A journal following the history, design, construction and operation of Bernard Kempinski's O Scale model railroad depicting the U. S. Military Railroad (USMRR) Aquia-Falmouth line in 1863, and other model railroad projects.
©Bernard Kempinski All text and images, except as noted, on this blog are copyrighted by the author and may not be used without permission.

March 5, 2011

Mini-Work Session

Gerry Fitzgerald and Doug Gurin stopped by for a mini-work session. We were also pleasantly surprised when Paul Dolkos stopped by to work too. I am blessed to have such great model railroaders willing to help with the layout. Thank guys!

Gerry continues to spike at Brook where he left off
last time.

Gerry and Doug continued to spike rail. There's only about 8,00 spikes to go.

Doug spiking at Stoneman's Station

Paul the Terra-former

Paul started to lay the terrain surface between Accokeek and Potomac Creeks at the far end of the layout. He used heavy flooring paper hot glued to cardboard formers. This will get another layer of cardboard soaked in white glue to make a papier-mâché scenery base. This scene will an area with deep scenery and just a single track running through. The scenic treatmwnt will be woods and open fields, with army camps in the distance.  The area where you see the water bottle in the photo will have some structures and tents. The red hill on the left will be the scene of a fortified blockhouse.

It's almost time to paint some more backdrop in this area.

The blockhouse is visible in the left center background. I know from the Provost Marshall reports that
the blockhouse was on the north side of the bridge. I didn't know that for sure when I laid out the scene.
It was nice that I guessed correctly.

I continued to add scenery to the Falmouth area including planting two trees, the oak and a pine. I added ground cover over much of the remaining area and installed a Sibley tent. I get some photos when the glue dries.

Me adding roots to the lone pine tree with two part epoxy.
As I get more experience in working in O scale I have begun to understand the differences in visual volume or impact  between N and O scale. By that I mean that even simple scenes in O scale have the same visual impact as complex scenes in N or even HO. For example, take the picket camp scene. There three O scale figures arranged in a cluster have the same visual mass as a N Scale station or other medium sized structure. A full-sized 19 inch tall tree in O scale has nearly the equivalent visual impact in O Scale as a tall hill in N Scale. Thus, by planting this pine tree between the aisle and track, it serves as more than just a single tree would in smaller scales. It acts as a scene expanding view block, adds a compositional framing element, and is a neat model in its own right. 

Adding the tallest oak tree by the Falmouth freight house helps frame the abrupt end of the layout and helps establish the linear perspective. One trick I used in the Falmouth scene is utilize a two point perspective in both the backdrop painting and in the placement of the trees and other scenic elements. Note how the clouds to my left in the photo are smaller and more distant. Also note that the trees against the backdrop at the far end of the layout are smaller (about 10 inches). The new pine is about 13 inches. To the right (not visible in the photo) is a 19 inch tall oak on a slight rise. The overall effect creates a vanishing point that moves down the length of the layout making the room look bigger. Combined with the atmospheric perspective painted on the backdrop that recedes perpendicular to wall makes the small room look much bigger.

Finally, I added some of the dried tea that Pete Magoun sent.  He sent me four packages with different colors and textures. I am very impressed with this as a scenery material. The UK model railroaders have been using dried used tea for a long time. I will add it to my bag of scenery tricks. Thanks Pete.

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