This is uncolored ultra-thin foliage which is used as carrier material for the leaves. Dirk as well as Karl prefer to use the materials from a company called Polak. Here is their link: www.polakmodel.com/en/
I would like to draw your attention today to a very special construct which you usually don`t find on model layouts - a dyke gate! The people at The Chesapeake Bay call the sea walls "dykes" (could be derived from the Dutch word for sea wall).
A dyke gate was usually open and would allow the trains to cut through the sea walls. However, when high floods are expected the dyke gates could be closed in order to protect the inlands from the sea.
(zoom in and allow your view to walk along the dyke to the horizon.....)
Since we are in the middle of the summer and the weather is brilliant, our dyke gate is open for the traffic. You may have noticed that the gate is used by all kind of traffic streams.......
Since we are now looking at the dyke, may be it is a good time to spend some strategic thoughts about the design of the layout. It is obvious that we use the dyke as a scene divider, allowing us to have a quite crowded Harbor and Housing area in close vicinity to a nearly empty, landscape dominated dune and shore area, suddenly interrupted by the (hectic) activities at the pier.
The attached picture allows you to catch nearly the full length of the dominating module - the distance between the end of the pier and the windmill in the background is about 200cm, the distance from the dyke gate to the switch building at the beginning of the pier is about 80cm, the pier with some top end water is another 80cm. The independent harbor module adds another 30cm to the 40cm of the housing area, so that we nearly end up with da Vinci`s golden cut of 1/3, 1/3, 1/3. ;-)!! The pier puts a very logical end to the tracks and the dunes act as a scene divider for the foreground and the background as well as an optical separator of the two feeding track lines. The track layout demands for a prototypically point-to-point traffic. However, the fiddle yard in the shadow allows for automatic turns of the trains and can feed both, harbor and pier!
Nevertheless, even with all optical tricks applied, the length of a train on this layout is limited to 60-70cm e.g. 6 reefers and a caboose and small to medium-sized engines seem to fit more nicely than the bigger ones.
Peter Nolan just posted the announcement in another thread that the prototypically correct tug boat for this layout is available now, as the "Chessie" for the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad of Richmond, Virginia. Please take a look at his post.
Here some prototype pictures:
Tugboats The marine operations C&O and B&O were the tugboats since they were in use in Chesapeake Bay, New York and Baltimore into the 1970s. The Tugboat Enthusiasts Society of the Americas lists nine types of tugboats such as docking tugs, harbor tugs, canal tugs and seagoing tugs. Railroad tugboats are defined as a separate type with the following definition: Railroad Tugboats were built in a variety of sizes and configurations depending on the towing tasks they were intended to handle. The most widely recognized railroad tugboats are those which were built to handle car floats (barges with railroad tracks on deck) in harbor service. These tugs have a number of distinctive features including high pilot houses for visibility over railroad cars on the car floats, rather flat sheer with low freeboard forward and very heavy hull construction to handle the compressive load operating between floats. Many railroad tugs were originally equipped with gasketed dutch doors that allowed leaving the top section open for ventilation when standing alongside a pier, rather than watertight doors. They were also virtually all “day boats,” manned in shifts, and fitted with locker rooms for the crew to change from and to street clothes rather than having sleeping quarters. As railroad car floating was phased out in the 1980s, many railroad tugs ended up in ship docking service, often with their pilot houses and stacks reduced in height. Some of the larger railroad tugboats were originally designed for coastal coal barge towing at a time when coal was still being widely used in home heating and power generating applications. A number of railroads used their tugs for ship docking work at the company’s piers, and a few railroads had tugs that were designed specifically for ship docking.
Let`s get one more time back to some theoretical considerations; While the sea wall „dyke" as scene divider was quite easy to pick because obvious, the divider between the middle part and the pier is not that easy to see. But it is there and eyes rely on these scene dividers in order to put the scenes in the correct order. If you take a closer look at this picture you will note that the way through the dunes serves this purpose, it runs from the sea shore in front of us right through the whole module to the shore in the background, cutting through the building assemblies and the rail road tracks (follow the red arrows).
While the housing area appears to be packed with small houses, cottages and huts, on the remaining 160cm of the layout only two larger buildings have been installed. If you follow the scene dividers accurately, there is not even one bigger building in the middle part (80 cm) because the switch and the storage houses already belong to the pier scene.
It took us quite some time and probatory placements to find the right locations. It is not that easy to make it look natural and part of a history - never forget, first there was the landscape and then all the tracks and buildings found their place!