Monday, March 7, 2016

Early March Update

For the past two weeks the sole focus on the St. Clair Sub has been on scenery for the field scenes between Grays Lake and Gerhard. We are going to look further in depth of this work and where it will take us.

Corn and soybean fields along the St. Clair Sub.

My last post provided an overview of work on going to add terrain where the corn fields were being installed. In addition to the corn fields, soybeans fields and a highway overpass needed to be added before beginning the wet to wet scenery method.

Overpass Scene (left of cornfield)
   Looking west towards M-53 overpass

        Head on view of M-53 overpass

Helping to break up the scenes between Grays Lake and Gerhard the use of highway overpass and approach creates a simple and effective scene break. To the right of the highway will be a Treeline to corn field transition while to the left will begin the town of Grays Lake with the 3M plant.

The approach hill for the overpass was constructed of 8 blocks of florist foam hot glued into the rough cubic shape and then contoured using Surform tools rasp and planer. Floral foam is very easy to work with but will require a good vaccum to clean up afterwords.
Between work windows M-BAPH-04 passes through the field scene.

Once the terrain was shaped it was installed on the layout and given a coat of tan latex paint. To blend the terrain elevations I mixed sculptamold with the same latex paint and applied by hand. Be sure to wear gloves since the sculptamold will be paint essentially. After it dried the entire scene was coated in scenic cement and covered in my "base dirt". From the photo below I still need to add more base dirt up the embankment.

In addition to the background scenery work, land elevation was added to the foreground along the "local"siding. There will be an access road located on this side of right of way.

Foreground scenery will consist of low bushes and grasses.

Soybean Field (right of corn field)
A few posts ago i previewed a test of concept for creating soybean fields from pipe cleaners and Noch leaf flake. Happy with results, I decided to plant a test field and scale up the test before going full bore.

The results from this scaled up test look great so this week the final field will be installed. Creating the field was quite easy:
- wax paper (trace out field shape)
- Cardboard base in shape of field
- Glue gun
- Pipe Cleaners (color depends on season)
- Noch leaf flake
- White glue or Super 77 spray

Starting with wax paper to trace out the field size I then cut out this template and trace the edges to cardboard.

Once the cardboard is cut out, you can begin hot gluing down the pipe cleaners into the shape of the field. For prototype spacing and contours check out Google earth images.

After gluing of pipe cleaners complete, it is then time to either coat the cleaners in a mildly diluted white glue or spray with Super 77. add the leaf flake making sure to get the sides and top completely covered. Once dry shake off any extra loose flakes and then glue field down on layout.

After being mounted on layout dirt and other scenic materials can be used to blend field into scene. Provided are a few photos of the finished test.

Test field sitting in place. You can see the pipe cleaners to the right are not covered in leaf flake while the left side of test is coated in leaf flake.

Track level view of scene viewed east.

Another track level view from opposite direction. The permanent scene will better blend with backdrop at correct angle.

While not a ton of updates to talk about, this scene is taking shape very nicely. It is important to stay on task and no skip around, but once all the base dirt layers are in we will begin to see much more scenic layers to be added.


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