Starting to work on something when you took a long pause is always hard. You loose focus and forget the reason behind the actions you didn't complete. Not a very good way to do model railroading isn't it? Crazy to think I'll have to take another break later in May.
Anyway, it since Jérôme and Louis-Marie didn't take a break, I could witness the very slow but steady progress with the grade crossing signals. This is a true labor of love and it's hard to convey with words how much efforts they are putting in something that seem so mundane.
At this point, we can say the cement plant crossing is working fine. Lots of adjustments to do, but still acceptable. On the other hand, work on D'Estimauville Avenue is just starting. All the parts are now ready to be assembled and Jérôme made a decent mock up of how it will look like when complete. It's quite close to the real thing and the scene is taking shape.
As for me, I worked on road pavement again. I'll be honest, I've tried many methods and start to think illustration board roads à la Gordon Gravett/Lance Mindheim work the best for me... I don't know why, but I'm not a fan of plaster/spackling streets. The reason may be because I only visit the layout once per week, thus plaster roads takes a lot of time to finish while cardboard ones can be done quickly at home and better.
That said, I thought applying some stactic grass would be useful for once. Using my trusty grass applicator, a new layer of vegetation was applied to the access road embankment in Clermont. But this time, I changed my recipe. I mixed long greenish 6mm fibers with straw-colored 3mm fibers and applied them on prepped terrain. The result was much better than applying each kind of grass independently. The color and lenght are now less uniform, making for a more realistic late Spring vegetation. It will probably be quite useful when making grass tuffs too.
I also applied grass more grass on the siding to show it is seldom maintained. It helps to frame the siding gravel area used to load cars. Speaking of gravel, I used a sandpaper to create vehicle ruts and add texture. This is a well-known technique that bring back the gravel powdery look and help break the ubiquitous glued down uniform look. Let's call it a well invested 5 minutes of my time!