Completing the Harvesting Scene

This article deals with putting the finishing touches to the field at the right-hand side of the layout and adding the figures and details of a harvesting scene.

As the field is meant to be one of corn, the first thing I did was to paint it yellow using poster paint. It is a good idea to do this before adding scatter material because if any of the scatter does come off in time, the field will still show through as yellow and not as an unrealistic patch of white cardboard! The same idea can be used under patches of grass, but this time painting the underneath area brown to represent earth.

Harvest scene

The figures that will be working in the field are part of a harvesting kit from Fleetline (kit no. N95). The pack comprises a threshing machine, farm elevator, stationary engine, and harvesting and threshing figures. I can't tell you what the retail price of the set is as I bought it very cheaply from a model shop in London when they had a sale. I am also unsure whether the set is still available, but if not, there are probably comparable harvesting sets on the market to purchase. It is a case of looking around and seeing what would be suitable.

The items in the set are very easy to construct and there are painting guidelines included in the instructions. Most of the items come with sprues attached (which are eventually cut off) and these are useful to hold on to for painting, for which you need a tiny brush, enamel paints and a very steady hand.

One of the figures stands on top of the thresher and the rest are placed in various places around the field and by the machinery. To add extra realism, I bought a packet of corn stooks (P&D Marsh cat. No. C61), from the Society shop order code 1PDM38, which I painted yellow using enamel paint, and these were stuck down on the field to give the impression of the workers cutting the corn and arranging it in piles to dry in the sun. I have also created a haystack to put behind the farm elevator by painting a small box of cardboard yellow and then covering with scatter. Two lengths of Ratio ladder provide access to the haystack and threshing machine. Rather than paint these, I chemically blackened them using CARR's metal black. This technique gives a neater finish than hand painting.

Once the harvesting items have been assembled and painted, they are ready to be placed in the field. I spread PVA glue over the field area and put the machinery, people and haystack in place. I then sprinkled yellow scatter (Wheat) from P & D Marsh (Cat. No. PDM 14) over the remaining spaces. After leaving it to dry I gently hoovered off the excess.

To complete the field I added a hedge along the back of the field - I used coloured hedging from Javis "Countryside" Scenics (from my local model shop), cut to size and glued down. A Busch tree (Cat. No. 6535) helps to hide the square corner at the back. A pack of five trees was purchased from a model shop who specialise in continental models. I also propose to add some dry stone walling along the other two sides of the field to enclose it, when I have acquired some - 4D models produce such a product.

The completed harvesting scene looks quite convincing and provides an authentic rural landscape in contrast to the busy industrial activity further down the valley.

The Mill


This is a Metcalfe Models kit assembled to fit into the left hand corner of the layout. I assembled each building and then kept moving them about until I was happy with the arrangement. The mill helps to provide the scenic break (the track actually going through the mill!) More Busch trees (Cat. No. 6557 and Cat. No. 6443) help to hide this. 

The Mill