Thursday, June 05, 2014

Re-paving Paradise in the O-Gauge Zen Garden (Part 3)

After painting the road surface with
flat black paint, I added white warning
strips at the crossings with flat white.
In Part 2, I showed how I filled in a side street using a pre-made roadway. Since it wasn't wide enough for the main street, my option was to paint it.

When I originally decided to add lines to the roadway (see: DOT in the O-Gauge Zen Garden) my intention was to use a Sharpie paint marker to draw the lines. It turned out that the marker didn't make a line of a consistent thickness, nor did it cover adequately.

The solution was simple -- I used flat white paint with a very small brush. I had some scrap cork that I could practice on, and it's a good thing I did. I found that the white paint covered the black with one coat, but that coat had to be carefully applied.

I outlined the areas to paint with painter's tape. I marked on my ruler not only where the center of the road was, but the 1/16" on either side of it that I wanted to lay my tape.

Final check before painting. Note I also added parking lanes
at left.
I placed the tape very lightly on the surface so I could adjust it easily. To borrow an old builder's phrase, I was careful to measure twice, paint once. Once I had double-checked the measurements along the entire length of the road, I pressed the tape onto the surface, making sure it was smoothly applied over the entire length.

On my practice surface, I learned I needed to always paint away from the edge of the tape. Because cork has an irregular surface, when I painted towards the tape, small amounts of paint got pushed underneath the tape. This meant I had ragged edges when I removed the tape.

 When I painted the rectangular strips at the railroad crossings, (see image above), it was easy to do. With the very thin area exposed for the lane lines, I had to use short brush strokes with the smallest amount of paint to keep from brushing away from one edge and into another with the same stroke.

The most difficult part of the process wasn't the painting. Rather it was the positioning. Even with much of the scenery removed, there were still objects I had to lean over to reach the  roadway. Next layout, maybe I'll do this detail work before I add a mountain and telephone poles with wires!

As you can see from the image below, the finished project looked just the way I had envisioned it. The roads of my O-gauge zen garden are a little safer.

There's just one thing: I think the ramps at the crossings should have some type of warning marks painted on them.

That's going to require a stencil, I think, and that makes it a project for another day.

A definite improvement.

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