Monday, 4 January 2016

The Path To... (Part 1)

'Son of Up-cycle'

Started as an experiment made from MDF offcuts mitre-fixed end-on this is intended as one of my slimline dioramas that fit in my wall-mounted display case. As it uses track from the original 'Up-cycle' and more recycled material it really is the next step in the Up-cycle saga! In original form it was too narrow and I had put it to one side awaiting inspiration. Doodling saw me first add a building along the rear to add depth, followed by the thought of adding a strip of timber and building up the ground level in a bank, inspired by the cafe area and steps on 'Shifting Sands'.

A balsa strip was added along the rear to add 5mm to the depth, and as a basis of the banking and steps. Being carveable balsa is idea for this task as a hard edge to the top of the bank has been avoided. Steps are built up from foamcore and mount board. Button polish has been used on exposed timber and card surfaces to toughen it up and help avoid warping.

Slow progress was then made, partly to check that the MDF base wasn't warping under the stresses of scenic applications. The banked area has been filled with kitchen roll and covered with strips of newspaper held in place with diluted PVA.  Ballasting has taken place, Woodland Scenics materials secured with 'Kleer'.

Basic textures were added to the concrete steps, tarmac path and ground areas. Both made use of Green Scene textured paints, concrete for the steps, general muck for the tarmac. The latter had some plaster added to lighten it a little. The ground used my mix of paint/PVA and plaster left over from 'The Headshunt'. Think plywood planking makes up the crossing timbers.

Both the steps and path had some adjustments to both texture and colour, with a little weathering added. More colour variation will be built up in due course using weathering powders. At the far end some of my pre-made paving slabs form a short section of retaining wall. The ground areas have been covered with what is described as 'Shifting Sands earth mix' - Woodland Scenics fine earth and fine sand for the coastal sandy look.

Once the turf was dry and excess vacuumed off, PVA was applied again and hanging basket liner applied. Even the hanging basket liner was recycled, the other side of the pieces used on 'The Headshunt'! Once left for 3-4 hours this was carefully teased away to leave plentiful grass coverage. This was trimmed back with a disposable razor and nail scissors to give the effect below.

In part 2 I'll show the extras added to the grassland and the final weathering of the trackwork and pathway.


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