Wednesday, February 25, 2015

After the Obligatory Morning Coffee

After the obligatory morning coffee at the club-room and gasbag to whoever is willing to stand still for more than 30 seconds, I got into cutting the skyboard some more and jigging around to get the lay of the track for the wye. This actually took me all morning to buggerise around cutting skyboard, cutting deck, cutting cork, cutting anything that was or wasn't nailed down!

I think I now have the alignment I need. The next day I go down to the club will be to get some 12 mm plywood and make a strip about 50 mm wide for the cork to be laid on. This will need to drop from the track along the back wall down to the track on the peninsula. This drop is maybe 40 mm or so over a length of about a metre and a half I reckon. The piece doesn't have to be accurate in width as long as the track will fit. This is because the mountain and cuttings will sit around it and hide all the imperfections - and I make many of those imp thingies.

While I was hacking around this area, Barry P arrived, so he gave the ply he added the other day a lick of white sealer. After this he started on adding in some scrap 3 mm sheeting below where some foam will be added between the station and the big canyon scene. The thin sheeting will make the foam a lot more firm and cater for instances of people leaning on it.

Once I stopped work on the wye it was time to cleanup for those members wanting to run after lunch, then I of course had lunch. But just before heading to lunch I decided to Surform the foam Barry P had added on the other side of the peninsula last week.

After the fang I decided on a less messy piece of work - as far as it affected the trains running round the layout now. I decided to make up some of my foam putty and bog up all the holes and gaps in the foam I had laid on the peninsula to make those rolling hills. I used my normal recipe, but with a small twist. As mentioned in older posts, I came up with my mix after reading of some modellers in the states making up a plaster, clay, wood glue and vermiculite mix. My mix today was vermiculite since it is compressible, foam beads swept up off the floor after shaving the foam with the Surform tool, cheap kiddies poster paint (burnt umber, yellow ochre and raw umber), lots of acrylic Gap Filler and when needed, some white glue to make the mix a bit more moist.

How much vermiculite depends. Since vermiculite costs money and the foam beads are free, it does colour your judgement. If the filler surface doesn't need to be really smooth, then leave out the vermiculite. If it needs to be really really smooth, then leave out the foam beads and just pour in the vermiculite. ie, ya play around with it :o)

I used an old ice cream container to mix it all up in. Once it was at a really lumpy oatmeal stage, it was ready to use. 

All the big holes and gaps got puttied with a normal paint scraper to work it in and then smooth it out. But for all the areas needing to be a bit more tidy and also near the track, I used some artists clay sculpting tools which I also use for plaster work as well - very handy indeed. 

I managed with 2½ corking guns full of gap filler to get most of the foam filled. There is only maybe a ¼ of a gun load left to do, but I couldn't be bothered making that last mix today, as I could definitely hear a beer calling - I really could. So these last shots show the rolling hills as they stand this afternoon.

So on Saturday I might be able to get around to giving the whole set of rolling hills a lick of straight Gap Filler and brown paint to skin it up and give the base we need before adding dirt and grass.

1 comment: