Time for the scenery

In order to have scenic stuff like grass, trees and the like, a base has to be made. There are any number of ways to do this and it seems like each modeller reckons theirs is the best. In reality there is no best way, just the one which works for you. The one concept I want is very rough ground. By creating a foundation for that I need to make the plaster very lumpy. It didn't go quite as expected.

I'll get the bad out of the way first. In the past I used a thin shell with rock faces made from molds that I made. When dry, they were completely dry and cured within a day or two. This time I thought I'd use something named Sculptamold. After over two weeks of this stuff it was still not dry nor cured. Oh yes, it set, sort of, and I followed their instructions exactly. I would have ended up with the whole lot turning mouldy inside. I trashed all the Scuptamold stuff and restarted with some plaster I know works good.
The entire layout scenic base took a lot less time to dry and cure using a different plaster. A short bridge goes here.

When I paint walls in my apartment, some things are removed and leave bits of the wall with gaps, holes and the like. A plaster named Polyfilla is used to smooth the wall out and then, when cured, painted over. It never produces mould (England is very damp and mould is common). Since I want to keep my costs down, I used Polyfilla instead of Woodland Scenics lightweight Hydrocal (which is expensive). I simply added some shredded up toilet paper to the Polyfilla for the effect and from a 4 lb box, I have 1 lb remaining. After curing I left the whole thing to season for over a week before painting it all black.
A first test of scenery. There will be more here, like some trees. Some of this will not be visible from the front of the layout, so I'll just have to wing it.

Now I had the base to allow visual depth underneath all the various scenic materials used, but first, it will need a bit of history.
Dec 25, 2020

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