The LF&NW Layout Thread

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jwb

Member
It's doing me a lot of good to post these photos. I was in the model railroad doldrums for a while, which we all get into, but I seem to be coming out, and it's as help to see where I've been! I want to focus in on a couple of scenery areas that I'd been stalled on but am coming back to. One is an Appalachian area, part of a couple of scenes that were inspired by MR's Virginian project layout, that had been sitting in a "not quite sure what to do with" part of the layout. This is near, and scenically lower than, the EAST PORTAL station on the plan in the first post.

Here is what EAST PORTAL looked like in 1994:



The forthcoming scenes are in the empty area below and to the left of the sewer pipe. I don't think I have any other good shots of this area from construction days.

Here are some progress shots from the last couple of years:





The D&RGW GP40 above is on the main line coming downgrade from East Portal -- the track visible next to the sewer pipes in the first photo of this post.



You can get an idea of my basic scenery approach: wood framework, cardboard lattice, plaster cloth, covered first with Sculptamold or Celluclay and various plaster bits and details pressed into the Celluclay, then ground cover and veggies.




 

Lynnb

Active Member
Somemore great photos of your layout. I do the same planting broken up brick walls into the hill sides.
 

A2TwrOpr

Member
Things are progressing nicely for you! I'm digging the brick retaining wall under the rio grande geep. Keep up the good work
 

jwb

Member
More photos bringing progress on this area up to date:



There's a very talented Australian modeler named Mike Cawdrey who posts on several forums -- I think his best work was on The Whistle Post, which is now gone, but you can find some at http://model-railroad-hobbyist.com/node/16834 where he talks about using water putty for roads and other features. I took his idea in a couple of places and made this road-parking area from water putty.







The shed is one of the three in a Bar Mills "Shack Pack". I think I already posted a version of this in a "What I'm Working On" thread, but this brings progress up to a couple of weeks ago. Here is some work from the past couple of days, when I really began to burn rubber out of my doldrums:



Here's the view a little to the right:

 

jwb

Member
I have more work to do on the scene above, but I want to get going on another scene, at Terrible, where I haven't done a lot of work in recent years but want to do some improvements. First I'll repost the shot of Terrible I posted in an earlier thread, as it was in 1994 or so:



The backdrop is a combination of a Walthers desert scene, glued to coved hardboard on the left, blended behind the mine into a scene I painted myself. Here is the scene as of a year ago, when I started upgrading the mountain side on the right:



The rocks above the track are Mountains in Minutes, blended in with Celluclay mixed with some brown craft paint. Here is the area with natural dirt added, status as of yesterday:



The white to the left of the mill is the start of a tailings pile, something that has been on the to-do list since 1994. Here is the Terrible town area:



The buildings to the left are kits by Paper Creek, now defunct. The boxcar bodies were built from Paper Creek building papers. The small building in the center right is one of the old Kibri Wild West buildings, which have a lot of potential. I added an old gas pump, a smokejack, and a Blair Line Gas sign.
 
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jwb

Member
Here's the kind of thing I had in mind for rockwork:



I want to add a pole line:



And deserts are actually full of junk:



All grist for the mill!
 

wombat457

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Your rock work looks great and very realistic. I like how you have made it look as though there is loose rock - great work.
 

gator do 65

Member
JWB,

Where were those last pics taken? They look to be in north LA county! Also your work is outstanding! Awesome talent!
 

jwb

Member
The first was on Raton Pass. The second was at Bena, at the start of the Tehachapi north slope. The third was at Monolith, near Tehachapi.
 

jwb

Member
Here's the work in progress on the tailings pile. I roughed out a basic shape from a couple of pieces of while foam:



When I start working with plaster, Sculptamold, Celluclay, sloppy glue, craft paint, and so forth around structures, I wrap them in kitchen plastic wrap. This keeps crud off them while allowing me to bring scenery right up to the structure where needed. Here's the mine getting wrapped and being put back in place:





Then I built up the tailings pile shape with Celluclay mixed with craft paint, going against the side of the mine, but protecting it with the plastic wrap:



I'll let the Celluclay dry for several days while I go on to other projects, then I'll come back to this. I got so wound up in doing Celluclay that I went back to the Appalachian area and started putting permanent bases under the buildings that had been just sitting on the hard shell above the Rock City barn:



I mentioned on one of Tony/Wombat's threads that these are part of a Hallmark store holiday set from (as I saw when I picked them up and looked at the bottoms) 1994. They were marketed as model railroad items and were roughly TT scale. Now that I'm looking at them set more into the scenery, I think they're working very well and am going to do more with this area now.
 
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jwb

Member
I put down a Celluclay base for the third Hallmark structure:



I more or less rediscovered these on a storage shelf about a year ago. I didn't think that much of them, but I set them on the hardshell thinking hmm, maybe -- but once theyre bedded into the scenery and look more like they're supposed to be there, I think they're remarkable for what they are. This is the last one I have, but there's space for maybe two more structures in this area. The jury is out on what I'll do for that.

I repositioned the Terrible gas station and built up some Celluclay roads in the area:



Then I turned to the town buildings. When I set them up in scenery the first time, I didn't put enough Sculptamold in place for a street. The building fronts are hanging in the air:



I had a handy plaster casting I'd already made for a stone retaining wall, so I will now add this and fill in a road in front of the stores.



The casting is from a latex mold Dave Frary used to sell.
 

Lynnb

Active Member
This is getting very interesting, looking great. When you say Celluclay base is it straight Celluclay? I use Celluclay in my ground goop mixture.
 

jwb

Member
Thanks! I've tried various things for ground goop. I started with Lou Sassi's formula of 1 part Celluclay, 1 part Sculptamold, and a dollop of white glue. It got to be a lot of trouble to maintain stocks of each -- especially when my LHS maybe or maybe didn't keep either Celluclay or Sculptamold in stock. A couple years ago I got a big bag of Celluclay and ran out of Sculptamold, so wound up sticking with Celluclay, at least for now, although Sculptamold is almost the same thing but cheaper. The current batches in this set of projects are just Celluclay mixed with water and brown craft paint, although I used up the last of the craft paint today. Having cut out white glue in these batches, I sort of like the result a little better -- white glue shrinks a lot, but Celluclay doesn't shrink as much without it.
 

Lynnb

Active Member
I know what you mean about hard to keep stock of the ground goop. I generally by latex paint in a 5 gallon paint, cheap as could be and color it. This gives me lots of paint for painting the plaster cloth I lay as well as making my roads and making my ground goop mix. Your right about sculptamold being cheaper Celluclay although I didn't realize it until I bought scuptamold at a curries craft supply. I have 4 bags of scuptamold sitting here and don't really want to use it until I have to.
 

jwb

Member
I just found this photo from 1994 of what has become the Appalachian area. You can recognize the sewer pipe in a fairly recent post looking the other way, toward the camera position here. The curving track on risers in the upper left is the same one that comes out of East Portal just at the sewer pipe. The Appalachian scene is on the left, below the upper curving track.

 




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