Above is the benchwork for Avon extended from Phillips at the back corner. Right is Avon looking the other way toward Strong and Farmington.
Above left and right, because the contour of the railroad and road cuts has to be more precise than just scenic hills or mountains, I made the contour for the terrain out of pink foam board instead of using cardboard strip hard shell. The pieces are cut into rough shape for what I need, using paper to trace the layers and then transfer it onto the foam board to cut out. The slopes are beveled with a steak knife, and then scraps glued in to fill in gaps. Nails and pins hold everything in place while the glue dries. The main features for Avon are that it will have a passing siding for priority traffic between Phillips and Strong, and it will have a flag stop station for passenger and freight traffic stops. It will also be the transition point in the seasons from late Fall to early Winter.
Above left, to orient you better to the location on the layout, Salmon hole and the curve to Phillips are at the far end of the photo, and Porter Brook trestle will be just off to the lower right of the photo. Above right, the slopes and cuts of the terrain have been shaped after the glue dried with a rasp and sanding block with 60 grit paper. Plaster cloth has been applied, then everything sealed with brown latex paint. After the paint dried, then the road was painted with acrylic paint, and turf powder sprinkled on. After it dried, the excess was vacuumed off and the road dry-brushed with a couple different shades of light brown and tan, and finally a very light dry brushing of oyster white. The grass areas were painted with full-strength matte medium, then varied mixes of harvest gold and straw colored static grass were applied. After drying, tufts were applied and the grass and tufts were lightly damp-brushed with the same shades as the road, to blend everything. The corrugated cardboard is the base for a harvested corn field .
Above left, the corn field was made using JTT corn stalks, a light sprinkle of ground foam, and clippings of sisal twine. Ground up leaves were scattered across the terrain, more heavily under the decidious trees. Scenic Express Super Sage, Super Trees, JTT fall tree branches, and various brands of connifers were added. Above right, the road has been finished with grass and clumps growing heavily along the sides and grass down the middle. A Woodland Scenics wire fence has been added between the road and corn field, and a few tree stum,ps added. The unpainted deer, the train and a Model A stake truck have been placed in just to get a better vision of how I want to finish up the scene. The Avon flag stop will be just to the right of the Model A on the far side of the track.
Above left, the windows in the train room are fitted with a removeable panel that tucks in behind the left and right edges of the adjoining backdrop panels. Above right, the removeable panel backdrop that covers the windows is then painted to match the backdrop scenery to both sides and then the photo backdrop is applied. The 3-D scenery for Avon can now be continued.
Above left, I troweled plaster onto the railroad cut at Avon, and carved the rock work into it while it was setting. After carving, I went back to my old method of coloring the rock by staining it with succesive washes, since my experiment with a different method while doing the rock at Porter Brook was less than satisfying.
Above left is a close up of the finished rock cut. Above right, I got two cabins in a lot that I bought on Ebay for other stuff in the lot, and these have been sitting in a box for a couple of years. They're too small to be HO, and too big to be N, so they'll do for a bit of forced perspective as background details in the woods. To level them, since they won't be highly visible, I just cut a flap back in the plaster cloth for each one, cut a wedge out of the foam with a steak knife, then tucked the flap back in and touched up the pink with some brown acrylic. After modifying, repainting and weathering the cabins a bit, I glued them into the now level spots.
Above left, ground cover consists of some Scenic Express woods mix and ground up leaves from the back yard. I gave a good scattering of leaves on the roofs of the cabins as well. Above right, Some JTT fall vine tangles gives a good transition over the rock, and I did another experiment with bare cedar branch clippings for bare trees, which looked like a bunch of cedar branches stuck in the ground. So I hot glued some twigs to add more branches along with some Super Trees, then gave them a spray of brown and gray auto primer and paint, which improved the scene somewhat, so I'm going to pluck out all the bare cedar branches and give them the treatment too. I used a mix of various manufacturers' evergreen trees against the photo backdrop for a smooth transition.
Above, I wanted to make an overgrown field below the track, so this is my first attempt using the fake fur craft cloth you get at the fabric store to make a grass field. It was a light brown, which I saturated with a diluted khaki acrylic paint and then combed out with a comb and brush. After that I added various tufts of grass and brush, some twisted wire saplings with dead leaves, and a scattering of ground up leaves from the backyard.