Friday, April 20, 2018

At the Crossroads

While I have had a lot of success using the plaster and wood glue mix on my terrain pieces, I had wondered if that would be the best set of materials for making my new road sections.

I usually play lots of YouTube tutorials while I am working, and I stumbled across one terrain building exercise that mentioned how wood filler can be a very effective material.

It has strength, durability, and a faster drying time.  There is also a natural texture, which the plaster mix does not have.

As usual, my starting point is the pink underlayment foam, which is about the same thickness as foam core.

It doesn't seem like the biggest container, but this goes quite a long way!

Since I know that the pink foam will not curl once this is applied (the wood filler is specifically designed not to shrink or crack!),  I mixed in a little wood glue for extra holding power and started to spread it across the intersection with the palette knife.

You can see that I have tried to create some piles of dirt in various sections of the road, making things as uneven as possible on this country road...

Once I had the general shape that I wanted, I smoothed out the rough surface with a 1 inch synthetic brush.  This removed all the obvious hard lines that the palette knife left behind.

Standing the brush on its end, I used that chisel point to create tire and track marks on the road.  I tried to pay special attention to how the vehicles might turn on this road, matching the tracks trough the turns.

You could even run a spare vehicle through the mud to make it even more realistic.

While the wood filler does have that additional texture that the plaster mix lacks, I still wanted to have even more texture on the sides of the roads.  Shrubs and small trees will line the side of this road, so I wanted a rougher texture under that growth.

I began with our dried tea leaf mix after spraying a bit of watered down wood glue...

The tea leaves were followed by coarse ballast from Woodland Scenics...

The final layer was a bit of fine ballast, which I also placed in the center of the ruts.  I will be making some puddles on the roads as well, so I thought it would be important to have this extra texture.

The long, straight road sections were a little more 'straightforward', so to speak.  Keeping the shapes interesting along such a long piece is something to be aware of as you place the wood filler.  Also, it is best to keep a consistent amount of texture on the ends of all your roads, so that they match up when you place them together on the board!

I did the same process with the tea leaves and ballast once I had placed all the wood filler.

I think these angles give you a sense of the texture... this will be even more pronounced when it is painted and flocked!

Here you have it... some new country road sections.  I was glad to see that my new photography light setup was very useful in lighting this, since I am hoping to do some facebook live terrain sessions, as well as create new recorded videos for YouTube and the patrons of my Patreon Page.

A $5 pledge lets you view these YouTube tutorials, while a $1 pledge is very helpful in securing more equipment and materials for experimentation such as these.

If you can support the Patreon Page, that will allow me to create more of these terrain projects, and also create new videos!