Thursday, October 5, 2023

Snippets of Progress - Background hills in Stafford Mills

One of the background hills visible behind the green building in Stafford Mills. That building is a Walthers kit leftover from my old layout. I put it here as a placeholder for the MARPM open house ... but I kind of like it! 
From the photos you can tell this is about making background scenery. It started out with cleaning up the workshop - really it did! 

I haven't had much of a chance to work on the layout since the MARPM weekend - fall chores, and a crazy month at work - thanks mostly to the bozos who work in the big dome building down the street from my office - have meant that by the time I get home I'm ready to sit down with Christine and binge watch a few episodes of something on Netflix (current choice is "Suits"). 

When life gets that this I try to come up with a railroad project that's easy to accomplish in spurts - and is something I can leave and quickly come back to. 

Prepping trees is one great project. 

Cleaning up the parts for a resin car is another. 

As I hinted at above, the project started with an attempt to clean up the workshop. I simply couldn't function in the shop any more - every horizontal surface was buried in something. And there was a stack of styrofoam chunks that always seemed to be in the way ... and a box full of Super trees ... You see where this is going? 

Typically I would take the foam, put it in another box and move them and the tree box "out of way" - which really isn't out of the way it's just slightly less under foot. 

So instead of moving that stuff I decided to use it. So over the course of a several short work sessions over a week or so I got some background hills completed. 

The area to the left of the junction with the paper mill peninsula has a spot where the track gets pretty close to the wall - the only real option for scenery there was a tree covered slope. It's also a little hard to reach. So I decided to build the background sloped landforms "off site"  and then add the trees etc... before installing them in place. 

I wanted to get some background scenery in place here before finishing up the area between the track and fascia. The area with the pink foam and unpainted plywood will get an industry of some type...

After cutting the styrofoam hills to size and rasping them to shape I covered them with scatter leaf. It's not terribly obvious here but I use wax paper to avoid gluing the hills to the plywood!

I ended up with three "segments" to create the hillside (Remember, I was starting with scraps!). This is the smallest one after the Supertrees had been added. 

The small hill "section" in place - note how the trees help screen the joint between the layout and the wall. The gravel parking area is tile grout with some fine dirt. 

The other two sections of background hills. Notice how the plywood serves as a palette!!

I have gotten some other cleanup done in the shop. I had been storing the larger sheets of styrene and brick texture sheets in a plastic storage tub on the floor. Problem was that particular tub has a lid that prevented me from stacking other tubs on top of it. So it sat in the middle of the floor (bad) or in front of the shelves on the floor (worse)! I got sick of tripping over the stupid thing.  A couple of additional shelves in one of the Ivar cabinets and all that stuff has a new home. And that tub is going out the door! 


No comments: