Monday, November 13, 2017

Filling in the Blanks

Progress comes in waves.  Scenery on a model railroad, much like other projects that are largely subjective, will linger for months or even years - and then once you begin moving on one part, you move to finish that and the next part falls in line.   There is a momentum to scenery, one good thing helps lead to the next.

With the embankment from the last entry now cured, I gave it an overcoat of paint to blend it in.  Note how the underpass for the Cazenovia Industrial, to the far left, virtually disappears now.  Once this is covered with foliage and trees it is going to blend in perfectly.


A closer view of the bridge, its abutments and wingwalls, and surrounding embankments:


Rolling with that momentum, it was time now to finalize the last piece of the embankment in this area of the layout, around undergrade bridge 279.17.  This is a tricky area with geometry, with a heavily skewed angle due to the geometry of the Cazenovia Industrial Track below the main line. 

A first image shows the abutments and wing walls with a test fit.  It required two abutments one each side of the underpass, because when a bridge is skewed, the walls beneath get longer if the width above is constant.  This one is so skewed - approximately 50 degrees from square - that two abutments below, side by side, worked out well.   Those were glued in place with latex adhesive caulk, and allowed to cure overnight.   Then I set the wingwalls in place to see how those would fit.


The next step was to mix a batch of sculptamold and fill in the areas behind the wingwall, taking care to match the geometry of the landforms beyond.  I began with crumpled paper towels as a backer for the plaster.  The wingwalls are just set against the wet sculptamold, and carefully adjusted so that when the plaster cures, the whole assembly is solid.  Here's an overview once the contours were finished and the walls set in their permanent places:


And, finally, a tighter view showing the angle under the railroad.  The vision here is that the entire cut beyond will be heavily canopied with vegetation and tree growth, hiding the angle and the route of the track once it rounds the curve as seen here:


Plenty of paint and weathering are coming here soon, and once again the momentum of the scenery process will lead to regular progress into the wintertime.   My goal is to have both bridges fully weathered and mounted in place, and the surrounding area seen here completely covered with foliage before the end of the winter.  As always, I will keep you posted!

~RGDave

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