This month we’re back to our scenes, starting with the Milwaukee Road desktop layout. In the last installment, we showed the basic foam shape covered in latex paste. It’s always a process to go from that very basic shape to fine tuning the carving of the scene with areas being reworked several times in some cases to achieve the subtle changes needed to bring a scene to life.
In addition to the foam carving, the basic rockwork has been added. The rocks look a bit isolated in these photos but once we add talus and additional ground cover, the scene will set up nicely. I also like the element of randomness when I build scenes; all you have to do is to look outside your window to notice just how random the real world can appear. Though I generally have a plan for a layout, I like the ability to remove and add land features as I go.
The initial coat of soil has also been added at this stage. I collect my own soils then bake, sift and grind for varying degrees of texture. I do a basic color mix of soils at this point as well, more color will be added as the scenic features are placed, but I like to begin with this kind of a very basic color scheme.
I keep one test hardwood base in the shop to check how the layout will look once it’s installed in the final base. Since I’m not using a fascia board here for the sides, I like to keep checking how the layout sides look and work once the layout is installed in the base. Due to the size of a desktop layout, vertical drops in the scenery are necessary in areas, I tend to look at lots of prototype photos to get new ideas on how to make these vertical drops as realistic as possible given the amount of real estate I have.
Track color and ballast comes later but at this point, I’ve made sure there are sufficient clearances for the trains to run as well as making sure the trains run smoothly. All the carefully created scenery in the world wouldn’t matter if the trains don’t run as smooth as glass, especially on a smaller layout like this where every inch of track is critical.
Category: Ztrains Build Corner