Down on Beaverbrook: Roads and rails…

Fits and starts, that sums up progress on my own layout, Beaverbrook, 8ft of shelf and a whole world in my imagination...

I decided, for no particular reason, that I would work on the roads at the Co-op mill end of the layout this weekend. The process I’ve used is not new, nor is it my own, but it works and it works well. I took a few photos as things moved along, and share them here really as an encouragement to others to try this approach, as well as the record of the project.

Before we move on though, note that the Co-op and storage bins have had a dusting of primer... they may well be painted in the near future! What a milestone that will be...

The first step was to rip up some scrap paper to act as 'masks' when applying the talc. I did this before starting, as I figured as I was going to do quite a large area, that I'd want to maximise the time I had on painting rather than faffing with masking the track. Once done, I used Humbrol Gloss 5 applied neat, to my previously sealed card roadways (these were sealed some time ago with MDF sanding sealer). This isn't such a long job, and the result doesn't need to be perfect but make sure the hair and dust the road may have attracted are removed, because one thing it does need to be is without blemish.

With the track masked I could begin to add talc. This is dusted on using a piece of old stockings material from my girlfriend, filled with Cussons talc (other brands available) and tapped, flicked, pinched, rubbed and agitated until a reasonable coating is made all over the road surface. Go back over the places you did first, and keep going until it stays mostly white, but it doesn't need to be perfect. Some variation is welcome. Full credit to this approach sits with Gordon Gravett.

The big reveal will be later in the week, although I'll actually vacuum this off later today and clear things up. The subtle tonal variation along side the texture feels just right in this scale. 

I'm so excited to get some ballast on this front track, and get working on the 'soil' along the side of the road - even greenery. This slow and steady approach, building up texture whilst enjoying operating between times seems to really suit the layout and both blend interest, activity and thinking time. 

Until next time, more soon...


  1. Is that green pickup a Golf? Between that and the Golf wagon you've had in photos previously I feel this imagined version of Canada has more Wolfsburg products than the real thing, which I for one enjoy.


    1. I love the Caddy pick up, yes a Golf (Rabbit) derivative. It's a Mk1, a Wiking H0 model... the two actual VWs on my drive probably give you part of the answer, though, in my defence, the white Mk7 wagon is actually based upon a Canadian friend's actual car...

      The problem I have is finding out what sort of cars are available in H0 that are mundane, and every day. Most things I find seem too exotic! Help appreciated!!


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