Rock Island Cut and Highway 24

Just outside Manhattan , the Rock Island Cut
Building up the rocks using left over foam.
Woodland Scenics plaster cloth for the first layer.
First layer of plaster on top of the plaster cloth.
Next thick layer of plaster , it might do as is , otherwise I will do some carving to make it look more like the prototype.
I made way too much plaster so I thought I'd try out the rock molds I have , not sure I will ever be using these but who knows.
Waiting for the rocks to dry , I went on to the next scene Riley a small town will come here.
Just a passing track where a small depot and maybe some sand and water for the engines were taken in the steam days. Notice the monitor hanging over the scene , the passing track will be my programming track using PR3 and JRMI.
The rocks after a first coat of tan acrylic paint, thinned down with water.
3 layers of tan and then a wash with black almost water acrylic paint.
2 pictures of the rocks after several different drybrushes of acrylics going from Burnt Umber to Sienna to Oker to almost white, mixing in the next color in gradients, a total of 9 drybrushings.
Hope you like the effect , I am satisfied.
In order to make the cut plausible, there has to be rock on the other side aswell, so I started on a piece of rock to place in the blue lined area.
A piece of ordinary foam.
Plaster cloth covering and some of the rock molds I made before.
More plaster to make lines look more like the other side of the cut. Next painting.
While I left the plaster to dry , I did some more ballasting, I like the looks of this much better then my other ballasting, the trick: use as little ballast as you can, just nough to fill up between the ties and on the outside. I also discovered that the foam was getting static and I couldn't control the ballast like I wanted to, so this time before doing any ballasting I painted on bith sides of the tracks with acrylic paint , now the foam doesn't get static and neither does the brush I use to move the ballast in place.
This is my color pallet for painting the rocks.
A base of Sienna.
After I painted all the rocks I thought to include a place where one could get drinks and some snacks when at the view point on top of the Rock Island cut. I made up some goop with sand , paint and some white glue, spread that on to make a parking lot and a flat spot to put the building.
The first Rock Island train going through the Cut
Just another peek at Rock Island cut.
Some trees a friend made for me , hope to be aible to do these myself shortly.
A truck on highway 24 just coming from behind the cut.
View from on top of the cut looking down Highway 24
AG Press in the foreground , highway 24 passing Manhattan.
I thought I'd try some of the Sceniking backgrounds, Hiighway 24 is where I used one , here are some pictures of Highway 24.