Monday, September 21, 2015

The Plastering

I finally dove head first into the plaster gauze portion of things. I've been playing around with track designs for a few weeks and it was starting to get into the "analysis paralysis" phase where it was being way overthought. So, I had toalked to my wife about it briefly and she said, "Why don't you do it...give it a shot...and if it doesn't work, you can just tear it out and try again, right?" Well...yeah. :)

THE PLASTERING :) iPhone overview

So, I jumped in and it went rather well. It was a different experience than the first round I did in Soyokaze and Shizuka. I felt more prepared, had things planned out way more this round, and jumped in with the expectation that It would be what it was and I would work to make it the best I could do. That's all I can do, right? :)

My system was pretty straight forward. I chopped the plaster gauze into small, easy to apply strips and used one of the large sand buckets we had around for the girls for water. I had to keep in mind that this stage didn't have to be PERFECT PERFECT and that I could go in and fill as needed if the track wasn't set properly. BEFORE doing all the scenic work this time - not like what I did on the Soyokaze and Shizuka sections! LOL  It's much harder sorting things out when there are grass and tree areas you've spent a bunch of time on. I was just so excited when I started those sections that I plowed ahead without paying much attention to track.

The first part was the left side of the layout area. This was the most planned and set and didn't have complex elements like getting to the far back wall and building the little mountain I had planned for the corner. I thought I'd start with the simple stuff first. 

I tried to think through items that needed to be addressed during this stage - like over pass areas and roadways - so I could try to avoid re-working the areas later in the process. 

The road underpass and retaining wall - far easier to deal with now.
The front underpass area. Both of these will be detailed later.

Then it dawned on me.

"Of crap! I have not locked down all the foam parts yet!" :::head smack:::: 

Soooooo....yeah...I went in and addressed that. :)  A little Gorilla Glue did the trick. 

The other tricky thing that I ran into after completing the left side was working around to the back of the layout space. Soyokaze and Shizuka had this handy pop up space towards the back where I could get up and close to the back of the layout. This space....doesn't have that. The area to the right is close enough to reach over with my long arms, but the back corner is pretty far away and is a tricky spot. I have to leave a space for one palm to settle so I can reach back into the corner if I need to. My wife suggested that a wall post might work as well - something bolted into the wall I could lean on to get up and over.

I had never done a large hill on a layout, so it was fun working out the logistics behind it. I've seen many ways of approaching the hill, so I just dove in and built a simple under structure for it, then started applying! 

Not bad. A great base to start popping scenery materials on! Again, the look and feel I'm going for is something like this area of Japan.

After I did a sweep of the plaster areas and looked them over, I pieced the track sections back together and managed to gett hem back into the proper spots again for the most part. :) I have some reworking of areas to do where the track isn't lined up in the center. Not sure where it got off. We'll see. It should be easy to fix at this stage.

I'm going to add in tunnel openings at the wall hole as well! I need to kitbash them a bit to work with the track distances.

The water section under the bridge in the back is going to be a bit of a pain in the arse! hehehe

The town buildings are in an interesting clump at the moment. :)
Then, I need to make sure things are still running properly after I get everything back together. ((Still need to address the very back corner section - I had a slip with the under structure I made for it and have to get the track together to address it))  After it is ground gap filled and run-tested, I'm going to lock the track down and start a base coat of paint going.  Again, the focus will be taking my time with this stage so I don't need to go back in and fix things later.

I have a lot of interesting spots in this area now. Things that I wanted to have on the Soyokaze and Shizuka areas, but that I couldn't wedge in at the time. I'm looking forward to adding in more little areas of interest during the scenery stage. I also need to work out the road flow - that's going to be another major series of planning sessions!

I'm happy about the time I'm taking with this part of the layout. Another stage of growth for me in the hobby. :)

Did I miss something? Let me know in the comments! I'd love to hear from you! 




  1. Why did you use all the rather expensive pink foam in the middle if you're just going to cover it up with other materials to do the scenic carving? You could have used cheap foam or wood, etc? Pink foam is good for carving and shaping scenery.

    1. The plan changed as I moved along, Guy. I originally had several large, flat areas planned, but then I realized that I wanted to get more elevation out of the area. The pink stuff was easy to pop into place as the scene changes happened. Lighter than wood as well.
      And...I already had it laying around. :) This section was done on the cheap. A lot of reclaimed wood and yard sale free finds making it up. Rather Frankensteined together, really.
      Thanks for reading!

  2. Well done Malco - great progress. I look forward to watching the area develop.

    1. Thank you, Jim!
      As I've said, I don't have a lot of experience with this sort of thing and wing it more often than not, but I think it has a lot of potential! :)