I've been focusing on the Goff Brook/Wethersfield/East Berlin area of the layout and finally making some visual progress. Thankfully, Bill has been able to come over a few times lately and his work in the Goff Brook is really bearing fruit, as you can see:
|Looking northbound toward Goff Brook and Wethersfield. Note the line poles, heavy brush long the ROW and the farmer's field in the foreground (complete with wire fence).|
|Goff Brook Bridges - both railroad, and Middlesex Turnpike. Water still needs to be added, and need to figure out how to deal with the road heading into the backdrop, but this seen is really taking shape.|
|View of the edge of the (semi)finished area - really need to figure out that road/backdrop transition.|
|We'd debated whether to use a photo backdrop, but the mockup here makes it a no-brainer - I'll definitely be using them wherever possible.|
|Valley Coal area, looking north toward the station area. Note the use of old sheets, foamboard, and cardboard to protect the blue backdrop. It also helped that the exhaust fan was pulling air out the window to my right.|
|Station area looking north towards Wethersfield Lumber and the Rt. 15 bridge area. More use of old sheets.|
|East Berlin area with cardboard masks|
So after Bill showed me how he does it using a dry brush technique, I decided to try that. And it worked out great.
|Those that know me know how scary this photo is - first time I've ever used a |
I admit, this process does take some time (and it remains to be seen how noticeable it'll be once the track is ballasted and the scenery is in), but after the initial 10-15 minutes' acclimation it goes fast. I did all the track from Goff Brook through Wethersfield to East Berlin (+/- 35' of track, including sidings) in about 3 hours, start to finish. But the time was actually enjoyable (helped with some podcasts) and surprisingly therapeutic.
Unfortunately, it was only after I did all this nice tie weathering that I started to reconsider the Stanley Chemical siding in East Berlin.
Figuring this siding would be buried in the dirt, my original plan had been to have it make its way down from the main (on full-size (1/4"?) HO cork roadbed) to plywood level.
|I rasped the roadbed down to make a nice transition with no vertical kink - but there's still quite a gap.|
While I figured I could fill the resulting gap easily enough, I was worried that the track would actually be too low once I added ground goop and scenery.
So, figuring it would be much easier to build terrain up to cover the track rather than have to live with pancake flat plywood, I decided to add some N-scale roadbed underneath this siding as I had the others.
|Since I certainly didn't want to re-do all that nice tie weathering, I prepainted the new roadbed outside rather than in-place as I had all the others (again using the Krylon camo brown).|
|Then I had to carefully lift up the track, apply glue to the plywood, slide the roadbed underneath, apply glue to it and then lay the track back down - weighing it all down at once.|
If we can just remember that - and really take it to heart - I think the waves of motivation will continue to come in and give us a great ride.