With the foundations and ballast in place I have made progress over a couple of short sessions on this little project. The first layer of ground cover in place is my brown(ish) emulsion paint/PVA/filler mix with a blend of Woodland Scenics fine turf and very fine sand sieved over whilst wet and tamped in place. I have taken the earth mix over the edge of the ballast as part of my plan to blend everything together.
Inspired by a DVD of the Ravengass & Eskdale Railway that I had been watching I wanted to try and create the effect of the weedkiller train on the greenery along the ballast edge, turning the grass yellow with an almost straight edge to the colour join. I've not consciously seen this modelled on a modern era layout.
To achieve this I used a product I had first tried on my 009 layout, the Javis scenics Autumn 'rough terrain' mat. This is a mix of short yellow and green static fibres on a tacky, tear-able backing. Using narrow strips of this either side of the ballast soon achieved the look I was after - it is stuck down by damping both the ground surface and the backing. Liking the look this achieved I then set to with PVA over the rest of the ground area and stuck down segments of hanging basket liner in two different shades. It was so warm in the workshop that after an hour or so of mowing the real grass outside, I was able to lift the backing and surplus materials away and give it a brush through with both wire and tooth brushes, then an initial miniature mow with the hair clippers...
The blend between the 'dead' grass and the longer stuff has worked very well in my opinion. With a spare half hour or so the evening after planting I gave the grass a further manicure with nail scissors then made up some masks of small random shapes from newspaper. These were used to hide the rest of the scenery whilst hairspray was sprayed through, the mask removed and scatter sprinkled over. With three different masks and two mixes of scatter the effect is quick and easy. I then opted to stick the railings in place as it is getting very close to completion..