Monday, May 29, 2023

Country Lanes for Stafford Mills

This aerial view shows the basic layout of the streets in Stafford Mills

Spent a couple of hours in the basement yesterday getting the foundation for the roads installed in Stafford Mills. 

The first step was cut away the area for the country store. Since I'd installed the store on its own rectangular base this was simply a matter of determining the stores final position (It's in a slightly different spot than in the previous blog post), marking the outline of the base, and sawing out the scenery. 

Although I planned to use sheet styrene for the roads, I didn't have any larger sheets of plastic so I opted to use cardboard instead. The first step was to take the paper templates (see previous blog post) and cut them apart to arrange them on the large sheet of cardboard in order to minimize wasting any material. I ended up with four sections.

I used a saw to create a smooth path for the roads. 

When installing streets in a hilly area you need to be careful to avoid overly steep climbs and sudden grade changes. And since the basic landform scenery was already in place there were a few spots where the road climbed a hill just a little too steeply, or the road wasn't level across its width. The solution was to trace the outline of the cardboard road pieces onto the ground and then use a utility knife and a fine toothed saw to produce cuts in the scenery. 

I did narrow the roads as they got closer to the wall. 

On the left side the road climbs to a slight crest before heading down towards the rear. 

On the right side the road will disappear into the trees. 

Once I liked how the road looked I glued it in place with hot glue, using heavy weights to hold it in place. 

The one problem with cardboard roads is that can easily swell and warp when painted - especially with acrylic paints. So I sealed the cardboard with Polycrylic sealer and allowed them to dry overnight. Note the road hasn't been extended over the tracks and to the fascia. That's the next step. 

I couldn't resist positioning the camera for a test shot to see how the scene was shaping up with the various elements in place. The plan is to include some "full scale" HO trees between the road and mill river in order to screen the brick mill and contribute to the illusion of distance. The large open area to the left may (I'm still not sure) become home to a white steepled church, a New England signature element if there ever was one. 

No comments:

Post a Comment