April 2, 2012

Track bumper, grain sacks and more trees

I added a few details to the Potomac Creek scene including an end of track bumper for the stub siding at Potomac Creek, some grain sacks and more trees.

The Waud drawing at the left was the inspiration for the track bumper seen below. I used 1/4 inch scale lumber and a few NBWs to simulate the bumper. I sized it so the horizontal beam is the same height as the couplers. It's a simple detail, but it really completes that section of the layout.

I tried an experiment using Sculpey polymer clay (Oven Hardening) to make some grain sacks. This clay is available at most craft stores and comes in a variety of colors. It can also be painted once it is hard.

I cut and modeled the clay to look like grain sacks
I have seen in some prototype photos such as this.

I used a piece of slate as a baking surface based on some reports I read where metal pans can cause the clay to burn while cooking. The slate worked well and 15 minutes at 275 degrees did not burn the clay and it set rock hard.

Once it cooled, I primed and painted the sacks. The clay is not as easy to sculpt as the two part epoxy, maybe because I am not as accustomed to using it as the two part epoxy. But it is cheap and easy to get started.

Watching the parade from the top of hard tack boxes

Grain sacks on the platform. The more I think about this, the more likely I am to show this roof under construction
with some workers involved in putting on the roof pieces.

I added a few more trees to the woods. I'll post more detail about these later.


  1. That last shot looks FANTASTIC, even with the few trees used. I had to really study the image in order to discern which trees were on the backdrop and which were freestanding. Nicely done - now pose a train coming 'round that bend!

    Oh yeah, the sacks look neat too.


  2. Very nice. try baking future Sculpey projects on ceramic tile. It works great. ~Gary

  3. Gary,
    Thanks for the tip. I had read about using ceramic tile too. I looked for a ceramic tile to use, but realized we got rid of our excess last year. So I used a pieces of slate from the backyard instead.