Sunday, January 20, 2019

Gavilon's grade crossing.

Well after a year of getting started on this scene, siiiiigh, I'm finally making some progress.

I finally got the grade crossing installed.  The reason for the delay was I wanted to get some ballasting done but it dawned on me the issue I had when I installed the grade crossing at Crushmoore Ind.  I ballasted first, then installed the crossing but I had to scrape and remove a lot of ballast before hand.  It turned out OK, but was more work.

So this time I was going to install it first and ballast afterwards.  But the question was: Where did I want it?  Before I could place it I had to figure out where the buildings would go and how they would layout.  So I spent basically the last year getting the buildings built and laid out so I wouldn't have to relocate the crossing later.

Once the main structure for Gavilon was roughed together, I grabbed the crossing and started playing with the best location.  First I wanted to color it so I started with a wash of Alcohol and India Ink, that wasn't dark enough so I tried a brown oil wash, still wasn't dark enough.

So grabbed some Pan Pastels, a light brown and a light gray.  This worked.  Next I used some sheet styrene the same thickness as the spike heads so the center portion of the crossing would sit level and just below the rail heads.  For the outer crossing planks I snipped off the spike heads and then glued more sections of sheet styrene to the ties.

I wanted to water proof the grade crossing as much as possible so I sealed them with Dullcoat to protect them from the ballast glue and when dried I glued them into place.

Using more of the sheet styrene I made a couple of pieces that would be the asphalt road, painted them gray and glued down some thick styrene strips to support the road at the same level as the crossing planks.  When those were dried in place I glued down the styrene road.

Then I had to ponder how I was going to fill in around the road to make the shoulders.  I thought of using plaster, Ground Goop, rolled up tissue soaked in glue and a couple of other ideas.  A friend told me to use strip cork and build it up.  Then the light came on, I'd make the shoulders by using Floral Foam.  This is the soft green foam that they use to make flower arrangements.  Years ago I used some to make coal loads in some MDC Thrall hoppers, I cut it to a rough size and wedged them into the hoppers and because it's so soft I was able to shape it with my fingertips and paint it.

I couldn't find any left over so I made a quick trip to Wally World and picked up a pack and started in.  It's been awhile since I had bought any and didn't realize there were different types.  I picked up what they called Wet Foam which was meant for live flowers.  I should have gotten some Dry Foam for fake flowers, which I did grab some from Michael's the next day.  The Wet Foam worked but was a lot softer and I would suggest using the Dry Foam.

Once the paint dries, I should be able to commence with the ballasting.