Wednesday, June 17, 2015

The scenery deadline. . .


Out of the hills with a trainload of empty wheat wagons. . . 

I've written several times about the importance of deadlines to my modeling. Self-imposed, nearly entirely, but and upcoming event, operating session, or visitor gives me impetus to buckle down and get a bit more modeling done. And that's the case in the last few weeks of June, as we prepare for a visit from an Australian modeling friend, coming to the states for a few weeks to attend modeling conventions, making a stop for his first few days here in Texas so we can show him some real Lone Star hospitality. Yeeeee Haw! (For the record, I do not say things like "Yeeeee Haw!").

So since my chances to show off my Australian-themed layout to an actual Australian are limited, I take advantage of whatever situations I can, so I'm trying to get the rough scenery forms in place in time for his visit. And I'm not the only one preparing for his arrival: Lance (Tocumwal themed layout) is cleaning up his layout room. Matt (Camas Prairie themed layout) is land-laying critical turnouts to allow at least a little throttle time to our visitor.

So, here's the progress after a few days cutting, gluing and (ugh) sanding/forming foam boards. I was originally going to go with the traditional aluminum screen overlaid with plaster-soaked paper towels, but it didn't give me the softly rolling land forms I desired. So I turned to 2" foam (blue stuff, made by Dow), which I was able to secure for a bargain price of about 20% of list from a vendor in Lewisville, about a 40 minute drive from the house. I tried various methods of cutting the stuff (hand-held key-hole saw, jigsaw, hot knife) but each had their advantages and disadvantages. So I went with the mix, and toxic fumes and static-charged little balls of blue foam dust were dealt with, and this is the scene I've come up with coming down the hill out of staging. Trees are in place merely for this photo. I've still got to give it a thincrete coating to seal the foam in place before adding any scenery materials. But so far, so good. I wasn't able to photograph such scenes back in the late 1970s, but through the magic of modeling, I'm able to create the past and enjoy it without leaving home.