Monday, April 25, 2022

Blending Williams Creek and Threshers Mill

After I got my talk basically pulled together for the British Columbia Modelers Meet I looked over the slides and decided what it really needed was another "almost finished" scene to illustrate one of the key points in the talk. So I decided to get the "forced perspective" scene to the point I could use it to illustrate the talk. This is all in the "open country" running area between the Junction and Stafford Mills. I probably bit off more than I can chew, but the result will add to the talk and allow me to have another area of the railroad to photograph! 

Before I could finish that forced perspective scene I really needed to complete the scenery between it and the Junction - otherwise the result may end up looking cobbled together when the goal is a cohesive landscape. That meant I needed to finish Williams Creek and the area inside the mainline curve between the creek itself and Stafford Mills. 

Williams Creek is comprised of two segments constructed at different times. The first is the creek and bridge itself, which is the one piece salvaged from the old layout in our former house. The second segment is the Thresher Mill building and associated falls that were built when we were renting an apartment between houses. 

One problem was the thickness of the base for Threshers Mill and that of the river are not the same - it's not too much difference, but enough that the surface of the water didn't line up. I considered cutting the Williams Creek water itself to make everything fit but the water is Envirotex - not the easiest stuff to saw through - and I was concerned there'd be an weird joint that would be difficult to hide even if the top surface of the water ended up level. 

The edge of the Masonite base for Threshers Mill compared with Williams Creek. 

So the mill sat alongside Williams Creek for more than a year with the edge of the Masonite base clearly visible. After a while I stopped seeing it - until I took some photos. At that point I decided I needed to do something about it. 

First step was to paint the Masonite edges and surfaces
without Envirotex black.
The fix was so easy that I'm embarrassed I didn't take care of this problem months ago. I painted the edge of the masonite and the river bed along the gap where there wasn't any Envirotex with black paint. Then added a slope to the river, and painted that with a mixture of black, burnt umber, and tan to come close to the gravel and sand riverbed. I deliberately made the surface a little rough here, and drew a brush in the direction of the river current to make it appear as if the water is rushing over a submerged obstruction.  

Sculptamold blends the mill stream surface
down to the level of Williams Creek. 

The new Sculptamold "water" was painted to
blend it into the creekbed.

Next step is to finish the backdrop painting and add a gloss surface to the riverbed. After that dries I'll add a gloss coat to the entire creek to blend everything together and "rewet" the water. 

While I was at it I carved the hillside behind the river to shape, and added a base layer of chopped up leaves and dirt. 

1 comment:

Galen Gallimore said...

"After a while I stopped seeing it - until I took some photos" Ain't that the truth! The power of taking pictures of our models is, I believe, grossly undervalued. Also, the push that comes from sharing our work, even if the deadline looms closer than we'd like, can spur us to do work long put-off. After such a situation I often think, "Why didn't I do this sooner?"