My hometown of Charleston has the unofficial motto of “Too Poor to Paint; Too Proud to Whitewash”. Having lived in Iowa longer than I lived in the Lowcountry, I am no longer burdened with such limitations. The fascia and roadbed for The Hills Line are now painted and presented in their finished hue.
For the IAIS Grimes Line, I went with the infamous CTC Green for the fascia and valance, based on Devoe’s Upland Green and first revealed on David Barrow’s Cat Mountain and Santa Fe. However, Devoe has long since discontinued Upland Green. There is a formula for converting the tint into Sherwin Williams paint but the stores in Central Iowa have issues replicating the color.
Rather than fuss with mixing a custom color and getting inconsistent results if and when I need more of the paint, I chose Behr’s Wild Rice interior semi-gloss on a recommendation from Lance Mindheim. Wild Rice is a bit more green and less brown than Upland Green, but the overall effect is the same.
Absolutely every square inch of roadbed and fascia is slathered with the color. This provides an earthen base underneath the track and scenery and prevents bits of pink foam from sticking out. Plus I have the advantage of not having to mask the edge between the fascia and the roadbed to get a clean line of separation.
Unfortunately, extruded foam can suck up a lot of paint and take time to properly cover. Enter the whitewash painting process. Instead of applying the paint at full strength to the foam, I add a little water to the brush…
…which helps the paint cover the foam easier.
Again, since the foam roadbed will eventually be covered with track and scenery, it doesn’t need to be the full pigment. Save that effort for the fascia.
The exception to this rule (and there always is one) is for any waterways. Rivers, streams, ponds, etc. get the paint at full strength. That way the base properly simulates a midwestern river bottom once the water is applied… but I’ll get to that.
For now, I’m enjoying the green monster in our basement.