Managed to get some time on the layout this weekend. Decided to focus on getting the BEST Trains store planted in place between the track and fascia in Williams Creek. This proved a little more involved than I had originally planned since some of the layout framework got in the way. Nothing a jigsaw couldn't handle! I also found I had to cut out some of the road since it had a significant hump that I felt would interfere with blending the parking lot into the road.
Once I had the benchwork framing out of the way, I cut a rectangular section of scenery out of the layout making sure it was large enough for the store and the landforms immediately around the structure. Then I cut a piece of Gatorboard as a sub-base for the structure, and positioned the brick foundation in position. Then I used hot glue to attach florists foam to the sub base. Once that was done, I carved the foam to shape, blended it into the surrounding area with Scultamold.
Sifted dirt for the ground cover around the structure, and some ground up leaves for the areas behind the store that will be covered with trees was next.
Once the glue dries I'll measure and cut the porch support posts.
Note there's a fair amount of space between the store and the road. My plan is to include a gas pump and sign in front of the store. I remember many of these old country stores would have one (maybe two) pumps in front.
I also continued the seemingly never-ending ballasting project. The ballast crews are just about to round the bend in Everett, so hopefully most of the mainline will be ballasted by the next open house!