Thursday, March 24, 2022

Some Love for the Wall

Not everything is doom and gloom at Hedley Junction. Finding our groove is important and we have started again on completing the scenery around the yard.

In light blue is the old roadway

A few weeks ago, Jérôme found out the long sweeping road in Clermont was dangerously warping. It hasn't been glued down and the 8 feet long cardboard piece was behaving in a funky way. I was becoming increasingly obvious we couldn't force the road back where it should be. I suspect this happened because we spliced too long piece of cardboard. Everything from the grade crossing to the splice joint was aligned, but after that point, it was banana territory.

We had two options: redo the entire road, which I wasn't eager to do, or simply cut the warped piece and call it a day. After a short debate, we went with the pragmatic approach... cut the road. It may sound lazy, but it wasn't completely. Indeed, years ago, the original road had the same location and looked great. Also, we felt the longer road wrapping around the peninsula didn't look right. It was prototypical to some extend, but it didn't look great. It felt like the road should be shorter and the peninsula end be pure wilderness to separate each sides. It didn't take long to cut the road and settle the matter once for all!

Some PanPastel didn't make the wall look better...

The next big challenge was the stone retaining wall. As you know, I hand carved it out of a piece of cardboard months ago. Then it was hand painted and colored with pencils. I later added dark pen lines to replicate missing mortar in the joints.

Everything looked flat and homogenous

But at the end of the day, it was still looking like a piece of cardboard. I then tried adding oil washes and pastel chalks, yet it was still cardboard. Frustrated, I decided to go back to Martin Kovac for inspiration. Using plaster of Paris, I filled the scribed lines and sealed the plaster with Dullcote. When dry, I added shadows and highlights using a fine paint brush and diluted acrylic paint. It was much better! It was finally stone.

Irregular plaster mortar joints add relief and make stones stand out

I brought it back to the layout, installed and felt it was fitting perfectly my vision of a poorly maintained stone retaining wall! With theses hurdles out of my way, there was no longer any reason to postpone completing the yard scenery once for all!

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