Author Topic: HOn30 Modeling Wiscasset service yard area c1930  (Read 4636 times)

Ed Weldon

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HOn30 Modeling Wiscasset service yard area c1930
« on: January 22, 2013, 02:58:29 AM »
I'm getting into planning and building an HOn30 30" x 7"2 modular layout of the WW&F yard and wondering what colors to use for the natural dirt ground surface.  I'm looking at a high resolution copy of a commonplace BW photo c1933 or later of the yard looking north toward tthe car shop and coal shed. It shows ground color to be a darker shade than the weathered cross ties and the paint on the south end of the car shop.  About the same darkness as the rusted rail tops, sprigs of sparce vegetation and the lower siding on the coal shed.  Lighter than the box cars lined up on the sidings and the corner of the sawmill.  Leaves on distant trees suggest a late summer time frame and fairly dry conditions for the photo.
Can anyone suggest a comparable commercial or model paint color?  Would you color your model soil with a light wash of raw or burnt sienna, raw or burnt umber or something else?
Trouble is, I've only been to Maine once in my life and I was too young to pay attention to such things.  If one of you has some well founded ideas here I may have other questions about the colors of things and other trivia.
Thanks, Ed Weldon , Los Gatos, CA   

Stewart "Start" Rhine

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Re: HOn30 Modeling Wiscasset service yard area c1930
« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2013, 11:52:44 AM »
The soil in the upper yard is mostly blue marine clay.  The clay is a blue/gray color that's darker when wet but stays fairly dark when dry.  It's like a lighter shade of slate gray. Much of the mid-coast region has it.  As to replicating the yard, I don't think the dirt matters that much since the entire upper yard was dusted with about 40 years worth of cinders by the early 1930's.  What you see in the photos is dark cinders, packed down into the clay.  I can't speak to colors since I'm not a modeler but if you have something that looks like old cinders, it would look good on the ground.

You should visit Sheepscot where you'll see some cinders of this type.  Good luck with your project.

Stewart

Dave Buczkowski

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Re: HOn30 Modeling Wiscasset service yard area c1930
« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2013, 01:58:15 PM »
Stewart,
Maybe you stumbled upon a fund raiser for the Museum - selling containers of genuine Sheepscot dirt mixed with cinders to modelers. Guaranteed not to shrink or yellow!
Dave

Ed Weldon

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Re: HOn30 Modeling Wiscasset service yard area c1930
« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2013, 06:32:46 AM »
Stewart - Thanks for the info on soil color.  Makes sense.  Big help for me since I like to form the basic ground contour in polyiso foam around a 1/4" lauan temporarily removable insert that gets the track laid on it.  Then it all gets a thin flat paint coat of base color.  This all gets done pretty early before track is laid so that's why I'm asking questions now.
More questions in the same vein.......... That bank on the west edge of the yard. Is that the same clay soil or something different.  Also some shrubs or young trees maybe 15-20 feet tall are visible on the bank in pictures.  Any idea what species they are?
River water color at Wiscasset?  I imagine the water is pretty clean these days and the water is clear at least in the cold months.  But how about in the 1920's when most any tidal river river made a convenient sewer?  My Wiscasset module will have a lot of water around the Car Shop since I prefer to model high tide and a straight side module is a lot easier to transport.  The bare top of the 1" gatorfoam structural base will get a preliminary base coat of color; so I want to settle that early.  Clear water gets a dark green base representing the deepest water.  Any silt or algae in the water commands a lighter base coat depending on how much it influences the water appearance.
I much appreciate the help you guys are giving me with this project.  My present personal situation pretty much prevents travel to Maine in the forseeable future, much as I'd like to.
Ed Weldon,  Los Gatos, CA

James Patten

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Re: HOn30 Modeling Wiscasset service yard area c1930
« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2013, 11:19:54 AM »
If you have the DVD Riding the Maine Two Footers vol 1, filmed by Gus Pratt, there are some color scenes in Wiscasset and outside, including some water scenes.  I can't recall myself what the water color is, but in one scene somebody is swimming.

Softwood trees in Maine tend to be pine or spruce, hardwoods maple or oak.

Stewart "Start" Rhine

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Re: HOn30 Modeling Wiscasset service yard area c1930
« Reply #5 on: January 23, 2013, 12:17:32 PM »
The western slope is clay but has been there for hundreds (or thousands) of years so there is some top soil and loam covering the bank. There is also some rock ledge but the slope provides a good place for bushes and trees to grow.  As James noted, white pine, spruce and fir trees are common.  You can add birch to the list of hardwoods.   

The Gus Pratt films were shot in the mid 1930's and the water looks fairly clean.  The scene with the swimmer shows blue water.  Today, the water is dark green at high tide.  As the level drops, brown sea weed shows along the banks of the river.  The river is a salt water body so it is similar to other tidal rivers along the east coast.

Stewart

Ed Weldon

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Re: HOn30 Modeling Wiscasset service yard area c1930
« Reply #6 on: January 26, 2013, 06:26:00 AM »
James - Thanks for the tip on Gus Pratt's DVD #1.  I just ordered a copy from the WW&F gift shop.
Stewart - Thanks to you also for your further comments on trees, water color, etc.
You folks are giving me a lot of confidence that I can bring this modeling effort off.
Ed Weldon