Sunday, October 18, 2009

Devil in the Details

I had a chance to knock out some of the details on the layout that I didn't have time to get to before the Model Logger's Conference in March, and was too burned out to care about afterwards. First was to add some more trees. Of course, with trees and kids you need a some accessories. Ann Marie helped design the tree house, picked the color, and painted it her self. She also (accidentally) contributed the two "toothpaste spatter" purple spots visible above the foliage. I can fix that latter.

There is also a tire swing in the tree on the left. It awaits a seated child figure, yet to be located, but based on the condition of the grass under the swing, it is well used.

The dime in the right corner puts the scale in perspective. Maybe we should call it "D-scale".

One vehicle essential for a saw mill is a straddle carrier. Hull-Oakes has several Gerlingers which were manufactured in Salem, probably before WWII. Each time I have been to visit, these have been ferrying loads out to the storage yard, but I have found nothing even close available in the modeling world. I actually already had one on the layout, albeit 2-D on the background. So, I tried making my first "scratch-built" vehicle, using o-rings wheels from Home Depot(same size as the swing), balsa wood, oven-baked clay, and of course, Dr. Pepper aluminum.

Backdrop image

It does not quite qualify as "fine-scale", but hey, not bad for a first try! It lacks only another seated figure, yet to be located. Yes, as a matter of fact, it can turn on a dime.

The big change to the layout was to the road and lot. I knew I had a glaring discrepancy when the night before the modeling conference my ten year old nephew took one look at it and said, "the road doesn't have lines". I had been working on how to fix that ever since. After several days of experimentation, a method of road striping was hit upon using paint pens. I had to darkened up the gray a bit to help match the background first, and added some fine turf foam for a gravely texture in the lot. Some pastel chalk rubbing adds some realistic traffic patterns.

I usually have some mental picture of perfection that I am trying to achieve when I am working on something (not just modeling). Sometimes I come close, like the straddle-carrier, and say "good enough". Some times it turns out better than I thought was possible, and I just sit there, stare at it, and say "wow, I can't believe I did that"! The road and lot turned out that way. Pictures like this can be found in modeling magazines and catalogs. It would be an awesome feather in my "smaller-is-better" philosophy hat to get Dawson Station published!


Gail said...

Cool. I'd love to see it in person. Where were you when Jewel decided to do a diorama for her senior project!

Eldon and Janeil Olsen said...

Which ten-year-old nephew was it? I'm sure you could get it published. Love the way you involve your kids in it. The Gerlinger's driver could be out to lunch. I was amazed that you made that little thing. Our Cubs Scouts are going to love this.

Neil said...

I love it

sheryl said...

Wow! That's incredible what you've done in "d-scale"