I did some more work on Swallow's End tonight and in the end, decided a number of issues were going to bug me if I kept going.
The first of these - and arguably the most significant - is the fact that doing the "dirt" has resulted in me having to double layer it. This, I suspect, is partly because I didn't paint the board under the "dirt" brown first and therefore the white showed through the Woodland Scenics scatter too much. While putting a second layer of dirt on isn't that much of a hassle, it resulted in the dirt being higher than the ballast. Now previously I have done the dirt first and the ballast last, and I have been using Peco track so the depth of the ballast is significant, compared with the surrounding country side. This time I did ballast first and dirt second and using PCB sleepers, the depth of the ballast isn't deep enough compared with the double shot dirt.
The second thing which has been irking me, is working in small sections. Previously I have tended to paint a wide area (mind you in the past the narrowest layout I have had has been 800mm heading upwards to 1000mm and lengths have been in the 2500mm heading to 4100mm so lots of dirt required!) with glue, sprinkling away then flood with more glue and walk away until 48 hours had passed. Now the 48 hours still holds true but the smaller patches are showing up with boundary marks. While I know there are boundaries for fences and whatnot there are too many patches with this landscape for my liking. I have tried hiding them using various methods but I haven't been satisfied with the results.
Consequently I have decided the whole lot has to come up and I will restart. Because the track has been glued down with PVA or taped down with DS Tape, all this is going to come up as well. As it happens, the only bit which I will lose is the the concrete slab for one of the coal merchants - I don't think the paper will survive the bath which is coming up!
On one hand it is a bit frustrating that the hours I have spent ballasting and what not around the places which I could do it have come to naught but on the other hand, given that this is a whole new standard of track and rolling stock to what I have done in the past, I feel that I should strive to make all of it better than normal. My first efforts fell short - and it has cost me time, a packet of scatter material (well most of a packet - there is still some left over) and some glue. Cheep as learning experiences go.
So tomorrow is shaping up as bath night for Swallow's End. Then I will see about putting the track down on cork or something similar to get a bit of height on the surrounding country side - not much, 2mm at the most so I get a nice looking track bed - and I will paint the dirt areas brown before I put anything down this time.
And to think I looked at Missy's Highclere and was a bit smug that I hadn't ripped mine up. He (or she) who laughs last... or pride goeth before the fall.