Remember when you were a kid, and you made those rubber-band-powered model airplanes? The first time you spent hours covering those spindly balsa-wood wings with tissue or silk and “dope,” weren’t you convinced that floppy, droopy thing would never fly? And, a few hours later, you saw that wing or fuselage with nice, tight, smooth contours, and you thought, “Wow! This is great!”
Guess what? Diluted matte medium and shop rags over cardboard do the same thing!
That was a pretty pleasant surprise, because it meant that a lot less “shaping” was going to be needed. So, in I dove, and mixed up the first batch of Cell-u-Clay to the consistency of cookie dough and started slathering it on the layout.
Some of you may have noticed the slight tactical error on my part… Yes, the trestle bents are glued in place, and the creek bed is still bare plywood. That would be classified as an “oops”, but not really that big a deal. I’ll just pour some of the dark green/brown/whatever color (it’s called “Fedora”) and let it run naturally around the bents.
I should mention here that I’ve been using this Cell-u-Clay stuff for most of my life. The first time I used it, I was four or five, and my mother and I used it to make Christmas ornaments. We mixed to cookie-dough-consistency, rolled it out, and used real cookie cutters to shape the ornaments. After they dried — hard as a rock, I might add — we painted them with acrylic paints. For those used to Hydrocal or other plasters, Cell-u-Clay is a different beast. It has a much longer setting time, and generally shouldn’t be applied in layers more than about 3/8″ thick, or it may never completely harden. Also, if you have issues with the dust from Homasote, Cell-u-Clay is absolutely not for you. It’s basically Homasote dust in a bag.
I’ll be letting this set up for a couple of days while I work on some other, non-railroad-related items. I’ll be back at it on Sunday…