I’ve been delaying scenery until the track is finished, both functionally and visually. On the functional side, we had a successful “garage test” of one half of the layout to check the track and the cassette-to-layout running.
Visually, things are not so good and two things show up clearly in this photo. First, the signals are not interlocked – but that’s how I want to run the layout, at least for the time being. And second, the ballast needs a lot more work. This low down shot shows how the ballast dominates the view and partly obscures the sleepers. And the colour is clearly not right.
The ballast is a 50/50 mix of vintage Scalefour Society granite from the 198os and rather closer to scale Borg-Rail stuff (polymer?). However, my big mistake was only painting the ply sleepers after laying the track. That’s fine providing you get it right before ballasting. In my case, I over-ballasted and the sleeper colour looks a bit pale. Fortunately, I have that excellent layout Hessle Haven as a reference. Thanks Mike.
I tried tamping down the height and colouring the sleepers to show up better, but I only noticed an improvement when I brushed out some of the old ballast mixture and added Borg-Rail ballast on its own. This is when I realised that the colour in my photos is very dependent on the lighting. It doesn’t help that my colour sense was never very well developed.
And when things aren’t going too well, make a tree! I now have three more tree armatures ready for “barking”.