Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Ground foam at Haskell

I've only had a small amount of time to work on the layout thanks to taxes and the weather, but I did manage to get some base scenery applied using some of the ground foam I recently acquired.

First I cleared off the area again.

Using Mod Podge thinned with water 50/50, I applied it with a 1" foam brush within a few inches of the ballast, as well as getting some on the lower portions of the ballast shoulder and then used a kitchen sieve and sprinkled a good layer of the Earth blend over the glued areas.

Once it was dry I vacuumed the excess up and reclaimed it to use later.

I repeated this process for the Turf blend.  I made sure the glue mixture partially overlapped the Earth blend and proceeded to cover the rest of the areas as well.  After letting it dry as before I again used the vacuum to reclaim the excess Turf blend.

Next I came back with an assorted variety of colors and coarser ground foam to give a little more flavor and texture. I sprinkled this with my fingers and tried to blend the two previous layers of Turf and Earth.   This was then sprayed with 70% alcohol to wet it before applying more Mod Podge thinned to a 3:1 ratio. 

The dark ground cover is dried, crushed leaves, I plan to plant a batch of trees in this location.  I've read and seen how others have used this method to represent the ground cover under the trees.  

I'm far from done with this scene, once I get all of this base down I'll come back with some static grass to add some depth and color, then some trees.  

It feels good to get some scenery down again.


Saturday, February 16, 2019

Riceland was left in the dirt.

In the last post I stated that I had the Haskell ballasting complete, except for the Riceland elevator tracks because I wanted the tracks to look as if they were sunk in the dirt or mud.
Last night I got them finished as well.  I decided to use some John's ballast that was fine brown from an old stash that I ran across.  Leading into these tracks I used up the last of the AR&M Kinzu I had left which just covered the tracks through the turnouts and used the John's ballast to cover the rest of the tracks.  I tried to blend the brown ballast over the Kinzu ballast without the best results.  

Luckily I had just a small amount of the Kinzu left so I started sprinkling it over the brown until I was happy and then with the small amount left, continued to sprinkle trace amounts over the rest of the elevator tracks so it looked like there was a bit of actual ballast showing through the dirt/mud.  

Eventually I'll come back with ground foam and static grass and add it up to and over some of the elevator tracks for a more weedy appearance.  

I did break down and ordered a large supply of ground foam from Scenic Express.  Once it arrives next week my plan is to get the base ground cover of earth and grass/weed glued down and get rid of the solid brown paint that I've been staring at for the past several years.

This afternoon I began to replace some of the buildings and cars that I moved out of the way so I could ballast, not sure why I did that as I'll only have to move everything one more time?  So while things were somewhat back to normal in Haskell, I snapped a few pics, so enjoy.

I can see that I may have to invest in some Photo stacking software in the near future?

Spring IS almost here, so I'm hoping in the next post Haskell will look a little more like spring?

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Ballasting complete in Haskell

Last night I finished ballasting the mainline in Haskell.  I still need to finish the elevator tracks at Riceland, but I'm wanting to use something a little different.

While I'm happy with the Arizona Rock & Mineral ballast and the way it goes down, the color is not what I was hoping for.  I used a color called KINZU which when dry was light brown in color, but after it was glued it turned rather dark, much darker than I hoped for.  I did try a sample off layout which wasn't bad, but on the layout turned much darker.

Here's a section that got dark.

Here's the same ballast before glue was applied, quite the difference.

So with this I am planning to go back and use the Woodland Scenics blend that I made and used in Malvern several years ago.  The first picture is a stretch that I just glued down and is made from 2 parts Light Gray, 2 parts Gray Blend and 1 part Buff.   The second picture is the same ballast in Malvern after I added several washes of brown acrylic paint.  This is closer to what I'm looking for.  

For the Riceland elevator tracks I'm shooting for a look as if the tracks are sitting in dirt with very little ballast visible.  I did a couple of sample spreads.  The first image is using John's brown ballast, the second is using Woodland Scenics Earth ground foam.  I sprinkled a bit of blended turf to give me an idea of what it may look like.  

Also I think I'll add some darker soil colored foam or some of the John's brown ballast or maybe some AR&M Yard Mix ballast for a bit of variety in color.  I also plan to come back later with some lighter colors of foam for a better mixture of weeds as well as some static grass.  So far it looks promising.