Don’t Give Me No Lip

Weeks ago, after completing the surface of the module, I left the frame a little bit taller than the area it surrounds. This was mostly due to laziness, but I assumed the lip would look okay after I made a little spackle-slope. It didn’t. After that, I assumed it would look okay if I painted over it. It didn’t. For a hot minute, I supposed I could live with it. I couldn’t. It’s been haunting my dreams.

See for yourself: the lip is very evident in this image, which I had originally uploaded in my “Spackle and Paint” post a few weeks ago. As I mentioned in that post, the lip runs around the entire perimeter of the module, making the surface of the layout “like a very shallow dish.”


The dreaded lip, which looks nothing like a hill.

I had been living under the assumption that the rectangular lip would finally look okay after I sprinkled some ground foam and placed some bushes and trees. I was probably wrong about that. Regardless, this morning I woke up with the sudden realization that the buildings will be placed so close to the edge of the module that the roads and lots servicing them from the outside will necessarily be forced up a slope due to the lip. That simply wouldn’t look right. Roads, and especially lots, that are so close to a building should be fairly level.

So, I did what any self-respecting human being would do: I went into work a couple of hours late today (don’t worry, I made up for that). In the meantime I brought the module onto the porch and put an orbital sander to the frame until it met the module surface. For good measure I rocked the sander a bit in a few places to create topographic variations along the edge, but these are very slight, curvaceous, and natural-looking.

This evening I painted the bare areas. It still needs another coat, but already I am much happier. I prefer layouts with surfaces that simply cease to exist at the edges, without any frame or fascia. In my opinion, this enhances the realism of a scene and helps me to imagine that the landscape goes on forever.

The module immediately after sanding. I should have just done this weeks ago, before I painted the surface.

Before I sanded it, the frame on this corner was two or three millimeters higher than the rest of the surface, and the slope I had made out of spackle did very little to hide it.

Before I sanded it down, this picture would not have been possible. The frame obscured the tracks from low angles like this. In this particular photo, you can see where I accidentally nicked the outside of a rail with the orbital sander. Luckily, it didn’t affect the top of the rail. The damage will disappear after I weather the rails. More on that in my next post.

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