Building A Light Weight Module
Page 2 ..............Scenery

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Dave Sheber and his friend Mike
came by and helped do basic's the pics.

Here I am cutting out the creek bed. Mike (Dave's friend) is holding the
railroad still so I don't ruin it.

This is basic foam chunks to establish the shape and character of
the module. It now has two distinct areas. The front industry/town
area and the back side river run.
I had to carve and paint the tunnel walls before we covered them.
All the pieces were glued together using a can of foam.
Amazing how well it sticks to everything. You have to weigh down
the pieces with bricks or something or the foam will raise them
and shift them around as it expands.
Next we do a lot of carving......

-Steve Hatch

Randomly glue big chunks here there and everywhere.
They will become the protruding rocks.

That's all the basic foam.

DAY 5:
Use a steak knife (serrated edge) to carve the deep crevases in
the sides. Spear with the tip and "POP" chunks out.
The torn chunks give you a realistic surface.

Carve out all the water drainage.
Creeks and just drains. Follow all water with ditches.

Amazing how quickly the big "CHUNKS" start looking like rocks.
won't be long and we'll start filling thse cracks you can see. Don't worry.....they go away.

OK so now we can use vinyl spackle to fill those cracks.
I use the end of a narrow bread knife to pick up little amounts
on the tip and press them into the holes. Then scrape lightly

DAY 6:
now we use a spray can of dark brown and very litely spray the ravines
and under places to darken them a little.
Not too heavy here.. just highlight. Then I use a light tan
in this case a khaki beige comoflage color from Wal Mart

A few gray highlights and the base color is done.

Now we are going to sprinkle dirt and rocks all over this
Formation. Then pour diluted white glue on all the rocks and dirt.
This part is best done OUTSIDE if you value your marriage.

Adding foliage completes the basic scenery. This you need to
do to suit yourself. I've never met two people that do foliage the same way.
So have at it. I did a little bit to give you the idea.
Hope you enjoy the pics:

Here's more of the module so far.
Still basic scenery....details come along with time and ideas.

I spent a bit of time putting a couple buildings on the module.
Buildings help it start to come alive. STructures have a homey feeling.

I think I'll call it Pine Butte

More buildings and I moved the tank.
I prefer the tank slightly out of town.
I put the grade crossing boards in town.
The switch stands are installed and working fine.

The tank came out looking a lot better than I thought.
it's just a very cheap plastic Atlas tank.
but it painted up real well and the ropes looked right

I got some pieces of a Grandt Line Mine but didn't have any
instructions for assembly. So I added some siding pieces I had
and this is what I came up with. I'll have to settle it in now.

The Mine

I put in a little wooden culvert to drain water out past the rails.
It was a simple thing made from stacked up railroad ties.

The scenery at this end is basic but looking pretty good.
Going to tackle the river run next.

Ok here's some photos of the river side of the module.
again standard application of carving the foam and then
spackle to cover seams then spray paint LIGHTLY to give a base tint of color.....
then lots of dirt and rocks and white glue.

I threw some blue paint on the river just to get perspective
I'll take that out when I start doing the river.

I took some pictures with people in them to get a
better perspective on the rocks and mountains
it helps me to visualize them in scale.
maybe they will help others to see the potential of this method.

Coming up river toward Pine Butte is the new hire off the
Durango and Rio Grande Southern. Blake Wheel is a top
notch switchman who'se come to town to help run the first
revenue trains over the river route to Pine Butte.
Blake rode the cab with his emergency lantern ready for
all the emergency stops along the new route. Several rocks
had fallen in the new cuts and tunnels. Blake did a fine job
hoppin down and protecting the rear. The engineer Katie
was greatfull that Mr.Wheel was so protective of her rear end.

Well it finally rained. ... in fact it poured right out
of a dixie cup. Yes I used Envirotex Lite to pour
the water in the river. Over two days, I put four layers
of the plastic. Each layer was about 1/8th inch or so.
this stuff will puddle so be sure the bottom is sealed.
otherwise the puddles will be on the floor. The last layer
is done thin and I keep stiring it around as it tries to thicken.
That stiring gives it some surface/light reflexion that looks
like moving water. Take a look:

SO the steps are to seal the bottom with plenty of diluted
white glue. then wait two days for it to really really dry.
Then a VERY LIGHT dust/spray of some agua color.....whatever
you like. Very light spray.....just a hint of color....
the Envirotex will enhance that color so be light....
Now pour the plastic....layers of about 1/8th inch..
Use a hair dryer lightly over the surface to pull out bubbles.
........Oh and don't forget to tape/seal the ends so that the
stuff doesn't run down the facia. Tape it firmly.
.....then let it rain......
boy we're doin it now. QUESTIONS? I'll answer.
remember there are no stupid questions...

Working the morning switching at the mill:

Having fun huh!?

-Steve Hatch
Railway Engineering Web Page