November 1999 - Page 50
V i ntage R e p ro d uc t i o n s p r o v i d e s u n i q u e products for ground cover such as: Ever green Needles, Evergreen Ground Litter and Summer S hort Grass and Long Grass. If all of these choices aren't enough, let it suffice to say, there are many other scenery supply
sources available including companies that are packaging soils and sands from actual railroad locations such as Cajon Pass and the Colorado Rockies. D irt, sand and gravel are read i l y avail a b l e from your backyard or neighborhood.
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I t i s amazing how many colors and textures a re presen t . Be s ure to filter all the soi l s you col lect through a w i re mesh ( w indow s c r e e n i s i d e a l ) to r e m o v e u n de s i ra b l e rocks, plant debris and i n sect bodies. You should also steri l i ze the soil to remove bac teria, fungus and mold. The method is sim p l e , p l ace the soil on cookie sheets and bake it in a preheated oven at 450 degrees for at least 30 m inutes. Other mater i a l s req u i red to do ground cover include: dried twigs appropriate to the s i ze of trees and branches in the scale i n w h i c h y o u model . A l s o , a piece o f s i s a l , hemp or manila rope, white glue, dishwash ing detergent and isopropyl alcohol. Too l s needed include: a squeeze bottle, spray bottle, small inexpensive China bristle brush, sash brush for l atex, art i st's sable brush, scissors and medium-grade sandpaper. Before we l ay ground texture the scenery surface must be properly prepared. In most cases plaster or Styrofoam w i l l be the foun dation. These or any other s urfaces must be painted with a flat l atex paint. The prefer ence is to coat the surface with colors simi lar to the g r o u n d t e x t u r e s that w i l l b e a p p l i e d . A r e a s of d i rt s h o u l d be p a i n ted brown, grass fields green, gravel areas gray and so on. This ensures that white plaster or b l ue foa m w o n ' t b e v i s i b l e t h r o u g h t h e ground cover. Before t h e ground texturing i s started the scenery area w i l l look l i ke a large p a i n t - b y - n u m b e r p a i n t i n g . T h i s actua l l y serves a s a n indicator for where the different ground textures will go. Work i n a specific order: fi rst, a l l the rock areas are painted and weathered to the final deta i l . (Techniques for coloring rocks are not in the scope of this article.) All struc tures are adhered in place. Roads and pave m e n t areas are m a d e a n d c o l o r e d . T h e location for trees 3 h o u l d be noted, b u t the trees s h o u l d not b e fixed i nto p l ac e . O f course, trackwork is laid and the ballasting done. With all of this complete the texturing can proceed. Start with the d i rt areas first, gravel areas next, grasses and weeds third and "texture detaili ng" last. Let's begin with the di rt tex ttl reo Full-strength white glue is applied with a China bristle brush to cover the "dirt area" up to four square feet at a time. (Too large of an area will cause you to rush to beat the setting of the white glue.) An artist's sable brush is also used to force the w hite g l ue into con fined locations such as around rocks and b u i l d i ng s . (Be sure to wash your brushes often in hot water to keep the bristles pliable.) Dirt is sprinkled over the glue until it i s u n i formly covered. Remember, soil i s sel dom one color. Include a variety of colors in your soil coverage. A sash brush is used to gently sweep across the dirt to remove any excess. To ensure good bonding, spray the soil with "wet water." This is the standard formula of white glue, a few drops of dish washing detergent and warm water. Don' t go any further with the dirt at this time. Now, w e turn our att e n t i o n to gravel
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50 T M O D E L R A I L R OA D I N G