Friday, 4 May 2012

Dishcloth and scissors

Not much to report from yesterday. After voting (London mayoral elections) a trip to my local decorating trade supplies, see below, and spending too long watching the EEVblog on YouTube - Dave Jones is a real nut but really informative and entertaining...

Pound shop cloth wipes make the first layer
Back to the sound proofing experiment and it is time to cover the cardboard lattice with the first layer. The choice here is endless. The standard covering for chicken wire was plaster impregnated bandage sold for years under the brand name of Mod-Roc it has now become a generic name for all similar products aimed at modellers. Unless you buy the stuff wholesale, it can be an expensive option. Even at whole sale prices it starts to get expensive on a large layout. Newspaper or paper towel is another alternative. this can be pasted down over the lattice and works well. In fact anything that will cover the lattice is fair game and has probably been used at one time or another. Here I have opted for a different approach. The landscape will be built up from layers of material all bonded together to make a hard, durable shell that will stand some punishment but is easy to work and can be modified to accept landscaping features such as planting and structures.

Steady progress and the landscape takes shape
My regular visits to the High Street (See my High Street Bargain Hunter page) unearth all manner of offbeat materials and here I am using some Handy Wipes - they look like thin 'J' cloths - found in our local 99p Store. 30 in a packet and I used fewer than eight to cover this section. The wipes are cut up into small squares. I can get 16 out of one cloth. These are then stuck over the lattice, overlapping them as you go, at various angles to produce a smooth substrate for the next layer.

First layer is complete!

Free PVA - Found in a skip
 The are nearly as many different types of PVA on the market as there are fishes in the sea! most if not all will do the job for us. The most economic way to buy it for landscaping and general use is in a tub/tin/plastic bottle as a building product. It is sold as a sealer or as an adhesive. It can also be found in large er quantities in craft shops. have a good look around and compare prices. it is all slightly different in its make up but the cheapest stuff you can find will do the job. With my cheap-scape's hat on, it is possible to get it for free!Yes I do mean free, zilch, for nothing. For reasons I can't understand, a lot of tradesmen will throw out part used containers of PVA at the end of a job. Perhaps they can't be bothered to store it, maybe it was priced into the job and they will buy more for the next job, I don't know but all I know is I have found several amount of the stuff while indulging in that most profitable of pastimes, an Anglicised version of what the Americans call 'Dumpster-diving', skip hunting! You will be amassed what gets put in a skip at the end of a job. Just remember that even rubbish has an owner and always ask before removing anything from someone else's skip.

Now that is done, it will need to be left for a day or so to dry hard and then it is on with the next layer of Handy Wipes this time soaked in something that will stick to the first layer and be readily adsorbed by the wipes. You could use powdered filler or any of the plaster of Paris materials sold in craft stores or by the numerous sellers of scenic products but by far the best material I have found is Artex, textured finish powder. and the best way to buy it is in a big 25kg bag from one of the decorating trade suppliers. If you don't need that much smaller bags are available from the DIY stores but you will pay nearly as much for only 10kg. I'll show you how I get on next week.


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