Some more musings about the recently completed diorama - as the café has become known as Truckstop, I think the name will probably stick. These are some of the scenic items used to detail the model. All are commercially available or made up from odds and ends in the bits box, and with a little work can make a big difference to a layout.
Flash! Gordon’s gotcha camera. A whitemetal two-part kit of the ever-popular HM Government roadside cash machine. Commonly found on long straight sections of road where a 30 mph limit appears out of nowhere, for no discernible reason. Greater minds than mine have suggested that this to collect revenue for the Government to boost their pensions in these hard times, but I’m not that cynical. On the A15 near Caenby there is a school within, oh, about 30 miles of such a camera, so obviously they’re there for safety reasons. Politics aside, these make a really nice scenic detail on a layout, and at around £3 are a £57 saving on the real thing. Available from Ten Commandments.
‘Work starts here in September until your bones are dust.’ This roadsign isn’t really prototypical, but it’s based on a real idea. The base is a Busch model of a German warning sign; I simply painted it black and made a typically British roadworks sign to warn of a lane closure ahead. The orange lights flash alternately, and the effect looks rather good. Simple to install and runs off 16 volt accessory power supply. I purchased mine from Contikits, who carry a good stock of Continental scenic accessories. To complete, simply add 18 miles of cones and an Audi TT forcing its way in at the last possible moment. But not in front of my X-reg Iveco that eats such impatient and impudent idiots long before a bellybuster breakfast.
Typically British outline streetlights have always been difficult to get hold of, but Express Models manufacture these authentic looking models that feature a bright white LED and run off 12 volt DC. The effect is rather good, the light is realistically cast downwards in a concentrated pool rather than all over the layout. Whilst difficult to see in daylight conditions, they come into their own in a nighttime scene. Personally, I think an orange LED would look better for these lights, but nevertheless, they make an interesting scenic addition to a layout.
Wheelie bins have become a subject in their own right with the fortnightly collections issue, and such publicity is a good selling tool for these whitemetal models from Ten Commandments. Painting depends on where you live, and I’m sure some Council Official will be happy to tell you the exact hue that they should be. They’ll also be happy to tell you what to put in them, what not to put in them, what day and time they must be put out for the vague possibility of a collection if you’re lucky, and what time of day they must be removed from the street – even if the collection lorry hasn’t been round yet, because it’s stuck in traffic caused by the congestion that has been created by all the bin lorries going out on the same day. I’ve personally found that wheelie bins are the ideal size for putting Council officials in, which solves a number of problems at the same time.
On which happy note I'll leave you for the moment as I have a long weekend to prepare for. More later!