Oh, and I had totally forgotten to plan for & install headblocks on my turnouts - but we'll get to that in a bit.
But first, Gra-Rock.
Using cork roadbed beneath your track becomes a slight problem when you want to model that "buried in the dirt" look of a siding. And the issue is just amplified when there is an industry alongside the track. That's the problem I confronted with the Gra-Rock building.
|I used foamcore board that was about the same thickness as the cork roadbed, cutting it to fit the footprint of the building.|
|Thankfully, I figured out before it was too late that I wanted to plan for a lawn & sidewalk in front of the main entrance between the building and Church Street.|
|To make sure no white showed through later, I painted the foamcore board with my dirt-colored paint.|
|Then it was off to the bench to make some sidewalks out of .020" thick styrene - 4' wide and cut to length.|
|Once I'd painted the sidewalk, I glued it in place. Given the foamcore base and the location of the sidewalk, it'd be easy to replace the building if I have to remove it for any reason.|
|The final step was to "raise the terrain" by troweling in enough Ground Goop in the surrounding area to level out the terrain, even with the track.|
I'd finally decided on a ballast to use for the mainline between Hartford & Middletown (which had been newly-ballasted during the summer of 1945) and had just started applying it when I noticed that something didn't look quite right . . .
|Yup - that's a naked turnout. No headblocks for the switchstand!|
|The good news is that Micro-Engineering supplies headblocks that will attach to either side of the turnout.|
The bad news is that, since the turnout is already installed on nice elevated roadbed, the headblocks hang out in space.
|The solution is to "backfill" the area under the headblocks with a scrap piece of roadbed, installed upside-down. And then to goop & scenic around it.|
|But first, I had to cut out all the parts and stick them to tape and into foam for painting.|
|All painted and ready to install.|
|Back to our turnout - this is one of the instances where Ground Goop is really handy. Just trowel it on like mud.|
|I then added some cinders to cover the goop and give our crews something nicer than traprock ballast to walk on.|
|The south end of the Wethersfield bulk track was a little tricky. First I had to carve out an even area for the cork to rest on.|
|Here's the cork and headblocks roughed in, but there was another challenge...|
|The terrain drops off pretty severely here.|
|So, I brought out more Ground Goop and filled in the area, creating a little berm. Trying to do all this modification with foam board would be pretty frustrating, I'd guess.|
|As the goop was drying, I added cinders and some fine ground foam for weeds.|
|The turnout to Valley Coal wasn't as difficult. Just cork, then goop.|
|Then cinders - taking them over to Wells Road.|
|Then some alcohol & glue to fix everything in place.|
|Then some fine-ground-foam weeds & let dry.|
|Some more finish shots - here are the turnouts for the Wethersfield bulk track and the lumber company. Again, I'll probably mess the area up a bit since these look a little too neat.|
|Wethersfield house track turnout.|
|And back to where we started - the Ballantine's turnout, at the north end of Wethersfield.|
Of course, it would have been much better if I'd remembered to plan for - and then install - the headblocks right from the start. But the important lesson learned here is that there are few things that can't be redone and/or fixed - especially when it comes to scenery and scenic elements.
Hopefully, that will reduce some of the anxiety you might feel to even get started. I know it's helped me - but it's a lesson I apparently have to relearn over and over again.
As we continue to try and get the blog caught up, be sure to check in tomorrow - yes, there'll be a special Sunday edition where we'll start some static grass(!)