This tome describes the methods and techniques used to provide basic scenery over all of the PDQ. Details include the types of materials, construction methods, and when possible the items from the bill of materials for a given scene. It does not include step-by-step details.
Overall Layout Construction Approach and Scenery
Scenery Committee and Scenery Approach
he overall PDQ Layout Designer, a club member and a professional layout builder [provided here as a shameless plug for Brion Boyles at firstname.lastname@example.org, was the driving force and visionary for what scenery was envisioned and constructed. It really was a good approach for a club to have a coordinated flow of scenery across the layout and Brion provided that vision for the Scenery Committee.
The initial approach to begin at Armstrong was to have groups of 2-3 people complete a whole section. This quickly switched to the worker that came to a scenery construction session would work on the next scenery area ready to be worked. Sometimes that would be rock carving, or a forest of trees, or a water scene.
Scenery Back Drops and Ballast
When track sections were declared operational and ready for ballasting, Woodland Scenics fine and some medium ballast filler was applied using the typical approach of spreading ballast inside the track and along the ties with a 1” or 2” paint brush until the proper contour was achieved, tapping the rails to settle the ballast, then misting the area with “wet” water. A 50% solution of Elmer’s glue and water dribbled into the damp ballast fastened it to the tracks. Mainline tracks were done in a grey blend color and the yard tracks were in fine black cinders.
The PDQ Scenery Tour Begins
Armstrong: trees, rocks, roads, and pasture
The road through town was also done with a wet mixture of plaster including crossing the tracks. The road was then painted with black acrylic paint. The trees were hand made from local horse weeds using the method described elsewhere on the PWMRC web site. The plowed farmer’s fields were made from corduroy material for pants that was glued to the Homosote. A significant area at Armstrong was grasses and bare dirt applied by painting the Homosote a VA clay color and then sprinkling on Woodland Scenics grasses and soil commercial ground foam. This was then secured by wet water/diluted Elmer’s white glue
Interchange: Forests, tunnels, rocks, and grasses
The trees were made from broken twigs from local weeds with woody stems covered with poly foam spread over the branches and then sprayed with hair spray and sprinkled with different shades of green Woodland Scenics grasses and clump foliage. The hillsides were made with cardboard strip netting, then paper towels soaked in plaster [an alternate method also used in some places was to crumple newspaper, tape it with masking tape, and cover with industrial strength paper towels soaked in Hydrocal plaster]. The bushes at the lower elevations were lichen and clump foam glued in place.
Quantico: Backdrop, river, streets, and trees
Evansport Engine Terminal: Forest, tunnels, and cliffs
Rock cliffs behind the turntable were carved starting at the engine terminal and proceeding behind Evansport itself. The rock carving was done with fine-bladed tools (No. 11 X-acto knife, utility knives), spatulas, and other instruments. Both the tunnel portals and rock cliffs were colored with washes of black shoe polish or India ink and browns with water or alcohol by different people. The forests on the top and sides of the mountain were created with clump foam that was spray painted with different shades of green and attached to an under-layment of green/brown spray-painted furnace filter using heavy duty spray adhesive. The foliage was then dusted with more spray adhesive and paint, and lightly highlighted with light shades of green blend turf to unify the area
Saddleback Mountain: Tunnel, mountain forests, and rock cliffs
The mountain was constructed by first cutting out plywood shapes for a saddleback design and then covering it with plastic sheet to prevent plaster dust/debris from affecting the tracks within the mountain. Then we attached a network of cardboard strips stapled together and covered with plaster soaked heavy duty paper towels. Cliffs and rock formations were created from plaster carved with sharp hobby knives and stained with acrylic paint washes.
A unique approach to creating a hillside of trees was initially used here. Furnace filter material [2’ x 3’] was peeled apart into two sections and then sprayed painted greens & browns. It was then attached to the mountainside with hot glue sprayed with heavy duty adhesive and covered with clump foliage of different shades of green to represent a tree canopy. “Bare” spots where trees were not installed now looked like small grass meadows. This was done on both sides of Saddleback Mountain. The tree tops were sprayed with hair spray and various shades of cheap green paints .Fine Woodland scenic grasses and earth blends of turf were sprinkled on to give additional texture.
Evansport: Town, train station, roads, tall rock cliff, mountain forests
The small businesses were plastic structures built by members of the club and installed along the Evansport main street. The large cliff behind Evansport, shown in Figure 7, was created from plaster carved with sharp hobby knives and stained with acrylic paint washes. Small pieces of plaster that broke off were used as talus at the bottom of the cliff. Some brush and green growth, typical on cliffs, were installed using ground foam and Elmer’s glue. The cliff was the work of multiple scenery committee members over a few work sessions.
Trees were planted along the top of the cliff as part of the scenery break and to simulate the beginning of a forest. The forest is a mixture of trees made from weeds, poly fibre spread over the branches, and ground foam glued on with adhesive sprays. Some puff ball trees were then added behind these trees to better simulate the forest.