Blue Skies

Blue Skies, aptly named for the backdrop?  No.  The name is from the Sierra West building kit, Bluesky, that is to be erected near the mine tracks and the end of the road.  The Terminus of the trackage from Juanita ends in a Wye with a siding for the Blue Skies Mine, also in kit form still.  Also there is, will be, a Stock Yard loading pen in the large blank spot as seen below. The ground cover here is mostly the Chama, New Mexico  gold soil I picked up during a visit to the C&TS RR.  I use this same dirt on another part of the layout at Far Side Lumber and Timber View.  Here it is modeled much more detailed.

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Blue Skies is also the dead end of the road from Juanita. I used the Arizona Rock and Mineral CO Asphalt mix for the base road.  It is very good looking and applies easily.  I like to make the roads worn out. Really, nothing on my layout is new looking.   Spreading the Asphalt mix onto the surface of the dirt is accomplished using a small cake spatula bent a little for using as a spreader.  The Asphalt mix powder is mixed with the thinned white glue solution in a plastic tub.  While spreading skip over some of the ground cover to simulate worn out areas as pot holes.  I then take fine gravel and granite dust and spread in places where the asphalt is wearing through and it was tried to be patched.    This road surface was painted with Woodland Scenics Asphalt coating, then aged using a thin wash of white glue and dirt dust to simulate dirt and gravel where the traffic areas are on the road.  The power poles are tapered down from 5/16 dowels with horizontal braces for the insulators to mount onto.  The insulators are glass beads with a straight pin as support.  EZ Line is used for the electric lines.  I double twist the EZ Line together to form a thicker wire and then it separates to look like the insulation is coming off of the wire.  Also it allows a slight sag to be put on the line itself.  Thin Super Glue bonds instantly to the stuff.

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The two entrances to  the areas on either side of the Wye took some time to model.  You can see the gravel that is kicked up and piled on the road by the vehicle tires as they go around the corner.  It also the transition to the gravel and then to the dirt off highway.

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Banta Models is responsible for the stock pen here.  It was a double deck loader, but I had to fit it to my layout and the area it is in.  It took a lot of kitbashing to make the curved loading ramp as seen here.  I “welded” steel rod together to make the BS in the cloud ornament on the cows ”stairway to Heaven” aka Stock Car.

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The Cattle truck for Blue skies was built from the Revell  model kit for the Honest John Missle hauler, like a couple of others already in use on the layout. The trailer was lowered and extended, with strip plastic making up the body.  The roof is removable.  I made just one driving set of wheels for the tractor instead of the two it came with.