Track Painting

With the recent release of our new Small Scale Scenery engine sheds and track, I thought it might be a good time to quickly run through my painting method for the track. When I first got hold of prototypes of our original track to paint, I looked at all the little tiny sleepers and thought “how on earth am I going to paint those – it’ll take forever”. Well, fear not…

Step 1 – Primer

After a quick cleanup, removing any extraneous bits of sprue and running a file round the edges, I gave the track a coat of Halfords’ grey car primer. This is my favourite primer for all models – it sticks to any surface and gives a good matt base for painting over.

Step 2 – Sleepers

If you’re in North America, read ‘crosstie’ when I say sleeper, it’s the same thing. I gave the sleepers a good drybrush with GW Bestial Brown (use your favourite brown if you don’t like/use Citadel paints) – use a small brush to do this as you want to avoid too much paint getting everywhere. You will inevitably get some brown around the track but don’t worry too much, we’ll clean it up in a minute. You want a relatively heavy drybrush coat (if that isn’t a contradiction) so that the whole of the sleeper surface is painted, not just the edges. As you can see, it’s all looking a bit messy…

Step 3 – Cleanup

I then went round and tidied up any overspill from the drybrush with grey paint (Tamiya XF-66 Light Grey is a good match for Halfords primer). Assuming you haven’t been too liberal with the brown and got it between the sleepers, you should find it reasonably quick and easy. Don’t worry about any brown on the rails themselves – any on the top surface will be coming off later, and any on the side looks like rust, which is a major colour as far as railway track goes. You might notice that I forgot to do the tops of the road crossings in one or two places – I had to clean this up this later.

Step 4 – Wash

Everything was then give a good coat of Citadel Nuln Oil black wash (Army Painter Dark Tone or Tamiya Smoke would work just as well). This takes longer than you might think – you tend to get little bubbles between the sleepers so you might need to use a stiffer brush to work the wash into these areas.

Step 5 – Rails

On our first set of tracks I used a silver paint pen and ran this over the top surface of the rails. This worked OK but I did get some overspill onto the sleepers especially around the points. You could use a small detail brush and silver paint, although I suspect it would be time-consuming. My solution this time was to make use of the natural colour of the metal. On the first piece of track I used a piece of wet-and-dry to remove the paint from the top of the rails – this took longer than I thought, and I managed to remove the paint from some of the sleepers as well. So for the next piece I simply ran a scalpel blade along the rails and scraped the paint off – perfect ! It was more accurate, quicker and cleaner. Look at those rails shine !

I painted almost two dozen pieces of track in an hour or so, so it’s a pretty quick method of producing reasonably good looking track.

Railway Assortment

Today we’re expanding on the railway options available in our Small Scale Scenery range. We have two different engine sheds – one is a large shed (over 250 scale feet long) with room for multiple engines and carriages. It’s not based on any specific prototype but is more generic.

The second is a more distinctive circular shape based on the Camden Roundhouse in London (now a well-known concert venue which I’ve been to once or twice). This has just a single entrance door for engines, but had a turntable to distribute the engines to repair bays once inside.

We have a new pack of double track, allowing side-by-side running (which would have been difficult with our existing curved track) – this has twelve pieces, six straight and six curved.

Finally, we have a very useful set of assorted crossing track – single and double road crossings, X-crossings and left- and right-hand crossovers (there are two of each piece in the pack – ten pieces in all).

SSS-8077 – Large Engine Shed – £4.00
SSS-8078 – Roundhouse Engine Shed – £3.00
SSS-8079 – Double Track – £5.50
SSS-8080 – Railway Crossings – £4.50

Defending the Harbours

Today’s new release is an expansion to our Small Scale Scenery Harbour Walls set. It’s a set of compatible pieces with fittings for various sizes and type of gun turret, plus fixed gun mountings (from our Fort Guns). They aren’t based on any historical prototype, so technically I suppose they’d fall under the remit of the Aeronef and Land Ironclads VSF umbrella. That said, the fixed gun positions are very similar to historical installations around the world, and Dover Harbour has a gun turret on the harbour wall which is still in position today.

The set contains ten pieces – two end pieces for large turrets, two angle pieces for smaller turrets, two angle pieces for fixed guns, two straights for two smaller turrets and two straights for three fixed guns. Four types of turret are available – French, British, German or Russian (see pictures for more details). If you’d like a different mix of turrets from our range, contact us and we’ll see what we can do. Using the fixed gun pieces, it would also be possible to create a fixed gun battery or water battery.

SSS-8076 – Harbour Defences – £9.00

Watching the Wall

As a follow on to our recently released Hadrian’s Wall set, this week we’re adding a Roman Wall Fort to the range. This metal 20-piece set has four gates, eight wall pieces and four corners with turrets plus extra plain wall sections including two T-pieces that connect with our Hadrian’s Wall sections. Each piece is 40mm long (the corners are 20x20mm) so the whole fort can be up to 200mm square (over 600 feet at 2mm scale). It can also be used as a standalone fort anywhere from 80mmx80mm upwards. The walls match the Hadrian’s Wall sections so these can be used to extend the area of the fort, extending it to become a walled town if desired.

SSS-8075 – Roman Fort – £12.00

Dividing the Nation

Hadrian’s Wall marks what was the northern limit of the Roman Empire, spanning England from the River Tyne to the Solway Firth. It runs for 73 miles and was built to keep the Picts in check. Much of the base of the wall is still in existence, although in the Middle Ages it was used as an easy source of building materials so none of the upperworks remains.

Today’s new release in our Small Scale Scenery range is a pack containing a roughly half-mile section of the wall. It consists of 15 50mm-long sections, which works out at 750m in total at 1/1000th scale (so only 146 packs would be needed to model the entire wall…). One of the sections has a gated mile-castle while two others have watchtowers built in. The wall had 80 milecastles, roughly one Roman mile apart as the name suggests, with two watchtowers in between each one.

Since none of the remaining wall above 10 feet remains, the exact design of the upper wall and towers isn’t known. I’ve looked at several different reconstructions and have gone with a simple pitched roof design. Every five miles were a series of larger forts, which will form part of a later release.

Of course, at such a small scale this model would have potentially many other uses, such as creating the perimeter of a walled town.

SSS-8074 – Hadrian’s Wall – £8.00

N-n-n-n-n-nineteen !

I’m sure everyone remembers the Paul Hardcastle song from the 80s (youtube link below), but 19 also happens to be the number of houses in our new 2mm scale Vietnamese Village pack. The houses are all on stilts and raised platforms, and the set also includes a village longhouse and, just for good measure, a rather splendid Buddhist pagoda.

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And just in case you love the smell of napalm in the morning, we also have a Vietnam firebase with a mix of bunkers, gun positions and admin buildings plus a wooden watchtower.

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SSS-8072 – Vietnamese Village – £5.50
SSS-8073 – Vietnam Firebase – £6.00

As a side note, we’re currently experiencing some odd issues with our website – on a small number of orders it’s failing to correctly calculate the postage costs (unfortunately I can’t recreate it, which is making it tricky to fix). So in these cases we’re having to send PayPal invoices to cover the additional shipping costs, which is a bit of a pain but will have to do until I can fix it. One common thread is that it seems to be occurring with people who are previous customers, so it could be a caching issue (ie an old file which has been saved by your browser is being used). So it might be worth refreshing our website before you place an order – that might help.

Trouble at t’Mill

15mm gamers have had it all their own way with the last couple of new releases, so it’s time for a change of pace, scale and era.

WarehouseRelease

Today’s new items are from an era of Charles Dickens, tyrannical mill owners and child labour – what’s not to like? In the Small Scale Scenery range we have three new industrial models – a large Victorian warehouse, a Textile Mill and a set of three dockside warehouses.

All are one piece resin castings and are based as on real-world prototypes around the UK.

SSS-8069 – Victorian Warehouse – £3.50
SSS-8070 – Textile Mill – £3.50
SSS-8071 – Dockside Warehouses (x3) – £3.50

The Warehouse Project

As promised, today we have more previews of Salute releases. But first, a brief tale about why this isn’t what we originally planned….

I’ve been planning to come up with some dockyard models to add to the Small Scale Scenery range, based around Chatham Dockyard at the turn of the 20th century. My intention, which I have mentioned to several people, was to have these ready for Salute this year. However, when I started to work on it, I realised that it was going to be a larger project than I had envisaged, and would need rather more time and research, more than I had available. So the long and the short of it is that you won’t be getting the dockyard on the 16th.

Instead, you’ll get these fine (and rather useful) Victorian industrial buildings – a large warehouse with central office building, a textile mill and a set of three dockside warehouses. Perfect for any number of uses, including modelling the East End for Battle of Britain raids on London.

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Initially I was going to post photos of the masters, but I’ve already managed to get them in moulds so what we have here are the resin production castings (albeit very early ones, please excuse any air bubbles).

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So the Salute release list has now grown to this:

15mm SF
SF15-311 – Henschel Laser Tank – £10.00
SF15-416 – Oto Melara Single Autocannon – £5.00
SF15-416a – Oto Melara Quad Autocannon -£5.00

Small Scale Scenery
SSS-8069 – Victorian Warehouse – £4.00
SSS-8070 – Textile Mill – £2.50
SSS-8071 – Dockside Warehouses (x3) – £2.50

Now if you bothered to read this far, I will show you what I have done for the Chatham Dockyard project; this photo shows castings of the oddly shaped No.3 slip building, and a second more conventional slip building that represents the near-identical No.4,5 and 6 slips. But that still leaves a lot of work to be done on No.7 slip plus the huge storehouses, ropery and many peripheral buildings like the sawmill, pumphouses etc.

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Small Scale, High Rise

This week we’re releasing some of the models that I used in the build of my Syrian towns, the apartment blocks.

SSS-8067

The set contains five resin blocks of varying heights suitable as office blocks, hotels or apartments (some more luxurious than others !).

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As an added bonus today, we have another in our series of British coastal forts. In fact you get two for the price of one, as Forts Hoo and Darnet in the River Medway were pretty much identical. Finished in 1871, they were originally intended to be two-tiered but subsidence problems saw them reduced to a single tier of 11 guns, and the proposed boom between them was never completed.

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SSS-8067 – Apartment Blocks (x5) – £2.50
SSS-8068 – Fort Hoo/Darnet – £2.00