Now I’m in for a fair bit of terraforming.
In building up the rising terrain over the tunnel, this time I used found (packaging, etc) poly-foam. I carried this aspect of the project through. But it was a mistake. It didn’t glue well, it was lighter, less dense and more fragile than Woodland’s Profile Boards, and it didn’t cut so well with the hot-wire cutter. It wasn’t a total failure. It all worked out in the end but in future I’ll be back to Profile Board.
The ground surface was built up from Shaper Sheet. This is a heavy-duty aluminium sheet glued to a textile layer which is easily bonded to plaster or other surface forming material and glue/cement.
It comes in a roll, and for the purposes of my terrain it’s best scrunched and rolled up and then smoothed out to give a good impression of a rough, moorland and rocky surface. I mould and press the sheet onto the underlying foam armature and fix with hot-glue or PVA as appropriate.
Once the Shaper sheet is laid up, I cover it with Plaster Sheet. This is a fairly generic modelling material. Basically a fabric mesh saturated in plaster. When soaked it’s very malleable and mouldable, and when it cures combines to form a very strong and lightweight shell. I also used the sheet to blend over any obvious edges and straight lines.
The final step will be to skim the surface with a thin plaster mix to eliminate any remaining joins and adjust the surface texture. This gives a surface strong enough to stand on once it’s cured… Well, almost.
So now the slopes of Bolt Tor are formed towards the southwest and I’m now sealing the water-course for eventual water-effects.
The lower slopes of Bolt Tor have ended up a bit steeper than I’d seen in my mind’s eye. It’s not a problem. There are a couple of gorges on Dartmoor, so it’s not unlikely the Bolttor Brook originally ran in a ravine. Not in the Grand Canyon sense, of course. This is Dumnonia! But I need to think about some rocky outcrops.
I’ve also forgot to line the inside of the tunnel, so somehow I have to fit a realistic liner for the first 100mm or so for appearances sake which will be a little awkward. The rest will be painted black to disappear into the gloom.
The ground surface is ready for figuring out rocky outcrops and faces, colouring and static grassing. An arrete has also evolved above the valley, but I’m feeling it’s about to become Windy Ridge, or at least some adaption of a south west dialect word for windy. As for further rendering, colouring, static grassing and planting, my previous experiments have shown that those things have to be done in single episodes to maintain shades and colours consistency across the layout.
Onwards to the Boltorr Road bridge and Halt.