Tuesday 25 May 2021

Lorlie and Foster Scenery Part 1


This portion of the layout has looked like this for a few years and has been used as a place to pile stuff on???  It's time has come. I will do a couple of posts on this area. I knew I wanted to make changes to the layout of the track work but just could not get motivated. I find it really hard to fit square pegs in to round holes. When it moves me it goes really easy and I can find my artistic side and enjoy it.

So the first task was to change the the direction of the siding at Lorlie.  Prior to this change the sidings at Lorlie and Foster faced opposite directions. I moved the switch from the right side of the picture to  the space on the left side. The elevator will also need to be moved. Since I glue my track down with Weldbond white glue I just had to wet it and then pry out the switch. The switch is laying at the back in 2 pieces, I then took out the ties on the left for the switch to go back in. Because the track is on a curve it worked out that I could reuse the same switch by having the divergent become the main line and I was also able to use some of the same rail .

This picture shows the siding rails and ties have been removed.

The photo below shows the switch stand and new siding in place and rails back on the main line. The main is code 70 and the siding is code 55. The wiring and controller for the switch is complete. I also made new points for the switch.

With the switch and siding changed (The following procedure for texture is what I use everywhere) I  ballasted the main from Lorlie down to Foster. I used screened sand for the ballast. Once the ballast is in place I spray it with ( 10%  of  70% alcohol + 90% water) Once wet I dribble on the glue. I used my card stock E Class station to see exactly where it will sit and have laid down some boards where the crossing will go. I also added the dirt to the outside of the right of way. 

The white you see in the dirt in any of the next pictures is just glue (30% Mod Podge matt and 20% Weldbond glue). I use the Mod Podge to make the glue a matt finish so the dirt is not glossy when it dries which is what would happen if I just used Weldbond. I add the Weldbond to the mix to give it more strength. If you want wet looking dirt then just use the Weldbond. The surface of the foam has been painted a clay colour so if some dirt comes off that is what you would see. It also gives slopes a clay colour that I can blend in to the dirt. The ditches were cut using a cone wire brush on my drill or with a counter sink bit to cut the smaller ones or deeper spots. The bottle you see is my glue applicator. I dribble on the glue and spread it with my fingers or with a brush. The screened dirt is then sprinkled on top of the glue. At this point not all the dirt may stick but that is ok as I will add more glue to add the grass.

This is my dirt applicator by using this I can control it better and have a tighter edge. I also have a small version of this for tight spots or against walls. The screen has about .015 openings.

Coffee time.

Looking at the middle of the picture below around the outside edges of the dirt there was a change of height from where the pieces of foam meet. To create the transition I tape the joint first with masking tape and then add very fine sand, wet it and glue it. While it is wet I sprinkle dirt on top of the sand. The reason for this is that sand  is very easy to work with even if it is an inch deep or more.  When the glue dries the sand is very solid. If I tried the same thing with dirt it would be hard to ever get it wet enough so that when you add the glue it doesn't ball up and run and deeper applications of dirt will crack as it dries but the sand never does this. The dirt has also been added to the rest of the inside of the curve. I use this same technique to make my road crossings.

Once the dirt is down I wet it again, dribble on more glue and add the grasses. I use Woodlands fine foam and Noch static grass. The grass on the inside of the track only goes as far as the right of way would be. It will be taller and thicker where the fence line is. 

These are the shaker jars that I use to apply ground fine foam. They are just old  jars with holes punched in the lid. Green and burnt green are my base colours.

To get the static grass to build up a bit I will spray the first coat with cheap high hold hair spray and then apply some more. The 2 bottles on the right now just have my wettings agent in them.

I then use any of the other  ground foams I have depending on what look I want.

Since I ran out of Real Water I have started using white glue for wet spots. At the bottom of the picture below the ditch in this case was filled with undiluted white glue.   After it is partly set up I added the tall grass, ties and some more rocks. The white glue depth will shrink so you may have to add a second coat to the desired depth.

I also added this pond at the end of the track at Foster. This track was used to go back to the main line but I removed that connection so it is just a dead end branch line now. There will be a tree view block added later.

This shows another place where I used sand to make the transition from the 1 inch high foam before the dirt is added.

This brings us all the way back to Waldron

The picture below shows the view of the round pond surrounded by grass next to the partition from the Lorlie side.  You can also see that I have  added more dirt. There will also be a tree view block on this side.

The elevator has been successfully removed from its previous spot and is sitting where it will now live. The siding is ballasted with cinders. I need to add foam to fill in the holes where the elevator foundation sat  before.  Any of the texture seen on the foam where the elevator sat can be wet down and easily scraped  off. 

As seen on the left of the photo below I used pieces of foam to get the station and platform to the right height.  I glued 3 pieces of 1 inch foam together and then cut it on my band saw in to 1/16 and 1/8 thick strips. These are glued down and  the station then sits on top of the foam pieces.

The space on the curve will be a farm yard with a tree block on both sides of the divider.

Next the streets and businesses will get laid out and added for both towns. The work seen in this post   took about 6 rainy days off and on.