To try and make this small N scale layout feel larger, I have employed a technique called forced perspective
Normal perspective means that things a long way away, look smaller. Forced perspective means building models in a smaller scale, and placing them in such a way that the eye is tricked into thinking they are further away than they are.
Making trees smaller than N scale has taken longer (much longer) than I hoped. The Chinese made 3cm high trees (as planted on top of Bethungra hill) have been covered earlier. But these were too small for the medium distances, and I didn't buy any more. The 5cm high wire-wound trees were the subject of the previous blog post, and I was itching to see how they would come out. I also needed something to fill in the extreme rear of the layout - something that would not have much detail. I had seen puff ball trees used to great effect on many USA layouts, and thought I would try to make some of my own.
Puff Ball Tree Making
|The ingredients. Woodland scenics Poly fibre, coarse ground foam, spray adhesive, cheap hair spray, an ice cream container, and something disposable to act as a mat.|
|Pull out the polyfibre into rough shapes. Tease out as much as you can.|
|Ground foam poured into the ice-cream container.|
The method is simple. Spray adhesive onto the polyfibre shapes on the "disposable mat". Then turn the shapes over, and spray some more.
When sticky, drop in the polyfibre shapes (one at a time) into the foam filled ice cream container. Move the shape around until all the sticky fibres are covered in foam.
Remove from the foam, and using the hair spray, spray the foam covered shape, place back onto a "dry mat" (Don't use the one you earlier sprayed glue onto)
Repeat until all shapes are covered in foam.
Pour the unused foam back into the ground foam container
|Trees and bushes come in all sizes.|
Plant your bushes on top of a dab of white glue direct onto the scenery. Wait to the glue dries.
|The first bit of perpsective planting was my quick and dirty trees on the embankment leading to the bridge.|
|The FX Holden, and some of the puffball trees on the backscene behind the tracks. Trying a shadow effect to simulate the late afternoon sun was probably not that effective|
|Contrast this picture with the one from last blog on ballasting. Puff-ball bushes, and reduced scale wirewound trees don't look out of place to my eyes|
Still to be done
I have a few more trees to be planted, and there is a lot of line-side weeds needed to cover up some of the white foam/plaster that has unfortunately come through. The lineside telegraph poles need to be placed. The tunnel portals to be painted. Then I need to tidy up the electrics, simple as they are, they really are unsuited to a museum display. Plus more servicing of the locos, and trains, and test running.
The Broadway Museum is currently closed due to COVID-19, but I need to get the layout down there, so that they can work on the backscenes, and perspex.
Sharing your modelling via blogs, website, social media, email or magazines, is one way to stay in touch during these times of social isolating and lockdowns. It is more important than ever to maintain these links. And, try something new, learn a new skill. Get stuck into a project that you have been putting off to a rainy day. As someone has said, when you are given lemons, make lemonade. May everyone remain safe. Thank you