This Blog will tell the story of my modelling the NSWGR location of Gunnedah in HO scale, along with other modelling content.
Sunday, December 12, 2010
More of the Real Thing
After my last post where I mentioned some nice rich red dirt I noticed next to a road about ten minutes from home, I had this great idea, go and get some instead of thinking about it.
It was located on what looks like the beginning of a 4WD track of sorts, and the ground was quite compacted and hard to actually get any fine dust from. After chipping away with a small hand spade and having a mere handful I stood up and looked around to see if there was any softer stuff around.
As it turned out closer to the tar road there was a a bit of a side passage which was more of a clay than a compacted dirt, and it came away in chunks that I figured would quite easily break down into a finer dust. I 85% filled a plastic dog biscuit container (about a litre in capacity or so I guess) with the clay as well as some really red small rocks and some lighter dirt and headed home.
Once home I was trying to figure out how to turn this mixture into a fine powder and then apply it to my little test module. The I figured with the hard stones in there with the clay chunks, if I gave it a decent shake the rocks will break down the clay and then all I need to do is separate the fine dust from the larger bits.
The shaking vigorously worked a treat, with a fair amount of dusty power being produced. I then had an idea that if I could strain the mix through a stocking or similar I should be able to get the fine stuff I wanted. Luckily my wife is usually sympathetic to me needs, and suggested a nylon sockette (basically like a stocking material that only covers the bottom half of the foot) might do the job. So after borrowing one (yeah like it's going on a foot again!) and stretching it over the container top, I could apply it directly by simply shaking the container above the area I wanted covered.
After sprinkling a quantity onto the are, I used a mixture of Pascoe’s Long Life floor polish and Isocol rubbing alcohol sprayed from a plastic spray bottle to stuck it down.
Depending on how much spray I used, the dirt ended up light or slightly darker than in it's dry form, but this gives a bit of variation which I don't mind. It was still damp in sections when the pictured were taken so I expect it may lighten some more yet. The pictures were taken outside in natural light at about 5:30pm Sydney time.
Overall I'm pretty happy with the texture and basic colour, and I'm planning on collecting some more material in slightly varying colours to help with the random effect that occurs naturally.