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Coal Diorama | Part 2

| April 5, 2012 0 Comments More

Coal TippleIn this installment of the Coal Mine diorama, we’ll be modifying the coal chute just a bit to better fit our scene. We’ll also lay in a little expanding foam to begin forming our scenery. I’ve decided to leave the roof sections off for now as I’m still deciding on a roofing material (though I’m leaning towards a basic tar paper look).

The diorama base this piece will sit on gives us just 8 inches by 8 inches, inside dimensions, to work with so every bit of space counts. Given that the coal tipple is nearly 6 inches in length, we need to be clever in positioning our tipple and the coal chute.

To begin with, I decided to angle the coal chute at an upward angle, just slightly. I wanted to add a sense of movement and this angled coal chute suggests coal coming down a conveyor from the hillside. I added a small, flat extension to the open-ended chute to represent the conveyor.

As the chute in this kit is designed to come straight off the tipple horizontally, I needed to make a pair of small cuts to the chute’s inner walls; this allows the chute to angle upwards. I also then needed to cut the outer walls, the laser etched façade, to match the new angle of the chute.

Once the new chute was attached to the stairwell, I then gave this section a matching paint job, as on the main structure. Before attaching the stairwell to the main structure, I did a base coat paint job on the windows. The windows are cut right into the wall sections, so a little masking tape and a quick shot from the airbrush gave them color. The window frames are separate pieces, and these were painted a matching color. They’ll be toned down a bit during weathering, so I wanted to give them a strong, initial complimentary color that would stand up to this weathering.

Next the expanding foam scenery. Just a couple of shots of the foam, let it cure overnight and do a basic carving to get my shape. I cut a slight notch in the hill under the coal chute to give me some room for the coal chute support legs, which I’ll add later. Once the foam was cut, a coat of Flex Paste on top to seal the foam. I’ll give it one more coat to further strengthen these hills.

For a small scene, we’ll be able to position quite a few hoppers here. We have the double track under the tipple and I think I’ll add an additional track on the free side of tipple, the side opposite the coal chute.

On the backside of the hill I’ve cut several “steps” in to the foam, this will give me some good angles for both rock placement and tree planting. In an 8 inch by 8 inch space, I want to include some fun bits of scenery and good viewing angles, but I don’t want to choke the scene with too much “stuff” and muddy the feel of this scene.

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Category: Ztrains Build Corner

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