PRR Chartiers Branch: Hazel Mine - Scenery
The first bit of land scenery can now be applied. This is the space between the backdrop, the creek, and the recently-completed Fort Pitt Bridge Works building. Most views were taken from the back of the layout. In the photo, I am applying sections of white glue, covered with a coarse sand (used for filling glass jars for decorative plants).
Next, I cover it with some acrylic brown paint, to give it more of an illusion of soil.
In the real world, there were several trees to the east of the building, so I was able to plant the trees I built last year. They have a toothpick in their trunk, so that is easy to plant in the 1/2" ceiling tile. I used some white glue to hold them in place. After the glue dried, I filled in the gaps between their roots and the scenery base with more scenery materials (see subsequent photos).
Here's a photo from the front of the layout, zooming in on the area under construction.
I added some details around the building. This section of the building represents the very back of the building, so I'm sure over the decades, all sorts of junk accumulated there. I'll be adding more over time. A few years ago I scratchbuilt these pallets, so I glued those in place. At the time of the photo, I had just started planting some of the weeds growing up along the edge of the building.
I wanted to represent some dead leaves under the tree, so I am using some used (and dried) tea leaves. For these I am spraying some watered-down white glue. To protect the building and the creek from the overspray, I strategically placed some paper towels to quickly soak up droplets. The plywood sheet on the layout is there so that I can lean on the layout while gluing in the bushes. I found out that if I lean on my layout's ceiling tile, my elbow sinks into the ceiling tile. This is OK where the scenery is going to go, but not where the track will be placed later on. It is just a lesson I learned about using ceiling tile.

February 08, 2018

Here's a quick shot of the more-or-less finished area under the trees.

May 08, 2020

I planted all the trees I had made during my previous S-scale layout. These are around the creek and in front of the Fort Pitt Bridge Works building. According to prototype photos, this is the area of the scene I am modeling where the trees were growing.
This is the side-of-the-layout view, which shows some of the trees on the other side of the creek. There are a total of 31 trees. I selected the worst-looking ones and put them in the back, and worked my way forward. The ones in the back still need to have Sculptamold applied to their roots area, because some of them are still floating in the air.
The ones in the front were planted in areas of fresh "ground goop", which was then covered with some scenery materials. The scene is far from finished, as I plan on adding under-growth, bushes, and more scenery materials over time, to better integrate this with the rest of the layout.