Friday, January 2, 2015

The road behind the roundhouse, Part 2

The first post in this series depicted the first step in creating this road, namely to install the grade crossings where the dirt road toward the roundhouse crosses the leads to East Shumala. That post can be found at this link: . With the grade crossings in place, I next made a preliminary try at the road contour, using Brandt’s Paper Mache, a taxidermist’s product I have used in previous scenery projects. Here is the first cut at this contour:

You can see that the road surface is slightly above the adjacent surface, and is matched to the height of the crossings. There are drainage ditches either side of the main line (at right) and there need to be culverts installed to carry water under the new road. Model railroad layouts often neglect to provide drainage, but that is something the prototype is most careful and thorough about.
     Before refining further the road surface and contour, then, I added a suggestion of culverts, in the form of galvanized pipe at each place the road crossed the drainage ditch alongside the main line. I just use the large-size soda straws available at any fast food outlet, and paint them light gray. Modelers sometimes choose to paint such culverts a silver color, but galvanized surfaces like these only look silvery for a short time, once they are out in the elements. Before long they oxidize to a soft gray.

The canopy glue used to attach the short snippets of drinking straw can be seen at left, with the remaining segment of drinking straw just in front of it. Road surfaces have been lightly smoothed with sandpaper. Although ground cover including dirt will have to be handled carefully around these culvert ends, this is not a difficult thing to manage.
     With these culvert representations in place, I could continue with road contour, right up to the point where this road has a junction with Pismo Dunes Road (about which I have previously posted; you can see that post at this link: ). I again used Brandt’s for this final coat, blending the culvert ends into the ground and also refining the road surface and shoulders (this is to be a dirt road). Pismo Dunes Road is at the photo bottom.

I have left the roadway unpainted for this photo, so it is more evident, but the next step will be to paint it my basic brown ground color, followed by texturing. That will be covered in a future post.
Tony Thompson

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