Sunday, January 19, 2020

Kurve: Basic Scenery

After I fixed a power problem with a track piece on the Kurve module and drilled a set of module connector holes, I should have proceeded to work on preparing for Welztalbahn Ops with the new module group.

However, inspiration took another turn and so I pulled out a sheet of 1" pink foam and cut shapes to build up scenery around the track.

I cut rough shapes and stacked them to form a ridge that the railroad had to dig through a cut to lay their track. Once I had the rough shape, I cut off the rectangular edges with a knife. This module will need to fit multiple purposes for the Welztalbahn, so the shape of the hill on the inside of the curve turned out to be a bit odd. I'm planning to plant bushes along the cut, and trees on the top of the ridge to enhance the module's function as a scene divider.

 With the rough shapes in place, I put a locomotive on the track to visualize the effect.

Not bad, but the hill on the right feels too low and not part of a ridge, so I added another layer to bring it almost even with the top of the edge on the outside curve.

Yep. That's better.  Here's a view from the other side. The pink foam sides will be protected with hard board. Here, next to the tracks, I'm planning to keep the hardboard at full height, and turn it into a painted backdrop to complete the impression of traveling through hills, as well as reduce the risk that rolling stock might fall during derailments.

Finally, I glued the layers in place with silicone caulk. I like to use Dynaflex 230 caulk for this. It dries quickly, doesn't shrink, and remains a bit flexible which helps with the next step. I let the glue set over night.

The next day, I'm taking the module outside for the messiest part of this exercise: Terraforming!

Using a  basket rasp, I'm trying to shape a nicely flowing scenery contour guided by the rough cut pink foam outline. A shop vac is super useful to keep the mess under control.

After 30 minutes with the rasp, the scenery base is shaped. It came out pretty close to what I had in mind. I'm still not entirely convinced by the inside hill. Maybe it should go uphill towards the module edge to stress the need for a cut here?

I'm pleased with the outside curve shape.

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