With the basic mountain base in place, I expanded the mountain to the right using strips of cardboard. I really like this method of forming the base of scenery, because it is easy to adjust if you don't like where it is going. Also, since it is made out of recycled cardboard boxes, it is cheap or even free.
The cardboard was formed such that there is a nice tunnel portal.
I put some basic, rough shapes of cardboard on the mountain plywood, but I'm not sure how to complete that yet. However, the rest of the area to the right, where the s-curve is, I was happy with, so I covered the cardboard strips with Woodland Scenics' plaster cloth. Now it is really starting to look like a mountain.
After playing around with the cardboard strips on the mountain cover, I put plaster cloth sheets on there too. Note the tunnel on the far left up against the backdrop.
With the area behind the track basically shaped the way I like it, I focused my attention on the area in front of the track. I wanted a nice size flowing river here. I got the basic dimensions and then used the saber saw to free-form cut the shape. I then installed some vertical boards at the right positions to provide full support for this river bottom.
I made these vertical boards long enough to also provide full support for the front fascia panels I will be installing next.
I cut a piece of 1/8" Masonite board and then glued it to the vertical boards I had installed. This photo was taken when the glue was still drying.
The river bottom board was glued to the vertical supports so that there would be no screw holes to deal with. Today's wood glues are so strong that this is a viable alternative. With all that in place, it was trivial to install some more cardboard strips between the track, the river, and the front fascia board.
I covered that with plaster cloth as well.
More plaster cloth and I put the first coat of primer paint on the plywood river bottom.
I bought some earth-tone brown latex paint and painted the entire mountain range. I painted the river bottom a flat black so as to convey a great depth.
Here's another view of the current status.
On the far right-hand side of this mountain range, I wanted to install a bridge that goes over some low-lying farm land. Since this area was pretty much finished as it is, I decided to go ahead and start covering this with Woodland Scenics' ground foam.