Tuesday, February 13, 2024

A New Addition to the Layout - Part VII: Hills and trees

Work continues on connecting the Charlton Branch from the Northern SNE* to the main layout. In previous chapters of this seemingly never-ending saga I mentioned how I planned to use several sections of the large mountain that had concealed a helix on Jason's layout - meaning these were large, heavy plaster mountains! I placed the large mountain chunk in a place I thought looked good and would work - and there it sat for at least a month or more. I've learned over the years that if I run into something that stops progress on a project it usually means I'm not taking the right approach. It became obvious that reusing the big mountain chunk was simply not going to work. It was taller than the adjoining hill on the main layout, and would have required altering the existing finished scenery to effectively blend it into place. It was also going to be a challenge to route the track around the thing. So I removed it and replaced it with the salvaged piece that had been the very top of the original mountain. Immediately I could see this was a much better solution. Since the space on the layout was longer than the salvaged hill I sawed it in half and built up a new section of hill in the middle. I also used some of the loose rock castings salvaged from the original layout. 

In addition to the rock castings I was able to salvage a lot of Super trees from Jason's mountain. I did dip each of the armatures in dilute matte medium before coating them with a variety of Scenic Express Super Leaf fall colors. You can find more on what flocking I use and the color combinations in my blog post HERE.

After "planting" the trees I stepped back and admired my handiwork. (Forgive the plaster dust visible in some spots - obviously that will get covered with some ground texture!) I think the renovated hillside nicely compliments the structures on the Charlton section. Next step is to add the track connecting Charlton to the main layout. Then I can do something about that stretch of track to nowhere that runs over the bridge. 

* Jason sent some photos showing the progress he's making  rebuilding in his new digs in Florida. So does that mean mine is now the "Northern SNE"? 

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