Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Tuesday Tip: Level Foundations & Grass Glue

With the scenery north of Church Street being at a level of "done-ness" it was time to turn my attention south and to the Gra-Rock building area. (I also wanted to avoid diving right into the backdrop for a bit longer...)

View looking north past Church Street & the station area. I posted before how I raised the Gra-Rock building to track height using foam core board, but downside of using this material became apparent after I'd started scenicking around the area.

The moisture from the scenery process caused the board to warp slightly, resulting in an unsightly gap between the building's foundation and the "ground." Now, most folks would just add bushes or other ground cover around the foundation and call it a day. But that wouldn't address the gap underneath the steps leading up to the door - and I wanted to lower the building a tiny bit more anyway.

 So, out came the utility knife and putty knife and up came some of the foam core board. Thankfully, it's pretty easy to modify and/or remove. I wonder if I would have had this problem if I'd just removed the paper and used only the foam core itself...

Now THAT's better - or maybe I'm the only one who will ever notice....

Once further recessing was done (I needed to remove some board below the back addition as well), I hid the white areas with brown paint and it was time to start grassing - starting with the area around the sidewalk.

So, after protecting Church Street, I decided to try some Woodland Scenics static grass I had on-hand. I figured a different color of grass might be nice.

I also started grassing the area behind the building - using its being obscured to do a direct comparison test between the new "static grass glue" I'd purchased and plain, straight Elmer's white glue (I was about to run out of "wood glue max" and needed to decide whether to order more or just use the Elmer's I had on-hand).

Grass going in - and you can see I got a little too close with the vacuum on the grass around the sidewalk. You can see where it hit.

I continued grassing along the back until I ran out of the "wood glue max" and from that point on I used straight Elmer's.

I also decided that something looked "off" about the grass/lawn between Gra-Rock and Church Street.

So I decided to shoot it with some hairspray and add some of the same grass I used for the lawns on Fernwood St. Bonus: the "crop circule" just about disappeared.

By the way, in case you're interested in the mix of colors and lengths I use for the "grassy fields" in Wethersfield, see the pic above (or, if you're not, then this is just for my own reference). I use approx 50% of the Heki 3378, then 15-20% each of the Heki 33701 & 33711, and then 10-20% of the Noch to give it a dying look. Shaken & stirred.

Note masking tape "dam" added to the front of the layout to (try and) keep the static grass from falling to the floor.
I continued the static grass on both sides of the mainline south to Wells Road, using straight Elmer's white glue. I couldn't detect much, if any, difference between using it and the "wood glue max" I mentioned a couple weeks ago." Both adhered the grass the same & they both dry clear. The white glue is a bit easier to spread, since it's not as thick & tacky as the wood glue. The white glue is also much less expensive (and sold by the gallon) and more versatile than the wood glue (e.g. you can use it for ground goop, ballast, other scenery, etc).

So, going forward, I'll be using Elmer's White Glue. Unlike past times though, I'll be sure and use the white glue straight, with no dilution, and spread thin. YMMV & the wood glue max is a great product (and definitely thicker/stickier), but IMO it's not SO much better that it justifies the extra cost and hassle of having to find/order it. Elmer's can be found just about anywhere by the gallon.

I finished the Gra-Rock site (well, brought it to a level of "done-ness") by adding some medium height (4-6mm) grass around the base/foundation. I'll also be adding some additional vegetation to further cover any remaining gap. And I'll glue down the stairs when I'm ready to fix the structure in place. But for now, I really need to get to that backdrop!

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