Still Alive

Just testing out some winter understorey colors. I didn’t manage to get the photo off before knocking the model over so there’s sawdust in places it shouldn’t be but overall the colors seem OK. Might co a little greener on the next set of ferns and definitely add more light brown leaves on the ground.

Materials are the usual; sculptamold on foam with sawdust and yarn for the rest. Ferns are tissue paper, deadfall is twisted and sized yarn and there’s jute here and there as well. The nurse stump is carved basswood. I’ve been doing them out of polymer in recent years but I can’t bake the clay evenly living off-grid.

The stream was built up out of doorskin to get the drops before any other scenery was added. On narrow gullies I find it can be difficult to get the landforms right when sculpting down since the sculptamold has a thickness that can be hard to predict in 1:160. Here I worked out and up from the stream.

Acrylic medium can take forever to dry so I did the creek bed in bas relief. The outside course of stones and banking was laid out and then drymixed sawdust plus paint was glued down. This thin layer of “rock” allows for fewer pours and gives the creek a chance to dry. The creekbed consists of Golden self levelling medium and Golden hard gel topped with a glaze and gloss varnish. I have several water features on the go and since the creek worked out well enough I’m trying something similar along the recessed shore of a lakebed.


Rail support at module joints

Here’s the end-of-module joiner that needs installing before the position of BR No.388 can be finalized. The rails get soldered to the PC board, the PC board gets epoxied to the wood and the wood glued to the ply roadbed with carpenter’s glue. Five are required before the trestle can drop into place. The rail in this instance is HO code 70 (Micro Engineering I think) that will sit just proud of the wooden ties and provide  a nice flat surface to solder to the base of the code 40 running rail. I’ve used this method before, inspired by something similar in an old issue of the P87 journal. Having gone over to milled acrylic for my switch sliders the stacked rail method is still  a robust method of maintaining alignment through module joins.

Prior to soldering the running rail, three piece wooden ties are be added and the works filed to height. Once the height is fixed the rail will be scalloped wit a keen file to allow daylight between the ties and running rail. In the past I did them with a moto-tool and abrasive disc but I find the effect much more pleasing when worked by hand.  I start with a triangular file and then move to a rectangular one to clean.



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