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(!)