Old Parrock

Discussion in 'Entries' started by PaulR, 9 August 2017.

  1. PaulR

    PaulR Western Thunderer

    Thanks Richard, and yet, like the Ents, that tree is on the move from there - I haven't quite decided where it belongs yet.
  2. PaulR

    PaulR Western Thunderer

    I now have a mock up of the mill. I needed this to enable me to finalise the position of the cottage, road, trees, hedges and landscape. The upper pencil line on the side of the building is the road height.

    I seem to spend hours gazing at the baseboard, trying to imagine the scene!

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  3. Alan

    Alan Western Thunderer

    Coming along nicely.
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  4. adrian

    adrian Flying Squad

    Even with the mockups you can see how it will develop. Is the water course through the mill going to run under the railway to the dip in the front board?
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  5. PaulR

    PaulR Western Thunderer

    Thanks Adrian. Yes, the water course runs under the railway. As the mill would have pre-dated the railway, it would have been diverted through a culvert during construction.

    I think it's remarkable how extensive the earthworks and water diversions were for watermills. We consider them these days as small rural industries, but the initial investment must have been huge. The mill pond for this mill (the real one) included a significant weir on the Upper Medway, a mill pond nearly half a mile long, and a long drain back to the river. However, it gave 280 years of service so that can't be bad.

    I live not too far from Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire. When the Duke of Marlborough decided that he wanted a lake in the grounds in the mid C18, the River Glyme was dammed, the river downstream simply disappeared and all the mills stopped working overnight.
  6. adrian

    adrian Flying Squad

    I know, we have a nice walk near us at the delightfully named Brock Bottoms (a.k.a. Badgers Bum!) which was home to a mill in the dim and distant past. You can still make out where the stream was diverted, weir constructed and the mill run several hundred yards upstream of the mill. There were also all the old cottages built for the workers etc.
  7. PaulR

    PaulR Western Thunderer

    Creating scenery is a slow process! I'm doing it the old fashioned way with corrugated card and papier mache.

    Scenery 1 13-6.jpg

    I've worked out where I want trees, hedges and fences. Trees have a little wooden block with a hole drilled in, and hedges and fences will have a double thickness of horizontal corrugated card to poke into. The buildings are mock-ups for now, and I've left a space the exact size of each with the intention of making the actual ones with cellars - Pendon-style. It should work as long as I'm careful with measurements.

    For all my efforts, I figured that the miller's walk from home to work will be less than a minute - I hope he appreciates my landscaping. With the placement of trees, I've found myself becoming pretentiously artistic, thinking about the rule of thirds and the golden ratio. It's odd to think that while the real thing is just a random combination of nature and the needs of rural industry, we have the advantage of artistic artifice.

    Scenery 6 12-6.jpg

    There's no quick way of doing this. It's just a case of putting my old hippie music on the sound system and going at it for a couple of hours at a time. As Winston would say, KBO!
    Last edited: 13 June 2018
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  8. 76043

    76043 Western Thunderer

    It's got a very real feel of spaciousness, the less is more approach is helping. It is tempting to over populate model railways with all sorts of clutter sometimes, but the restraint shown here is excellent.
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  9. PaulR

    PaulR Western Thunderer

    Thanks Tony - I really appreciate that comment. I keep reminding myself that what is left out can be as important as what is put in. In my original plans I probably had four times as many trees as I'm now working with.

    As is so often said, time taken just standing back and looking is never wasted.
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  10. SimonT

    SimonT Western Thunderer

    I'm really enjoying your work. Remember "Less is more", particularly in a small space.
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  11. Richard H

    Richard H Western Thunderer

    Hi Paul, this looks very good. The way you've condensed a landscape into a series of gentle undulations and a lane, so that they lead the eye around between the main structures, is really effective. I'm very interested in what you write about artifice - it seems to me that it's not just an advantage but a necessity because we simple don't have space to model a scale landscape, especially on a cameo. Artifice then becomes vital in creating a condensed (as in concentrated) portrayal of a landscape, without it becoming a caricature. Your landscape also defines a sort of "centre stage" area for the railway - very neat!
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  12. PaulR

    PaulR Western Thunderer

    The last week has been fun and absorbing. It's like being back at primary school, and I say that as a retired primary school teacher.

    Papier Mache 21 - 6 2.jpg

    The great thing is how adjustable it all is - an extra bit of scrunched up paper here - chop a bit out there, slap more on. I've completely forgotten about trains.

    Once it has dried my plan is to seal it with a pale earth colour, sort out the lane and the paths, then paint a low backscene landscape. I'm quite daunted by that because I don't really consider myself to be an artist in that sense.

    Then the layout will probably go away for a bit while I make the buildings.
    Last edited: 20 June 2018
  13. Alan

    Alan Western Thunderer

    Paul, it's coming along well. Looking really good.
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  14. Yorkshire Dave

    Yorkshire Dave Western Thunderer

    Don't be daunted - I was in the same boat once having never painted a backscene before :). Just give it a try :thumbs:.

    When I started with artists acrylics I studied some 'learning to paint' books I inherited before practicing various techniques on scrap paper first. I found artists acrylics good as you can adapt them to use a watercolour technique for distant views and an oil technique for near objects.

    This is my 2nd attempted backscene as I wanted a distant Nevada mountain scene for a long since scrapped On30 layout (watercolour technique).
    Gunsite 16.jpg

    And this is part of my 3rd attempted backscene for a Kent/Sussex border Col. Stephens style 7mm layout. I used a watercolour technique for the Oast house and sky and an oil painting technique for the nearer trees and fences.
    Iden Road 15.jpg
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  15. PaulR

    PaulR Western Thunderer

    Dave, thanks for the encouragement. Those examples look fantastic - really beautiful and subtle. I just hope I can do something half as good.

    I have acrylic paints and was planning to use them. I've also been collecting photos of scenes that I like.
  16. Yorkshire Dave

    Yorkshire Dave Western Thunderer

    In some ways this is how I approached my backscenes and kept to the adage less is more. I also tried to keep them a bit hazy as not to detract.

    I like your idea of the two buildings and if one is tile hung and/or clapboarded it immediately sets the locale as the Susssex/Kent border - the viewers mind will complete the rest of the scene.
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  17. PaulR

    PaulR Western Thunderer

    While I've been painting the backscene today, my wife has had the workmate out and is boxing in the piping in the downstairs loo. She claims that she's enjoying it and the reversal of traditional roles is absolutely fine, but it's surprising how edgy it's making me feel. Actually, she's good at that stuff, and although I can do it perfectly well, I'm glad it's not me doing it. But what do I do about the feelings of guilt!

    Anyway, here's where I am; lighting fixed and backscene painted, so now I cogitate on it for a few days.

    Backscene 1.jpg
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  18. PaulR

    PaulR Western Thunderer

    Thanks for the 'likes'. Here is the photo that I used as the basis for the backscene. It was taken looking north across the upper Medway valley between Withyham and Groombridge, so it's close to the imagined site of my layout.

    Backscene reference.jpg

    I've decided that the green field needs to be matched in with any grassland on the layout, so I'm going to send off for some static grass this week and use it as a colour reference - my green is far too strong at the moment. Also, I suspect that this field is too large for my period and needs to be broken up with hedging.
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  19. Simpas

    Simpas Western Thunderer


    There's nothing you can do about your good lady feeling guilty. Comfort her with the thought it gets easier over time and she'll get used to coping with it.....!!

    Keep up the good work, it's looking champion.

    Mick S.

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  20. oldravendale

    oldravendale Western Thunderer

    My wife does decorating as well, but expects me to join in!

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