So much things happened in Stanstead I lost track of the blog. To make a long story short, I made steady progress during the week, including finalizing the wiring and installing push rods to control turnouts. With tracks working well, it's time to move forward with scenery.
At first, I glued several small rocks and sands on the roadbed sides to replicate earth that was piled up there to build the grade. It's crude, but works as a layer foundation for future vegetation.
I also glued small plaster rock faces on the hills to replicate granite outcrops. The idea came to me after seeing such outcrops on Google Earth where the old Stanstead station used to be. Also, I always like this sight of fields with rocks and cows. Some ground foam of various size and colors were added around them to model the moss that grows generally around them. With a sponge, I also dabbed light grey spots to replicate lichens. I'm quite happy with the results!
Then it was time to ballast the tracks. This time, I wanted something different, looking like the dirty and loose ballast used at the turn of the century. That ballast was generally sourced in some "gravelish" sand pit or nearby cut. Made of soil, it was natural, not crushed stone. To replicate it, I mixed 1/3 sand color tile grout (unsanded type), 1/3 sifted dirt from my backyard and 1/3 crushed limestone dust. I kept the small pebbles (1mm) from the dirt as you can often see them on old prototype pictures. The grout helps to keep the color light. I'm not a fan of how natural ballast gets very dark when glued, so grout is perfect to counter that.
Unfortunately, even if I had sealed the MDF turntable pit ring, it did swell a little bit when the glue was drying, ruining all my previous fine tuning. Still some work to do...
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