I am watching the mail each day for the arrival of Model Railroad Planning 2018 - I am very excited to see the Onondaga Cutoff in print! Thanks for your support - see http://onondagacutoff.blogspot.com/2017/12/publication-of-onondaga-cutoff.html for details!
First, I taped off the track of the branch, since scenery is messy work - static grass can get all over the place and it's easier to clean with the track protected. I selected various tans, browns, and greens to get the desired early fall look of dried-out wildgrass. I also planted some wildflowers and shrubs.
Next, while the new turf cured overnight, I made another group of SuperTrees. I had started these over New Years Weekend at the Station Inn in Cresson, PA, sitting next to a window overlooking the snowfall and NS mainline action while trimming trees and curing them in glycerin to add some flexibility. Once home, they were spray painted, and then sprayed with adhesive and covered with flock. Here's a shot of that operation:
Once the trees dried, I drilled 3/16" holes to accommodate the trunks, and planted the trees strategically to blend together with the backdrop but also to hide the 'tunnel entrance' for the Cazenovia Industrial. While up on the layout I also added yard ballast to the backshop tracks and some basic ground cover in that area too. A broadside view:
A tighter view, showing a closer photo down the embankment:
Finally, a telephoto view from the iPhone showing the view east along the Cazenovia Industrial Track as it leaves Onondaga Yard and passes by the engine facility. I am really excited at how these tie the scene together and complete the illusion from all viewing angles - trains down the branch will disappear, and reappear without distracting from the main scene.
The winter months have arrived, with lots of darkness (and this year, three weeks of real oldschool cold and some snow!). That's a lot of good time to spend on the OC keeping scenery moving, and beginning to get some new power in service too.
Happy New Year, with lots yet to come in 2018 on the Onondaga Cutoff!