Casco Bay Northern Railroad

Serving Coastal Maine


Backdrop Painting
The hardest part for me is to get the colors right in the distant mountains. I should always paint for about a half hour before I put paint to walls. It seems to get better as I go.
Sagebrush Trees
The first trees I have attempted.  Made from sagebrush from a friend in New Mexico.
The sage brush trees have good form to them. They are also larger than the other trees. You will have to be piky about the ones you use because they do have a windshape to them that might not be appropriate for what you need.
While the color is nice there was still something missing. Trees aren't just one color. There was more to tree coloring than what I had done.  I looked through pictures that I had around the house and realized trees didn't turn all the same color at once.  They generally changed from top to bottom and from the outside in. So, more work on tree color was needed.
Super Trees
It was time to bring out the Super Trees that I purchased a couple of years ago. They are a smaller cousin to the sagebrush. They will be used as foreground trees because of the extra detail in them.
First you must seperate the tree material and clean up the branches to make them look like you want them to.
The directions claim that you should paint the trunks the appropriate color and then drop them in a matte medium bath to strengthen them. However, I not so sure about that. I put them in the bath and then hang them upside down with a little weight to help straighten them. Then I paint them and then put them in the matte medium bath again before adding flocking material.
A stand of trees in the various shades of green.
A different tree showing the white bark of a birch tree.
The same trees with a coating of color added to them.  You can see that they look pretty good with shades of more than one color.
Foliage Cluster Trees
I have seen trees in N Scale, made with the Foilage Clusters from Woodland Scenics. This convinced me that would be the perfect solution for background trees.  They come in bags or you can get them direct from Woodland Scenics in sheet form, if you buy enough.

You just tear pieces off of the sheet in the sizes that you need, spread it out and "toss" them on the layout for that random effect. This will keep the overall height down. I have also planted sticks from the yard and wrapped them at the top with string and then put the clusters on the string. This will give you added height and the of a deep woods as you will be able to see the tree trunks.
Add some fall color to them and you are ready for the foreground trees
Putting it all Together
The overall effect has turned out pretty good.  The biggest challenge was how to get started.  I found that mixing up the various tree types was necessary for the overall appearance to blend properly.
The background can be glued to the scenery base without tree trunks, but you still need a couple of rows of trunks for the right effect.   The background trunks can be small sticks in the clusters and the foreground trees should be the right height  to hide the fact that all the trees do not have trunks.  There are also foreground trees sticking out of the clusters for variation.
After the trees are done I placed the structures back to see what it would look like.
I found a place for the sagebrush tree. The bright yellow looks real good sticking out above the roof tops.

Rock Formations

I used Kalmbach's book on scenery from along time ago, to do my first painting job with the rocks. When it told me I would have to use a blue wash, I had my doubts. I guess they knew what they were talking about. Imagine that!!
Starting in the south we come across the staging tunnel from Boston.
We are climbing up the hill towards Portland.
We continue the climb to Portland.
Rock formation that will be behind the Roundhouse
Rock outcroppings on the northern end of the layout to leading to Bangor.
A look across Portland yard and you can see a combination of the rock outcroppings


Updated April 17, 2017.