They always say a layout is never completed, but I reckon tonight I reached the point where all the major work on the fabric of the layout was completed when I “planted” 8 trees at various sites on the boards.

I’d been impressed with what both Paul Marshall-Potter and Chris Nevard had written in their blogs about using the Woodland Scenics tree armatures, and a few weeks ago whilst in that wonderful emporium in Shaw, Arcadia Models, (A very satisfied customer) I purchased a pack of twelve. Out of the pack they look like they have come from IKEA, ie flat pack, but a few twists using Mk1 hand power and you get a reasonable looking tree skeleton. Coats of paint using greys and browns and they are ready for fixing the foliage to – here Ive used the tried and tested Woodland Scenics foliage.

It was only when the last one was fixed on the Fort William end, I realised that I had a sense of “that’s that” and I can now move on to weathering the stock. Though not quite – of course there a few remaining tasks to do – I’ve made the signals removable, and they need to be bolted in before Mr Nevard comes to photograph the layout in a few weeks time. There’s also a few other bits and bats, some people to paint and fix in place, a few more station signs to put in, the roadway on the Fort William board needs a bit of titivation and the white lines putting on it, plus of course the highland cattle being glued permanently in their field.

Of course there’s always another project which may or may not happen prior to the photo session, and the backscenes to finish but now to get on with dirtying the stock, cue my infamous “well it was running fine before I weathered it”.