Monday, November 18, 2019

Goff Brook Brook

It's a bit ironic that the more progress you make on the layout the less time you have to post about it. That's where I'm at lately - lots of blog fodder but little in the way of blog posts. Folks following the Valley Local group on Facebook have gotten a small taste of what's been up on the layout these past couple of months, so it's high time to start catching up here . . .
As I mentioned a couple weeks ago, much of October was taken up filling in the Airline and extending the Saybrook scene. Well, somewhere during the middle of the month, BillS came over and we finally got around to adding some water to the Goff Brook scene. You know - so that there'd actually be a brook at Goff Brook. I even alluded to it in a Wordless Wednesday . . .
Water poured 10/16/19 - still covered here on 10/23 to keep the warmth in during curing and to keep the dust off. The foil really didn't need to be here any longer than a day or so.

Goff Brook circa July 2017
Goff Brook had been experiencing a severe "drought" for over 2 years and I've also been wanting to finish the Mattabesset River over in the East Berlin area I've been scenicking, so I decided to try out a new (to me) product: Woodland Scenics Deep Pour Water.

Most folks - including me - have heard of using EnviroTex for water. It's certainly a lot less expensive than the WS product, but I'd heard enough horror stories about the smell and it's tendency to creep up the banks that I figured the WS price was worth paying for the relatively small pours I'd need.

Full Disclosure: I have never used EnviroTex.

The WS product comes with a pretty detailed instruction manual, but it's basically a two-part resin that you have to mix. The exact amount can be calculated by using the handy WS calculator app (which I downloaded to my phone). I could only tell a few real differences between this product and what I've heard about EnviroTex (and affirmed by BillS, who was with me for this first try - and has used EnviroTex): It's heat activated so you should warm it up a bit before using it, per the instructions (um, we didn't do that and it turned out ok - but I will definitely do it in the future); it has no smell that I could detect; and it didn't tend to creep up the banks.

The version I got was the "Murky Water" - which is essentially their clear water product with the color already mixed in. I also purchased a package of the clear water & a separate bottle of the coloring agent to try that at another time.

I don't know if it was beginner's luck, or if I've over-psyched myself out about doing scenery, but I think it came out pretty nice:

We poured it to a thickness of probably about 3/16" (the instructions recommends only 1/8" at a time), but hopefully you can see how translucent it is, despite it's overall "murky" tone.

Old abandoned dam just to the west of the Middlesex Turnpike. Yes, it's there on the prototype (though the culvert is not) and was used to create an ice pond in the winter before electric refrigeration.
It's also just a tad cloudy when you bounce the light off of it. I read elsewhere that that's one of the side effects of not warming up the product first. But it turns out, it was perfect for what I wanted - a murky (not mucky) stream with some, um, oil slick runoff from Valley Coal (yeah, that's the ticket).

I still may try my hand at adding some ripples using gloss Modge Podge - especially around the rocks. But for now, I'll call this scene, if not actually done, at least at an acceptable level of "doneness" that I can make some progress in other areas.

Let me know what you think in the comments!


  1. Thanks for showing us this, Chris - the water brings life and even emotion to the scene.

    1. Thanks George! Appreciate your taking the time to leave a comment and let me know :^)

  2. Thanks for the update on the brook. I think it really adds to the overall scene. I was wondering if you will be adding water cascading over the dam (can't see the full dam to know where the water is coming from to have the water down stream)?

  3. Thanks for the compliment Ken! It actually didn't occur to me to do the cascading water thing (as cool as that would look, actually) since on the prototype the dam no longer holds back an ice pond (actually, the prototype dam has a breach in it that we didn't realize until later). So I may just have a few trickles of water coming over the top at most.

  4. Not to be too critical Chris but a few trickles wouldn't sustain the amount of water down steam that you have.

    1. AH! I see better what you mean now Ken - and really great observation. But this area is actually more of a pond/backwater/inlet from the CT River - not really flowing at all (though admittedly as a "brook" there is a tiny bit of flow - but the volume is really a result of being so close to the CT River). If I was starting from scratch, I might have modeled the dam as totally breached and put the culvert over next to the road rather than the backdrop. But that particular road is supposed to be a mile or so north of this spot(!) Oh the joy of prototype modeling (which must inevitably evolve into protofreelancing, at least at some level :^)

    2. BTW - I just realized that you may not know the road I'm talking about cuz it's just off the photos to the right %^)

    3. Thanks for the clarification on the backwater situation. Now that make sense.Again super nice scene.

    4. Thanks much Ken! Really appreciate the compliment, but should give credit where due - Bill Schneider is responsible for most (if not all) of this scene. I *did* build the bridge & house though!