Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Wooden floor

Wooden floor
Originally uploaded by Phil_Parker
In real life the Ruston locomotive had a wooden floor, so in Gauge 1 the model has to have a wooden floor too.

Modeling wood is an interesting challenge. I've always been very suspicious of the 4mm modellers who insist that only plywood sleepers will do - if you look at the real thing from the same distance as you appear to view it on the model, the grain is invisible. Therefore if you can see anything, it's over scale.

The photos of the floor though, clearly show some grain. I rooted around my bits of dead tree to find something suitable. Balsa is hopeless and it's too grainy and the surface wouldn't look right. Thin ply would have been ideal but all really it needed to be at least 1mm thick and anyway I couldn't find my supply.

So in the end I went for Basswood (Lime to limeys), the ever reliable standby model making wood. Nice fine grain and a good surface with a bit of thickness and stiffness so it can be sliced and laid as a smooth surface. A base of Daler board was then individually planked. The PVA snuck through the joins a bit and even when wiped off obviously remained. The stain didn't soak in quite as well on these but but as it happens they appeared just where you'd expect wear and tear on the real floor from the drivers boots so I thanked my luck and left well alone.

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