The PRR Chartiers Branch - Progress Report - 2013-12 Report
12/15/2013
12/15/2013
Urban planning! I have decided to model an intersection between two roads. They are going to be at a 90-degree angle to each other, but they are going to be at an angle compared to the front of the module. Just for something different. It will allow me to see more of the buildings, once they are installed. This is going to be a downtown scene of a small town. In my modeling world, this would be somewhere in downtown Washington, PA. There will be buildings along both sides of both streets. Each will also have a sidewalk, as well as the dreaded parallel-parking spots. The red and yellow cars are parked, while the other two cars are passing each other on the road. I made the road 20 feet wide, the parking areas 7 feet each, and the sidewalks are 4 feet each. This was based on prototype research I did online, and trying to use reasonable minimum values to make it all fit.
2013-12 Report
In the next photo I have two of the four corners marked off. The building has been moved to the cross street. And the red car is about to take off the gray car's door, if they aren't careful.
2013-12 Report
I started off with the idea of making the streets out of styrene. I wanted to put a bit of a curvature in them to allow for water drainage. I found two sheets of brick in my styrene sheet drawer, which I thought might be nice for simulating a brick street. That will be minor cross street. In the next photo those two sheets are glued down (I used Aleene's Tacky glue). Then I started working on the main street, thinking I could use plain sheet. However, I then started to think about how to deal with the curved roads, and how that would cause a real problem trying to get the various styrene sheets to match up. More trouble than it is worth, so I decided to just glue the sheet styrene flat on the module surface. I did the first sheet in the intersection, when it dawned on me that that was rather wasteful, as the module surface is perfectly flat enough for a road.
2013-12 Report
On the right-hand side of the module, where the track is, I wanted the road to cross the track. Here, I am testing to see if I have enough styrene on hand, and trying to visualize what the end result will look like.
2013-12 Report
I cut a bunch of scale 5" x 5" strip wood to form the crossing. I made them 12 feet long (the road is 20 feet wide). I then cut a number of them in half, so that I could stagger the joints when I actually glued them in place. I used Aleene's Tacky glue to attach them to the tops of the ties.
2013-12 Report
When dry, I roughed them up with the back of an Xacto knife, and then applied a liberal amount of india-ink-with-alcohol solution to age and dirty them up. While I had the solution out, I also "painted" some down the center of the track.
2013-12 Report
I cut several pieces of 0.010" styrene sheet to form the roadway. I then fabricated some leftover pieces of styrene to act as supports for the sheets. I had originally built the module to be exactly 2' x 4' (i.e. the size of a standard module). The closet is actually about 7 inches wider. To add some scenery space to the module, and to prevent anything from falling in the gap, I cut some strips of cardboard and glued them to the module. They are not glued to the walls.
2013-12 Report
When you make the scenery base weave like that, the surface is actually quite strong, so there is no reason for connecting the strips to the wall. After I completed the cardboard strips steps, I applied masking tape to the walls to keep them from get dirty, and from having the plaster cloth stick to the walls. I also covered the track, because applying plaster cloth gets kind of messy. I made sure everything was out of the closet from underneath the module.
2013-12 Report
I finished applying the plaster cloth. It went very quickly.
2013-12 Report
While I was digging out my materials for the next step in the scenery base construction, I stumbled across these sections of plaster castings that I had leftover from my N-scale days. I cut away the plastercloth at the front edge of the module, and glued the castings in place using hot glue. I also had a handful of pieces leftover from the last time I used a small container to make some plaster-of-paris castings. I just let the plaster dry in the container, thinking that the next day I'd clean out the container. When I started breaking up the leftovers in the container, I realized that they would make some really neat scenery items. Well, I found a use for them right here! Both of these items will get painted and weathered in due time.
2013-12 Report
I mixed up several batches of my ground goop, and applied it on top of the plaster cloth (I had let the plaster cloth dry overnight).
2013-12 Report
I just couldn't help take this photo!
2013-12 Report
The next day I used a brush to apply watered-down white glue over the ground goop surface, and then sprinkled Woodland Scenics' ground foam blend over the glue. This is just to have something "green" in the area. This photo was taken shortly after I completed the work, so the area has not yet been cleaned up.
2013-12 Report
After vacuuming up any loose green foam, I decided to repaint the four wall sections using the paint shown in the photo. Any light-colored highlighting you see in the photo on those wall sections is due to the closet lighting, not my painting.
2013-12 Report
The Plaster of Paris castings were up next. I added some talus rock to the bottom of the castings. I first applied the india-ink-and-alcohol solution to the castings. This made them very dark. I then followed that with applying very watered-down raw umber and burnt umber paints. These "stained" the rock to, what I believe to be, very realistic colorations. I then used white paint and used the dry-brushing technique to highlight the edges of the rocks. The same methods were used on the four rock wall castings on the right. I did not notice the leftover strand of hot-glue draped over the rocks until after I had taken the photo. Sorry about that!
2013-12 Report
On the other side of the layout, I decided to add a third layer of gloss medium to Chartiers creek. I think I am happy with the results now. It is supposed to be somewhat choppy water that is flowing in the direction toward the camera (railroad-east). With the layout lights reflecting on the water, it looks very realistic in the photo. In person, unless the light hits it just right, it is not quite so dramatic.
2013-12 Report