PRR Chartiers Branch: Hazel Mine - Scenery

September 11, 2017

The first bit of land scenery can now be applied. This is the space between the backdrop, the creek, and the recently-completed Fort Pitt Bridge Works building. Most views were taken from the back of the layout. In the photo, I am applying sections of white glue, covered with a coarse sand (used for filling glass jars for decorative plants).
Next, I cover it with some acrylic brown paint, to give it more of an illusion of soil.
In the real world, there were several trees to the east of the building, so I was able to plant the trees I built last year. They have a toothpick in their trunk, so that is easy to plant in the 1/2" ceiling tile. I used some white glue to hold them in place. After the glue dried, I filled in the gaps between their roots and the scenery base with more scenery materials (see subsequent photos).
Here's a photo from the front of the layout, zooming in on the area under construction.
I added some details around the building. This section of the building represents the very back of the building, so I'm sure over the decades, all sorts of junk accumulated there. I'll be adding more over time. A few years ago I scratchbuilt these pallets, so I glued those in place. At the time of the photo, I had just started planting some of the weeds growing up along the edge of the building.
I wanted to represent some dead leaves under the tree, so I am using some used (and dried) tea leaves. For these I am spraying some watered-down white glue. To protect the building and the creek from the overspray, I strategically placed some paper towels to quickly soak up droplets. The plywood sheet on the layout is there so that I can lean on the layout while gluing in the bushes. I found out that if I lean on my layout's ceiling tile, my elbow sinks into the ceiling tile. This is OK where the scenery is going to go, but not where the track will be placed later on. It is just a lesson I learned about using ceiling tile.
Here's a quick shot of the more-or-less finished area under the trees.