My last post hinted at a micro-diorama featuring a Black Dog Mining mine tub. The body was painted a few years ago using a salt weathering technique to give a patchy rust effect. Originally on a Black Dog chassis it never really looked right, so I had planned to fit it to the KB frame with a mind to using it on the layout project I started at Easter. That has stalled and the use of KB based stock has now largely been ruled out. However, I opted to finish off this build with a diorama project in mind, and here it is, all 85 x 70 mm of it...
The chassis was painted with red oxide primer, then given various rust effects by stippling on paint in rust shades, then wetted, salt applied over the rust areas and once dried sprayed with matt brown paint. With the salt removed some dry brushing and weathering powders have enhanced the finish. The wheels have also been weathered, not that you can see them here!
I felt that it needed some sort of context to be displayed in. My original idea had been some sort of mine entrance, with the intention of laying the track using KB Scale components to 14mm gauge, as doodled here.
I wasn't convinced that I could convincingly get the height of the piece to look right, but I liked the look of the slope down on the front left corner, something I had experimented with a couple of years ago on a test piece I had made using polystyrene. Ironically this was also made with the mine tub in mind but never completed and only used for test purposes.
I stripped off as much of the old material as I could (recovering some of the tufts in the process) and started the rebuild, cutting back the polystyrene at the left edge and right rear, and adding 5mm balsa wood cut to shape in it's place to add the height. I added some rocks cast in plaster of Paris some time ago, made in impromptu baking foil moulds to use up something the kids had been working with. The rocks and balsa were blended in with modelling clay with some texturing added.
The rocks were then painted dark grey, followed by lighter shades through to a final dry-brushed light grey/cream shade. The next step was my usual scenic mix (brown-ish paint, filler and PVA) with Woodland Scenics earth sprinkled over whilst wet. Once dried I added hanging basket liner and some recovered Silfor tufts, treating the hanging basket liner with areas of scatter applied over hairspray. A couple of Martin Welberg weed tufts were also added to add extra textures and a couple of bits of sea moss bush that were surplus from previous projects were also used.
A few bits of the original ground cover can be seen in places around the track and in the front dropped area. My usual timber surround has been added, but rather than following the lay of the land it is lower in height with the exposed edge of the scene painted a neutral grey. I think it works reasonably well...