Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Downshifting - A simpler scene = Bigger impact?

Although I've been working pretty steadily at track laying I just couldn't take the pink foam and white Sculptamold monstrosity at the entrance to the layout area.

My original plan for this section of the layout was a large mill scene - a river feeding several water-powered mill complexes. I even hogged the riverbed out of the pink foam layout surface - which believe me wasn't difficult but was hardly what I'd call fun.

Then it dawned on me - I have a big layout to build, with a lot of true signature structures - I didn't want to get bogged down building a bunch of mill buildings when I was trying to get the layout operational. Also, I was having trouble blending the freelanced mill river scene with the prototype based Waterbury scene on the other of the peninsula. I wanted to include the Demeritt Cannery in Watebury - but in order to place a hill as a view block between Waterbury proper and the river I didn't have enough room for the Cannery buildings.

The mill river obviously wasn't working for a bunch of reasons. So I stuffed a bunch of plastic bags with newspaper and used them to fill the riverbed. Then I applied a layer of plaster cloth - entombing the riverbed inside my new terrain.

In place of the river side mill complex will be a much simpler scene of pastureland - perhaps with a farm building or two up on the hill. A single industry - likely a creamery, will also be featured. The original culvert has been replaced with a road underpass. All that's there is the basic landforms and the rough outline of the roads, but I already like the scene more than the planned mill complex. The fact that it's an easy way out has been overshadowed by the fact that I think it looks more like rural Vermont than the developing scene it replaced. I guess I agree with Mike Confalone and George Dutka - as George wrote in his recent blog post, "From my point of view a barn built with little else around makes a great layout scene."

You can find the previous plan for this scene in an earlier blog post. The picture above shows the scene ready for the initial coat of scenic texture.


Anonymous said...

Nice and simple change, Marty. Go with it!

Anonymous said...

David Emery said...

Bummer! I really liked the big mill area (as you know...)

George Dutka said...

Marty I think you might be on the right track with that idea...George

CVSNE said...


I liked the big mill area as well - but I need to focus on getting the rest of the layout operational and didn't think the several months it was going to take to build the mill scene would support that goal. The good news? If, and when, I ever get the bug I can peel off the top layer of pastureland scenery - the mill river is already carved into the layout base although it's currently buried!