Thursday, July 8, 2010

Layout Progress as of 7/8/2010

Scenery work continues at the Old Allatoona Road grade crossing at the southern end of the layout. With the wooded area behind the tracks mostly completed, I turned my attention to the hill between the tracks and the fascia. I added static grass, bushes and weeds, then trees. The photos below show the scenery progress in this area.

» Photos

Static grass has been applied along the road and the tracks (short 2mm fibers along the road and medium 4mm fibers along the tracks):

Next, bushes, weeds, vines and other undergrowth was added to between the grassy area and the wooded area:

These prototype photos show the actual scene being modeled. Note the crawling vines that have crept down the hillside and up to the ballast:

Finally, a handful of Scenic Express SuperTrees finishes off the scene. From normal viewing angles, these trees mostly obscure the opening in the backdrop:

One day that family in the red Explorer may actually make it across the tracks!


Saturday, July 3, 2010

Layout Progress as of 7/3/2010

This week I began adding vegetation to the Old Allatoona Road grade crossing scene at the southern end of the layout. I applied static grass fibers in varying lengths using a homemade static grass applicator. I then added trees to build up the woods behind the tracks. Finally, bushes and saplings were added to smooth the transition from grass to trees. There is still more vegetation to be added to this area (a few smaller foreground trees, in particular), but the overall scene is now starting to nicely take shape.

» Photos

In this photo, you can see where static grass has been added to the scene along the road and the railroad ROW. I used short (2mm) fibers along the road and medium (4mm) fibers along the tracks. I chose the autumn grass color because it is almost a perfect match to the prototype photos I took of this area in June 2007:

The static grass fibers look absolutely terrific when applied to the layout. With the texture and depth they provide, the fibers really do look just like tall grass growing on the layout. However, my point-and-shoot digital camera does not do justice when photographing this effect. The following photo is about the best I can do to convey the height and depth of the static grass--look at the far end of the scene where the track passes through the opening and you can clearly see how the fibers stand up in contrast to the dark green background trees painted on the backdrop:

Finally, a quick look at the trees that the family created prior to planting on the layout. These trees are just SuperTrees plant material painted gray, dipped in diluted matte medium and covered with Woodland Scenics coarse foam: