|Here's the general concept.|
|Here is the the crossing scene with the far mountain ridgeline installed.|
|Here the backdrop silhouette work is completed and the rock sides of the lake glued in place. The near shore will be a marshy area at the bottom of a steep slope down from the rounded homasote cutout above. I can now remove the .040 styrene sheet, paint my lake on it, detail the shoreline and lake bottom, seal the enclosure with gloss medium, and pour the Magic Water. Then I'll replace the finished lake in a single piece, glue it down, and tie in the marshy part of the near shore line to the adjoining terrain using trees, rocks, foliage, and ground cover etc.|
|Here is the completed scene. As it turns out, the shadow of the bridge on the lake helps to add depth, and so does the juuxtaposition of the two fishermen and the small sialboat. If I had it to do over again, I would make the large triangular rock a bit smaller than the one the fishermen are standing on.|
|Here is the mountain with the rock, walls, and track masked off and the texture applied. In this photo the plaster is still wet. It will dry a much lighter color. In this case I got the red earth mix a little on the purple side, but it doen't matter. I'll go back over it with thinned latex paint color wash using my basic red-earth color to adjust the color once it dries and sets up hard. Once set, you can quickly but lightly over-wash this stuff with thinned paint to correct color and then with thinned glue (either white or matte medium) to attach ground cover. But you must be very careful - just lightly dab the fluids on - don't use forceful brush strokes or you will smooth out the grainy texture, and don't spray because you'll want to leave a few spots uncovered so some earth shows throuhg here and there. It's a great effect..|
|Here is the finished earth texturing, ready for ground cover.|
|And here is the mountain with the basic ground cover applied. I like the Woodland Scenics fine truf and mixed turf products for this: first fine turf in a medium green, then a dusting of green blend (a WS mix of fine turf made from a variety of greens) and then a few spots of burnt grass and yellow colored fine turf for variety. The forest floor sections, covering the dark-brown-earth painted areas, is made using two shades, soil or earth colored WS fine truf, with a sprinkling of fine turf in a burnt green and then a sprinkling of course turf in a light green. I have left the road uncovered allowing the textured red earth to show, and I sprinlked on a little ballast to simulate gravel. Then, liberally using contact cement, I added the tree line where the mountain meets the wall. Notice I use larger clumps on the lower slopes and deminish the size of the clumps as I assend to the top where I have a thick forest covering the summit. At this point things are beginning to take shape, and the forced perspective effect is clearly beginning to work.|
|Now I add bushes and shrubs and vines to the rock outcroppins, again using plenty of contacct cement and Woodland Scenics Clump Foliage in three colors and WS Foliage to simulate creeping vines on the rock faces: large clumps in the foreground and generally smaller climps of folaige as I go up the slopes. At this point, I will also add a little more color to the rocks using pastels and washes to emulate mosses, and lichens, and dirty spots. Notice the varriations in the grass color and bare earth patches I have allowed to show thorugh here and there. I have also added a few loose rocks, thickets, and a few fallen trees to the forrest floor areas in perperation for adding my trees.|
|Trees: I like to use a variety of tree types in a variety of
green shades. Here I'll be using trees salvaged from the A&BR1, so
each tree will have to be refurbished with foliage and paint. Before I
add my trees, I like to install a
few strategicially-placed trees to help me execute the
forced perspective. These represent the largest trees and
shrubs in any given area, and I can use them as a guide to size
the surriunding trees and other greenery. Also, although I did
not do it here, I often give the
smallest and most distant trees and shrubs just a hint of gray
over-spray to add to the illusion of distance.
Here's the mountain completed. I placed and lanscaped two structures (N scale for the house in the foreground and Z scale for the more distant house in the upper right on the horizon). Finally, I added a vehicle, a few figures, and some cows
|Looking up this mountain meadow gives a good idea of the effectiveness of my forced perspective.Every thing gets smaller and less distinct as the eye move up the hill. Note the cows in two sizes - the cows in the distance are goats painted to look like cows.|
|Model railroading can be a dusty business. While the the adjacent scenery is under construtction I'll cover my completed work with this very thin plastic sheeting. It is light enough to rest on the tree tops without damage.|
|Two refurbished HP desktops: 64 bit, 4 gig or RAM, 180 gig memory, 3.0gHz, with 8 serial ports, wifi, network port, 17 inch monitors, keyboard and mouse. Total cost delivered: $268!|
|Here is a preliminary sketch of the proposed controll desk that will house the monitors and keyboards.|
|Here is the area in question. I plan a
deep water lake along the back wall joining the wall about 1/2 inch up
and resting on the homosote strips I have installed just beneath the
styrene strip with the tree line photo on it. There wil be a deep
water inlet (cove) beneath the two crossing bridges and terminating in
rock face around the cork area in the lower right corner of the photo,
and I plan another shallow swampy wetland cove under the wooden tressel
near the edge of the plywood to the left-center of the photo.
The plan is to layout the water feature in place on four sections of .040 styrene, taking care that they join with nice straight edges. Then I'll mark the outline of the lake and the exact joint locations, remove the sections, place them on a flat bench, tape them back in place and then glue them careflly together using plastic cement to form a single piece. Next, I'll glue a .080 sytrene barrier along the long back edge where it will join to the wall using thin plastic model cement. And then I'll create the shoreline by molding about 1/4+ inch high sculptamold barrier all the way around.
When the sculptamold is dry, I'll seal everything up well (the brrrier strip, the homosote shoreline and the sheet styrene joints) using thick gloss medium. Then I'll paint the lake bottom, detail the lake bottom arond the shore, and pour my Magic Water. Finnally, I'll use a very sharp razon knife to cut the sections apart again. and reinstall them in place on the layout. I have taken care to make sure that the cuts will be masked from the viewer's eye by the bridges and the roadbed causeway, and if I am careful making my cuts they will be pretty much invisable anyway. I tried this last week on a little test lake I made when I first began to experiment with Magic Water. I could detect a fine line where the Magic Water was cut, but it was subtle indeed.
|Here are the four .040 styrene sheets in place. Note: I have left about 1/8" clearance under the tressel pilings.|
|Here the styrene pieces are removed and reassembled on a flat place on the bench top.|
|And here they are glued back together and a .080 sqaure strip of styrene barrier added along the back edge (it does not show up in this photo,) and with the low sculptamold shoreline molded all around.|
|Now the whole thing is sealed with
gloss medim with extra attention to sealing the sheet styrene joints.
is then painted with flat latex paint in two shades of green: a
for deep water and a ligher, dustier green for the shallows.
(The color gradations do not show up in the photo, and they are indeed
subtile, but still, they are clear
to the eye.) Then the shoreline in-water and
underwater detail (rocks, dead trees, gravel, some in-water plant life
in the swamp etc.) is added and, after careful mixing, the Magic
Water is poured. This
took nearly 48 hrs to fully dry.
I calculated the area of the lake (~308 sq inches) and since I know 18 oz of Magic Water will cover ~244 quare inches .125 inch deep. I calculate 12 oz will cover my 308 square inch to a depth of about .074 inches.That's a bit over a 1/16 of an inch. Remember I have a .080 strip styrene barrier in the back, so 12 oz ought to be about right. I just need to make sure the entire thing is super level. Notice I have surrounded the thing with .040 sheets of styrene, which I can use as shims should there be low spots that want to overflow after the pour. This stuff stays liquid for hours, so making these kinds of adjustments, if need, is easy.
|Finished lake and wetland.|
|Here is the completed frame with tunnel
portals and highway roadbed in place and little shelves for rock faces
base and near the rocky summit. In between, there will be a large,
relatively flat, undulating mountain pasture, and two level pads: the
for a z scale barn, silo, and farmhouse; and the smaller closer
pad for an N Scale aluminium grain storage silo - again I'm
force the perspective, and I hope to make the very top of this mountain
appear very distant indeed. Most of the town
of Westridge will be built on the hatch-top, which will cover te void
on the right in this photo.
One of the things I like to o while roughing out a large scene is to place any structures on the sufaces I am preparing for them to see if everything fits and looks in scale and convincing. In this case when I placed the housem barn and silo on the pad I had prepared for them, they seemed a little crowded, so I added another separate pad for the house a little higher up the slope. You can see it in the following photo.
|Rock faces screwed or glued in place, plastic screen "skin"
installed, hiway surfaces installed, homasote modeling in process.
Notice the narrow strip of styrene running along the slope from the
highway up to the farm pads. This supply a level base for a little
gravel/dirt farm road and I can modle in a little cut and fill as I
apply the sculptamold. Again the force perspetive is already beginnng
|Initial base paint job|
|Plaster/tempra ground texture applied and over-wash earth tone paint applied- ground cover applied, and rocks dry-brushed with light gray and then very lightly with white.|
|Shrubs and trees installed to complete my second mountain scene.|