Last month I permanently installed the Canonsburg Milling factory building, but didn't finish the scenery integration. I used some Sculptamold to carefully fill in the crack between the building's foundation and the sub-roadbed of the layout. While that was still wet, I sprinkled some ballast on the mixture.
While that dried overnight, I thought about what I wanted to do with the exposed foamboard base. I decided to just cover it with white glue and then sprinkle some more ballast. That way it looks like the building is surrounded by gravel. It was a bit challenging to do this in the covered track area of the building, but a steady hand and patience gave me the results I wanted.
The factory is now open to get its supplies to build whatever Canonsburg Milling produces.
Over the last couple of weeks in February, I made a few minor, but noteworthy changes. This scene in Washington shows a couple of updates. First, I built another set of four trees using my latest tree-making techniques. Three went to my wife's farm scene diorama that she uses on our club's layout. One tree I built for my layout. I planted it right behind the lumber storage shed, and it is right at the top edge of the creek's embankment. The next change I made was the addition of two storage bins on Smitty's property. These were actually some N-scale coal loaders on stilts. I snapped off the legs, and used them as storage bins in this S-scale layout. The open one I poured in some fake coal, and then carefully covered it with diluted white glue, trying not to disturb the coal load. It looks like Smitty just got his bin refreshed and he's set for the upcoming winter.
This scene in Canonsburg also has two updates. I learned a simple weathering technique: use your fingers to rub the Bradgon weathering powders into the surface, instead of using a brush. Worked great! I used several colors to give the road a more worn look. The second thing I did was, I started back up with the Canonsburg passenger station. I installed window glass, and started working on installing the window's styles, which I had always intended to be glued to the glass. However, as I worked on the building some more, I started seeing more and more flaws and outright errors I had made. I think since last working on this structure, almost a year and a half ago, I have gained some more experience, and I firmly believe I can do a better job now. So, after pondering it some, I have decided that I am going to build a completely new model.
The final update for this month is some progress on the road in the Washington downtown scene. Many years ago I had bought a package of Arizona Rock & Minerals' "Concrete Paving Powder" (part #1290). I had never found a use for it. However, the main street through my downtown scene needed a concrete/asphalt look to it. I decided to try an experiment. If it didn't work out, I would get out the chisel blade and scrape it all up. What I did was cover the whole street area with diluted white glue, and then sprinkled the extremely fine paving powder on to it. I used a fine-mesh strainer to actually do the sprinkling, because the powder cakes up a bit when scooped up. I just liberally sprinkled it all over the glue.
The next day, I vacuumed up all the loose material. There were unfilled patches, but in general I liked the look of it. So I repeated the exact same steps again. The second day it looked even better. There were still a few spots where I could see the painted wood surface peek through, so I did the steps a third time. The two photos I show here were taken after I had vacuumed the loose material the next day. I think it looks really good. It has a very gritty feel to it, so it matches the surface texture I was looking for. I had initially thought about using the india ink and alcohol mixture to darken up the street surface, but I think it is fine the way it is. Later, after I paint the lines on the surface, I will probably apply weathering powders, much like I did to the road in Canonsburg (shown above).