Monday, May 11, 2020

April Showers Bring Layout Progress (4/18-4/19)

Between the stay-at-home orders and the rainy weather, April turned out to be a very productive month on the Valley Line - at least with regard to scenery progress in Wethersfield.

The last progress pics showed the "grassing in" of the landscape west of the mainline between Jordan Lane and Church Street. Next, I moved east of the line - focusing primarily around Fernwood Street and the residential area there (including John Wallace's house).

Having glued in the sidewalks I made previously, and taped them for protection, I brushed on a layer of glue and added 2mm green static grass with the Noch applicator. It looks especially light here since the glue hasn't dried yet.

I should have done the Cape house first, practicing on that before tackling Wallace's yard. As you can see from this distance, even the fine ground foam in the Cape yard looks good and realistically varied.

The first application was a bit thin, and I also had to complete the back yard as well. So the tape went back on the walks, and I added some cardstock "masks" to protect the surrounding area, and sprayed on some hairspray and added another layer of grass.

Here's the result. You ESPECIALLY want to be sure to cover/mask things when using the hairspray.

I used the same technique for the "Cape" yard and while that was drying, I added my field grass mix to the area between the lawn and the dirt bulk track area north of the station.

Overall view of the area looking south between Jordan Lane and Church Street. Note the iPad showing a Zoom meeting of other model railroaders staying connected.

Closeup view of the Cape house set in place. Still need to add the picket fence and shrubbery around the foundation. And probably a tree or two.

John Wallace's house will definitely need some shrubs and climbing roses (hopefully still ok for late Sept/early Oct)

Moving from the residential to the industrial, here's how Wethersfield Lumber - and the ROW - is looking with the grass in and dry.

I'd mentioned earlier the problem with the built-in base for this structure (which represents the Ballantine's beer distributor). It looks much better here with the base removed - and some judicious weathering applied.

And speaking of weathering, here's the Ballantine's office - a little more worn than I'd expected it to come out (and a reminder to take frequent breaks to check weathering progress. It's much easier to add more than to remove too much).

Also played around with some bumping posts on the sidings. Thankfully, I sent this photo to John before going any further. And he let me know the only "bumper" there was at the end of this siding was a large pile of ashes from the station's coal stove. Oh - and there was no ramp either by the late 1940s. SO nice to have some first-hand knowledge of the area!

I don't think he recalls how the end of the Wethersfield Lumber Co. siding was protected (why on earth would he?), so I decided to just use these wheel stops. However, he DID let me know that the company office was in the north end of this shed, rather than in a separate building as I'd first thought (and modeled). No worries - that model may end up elsewhere. And not having it here saves some precious space between the shed and the backdrop.

Overall view of the Fernwood Street neighborhood, looking northwest.

So that's the progress-to-date north of Church Street. Definitely needs a LOT more work: more textures, bushes, some trees, details like fencing and such. But it definitely has reached a level of "done-ness" and definitely looks better than the plain plywood and foam (even if it's painted).

The next & final "big" task (as opposed to detailing task) needed here is the backdrop. So it's back to (re)learn PhotoShop Elements..... not to mention hoping that I've taken the right landscape photos!

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