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The Scenery Clinic: An industrial district


Concerned about the cement forming a smooth layer around the track, the authors glued styrene next to the rails and spread the ce- ment over it. This proved to be unnecessary, as the cement was easy to smooth with a putty knife (top left) and it stayed that way. However, the cement does need to be cleared off the railheads and


flangeways before it hardens, and a Brite Boy® did the trick. After the clean-up, a truck was used to check for good operation; a knife was used to remove any offending bits of cement (below left). An hour or two after the anchor cement was poured and smoothed joint lines were scribed into the surface to finish the paving project.


I assembled the Walthers kits while


Walt had a go at the wood gas station kit. When we had them assembled we laid them out on the diorama and drew lines where I wanted the tracks to go. While Walt was out of town I laid the track and the switch, allowing the tracks to serve the buildings. Walt had mentioned a product to me


called anchor bolt cement, which he bought at Home Depot. It’s a finely- ground cement product intended to se- cure bolts in concrete, and he had learned about it from Lance Mindheim, who has written a number of modeling articles and books. Walt had used it to make building foundations. I suggested that maybe we could pour it right over our tracks to form a concrete parking lot. “Are you crazy?” Walt asked. “Yeah,” I responded, “or maybe I just


don’t know any better.” In any event we forged blindly ahead. We prepped the diorama with strip- wood to form dams to retain the ce-


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ment and to form foundations for the buildings. Walt mixed the cement and I gleefully poured it into our scene. The only real risk here was that we could lose the track in the cement and have to start over if this went badly. Follow along in the captions for the photos to see how easy this actually turned out to be. It’s important to note that for a pro-


ject this big, you really need two people, one person to mix and stir the cement to keep it from hardening up, and the second person to pour and smooth out the cement. We wound up with the rails buried flush with the cement, and with a very realistic color and texture. An hour or two after we poured the cement Walt used a scale ruler and hobby knife to scribe joint lines in the now mostly- hardened surface. We also used the cement to form


the road that the gas station sits next to. For a different look, after the ce- ment had dried I painted it with wash


of diluted Floquil Grimy Black paint to give it the look of asphalt. Additional applications of diluted black in some spots yielded the look of a relatively old surface with several patched ar- eas. I masked the surface with tape and hand painted the white line with Floquil Reefer White, leaving a couple of small areas unpainted for a worn and aged look. The gas station driveway and adja-


cent parking area were done with .040″ Evergreen styrene painted a light gray and weathered with dark gray chalk and some spots of black paint to simulate oil droppings. The sidewalk and driveway entrance are styrene parts from Walthers painted to match the gas station surface (see the lead photo for the road and gas sta- tion driveway details). Thanks for joining Walt and me.


Next month we will cover the tech- niques used to do the ground cover and patches of snow.


DECEMBER 2011


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