August 1, 2012

Digging in the Dirt

Having relatives in Park City, Utah has many advantages especially when it comes time to ski, golf or hike. Another plus is that I can get to collect some dirt to use as scenic material on the layout. This is the third trip I made to this particular road cut to get some alluvial deposits that appear to be from decomposed conglomerate.

Why collect dirt in Utah for a Virginia layout? The local soil I find in Virgina is mostly clay. If wetted with dilute white glue, it will dry and form cracks. This fine Utah dirt does not crack as it dries. Thus it makes a good base scenic layer.   It also has a slight reddish tint that works well with the Ralph Lauren Adirondack Bark textured paint I use.


  1. I still use Arizona dirt in my figure groundwork. I've had the same container for thirty years. The fact that I have lived in the East for the past twenty five and that my container is still 1/3rd full is a good thing!

  2. That's a good story. The layout has a lot of surface area, so I go through a fair amount. But I have two medium priority mail boxes full now, so I should be set to the end of this layout. I should note that I probably would not use this rock on an N Scale layout. Of if I did, i would have to sift it much more finely.