Sunday, 13 July 2014

Green Mountain Division Update

The top photo above shows the ugly hole in the wall where the tracks enter the new layout room.  Below a CP caboose hop pops out from under the highway overpass as the caboose of a passing B&M freight train is just about to duck under the bridge.
Hiding a Hole in the Wall Don Janes
     After spending most of the winter working on the track and turnouts at Wells River I thought I'd go back and do something about the hole in the wall leading from the older section of the layout to the new room.  Originally I had planned on a tunnel but in reality the only tunnel on the line was under the town of Bellows Falls.  After deciding a tunnel wouldn't do the trick I decided to disguise the hole with a highway overpass. These are all over the place and don't require a huge mountain that a tunnel would need to make it look believable.  And besides, I had this overpass, a RIX concrete bridge and pier and abutments made from wooden blocks left over from my old layout and this would save lots of time not having to build something new.  Once I decided the overall layout of the bridge and highway I boxed in the tracks with 1/2" plywood where they went through the wall.  To help disguise this "tunnel" I painted the boxed area flat black to make it disappear, similar to theatre set design.  Fortunately I remembered to add ballast and ground cover in the tunnel area before boxing it in.
This view of the "tunnel" shows how painting the interior flat black really  makes the box disappear
     After the box and abutments were in place I made the road out of 1/8" masonite and supported it by placing wooden blocks under the road at different heights to set the elevation for the road and surrounding landscape.  A web of cardboard strips was added to support the plaster cloth that would form the overall landscape.  Once the plaster cloth was applied I used Sculptamold, a paper mache type material,
to finish any ground contours and fill in around the abutments.
This overall scene shows the hills around the overpass and how the fascia is cut to follow the contour of the scenery
    Once I was satisfied with the overall look of the scene I painted the plaster with earth coloured latex paint and while still wet sprinkled ordinary sand over the entire area to give it a good scenery base and add some "tooth" for the finished scenery to stick to.  Just to give me an idea how the finished scene would look I added a little green ground foam herre and there for colour but the rest of the scenery won't be added until I add some more landscape so it wall all flow together.
     When I get a little more of the surrounding scenery finished I will go back and add a paved highway using sheet styrene and add more ground cover and trees to the area to bring it to life.

Here are a few more shots of the area with trains passing through to give a general sense of scale to the scene.  I think the section shanty adds realism to the scene since they were a very common element in my modelling period.

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