Progress continues on the City Carton area of The Hills Line. Previously I had wrapped up building and painting the large parking lots and numerous roads in the space, as well as constructed the support warehouses for the complex.
After the paint and striping was dry, I weathered everything following methods developed by Lance Mindheim. Namely, covering everything with an India Ink/rubbing alcohol wash applied with an airbrush. It still amazes me that something so simple can make such a difference in appearance.
The styrene slabs were then permanently attached to the layout using Loctite PowerGrab Express. It’s available in self-contained applicators that, while more expensive than the caulking-gun version, avoids the mess and storage issues when using construction adhesives. Nor does it attack or eat away at the foam subroadbed.
Grade crossing segments were similarly weathered and installed using gel-type superglue. Clearances were tripled checked with a NMRA Standards Gauge and by running a few cars and locomotives over the crossings.
Once attached, I can start adding some of the base scenic elements specific to the roads and sidewalks. A small gravel lot sits to the west of Clinton Street between the main track at the Nagle Lumber spur. The gravel was made from sifted limestone paver sand, the same material I use for ballast.
Diluted white glue was applied to the scenic troughs to secure the static grass between the curbs and the sidewalk. Since I’m going for a manicured effect, I don’t apply the grass with an static applicator. Instead the fibers are sprinkled on by hand.
When smoothed and dried, it does a reasonable job of replicating a tamed lawn. There are more appropriate blends for summer lawns, but I like the consistent look of the same base layer across the entire layout…. which blends the individual scenes into a cohesive vision.