Thursday, September 23, 2021

Finishing Touches: Woodchuck Hill Road overpass

 It's always nice to 'finish' a scene on the layout.  Any modeler will tell you that no model is ever really finished, per se; while a scene can appear complete, there is always room for more weathering whether subtle or harsh, for more detail, and for more depth.  Many scenes are good enough for now but over time may present opportunities for change.  

Still, to bring a scene to a state of completion is satisfying and compelling.  Such is the case with Woodchuck Hill Road, which was completed recently in time for a guest operating weekend on the Onondaga Cutoff.

There is nothing like a good deadline to force my hand for progress.  I learned early in life that I am not smart or driven enough to procrastinate - if I have an idea or a vision, it requires immediate action to ensure sufficient time to finish.  So, a deadline looms on my brain from its announcement until it is past, and the announcement itself is enough to keep me pushing.  

We had finished the roadway itself in the last update, now it was time to mount it on the layout!  The deck and sidewalk were glued in place with canopy glue, after a few test fits on the layout.  I used Sculptamold to fill the area below the styrene roadway on both sides of the bridge, seen above, smoothing it to shape with a putty knife and blending it into the surrounding areas.  While that cured, I went back to the workbench to finish the scratchbuilding of the New York State DOT 'box rail' guardrails that will further help tie the scene to the locale.  

Making the railings required lots of careful measuring and selecting a scale 6"x6" cross-section strip, which was available from Evergreen Styrene.

Once cured up, I painted the whole thing silver and then gave it an overcoat of dullcoat which yields a nice silver-gray look that reminds me of the galvanized finish on the railings.  

Before setting the railings, though, I had to blend in the fresh Sculptamold with the surrounding turf.  So, I painted it mud brown mixed with black, and went over the fresh wet paint immediately with a blend of static grass, which nicely blended the two together.  

I touched up the gray fascia area as well, then added the railings carefully with canopy glue - and the result really is a big upgrade.

There is a clear CNY lineage to this bridge, now, even more than before.  I am thrilled with how it turned out and excited for the upgrade.  All we need now is a few railfans on that sidewalk waiting for westbound trains - I guess a scene really never is 'finished', right? 

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