“Hi Al, ok my friend, here we go picture by picture. I’ll keep each one fairly brief, buy hopefully understandable.
For module building it’s scene oriented, so that’s first, a basic idea of what I want to depict. Start with the frame or ‘bench work. ‘ I use 2×2’s for the legs and 1×3 for the framing for the top and around towards the bottom. I stay with 1×3 for the risers for the eventual track bed as well. Once I’ve figured out what the center piece is going to be i.e. bridge, buildings, yards, etc. I screw in the risers where the track will run through.
I then figure out the scenery plan and frame that out, thus the thin card board stripping can be stapled in place to prepare for plaster cloth to cover those areas and tie in with the road bed.
Next step is to add plaster to solidify all areas and start to build a solid scenery base, so I get a sense where rock molds will go, if I add to my thoughts as I go along I’ll use moist newspaper to build up a mountain or hill and plaster that. Also the track bed is in place and covered so the hand laid ties don’t get messy.
Once I’ve settled on a scene, I place the rocks where I’d like them to be and place the subject in as to get a picture of how it’s going to look. I paint an earth color in depending on the geographical location, in this case a Colorado narrow gauge area.
Of course many colors are added later, but this is a base.
Rocks and bridge abutments are now being plastered in place and rock build ups I’d like to add, I wanted a water fall so I had to build up the center for height.
Rocks are now plastered in and I’m fairly happy with placement, this took some thought of course and didn’t happen over night. In this scene you’ll see I’ve added more dirt color, sifted sand and starting to add small rocks in different areas. The water bed is taking same as well.
Once the rock, earth, water bed and general scene has been blended together I add my trees and rearrange them a few times for, a hopefully aesthetic taste with different kinds of trees and shrubs eventually. Now it’s really taking shape and I can almost smell the outcome.
I’ve now added ground foam and various ground textures of many colors, green, yellow, brown (all kinds available) including pieces of fallen tree limbs, driftwood etc. The water fall and river bed are now coated with a thin veneer of plaster. Once dry I give it a muddy base color, then paint the center of the river bed a dark color for depth. Rocks and driftwood are added to the river bed.
Once everything is dry river bed wise, it’s time to pour in the 15 minute two part epoxy with a tiny and I mean tiny bit of blue/green tint added. If too much is added it takes away the clear water look and realism. Don’t forget to dam the front of any scene so the epoxy won’t run onto the floor..lol
The reason I use epoxy for years is that it dries completely flat which is good. because once dry I start adding ‘Liquitex’ gloss medium & varnish with a brush starting from the back to the front. Many layers are added so the it creates movement to the water. Make sure each thin layer dries before adding a new one. You can add a tiny tiny bit of blue tint to the first couple of layers (acrylic works best) . It dries clear so the effect is what I want & hopefully looks real.
For the water fall, I used woodland scenic water effects (expensive stuff!) I measure the length & width of the fall. I use a Pyrex glass long baking dish to brush on the water strips, I say strips because it may take a few before your satisfied with the amount of white acrylic you’ve added so it looks fairly real. Once you’re satisfied, you can use the water effect stuff to glue it in place and even use it to attach it to the bottom of where it’s landing. Once dry and in place, it’s time to add more gloss medium to blend it in. I added more white acrylic to the gloss medium where the fall hits the river bed, around rocks and whatever else would cause water to ripple and have foam.
I lay the track rails once scenery is done and spike them in, Bridge can now be added and adjusted with shoes given a rusty color and any details around the scene I care to add just from observing nature. There’s more than one color to rocks by the way, there’s many bottles of paint lying around when I attack something like this.
Well, I hope folks can pick up a few things from all of this, I sure did from my many years in the hobby obtaining tips and technics from fantastic modelers.
Thank you, & best to you and all,
A huge thanks to Peter for taking the time to put this together. Hope enjoyed it as much as I did.
That’s all this time folks – please do keep ’em coming, and don’t forget the Beginner’s Guide is here.