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.

January 2, 2012

Sisyphean Labor?

Unlike Sisyphus, I am nearly done with my rock work. I ran out of  Durham's water putty or I might have finished tonight.  Another night or two of of mudding and the basic terrain will be done.  That will be a relief.

Once the rock face at Brooke was dry, I painted it with a base coat of acrylic paints. I do the dark colors first as I like the extra contrast it gives me. So I use a mix of  Black, Burnt Umber and Spice Brown to paint in the whole rock face, making sure I get the crevices completely covered. It can be tricky to get the cracks fully colored with the dark paint.

Once that dries, I will add the highlights and mid tones using a mix or spice brown and a touch of white. You have to be careful when lightening red based colors to avoid a pink look.

This reminds me of a story. I was carving rocks for a friend on his layout. He is very particular. I was using prototype photos to copy an exact scene. It was progressing well. When I got to the shadow painting phase he freaked out because he thought I ruined them. Anyway, it worked out as acrylics dry quickly and I finished the painting.

A couple more cans of Durham's water putty and the rock carving will be done. I think the layout room will undergo a transformation when I get all the base scenery and fascia painted the base color.
Rock faces on the tunnel portal.
An N scale locomotive? What the ding-dong is that doing there? Checking clearances?
Nah, I'm just fooling around.

I redid the terrain in the area where Gerry was working on Saturday to reinforce the track and road bed
under the turnout. It is now hot glued to a layer of pink foam, braced underneath and is much sturdier. 

I gave the finished rock face at Brooke a coat of black, burnt umber and spice brown
acrylic to paint in the shadows.Once that is dry,  I will
paint the medium and highlight colors.

Why the reference to Sisyphus other than the obvious rock work connection? I have been known to start layout projects and get about halfway through, then rip them out or sell them and start all over. But this layout has been different. I hope I will actually complete it.

It has taken me several years to realize what I like and can achieve in a model railroad. This layout seems to meet my interests the best. It is also pushing me to learn new skills in scratch building, and engine tuning.  I have reached a model railroad Nirvana of sorts, though there still are many challenges ahead, such as scratch building engines, battery power control,  model ships and the big waterfront scene - saving the best for last.

Some of my friends are still struggling with this issue as they tear out and modify layouts, or can't even get started. Marty is documenting his machinations on trying what to model on his blog. Check it out when you get a chance.

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