CL&W Subdivision Scenery Blog

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Lazy Daydreamer
Had a really productive Tuesday afternoon, I had time to apply the static-grass and the dead leaf ground cover on the triangle of Hydrocal that I poured this past Sunday:

(The dead-leaf area is where the trees are going to be planted.)

While the cement was drying on the grass and ground cover, I also took advantage of the remaining daylight and the calm, dry weather to dress up another dozen Super Trees. This batch will not only provide all the trees I need for the triangular area, there will also be several left over for me to add to random locations along the ridge:

Now I just need to figure out which ones to put in what spots...
Ken: The hydrocal triangle has transformed into a really nice corner. The dead leaf drop before planting trees is a no brainer, but it's a detail, I would have overlooked. Can't wait for the pictures once the trees to go in.


Lazy Daydreamer
A Split-Second of Clumsiness, an Hour of Damage Control

Wednesday was as bad as Tuesday was good.

My expectations weren't that high to begin with, since this is one of those evenings where my true "free" time doesn't begin until ~8:30pm. Can't spray any adhesive on tree armatures when it's dark, and that is why I pre-dressed so many of them on Tuesday afternoon. My plan was to install some of the finished trees along the backdrop edge of the triangle. But first, I needed to apply a bit of soil-colored latex paint over a spot where the white hydrocal had been unearthed by the drill bit.

This target area was in the exact center of the Blob, so I had to lean over really far to touch it up. As soon as the paint was applied, I started to make my body upright again but I briefly lost my balance - and the paint brush, still wet with grayish-brown paint, made contact with the blue-sky backdrop...oh S**T!! I frantically attempted to soak off the brown spot, but it was no use; flat latex paint is very absorbent, and no amount of scraping or sanding would ever bring it back to its original shade of blue.

Most of you will probably say "Hey, no problem, just paint a cloud or two over the stain." Sorry, but that's not an option for me because I don't do clouds on my backdrops. Since I might want to stage the same scene for two different time periods, I don't want the same cloud pattern to be in the exact same spot in a subsequent photo, days or months after the first one.

Yet, miraculously, short time later I found a sample jar of the very same color [Behr Impressionist Blue] of latex paint. Great - except it was not part of the same batch that I had rolled onto my backdrop panels six years ago, so the color was going to be slightly off, either too dark or too light. I was wishing I could just "photoshop" it using the so-called airbrush feature, where I would gradually merge the two shades of blue over a broad area.

And that's when the "light bulb" lit up for me - if I could just avoid applying the new paint laterally, I could also avoid brush streaks! I would apply it very lightly, perpendicular to the backdrop surface, and hopefully maintain the original texture. So I took a small (0.5-inch diameter) stippling brush and applied extremely light splotches of blue paint over the stain and the surrounding area - heavier over the stain, and gradually more sparingly moving outward. There could not be any perceptible boundary between the old paint and the new.

At first it resembled a very faint white cloud; not perfect, but better than the alternative. But once the paint was fully dried, it was almost the exact original color!:cool:

In the end, all I lost was an hour of originally-planned mrr time. Hopefully, somebody reading this can learn from my experience if the same thing should ever happen to them!


Lazy Daydreamer
It's Saturday noontime, and I finally got the scenery done on the "triangle" area...for now at least.

This little patch of real estate was a bit of a struggle for me, because it is in a spot that can be easily seen by visitors - up close - from 3 out of four viewing angles. This meant I had to insert extra branch bundles on several of my Super Trees to make them truly 3-D.

Finding a Super Tree fresh from the box that is perfectly straight and has all of its branches at a full 360*, that's a very rare treat! But most of the time, when viewed sideways - they resemble a Popsicle with a few large bites missing from it. So I have to fill in the holes by tearing off branches from other dressed tree armatures and cementing them on wth matte medium. That's what I had to do with the tree in the following photo [with the wet, white matte medium still visible on it]:

I overdid the matte medium fluid just a tad, so it pooled at the bottom of the trunk. No worries though, it dries clear with a flat finish.

I also discovered that I had made the dead-leaf area too broad for the number of trees I had available to cover it. My solution was to make this a broad shrub-covered area. The "shrubs" were actually branches clipped off from junk tree armatures that I had coated with spray adhesive and Super Leaf flocking, just like on my regular trees. The following photo is supposed to show the result of mixing random shades of green shrubbery along the edge of the forest:

Unfortunately since I shot this with a cellphone camera, the [green] color differences aren't quite as noticeable as when you view them in real life. In fact, the shadows make it difficult to figure out which trees are which! So I decided to capture this same view with the shop floodlight turned off:

At least here you can hopefully pick out the individual trees!

Now I have to do the shrubbery placement on all the other areas of the ridge, before I can start the next phase: paving the 1:87 scale property of 84 Lumber. After that, it's cleanup time and I can start running trains again!:D is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to