Following on from completing the basic ground and the inset concrete trackwork areas on Canute Road Quay as detailed on my post here, I have now in addition to adding some ballast in around the point work and also the headshunt, started to add the next stage of the ground cover and colouration of the concrete inset track.
Earth and Static Grass areasOnce I was happy with the air drying clay used to form the basic formation of the ground cover, I used earth coloured textured paint from Green Scenes to act as the base and have now applied a couple of initial layers of static grass.
Static grass uses fibres to represent individual blades and strands of grasses etc. that is applied via an applicator. The applicators are usually battery powered, that charge the fibres with an electrical charge. The applicator is also connected to the layout, near to the area being applied via a lead either using a crocodile clip attached to one of the rails (as in this case on Canute Road Quay), or to a small nail temporary inserted locally into the scenery to provide the opposite charge. This results in the fibres when shaken out of the applicator standing up, just like grass, with they land on the thin layer of rapid drying conducting PVA style glue on the scenic area. I prefer to use the excellent static grass applicator and fibres from W W Secnics. Their ‘Pro Grass applicator is made in the UK is lightweight, powered by a 9V battery, an illuminated on-off switch and has interchangeable sieve heads to handle a range of fibre lengths from 2 to 12mm.Static grass comes in multiple lengths, and colours ranging from springs to summer / autumn more yellowish colours, the reason for this is that you build the grass up to achieve a realistic looking grass and varity of tines to suit the location and time of year you wish to represent. I find that a lot of the available fibres are often a far to bright green, which is one of the reasons why I like the fibres from W W Secnics and even then I then to use their more muted summer and autumn colours. Now that I have stated with the initial build up of the grass I will add further layers, where appropriate and also additional textures using some Woodland Scenics materials in due course for further complete the scene and the effect that I am looking for. I will also add some discolouration / dirt / oil stains etc. on some the grass where it has grown up between the sleepers on the track itself.
Concrete Inset TrackThe Inset track area, having been initially built up with layers of cork has now also been a coating of textured paint from Green Scenes this time their concrete colour.
For such a large area of concrete, in real life it would soon crack due to expansion and so in practice it would be laid as slabs with a bitumen based expansion joint between to allow for any movement of each slab. I have therefore added such expansion joints to the concrete area in the foreground of the layout leading up to the dock edge. IN practice the distance between expansion joints is dictated bu the thickness of the concrete slab and in this instance I have gone with joints set at 15ft intervals which would be appropriate for slabs up to and around 8″ thick. To create the impression of the joints I initially scribed the joint lines into the surface of the concrete with the edge of a small screwdriver blade before running a soft pencil down the scribed line to give the weathered grayish look to the jointing bitumen. Some of the joints towards the edges of the slabs, i.e. those areas not seeing much vehicular traffic, will also get some fine turf Woodland Scenic material added in due course as I further detail the scene.
The overall view of Canute Rod Quay as it current stands is below, more updates to follow soon…