April 12, 2018

A Second Opinion

 My wife is brilliant! (She said I am allowed to say that). Why? You'll see soon enough.

I decided to finish the scenery at the north end of Clozet Tunnel. I had originally planned to use some structures to block the view of this portion of Clozet Tunnel, which is a fairly large hole in the wall, instead of a tunnel portal.

After several years of delaying work on this area, mostly because I couldn't make a structure view block work, I decided to go with a normal tunnel portal.

The first step was to make the tunnel portal. I used the drawing I had for Crozet Tunnel, I just slightly modified it. I cut the parts on the laser and assembled the tunnel portal with about 12 inches of brick lining. Placed in site, the tunnel sure is a deep dark hole.

Next I mocked up a piece of hardboard against  the existing fascia and laid out a cut line. I used my Festool Carvex jig saw to cut the profile (BTW the Carvex is rapidly becoming my favorite tool.)  I glued the fascia in place and started using card board strips, foam pieces, and rosin paper to build up the hill.

Next I started the rock carvings for the portal. That took the better part of a day. With the rocks installed and rough painted, I asked my wife to look it over and get her feedback. She looked at the tunnel for about 30 seconds and suggested that I trim back the fascia to allow a better view of the tunnel. Wow, she was right. There was something I didn't like about the hill side and she nailed it. The fascia was too overpowering for the scene. See, I told you she is brilliant! The animated gif above shows the difference.

So the next day, I got out the Carvex again and trimmed the fascia back so that the slope of the hill was consistent. By removing this section of the fascia, the area is more open. Since my workbench is immediately to the right of the tunnel, the more open fascia is much less claustrophobic.

That rock facing needed some patching, but that was an easy task.

With the tunnel portal, the backdrop required some rework, which I enjoyed immensely. I painted some large trees as I plan to trees on the top of the tunnel.

With the backdrop painted, I gave the terrain a base coat of scenery. Once that is dry I'll add static grass and other details.

Panorama of the scene with wet base coat of scenery. Masking tape protects the track.

  While I was working on the tunnel, some contractors arrived and installed new carpet in the stairs to the layout room. With fresh paint and new carpet, the entrance to the layout is much nicer, though some of my model railroad friends claim they can't tell the difference. Oh well, I can.

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