multitude of backscenes on layouts over the years and I consider it to be an essential part of any layout. To me, without a backscene, layouts just don’t look finished. I have been deliberating about what to do with mine on the layout, whether to paint it a single colour or to try and be a little more artistic. People who know me well can advise on my artistic talents, mostly this involves drinking though and doesn’t really help with painting. Based upon some advice from David Wright (Railway Artist and professional model maker – Dovedale Models), I decided to have a go at trying to paint a backscene that was more than just a single block colour. After priming and painting the boards for the backscene with white paint, I created a graded scale of paint from very light grey to a medium dark grey using emulsion paints brought from B&Q. Applying the dark at the top of the board and the light at the bottom of the board and then using a soft roller spreading and merging the two colours upwards towards the centre of the board to give a colour gradient.

Sounds great in theory – not so easy in reality. How can artists make it look so easy????

With a marginal degree of success with this, I allowed the paint to dry and then started to work on this painted base with oil paints. I have used oil paints before for weathering and found them to be really workable as it is really easy to mix colours and gradients, particularly when the paint doesn’t dry very fast.

I think I have sort of found the effect I was hoping for, albeit that my skills with the brush don’t quite live up to my hopes and expectations! Still  – the best I can manage for a first attempt.

Here is a few more pictures of the layout as it stands at the moment.

Thanks for reading





1 thought on “49 Weeks to D-Day 2019

  1. This layout really is inspiring, great to see the progress being made. Any chance of seeing the some of the stock and locomotives that will run on the layout.


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