Sunday, September 02, 2012

Back to Broken River

DB temporarily awakes from hibernation just in time for the end of the northern summer:

 I've not had much to post about over the past while because I've not really been doing any modeling. This may be because the train room has become the default storage place for all manner of household junk, or because I've not had a lot of free time, or a million other excuses; but with my good woman away for a few weeks I thought maybe this might be a good time to get back into it.

 As an aside, this was supposed to be the second post in my comeback series (which usually last for about two posts per comeback) but I don't have any pictures for the initial sermon on rail prostitution that will now follow as Senor Druff permits.

 Anyway in this second edition, being presented first, [can you tell I'm watching The Matrix on a full tank of Ben Marco Malbec as I type this? God bless spell checkers] I was clearing out the train room today and decided to revisit the barely started Broken River module. I figured I might as well bite the bullet and attempt soldering some track feeders onto it just to get the damn thing finished, otherwise we'll end up selling the house without ever seeing if this layout in the sky with diamonds thing would ever work.

 As you might have noticed, I'll often happily be modeling along at a million miles an hour and then suddenly run into a minor roadblock (like painting a backdrop or wiring a Tortoise or soldering some track feeds, or putting underframes on my 56 foot cars) that you sensible modelers would just plow through, but just stop me dead in my tracks. And once the momentum is lost, I end up in hibernation for a year.

 So, fortified with copious glasses of resolve (too early for wine at that stage), I managed to solder my way along Broken River with the elegance of an elephant driving a space shuttle through the eye of a camel: a bus wire pair along the length, a few fishplates soldered together, and two pairs of feeders. Wow. Despite being allergic to soldering, that wasn't so hard now was it.


After handing the keys of the Discovery off to the valet, I hot glued some cardboard strips onto the bare left hand half of the layout in the approximate shape of Mt Eiger and covered these with Woodland Scenics plaster cloth. A quick spray of the tracks with some brown primer from a can and suddenly, after a year of pausing, I'm suddenly in scenicking mode, which is something I enjoy far more than the building of the infrastructure which has held me back for so long. So in the spirit of cheap, disposable and embarrassing, I made a few tunnel portals out of corrugated cardboard painted grey and also some tunnel liners (a sheet of corrugated card painted almost-black). Ugly.

About this time I was also thinking about a post on this very blogary that mentioned the use of expanding foam as treeforms. Clearly I was not concentrating on tunnel portals.

Funnily enough, I recall buying such an expanding foam insulation product some time ago and after some rummaging I found it. On the top of the can it said "Dow Great Stuff Gaps and Cracks." On the bottom of the can it said "best before Feb 2010" but nonetheless, I foolishly tried this on a small 6 foot section of the 6 foot module as a test. The stuff comes out like whipped cream from a can so you have to be gentle extracting it, and then it slowly blobs up about 50% into a sticky ball before later setting as a hardish, nonsticky blob.

Unfortunately the drinking-straw-length applicator on mine had broken so I had some trouble aiming the puffballs and ended up getting more than a few sticky carcinogens on me during the process.  I'm not sure whether my life-expired can is truly representative of a fresh batch of the current product's capabilities, but nonetheless, I can report that he results are definitely: ummm, odd.

Now (thanks to the Malbec) that I have regained my senses upstairs, I have actually read that blog and see that they put their blobs in a denser pattern than I on the Cliffhanger layout. 

Any moment now I expect to see Teletubbies and unicorns weaving through the meringues on my layout. Will I get my just desserts? Tune in for the next exciting episode.


Motorised Dandruff said...

Thanks for being the crash test dummy for the rest of us. I was looking at buying some today, but opted for gorilla glue to stick my expanded polystyrene sheets together.

beaka said...

I'm thinking you left it outside on an extremely hot day and a bunch??? of seagulls on laxatives flew overhead. its good to see another layout progressing though.
I think most people experience the same symtoms of erratic periods of modelling activity.I guess also its a lot easier nowadays to get sidetracked by other distractions(life)!