The M&E continues to be the start for the scenery. Here, just upgrade from the Skaneateles Creek bridge scene, the M&E's right of way comes out of a rock cut and across an overgrown field to a grade crossing on the climb to the top of Clarence Hill. Here the track is on plywood strips, and the surrounding area is made from cardboard strips weaved into place and then covered with plaster gauze. Once that sets, it is covered with 'Hydrocal' plaster and then painted brownish black.
Once that dries, I am trying a new technique I saw on several local layouts that uses patio paver sand as a top coat for the smooth plaster. Once that is saturated with diluted matte medium, I hit the area with several applications of static grass and then accent it with some tufts of ground foam and course turf. I think it's a convincing representation of northeastern scenery!
The family is well, we are learning about being a foursome and everyone is doing their part. The layout continues to be a very satisfying way to spend a few hours a week - each time I get to work on it, the previous work remains in place, a reminder of persistence and progress.
The best is yet to come!