The great weeping willow challenge/ Le grand défi du saule pleurier

One of the great things about model-making is that it makes you look hard at how things really are. And then hopefully exercise your ingenuity over how to reproduce them. It’s a shame that it is generally seen as a naff hobby (and I don’t think the recent C5 series, what little I saw of it) did much to dispel that…

This week’s project has been great fun: the great weeping willow challenge. I have been wanting to have a go at this for some time – but weeping willows are notoriously difficult because it is not easy both to keep the stems thin enough for realism while making sure that they don’t defy gravity, and hang vertically.
I spotted some braided hi-fi cable in Maplin, and it has been sitting in my materials box for some time. It suddenly occurred to me that it is fine enough to make the stems as well as the trunk. Being wire it should also be rigid enough to appear to hang.

Late autumn is a good time to look at trees – some foliage remains, but you can also see the underlying structure – and there are enough willows near me to make it worth going out to look at them.

The basic structure is twisted wire, with a covering of solder to hold everything in place, and painted with acrylics. The tricky bit is unwinding the individual strands and then getting them to hang realistically. They are then sprayed with glue and ground foam is used for foliage.

This was the third effort. The first one went straight in the bin, the second proved the technique but was a lousy shape – and this one, while not perfect, is I think acceptable. I don’t think the challenge of the willow is beaten yet, but I’m not too unhappy with the results.

 

La grande chose à propos le modellisme c’est le besoin de regarder avec soin le monde autour de nous. Et puis exerciser l’ingéniosité pour le réaliser en miniature…

Le projet cette semaine m’a préoccupé beaucoup: le grand défi du saule pleurier. Je l’ai voulu essayer depuis longtemps, mais cet arbre est connu pour sa dificulté: il est très difficle de faire obéir ses frondes la gravité, en les gardant assez fines.

J’ai acheté du cable haut-parleur tressé – je pensais qu’il pourrait constituer non seulement le tronc et les branches, mais les frondes aussi.

L’automne est un bon moment pour regarder les arbres – il reste un peu du feuillage, mais on peut appercevoir aussi le structure de l’arbre. Je suis heureux d’avoir beaucoup de saules dans la petite ville ou j’habite: une bonne randonné pour les inspecter….

On peut suivre le fabrication dans les photos. Le structure de l’arbre est en cable tordu, couvert de soudre pour tout garder en place – et puis du peinture acrylique. Plus difficile est de défaire le cable pour créer les branches et les frondes – et les faire pendre naturellement. J’utilise de la colle en aérosol pour attacher le feuillage de Woodland Scenics.

Celui-ci est le 3me essai: j’ai jeté le premier directement dans la poubelle. Le 2me a preuvé le technical mais la forme n’était pas bon. Le 3me me plait plus – c’est pas parfait, mais je crois que ҫa fera.

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Some small additions De petites additions.

I’ve been busy with a number of smaller tasks on Sulle, shown in the accompanying pictures. The back scene is now complete (I had left the very last section while I figured out how to merge the foreground and background – it seems to work). Hence we can now view pictures of the station looking towards the buffer stops.
The platforms have now acquired scratch-built lamps, and a few more seats. I have been adding white lines to the road outside the station, while a line of pollarded planes has grown up the hill leading away from the station building. The latter has acquired its clock at long last, carved from a single piece of 60 thou plastikard.
I’ve also been working on rolling stock maintenance and weathering, and the model is now functioning better than it ever has before.

Je me suis occupé avec des petites tâches sur Sulle, vues dans les photos accompagnantes. Le fond du décor est maintenant fini (j’avais laissé le dernier séction pendant que je pensais comment fusionner le premier plan et l’arrière plan. Je crois que j’ai réussi. Donc nous pouvons prendre des vues dans l’autre direction.
Les quais ont maintenant leurs lampes (maison) et quelques sièges de plus. Je viens de peintre les lignes blanches sur les routes devant le B.V. et huit platanes pollardés ont poussé le long de la route. Le B.V. soi-même a acquéri enfin son horlorge, sculpté d’un seul morceau de plastique d’épaisseur 1,5mm.
Je viens de fair du maintenance et de la patinage sur le material roulant, et la maquette fonctionne maintent mieux que jamais.

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The overall roof in place/ La marquise en place

The station overall roof is more or less complete – other than some discrete weathering…

La marquise est fini, sauf un peu de patinage…

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Good progress/ Du progrès excellent

Further progress in the last couple of days. The intermediate roof beams are now in place and the frame is virtually complete. Today’s job has been the production of the feet of the support pillars, soldered and filed up from square-section brass tube and wire, and the marrying of the structure to the building. Quite pleased all in all – it’s a shame that most of it will be invisible except in photos….

Encore de progrès pendant leas derniers deux jours. Les faisceaux intermédiaries sont en place et le tréillis est presqu’achevé.La tâche d’aujourd’hui était le fabrication des pieds des colonnes (en laiton) et le marriage de la marquise et le B.V. En tout, je suis assez content – domage que la plûpart sera invisible sauf dans les photos…

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The overall roof – good progress. La marquise – beaucoup de progrès.

Work has continued on the frame work the overall roof. In fact it has been quicker than I expected. The main trusses are all done and soldered in place with the first longitudinals. The more that is added, the stronger it becomes – but the more it also acts as a heat sink to my soldering iron… Not easy to photograph either.
More to follow.

Je continu le fabrication de la marquise. En effet, j’ai fait plus que j’ai attendu. Les tréillis principaux sonts complets, avec les premiers longitudinaux. Elle devient plus rigide avec chaque addition – mais aussi plus dissipative de la châleur de la fer à souder… Pas facile à photographier non plus.
A suivre…

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Empty vessels….are world class.

SPREZZATURA

We in Britain are regularly regaled with the claim that every next new thing is going to be ‘world class’. Methinks the country doth protest too much: anywhere that needs to bang on like this with such tedious regularity deep down knows that it is way off the mark. But it’s cheaper and easier to slap the ‘W-C’ label on something than actually do anything about it. And too often, that abbreviation really does have a better meaning.

Case in question is the new Swiss-made trains shortly to be delivered for my local Greater Anglia rail service. (Non rail-enthusiasts bear with me here – there is a wider point coming…) Knowing Swiss Railways inside out, I leapt with anticipation when the announcement was made a couple of years ago that Anglia would be the first British franchise to be buying Swiss in a big way.

Now I generally have a…

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A change is as good as a rest/ un changement vaut un repos

One of the great things about model making is the wide range of challenges it presents. I am not very skilled at soldering – but there was no alternative for producing the girder framework for the overall roof. So here is the start of proceedings: the first of six roof trusses needed, on two different patterns. Watch it grow in following days…

J’aime bien le variété de défis que présente le modéllisme… je ne suis très accompli au soudure, mais pour la marquise, je n’ai aucun choix! Donc, voici le début de fabrication: le premier de six treillis de toit dont j’ai besoin, sur deux différents modèles. Vous pouvez le voir aggrandir dans les prochains jours…

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Sulle on film: Sulle sur vidéo

 

After a few days of electrical works, I am pleased to say that Sulle is back in something like working order. To celebrate, I have yielded to demands emanating from across the Channel for some video footage. There is still some bedding in to do, and the video is quite cruel to my modelling. Unfortunately the removal works have also created some rather large splits in the sky, which will need to be attended to. Still, this clip shows a typical freight working at Sulle.

Après quelques jours de travaux éléctriques, je suis ravi de dire que Sulle fonctionne encore – de plus ou moins… Pour célébrer je viens de répondre à quelques demandes franchissant La Manche pour des vidéos. Bien à dire, il reste beaucoup à faire, et le vidéo est assez cruel à mon modéllisme. Je suis désolé de remarquer que le déménagement récent a produit de grandes «crévasses» dans le ciel. Les réparations sont imminents. Mais voila un petit coup d’oeil sur les opérations marchandises à Sulle.

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Sulle, September 2018

I’ve taken the plunge and dismantled the layout – in order to do some electrical work underneath. This meant separating baseboards that hadn’t been split since I did the scenic work. Luckily, everything went without major damage being done.

This has created the possibility to photograph the layout from angles not normally possible, and under different lighting – so here is a selection of today’s photo-fest.

 

Enfin j’ai osé de démanteler le réseau – pour faire des travaux éléctriques au dessous. Il m’a fallu séparer des modules qui je n’avais jamais fait depuis le finission des scènes. Heureusement tout allait sans problème.

Il m’a présenté de l’opportunité de faire des photos des directions pas normalement possibles, et sous d’éclairage différent. Voici les résultats de la «fête de photos» d’aujourd’hui.

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Le buffet de la gare

I’ve just completed the latest building for Sulle: the station buffet. Based, as per the main building on the one at Guéret near Limoges. A delight to make, especially as it did not take anything like the 18 months of the previous one! Fine detailing to follow…

Je viens de finir un nouveau bâtiment pour Sulle: le buffet de la gare. Inspire par cel à Guéret. J’ai pris grand plaisir en le fabriquant, surtout parce qu’il n’était pas un travail de 18, mois comme le dernier! Petit détaillage à suive…

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