First of all I sealed, and painted the bare plaster bandage, a coat of a light earth coloured matt emulsion, being followed with Sap Green, and Burnt Sienna artist acrylics. The old platelayers hut has found a new home, and is in the process of being bedded into the new scenery. Long, dried grass is slowly being added around the hut, and behind the station building. This is the 'Noch' meadow mat, which is rather dense and best torn into clumps.
Though the colour looks just right in this photo, its actually too yellow for my liking, but I can get around that by introducing some different coloured clumps, and textures from other mats, together with some static grass fibres. Colours change under different lighting conditions, just as in the real world, so care needs to be taken when selecting scenic items.
This section of embankment is purely experimental as regards the materials used, but otherwise its a true representation of the scene that I'm aiming for. The low tree line was cut from a scrap piece of backscene that was lying around, and pasted onto some thin card. Its an old technique, mastered by the likes of Ken Ball, and numerous other well known modellers of the old school. The reason for my experiments, is to see if it might add something to the backscene when I finally get around to installing it. There is also the chance that I might get things slightly out of alignment, so its a form of insurance policy against such mistakes as well. The tree is just one of many salvaged from the old layout, its fine for use in the background, but perhaps not good enough for use elsewhere. I first laid some strips of the 'Noch' material, along the top of the embankment to represent those long, dried blades of grass that are often found in such places. The rest is 'Heki' autumn meadow grass, which is very fine, and perhaps best teased out, the resulting gaps being filled with other materials as mentioned previously.
The 'Heki' autumn meadow is more natural looking, still not as good as Silflor, but not a bad alternative if you can't get the real thing. Again, the addition of some static grasses, and other textures will lift the product. When selecting scenic materials its important to select a certain time of year, and stick to it. I favour early to late autumn myself, so select the colours that are found at that time of year. It also pays to spend a little more and buy quality products, the days when basic scatter, and ground foam materials, were the first choice are long gone, they do have their uses, but for creating realistic grass effects they are a little lacking. Sadly, many UK modellers rarely want to spend their hard earned cash on expensive scenic materials, and go for the cheapest option. Preferring to save their money for locomotives and more exotic items of rolling stock, but each to his own.
Henry Stephens now plys his trade from a humble wooden shack, and corrugated iron shed. This bleak scene, so typical of those places that are 'off the beaten track', is still being developed. There is a slight gap between the earthworks in the background and backscene, which helps create a little more depth, and makes it easier to blend the modelled scenery into the backscene. 'Noch' grass is in evidence again, and is, at the moment looking far too dry for the Border Counties. A few more faded greens should put that right, far better to add changes of colour and texture slowly, if you ask me. Rather than jumping in feet first and trying to do everything in one go.
I'm modelling a different type of yard surface this time, gone are the cobble, and set stones. Instead its just made of gravel, ash and other similar cheap materials . The starting point for the surface was a piece of glasspaper, which had been sprayed in grey acrylic primer from an aerosol can. Various shades of grey, mixed up at random from black, and white artist acrylics were applied next, followed by a little dry brushing of the same basic colours, and some weathering powders. The colours and textures are still, slowly being worked up, a few more weeds will appear, and that will be that. The grass at the base of the low wall is made from tufts of Silflor, its a little greener around the roots, as its assumed that rainwater runs down the approach road and settles along the foot of the wall. The tips of the grass blades are slightly lighter where they have caught the sun, take a walk along a country lane and you will understand what I'm harping on about.
Grass and weeds are also taking root around the goods shed, which is now awaiting some rainwater goods, and a coat of paint, or should that be rust? It won't be long now before I can think about adding the photo backscene, and then I will have a better idea if Llangunllo, is going to look as I see it in my minds eye.
An old weighbridge hut, or whatever it might have been in its past life, is slowly being reclaimed by nature. Which in this case is a mix of hanging basket liner, and the same 'Heki' and 'Noch' mats. Such ruins are common place, yet rarely modelled, I did consider modelling the remains of an old loading dock as well, but perhaps not.