Tuesday 7 May 2019

Landscaping Part III

Well, here we are again, only this time we are coming down the home stretch to finish the mountain scenery on the layout.   Thank you for joining us.

The pictures posted here hopefully will show the progression of  techniques already discussed.

This blue / pink  foam combo began with 4 layers of 2" insulation foam. ( The pink foam was from Home Depot, but they stopped carrying it in store,  but Lowes carried the same material in guess what color?  ) ;-)

I have no earthly idea how many glue sticks I have use on this layout !  Carved the foam with my trusty hot sculpting iron previously described.  In the last section I noted that all terrain features, be it trees, mountain contours,  even placement of figures...should all have a purpose...that is to guide the viewer's eye....

Below note that the "notch" on the close side of this formation slopes up....toward the Kirche Platz, ( the church ) and the large mountain on the mural !

Forming a walkway from the last bridge down the formation to the Kirche Platz. 

Below ....toward the tunnel and Kirche Platz...

Note that the entry to the tunnel is lined with Noch wall material, but the tunnel is large enough to allow the viewer to see through the tunnel.   Now a series of pix with the orthopedic gauze  coverings. 

And now...some of the results. 

Note the walkway leading the eye to the Kirche Platz, as well as the helix w waterfall, and the large mountain in the mural ....

Here we can see the stair case at 9:00 from the city, the path from the staircase to the Chapel, and then the pathway to the pedestrian bridge and then arching back to the Kirche Platz. 

The upward slope of this mountain pulls the viewer's eyes.....

Now it all fits together....

Interesting how just a "dash" of color seems to create a serene ambience.......it is only a little "coarse turf" from WS. 

Thanks for joining me on this little journey ....hope you enjoyed it.....Blessings ....alan

Landscaping Part II

Thank you once again for "tuning in" to the is little journey with my layout.    I am having fun documenting the progress in its construction. 

We already covered the techniques with the previous post...so let's just show some developmental pix. 

The next area to scenic is the one at 3:00 with the smaller wooden bridge.  We already discussed the crossing with the "pedestrian" bridge.  

Walkway to the bridge carve with sculpting hot iron. 

In the last post we discussed the section to the left of the tracks. ....it is still "curing" ( drying --may require about 7-8 days to cure )  Now we are focused on the section to the right of the tracks....already scenic'd with rock moulds and Sculptamold ( SC).   Track is weathered and the curves are "super-elevated" with 3mm foam strips ...trains look cool traveling around the curves ! 

You can see the wires on the distant side of the Pedestrian bridge...which when connected will illuminate the bridge interior. 

More cantenary to be added....

Preparing the outside section...how gluing foam scraps to build an outline. 

Again note the canting of the  track with the 3mm foam board. 

This terrain "notch" was intentional in its location.....placement of trees, terrain features,  and contour of mountains should all have a purpose, and that is to take the viewer's eye to a specific location on the layout.  That intended "target" for the viewers can be a section of the mural, the church, the helix, or just to pull the eye thru the "gap" in the mountains following the trains.  

I was taught by some very accomplished modelers who emphasized that it is better for the train to "dance" in and out of terrain features rather than to disappear into a tunnel.  

Sorry...lighting not perfect...but note the multiple rock moulds.  The black washes certainly make the details jump out.   That's all for now...on to the next post.....thank you for participating.....

Landscaping in Stages. Path from the City, over the tracks, and Return to the Kirche Platz.

Hello all.....

I just completed three stages of Landscaping and thought I would share a few photos and discuss some of the techniques.  I have actually used 4 slightly different techniques to scenic the rock work on the layout, all seemingly blending into each other.....fun to experiment !

Let's look at the first project: 

In our first stage we needed to create an initial path from the city up to the path already created to the chapel shown on previous slides.

Below:  The foreground area at 6:00 is the area of interest for this initial discussion.  We can see the "pedestrian" bridge crossing multiple tracks ( kit bashed from two kits ) to the other terrain feature at 1:00 and one of the stair sections which came with the kit at 4:00 providing entry from the city to this upper level.

We'll examine the area across the tracks at 1-2:00 with the next session.  The area of "pink" foam board is the tunnel formation, and the large mass of layered blue foam at 10:00 will be in our third session.

I hope you are laughing with me with the use of scrap foam below to build the base for this formation.  I carved some of the foam with a small rod foam cutter : 
( https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07BHDLC76/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o04_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1)  

Actually a pretty nifty little foam cutter.   Foam formation below looks really rough, no?  '-)

Also below, we can see the Kirche Platz and the path to the Chapel mentioned earlier. 

Carved out the ramp across the tracks to the upper bridge with the  foam cutter...saved a lot of rasping, carving and vacuuming......

Covered the foam base with orthopedic gauze ( commercial available in bulk ) and Sculptomold ...love to work with that material.   Used multiple rock mold castings as well.  We can see the re-located stairs a 9:00 near one of the city bulidings.  Now for the staining and landscaping. 

To connect the stairs to the pathway, I had to scratch build a walkway.  Used a thickish piece of cardboard,  painted it, and covered it with Noch wood planking.  Added railings...

We now can note how the stairs connect with the path which veers to the left to reach the Chapel, and to the right to reach the pedestrian bridge.   Note the rock molds...multiples !  

There are multiple videos demonstrating how to incorporate the rock molds in the scene with the Scupltamold....just us a 1-1 1/4" old brush and "work in" the SC into the joints around the rock molds. ...blends well. 

Staining technique: 
1) Air brush the unfinished plaster / Sculptomold base with a light gray paint....
2) Dilute yellow ochre, burnt umber and raw sienna as accent stains. 
3) Multiple very dilute black washes over the entire surface...makes the creases "pop" out ! 
4) Dry brush with white acrylic in a tube. 
5) With a small artist's ( 1/4" )brush, paint on dilute Mod Podge ( about 4:1 ) over the areas where you want to add some very fine greenery --like a lichen or moss growing among the rocks. ...I use a combination of Woodland Scenics fine turfs..( Burnt Grass and Earth Blend mixed in a plastic cup and gently blown onto the wet surface with a small spoon of material and propelled by a puff of breath. )  
6) Then I sprinkle on a mixture of WS coarse turfs if a light green and yellowish color.  Throw in a little red and yellow coarse turfs --and you have field flowers ! 
7) I also like to use the WS "Foliage"...a netting material impregnated with a fine green material....nice to cover over junctions of tunnel entrances and where the Sculptomold meets the tunnel mantels. 
8) The "tree" material I used is WS "Fine Leaf Foliage".....beautiful material but also very expensive ....I'll bet there are better options out there , but I started using this after watching some videos and decided not to change....conformity within the entire layout. 
9) Fix the loose materials in place:  first spray with a  FINE mist of rubbing alcohol, then with a FINE mist of dilute Mod Podge. 

Hikers have now gained access to the fist level on the path to the Kirche Platz...they'll have to cross the pedestrian bridge and then the small wooden bridge seen at 2:00 ...both illuminated, BTW.   ( the path base is a fine ballast material)