Saturday, April 9, 2022

The Jersey Wall

 A common sight on our roads, industrial areas and construction site are the ubiquitous concrete Jersey barriers. Useful and modular, they serve all kind of purpose and it's no surprise to find them in Clermont. 

A typical Jersey barrier (source: Game Asset Library)

An interesting detail about the railway line at Donohue is how it is raised on an embankment running through the parking lot and kept in place with a retaining wall. As you have probably guessed right, this wall is made of Jersey barriers.

A Jersey retaining wall at Donohue's parking lot

At first, Louis-Marie was very excited about making these barriers out of MDF. A previous attempt a few years ago was wasted when I lost it in the snow! However, I managed to convince him to build new ones and as always, he deployed is table saw wizardry. They will line gracefully the parking lot on the layout. 

Painting was relatively straightforward, but I still made some preparation. MDF is very porous and uneven when cut. For fight this unrealistic texture, I first primed the barriers, then sanded them smooth. This was followed by an application of very liquid CA glue to seal all the surface. It was then sanded again until a nice glass like surface was obtained. From that point on, it was just a matter to paint them with Krylon Camouflage beige and add various effects with a sponge and acrylic paint. White streaks were drybrushed and finally, a light raw umber oil paint wash was applied and let to dry.

These details aren't complicated, but when done correctly, they bring a lot of realism to a layout because they ground it into a reality we can relate to. Many manufacturers offer them in plastic and you can even 3D print these barriers. However, I like the imperfections of MDF which replicate well the wear and tear so characteristic of these barriers. Broken MDF is excellent to model badly damaged concrete after all.

MDF imperfections replicate perfectly concrete castings

With these walls done, it's only a matter of time before I can start working more seriously on scenery at Donohue. Meanwhile, I'll try to complete Clermont before as this is a more pressing issue.

1 comment:

  1. Great texture and coloring on these. Quietly wonderful!