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Thursday, February 02, 2012

Building S.C.R.R. - Part 1 - Retaining Wall

The Christmas Fishboy rush is over, the relatives have gone home, my microstock photography business has gotten off to healthy start and this winter hasn't provide much in the way of tempting snowfall, so after attending the Amherst Model Railroad show and picking up some O scale detail parts and some scenery supplies, watching Troels Kirk's excellent DVD on creating realistic color for railroad modeling, its time to tackle the second major section of my On30 layout.

Last fall and winter I started the basic bench work and electrical work for the first section. My personality of not doing much planning and having a hard time committing to a track plan lead me to something that I'm not entirely happy with. So I'm starting on the other side with the thought that I might change what I have on the first part at some later date.

The layout is in a loft area of my house used to house the t-shirts of my Fishboy business (funny t-shirts). I had to build my layout above the t-shirts so I could utilize the space for both business and hobby. The side I'm going to work on next is basically a shelf.

After kicking around a few ideas, I've decide to go with a basic Gum Stump plan using switchbacks to gain elevation so the trains will climb to a middle level and then a higher level. I'm just waiting for some Peco On30 switches to arrive so I can start putting down track and finalizing the plan. I've included a passing siding so the goal is to make this part of the layout self sustainable in case down the road I want to redo the other side.

Anyway I've started on the far end of the layout which is going to be the coastal town of Seal Cove. The name comes from the part of Mount Desert Island that we used to live on. The fictional On30 Seal Cove will be a wharf with a collection of buildings, a barge for dumping mining rock and some fishing industry type industries like a canning company. I want to get all of the track work done and working and the basic landforms so I can move on to doing what I like best - building structures.

Here are a few shots of the beginnings of the wharf. This wharf is built on a foundation of rip rap rock and natural stone rather than an all wooden pier. This harbor enjoys a quick drop off of sea level.

I'm using some of the dry brush techniques promoted by Troels Kirk as well as the use of dry brushing over a initial black paint undercoating. A fan brush does a great job on this.

I'm not sure if it shows in the photos but I dry brushed granite grey acrylics over the black on the rocks and then used different mixes of browns and greens to bring out different levels of the water line. Shorelines get different amounts of dry and wet periods and different organisms live at the different splash zones. I tried to give the impression of these zones and the plant life and organism that live there. Down near the water I added green for seaweed and highlighted white caps on the water. I'll be adding some varnish gel later to further enhance the sea.

I'm thinking about adding something like poppy seeds as mussels.

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