Last month I applied the gloss gel on the creek. This shot shows the left half of the creek with the gel completely cured. I looks nice in the photos and the overhead lights reflect nicely. In person, as I stated last month, I am not so happy, so I'll do another layer when I have some time. I recently saw a Dave Frary video in which he mentioned that he put ten layers of this stuff on the HOn3 harbor scene he was building. When the last layer dried, he applied Future furniture wax to protect the gel from becoming dull. I am going to follow his advice.
I had bought a set of swimmers on eBay. Even though the figures were listed as S-scale, they are a little small for S. However, I decided to put one in the creek. He's a bit away from the front of the layout, so his small stature should help a bit with the forced perspective. I had placed him on the flat Envirotex layer and then carefully worked the gloss gel around him.
What spare time I have I've spent on building some more foreground-quality trees. I keep honing my tree-building skills, and each set is ever so slightly better than the previous ones. I built five of them, and I continue to try to use the Gordon Gravett documented method, although it is a bit of a challenge since a lot of the materials he describes are not available here. We have to improvise a bit. I continue to be happy with the tree trunks and branches, but I am still experimenting with the leaves section of the tree. The area in the photo had several previous attempts at tree building, so since these are better, I ripped them out and planted these. I look forward to the day I can rip these out!!! The roots of the trees are not yet embedded in the scenery base.
Using a small digital camera (a Canon G11) that has a swivel screen makes it easy to get shots you normally don't get to see. I like this one because it shows that there is so much "stuff" in the center section of the layout now.
I took this one pretending like I had climbed up this tree and trying to get a shot of the track ahead.
Paddling up the creek, we get this view of Canonsburg Steel & Iron Works, with an awaiting box car.
To the right of the structure, the seldom-used team track is growing quite a bit of weeds in this wet summer. About the only thing you see is the rail; the ties are completely covered and overgrown, as is most of the ballast.
Here's the same team track from a different angle. I am actually quite happy with how that scene looks!
Every so often I get the urge to do some scenery work, so lately I have been adding some low-lying bushes all around the undeveloped land. As you can see in the background, the Canonsburg passenger station still awaits its roof, and windows, and station master, and passengers, and...