Oct 2, 2013

Modelling Sideways and Backwards with Jim

(Workshop member Jim Martin has been busy on his home layout, and passes along this report...)

Hi Folks:

What great fun it is to be among the rest of the guys on this blog. I think we all conspire to pull each other upwards in our modelling aspirations.

Trevor is the latest culprit. His Port Rowan layout is a striking example of simple subjects done well. His ground cover techniques in particular highlight what is possible with modern products and techniques. So it is that I find myself starting to redo previous areas of ground foam which until now looked acceptable.

More about that on a later entry, but first, as I am redoing sections of my layout, I realize again what a sound decision it was to build my layout in easily removable sections. I can’t imagine how hard it would be to reach to the back of a permanently installed layout without damaging foreground scenery - or my back. But with the sectional approach, I can simply detach a piece and swing it sideways on the supporting benchwork:

(click on the image for a larger version)

Much easier to work on!

I can also rotate the section a full 180 degrees to facilitate work on the back side of the layout section, as I have done here:

(click on the image for a larger version)

As a bonus I can have some photographic fun, taking shots that would be impossible from the aisle. This shot will probably never get taken again: The camera is located about where the backdrop would normally be, looking toward the aisle-side scenery. The backdrop wasn’t painted to match that side of the layout, but the curving road helps with the deception.

I am now experimenting with simulating grass stalks using wig hair. I have used this material in the past on parts of the layout, but now think I can do better. I've done an experimental sample on a block of foam:

(click on the image for a larger version)

This is the direction I think I’ll want to take, with further refinements of course.  More on that in my next instalment.

Happy modelling!

- Jim

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