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And that was just the "Plain" 12. The 12 Pro, which I really want, but am having trouble justifying the extra $300, has the built in telephoto. I was wrong about the 12, it has the wide and ultra wide, but not tele. The Pro also includes the LIDAR laser range finder for getting better focus under low light. That's the part I really want, but again… $300???

While there's no photo, I finally got the last light pole in and lit. I had to replace the LED, which BTW: I'm getting pretty good at, and replace the LED Driver chip in the driver board. It took almost an hour. Ugh!

Then I got to work in earnest to create the Heritage Park, which is what I'm calling it since it's going to have a relic Sherman tank on it. I put the Sherman drawings onto some cardboard so I could see it on the base. I followed the same process I used for the parking lot. Which is:

  1. paper template
  2. cardstock template
  3. clean out any interfering Sculptamold
  4. transfer template to Masonite
  5. cut Masonite with saber saw
  6. using 1/8" strips create packing to raise base to proper height and provide curb
  7. glue packing in place
  8. sand curb edges so they look like a solid
  9. scribe pavement and curb
  10. install sewer inlets
  11. paint concrete areas
  12. set down basic ground cover
  13. glue on corner columns
  14. lay out, drill and place fencing
  15. Finish landscaping
  16. place tank
  17. wire lighting.

I decided to design the two columns next to the gate with its own lighting fixture á lá the Chandelier project. I made the column hollow to accept the LED, and designed the globe which I'll print separately with the transparent resin that I just ordered today. The columns are now printed and are waiting downstairs. Out of the 10 I set up, 6 were successful and 4 are not to be found. I only need 6. If I have to print more I will.

Screen Shot 2021-02-01 at 6.46.19 PM

I used a sharpened putty knife to remove the excess STM that would force the base to not sit flat.

Heritage Park Site Prep

Here's the paper template in place. I have to cut relief for the crossing gate machinery in the lower right corner. The watchman's tower will sit on top of the base.

Heritage Park Paper Template

Here's the tank cut out sitting on the base. It's a true 1:48 drawing. The cars on the street look a little big compared to the tank because they're all that 1:43 British O'gauge stuff. It's too bad that we're saddled with all these oddball scales. Cars and small trucks at 1:43, construction equipment and Corgi fire engines at 1:50 which is closer to O'scale than the cars. And for the very few things, Classic Construction Models makes a line of die cast equipment at exactly 1:48. The tank will be Tamiya and it's 1:48. I can't forget that there needs to be a sidewalk around the street sides and that will reduce the actual display space for the Sherman. I also need some drivers in those cars...

Heritage Park The Tank Prop

And here's the support glued to each other and ready to glue to the base. The piece on the curve does not have to be flush to the edge since that edge will be filled with STM, again, just like the parking lot. I'm holding off doing that work on the parking lot until this piece is in also so I only have to get sloppy with the plaster once.

Heritage Park Base Buildup

I will be very happy to get this last bit of unimproved real estate to finally have some purpose. The Rail Scale Fencing is in the mail so the whole deal should be done by end of next week or sooner.


Images (5)
  • Screen Shot 2021-02-01 at 6.46.19 PM
  • Heritage Park Paper Template
  • Heritage Park Site Prep
  • Heritage Park The Tank Prop
  • Heritage Park Base Buildup
Last edited by Trainman2001

And that was just the "Plain" 12. The 12 Pro, which I really want, but am having trouble justifying the extra $300, has the built in telephoto. I was wrong about the 12, it has the wide and ultra wide, but not tele. The Pro also includes the LIDAR laser range finder for getting better focus under low light. That's the part I really want, but again… $300???

I would think twice before passing on the Pro. The extra lens may not have much value for you, but the LIDAR sensor is kind of a big deal. Not only does it give you practically instant focus, but people are starting to do amazing things with it as the basis for a 3D scanner. I've only played with mine a bit so far, but it seems clear that anybody who owns a 3D printer is going to want one of these. It s still early days, but even now you can get pretty respectable scans of objects that could be printed directly. For example, I am pretty sure that you could get a respectable scan of a human figure in that special pose that you need for a scene. After a bit more app development, I think it is going to be amazing.

Just my opinion, but if you are going to only buy a new iPhone every 5 generations, I wouldn't scrimp on this one. It is the beginning of a whole new game.

That's good input. I did some further research on the LIDAR iPhone 12 Pro use as a 3D scanner. With the current apps available, it's not so hot, but I suspect that with that power, there will be app makers all over the world who will be developing things for it. I'm going to make a pitch to go for the 12 Pro and put the extra $300 onto my hobby budget. Normally, iPhones are not treated as my hobby expense. I'll make an exception in this case.

My new railings and the transparent 3D resin all arrived late today. I have all the stuff I need to finish this little city park except for the tank model. Since the tank can be placed at any time, it's not on the critical path. I'm leaving a spot in the landscaping for it when I get it.

I filled the curb edges, sanded them and airbrushed the sidewalks. I then masked them and then cut little mask squares that I used to define the spaces for the fence columns. I decided that since the fencing comes in 5" increments (actually it measures 4.86"), I'm going to put a column at each fence segment which eliminates having to joint one fence segment to another. I prepared the columns and painted them a limestonish color. Meanwhile I was wrestling with the printer. I'm printing one more load of columns, but I don't really need them, just to try out some ideas. I thought that my build plate had shifted out of parallel and adjusted it. I also decided to try printing without pre-coating the plate. It seems to be working.

After masking, I laid a thick brush coat of my earth colored latex and then sprinkled fine W-S earth and also laid in the gravel patch for the Sherman.

Heritage Park 1st Ground layer

The second coat is W-S fine blended turf. This coat was put down after the latex had dried and done using wet-water, the ground cover and then dribbled Scenic Cement.

Heritage Park 2nd Ground Coat

While this was all drying I attached the columns to some rolled masking tape and sprayed them a mix of Tamiya Buff with just a tad of gray. The gray came from the bottle that previously contained my concrete color which I didn't wash out. I wanted it to blend with the buff to make it a little less bright.

Heritage Park Column Paint

Just after I did this, I checked the mailbox and the railings from Rail Scale Models had arrived. Here's the unpainted rail in fret next to the column. It fits just as I wanted.

Heritage Park Fancy Fence in Fret

Like I did with the fence on the House, I airbrushed gloss black onto both sides of this product.

Heritage Park Fence Paint

That completed all the work on the park. I also applied the suggestion by CAJohn to solve the bad screw on my new mini chop saw. The hex head hole had rounded out, and was unremovable. The suggestion was to grind a slot in it to use a straight screwdriver. I did this with a Dremel abrasive cutoff disc and did remove it. I also found that I had purchased a whole selection of M4-sized screws and nuts to attach a 3D-printed attachment for the printer and it needed some Metric hardware They were all M4 Hex, button-head screws of various lengths including the-needed 8mm. Here are the screws side-by-side. Meanwhile, I never got a response from MicroMark Customer Service. There is no direct phone number to call them other than order taking. You have to eMail them. I have the President's eMail and may contact him, even though I fixed it myself. I've been buying from them for a long, long time.

Mini Chop Saw Screw Fix

And here's the new screw installed. Saw fixed! I have a dozen of these screws so if it happens again, I know exactly what to do.

Mini Chop Saw New Screw

Just another reason why I benefit from posting on this never-ending story every session. I also found out why my scroll saw was behaving so badly the other day in cutting some 1/8" MDF. It was rattling and bouncing terribly. I thought about it and decided to check something. And yup! I had put on the new blade with the teeth facing upwards instead of down. Turned the blade around and problem solved.


Images (7)
  • Heritage Park 1st Ground layer
  • Heritage Park 2nd Ground Coat
  • Heritage Park Column Paint
  • Heritage Park Fancy Fence in Fret
  • Heritage Park Fence Paint
  • Mini Chop Saw Screw Fix
  • Mini Chop Saw New Screw
Last edited by Trainman2001

Did two things today. Began installing the fence around Heritage Park and successfully printed the light globes for the gate columns using the newly arrived clear resin. I drilled the base for the watchman's tower light leads and cleaned up the area where it's going to finally sit. I should have masked this, but didn't and had to scrape all the ground cover from the spot.

My column separation is not even. The long fence sections are 4.86" long so I tried to space most of them to use the full sections. But where I couldn't I positioned the column to have the fence break at a natural panel break. The laser cut fencing has vertical bottom supports at every scale foot. I removed all but the ones at the main panels. As it is it means aligning and drilling a lot of holes.

For the first section I attempted to mark and drill the holes more or less freehand and the fence line was not to good. I fixed that one. To glue the railing in place I used a piece of strip wood at each end to add as an attachment point.

Heritage Park 1st Fence Piece

I wised up in drilling the holes for the second fence panel. I used a steel rule to set a nice straight line and positioned the fence above it with just enough clearance for the drill bit. I started with a 0.032" carbide drill and then opened it up wider with a 0.036" using an Archimedes drill.  I taped the rule and the fence panel so nothing moved while I did all this.

Heritage Park Drilling Fence Holes

I didn't glue the next column in place until I had the fence in it's holes. This was I was able to get a nice fit… much better than gluing the columns in before fitting the fence.

Heritage Park Fence Progress

By the end of the session I started putting the first section for the back right oblique corner. I couldn't put the gate columns in place until I got the lighting system complete. I can now proceed with that apace because I was able to print the globes. I decided to use no pre-coat again, and it worked perfectly. I only need two globes, but here's all that I printed. Because of the shape I had to use a lot of supports around the perimeter.

Heritage Park Light Globe Print

I'm glad I ran another load of columns since I dropped two on the floor and broke of the sphere on the top, which disappeared somewhere in the ether. I will paint them tomorrow and use them.

For the illuminated globes, I'm going to insert the LED into a brass tube so the light won't leak out anywhere, but the part it's supposed to. I'm going to get the tank soon.

Away from the job I drew another part that's going to be 3D printed. I'm printing six of them since that's what will fit flat on the build plate. It took a bit of labor to get the lettering aligned on the arch. Print time is 16 minutes.

Screen Shot 2021-02-04 at 10.39.16 PM


Images (5)
  • Heritage Park 1st Fence Piece
  • Heritage Park Drilling Fence Holes
  • Heritage Park Fence Progress
  • Heritage Park Light Globe Print
  • Screen Shot 2021-02-04 at 10.39.16 PM

Thanks Mark!

I did errands and hit the hobby shop today. My intention was to replenish some colors I needed and pick up  1:48 Sherman for Heritage Park. I was treated to a surprise. The asst. Mgr, Marty, presented me with a 1:48 Hobby Boss "Easy 8" late Sherman version (like the one I finished in 1:35 a couple months ago) which he had almost finished building. I've been doing some custom decals for Marty and he has repaid me in kind… our own little barter system.

This is great! I was not looking forward to building another Sherman and really wanted to get this little project finished. With it almost done, there's just a few bits that needed to add. I'm going to paint it a very faded olive drab with fairly rusted tracks. It won't have a 50 cal heavy machine gun, nor any antennas and will look like it's just sat in the park for 15 years. Remember, my time frame is "theoretically" late 1960s. The quotes point to my many anachronisms that populate the layout. I will not be putting on that tiger face graphic. That would not be appropriate for a park relic. The money I saved I put to my Sikorsky SH-60b layaway.

Heritage Park Sherman Box

Here's what's been completed. My scaled drawing was very close in size and the real model does fit okay.

Heritage Park Sherman Test

I almost finished prepping one of the column post lamps. I chucked in a pin vise, and chucked that in my big DeWalt drill so I could revolve it while cleaned it up. I cured it for only 8 minutes. Over-curing transparent parts turns them brown. Before finishing my short session I did get a second one under way, but not finished. I'm going to try and use real copper foil which I can patina for the top cap. I think a slightly frosty appearance may actually transmit light better. From my experience making that chandelier, I can attest that the light will get through paint unless it's quite thick. The foil will totally block the light. The LED will project up through a brass tube to prevent leakage through the column body.

Heritage Park Post Lamp Test

Y'all have a nice, safe, socially distant, masked Super Bowl Weekend. Please ignore the desire to get together with folks for a big SB party. We're just coming down from the TG/Christmas spike which killed thousands. We don't need to have another spike, especially now that folks (including me) are getting vaccinated. Don't be the last idiot that gets Covid before we eradicate it.


Images (3)
  • Heritage Park Sherman Box
  • Heritage Park Sherman Test
  • Heritage Park Post Lamp Test
Last edited by Trainman2001

Thank you! Yes… I get a lot back from all the folks who've been following this over the years compared to what I put it. It's a wonderful community of which we're a part.

Working again on the laptop doing some more detail design work. First up is a park bench. I found a nicely drawn one on the SU 3D Warehouse, but as you can see in this image, it is not printable. Everything you see in orange is a reversed face and therefore, not recognizable by the STL file converter and the ChiTuBox slicing software. If the software can't recognize a surface, the printer won't either. Furthermore, some of the objects in the fancy work were not solid objects and wouldn't print for that reason either. I had to do some extensive editing to fix it. The edited one is on the left and has no orange spots anywhere. I also added ends to the bench slats so they could be printed independently without any supports. I'm printing as much directly on the plate as I can.

Screen Shot 2021-02-06 at 4.40.27 PM

Here's how they're arranged on the build plate. I'm printing them four-up. I'm going to need at least two of them, and I know they all won't be perfect. In order to print the end frames on the plate, I had to make sure that the frame backs were solid and perfectly flat so they would adhere properly during the print. We'll see...

Screen Shot 2021-02-06 at 4.43.05 PM

Next up is the memorial signage. I'm printing this with raised lettering so it can simulate a bronze plaque. Again, I'm printing them four-up. I'm going to put two signs in: one facing the town and the other the aisle. You're not going to easily be able to view the sign facing the town. SU lets you do 3D lettering quite easily in many fonts.

Screen Shot 2021-02-06 at 4.34.34 PM

And here's how it's going on the machine. The signs and the Heritage Park Banner will each take about 15 minutes to print. The bench will take over 3 hours. Remember: print time is directly related to three factors: how tall the object is (i.e., how many layers), how thick is each layer, and the exposure time of each layer. The number of objects being printed simultaneously has no effect on print time. In a FDM machine, there is no exposure time, so that doesn't affect print time, but the number and size of the object does contribute to print time. In the LCD machine, the entire build plate is exposed at the same time. By splitting the sign and frame I was able to print it flat. If I printed it as an assembly, the framing would have caused a problem since a large surface area would have been unsupported. I would had had to use supports. Splitting it eliminated all supports.

Screen Shot 2021-02-06 at 4.31.11 PM

These will all be printed on Monday. Happy weird Super Bowl.


Images (4)
  • Screen Shot 2021-02-06 at 4.40.27 PM
  • Screen Shot 2021-02-06 at 4.43.05 PM
  • Screen Shot 2021-02-06 at 4.34.34 PM
  • Screen Shot 2021-02-06 at 4.31.11 PM
Last edited by Trainman2001

Happy Monday! Printed the Sherman sign, the "Heritage Park" arch and a half-successful print of the park benches (end frames printed, slats were a bust). And then I tried to get some new thumb drives to work in my 3D printer. They didn't. The Mars isn't reading them, whereas, my MacBook Pro reads and writes to them perfectly well.

I started working with the lighted columns. I finally was able to get the tops copper foiled. I blew out a small LED in the test by accidentally touching the unprotected hot lead to the circuit. I'm using some brass tubes to ensure the light gets to the globes. Not much light wants to escape sideways do they have to be viewed in a darker area. I was going to rig up some LED spotlights to shine on the tank, and that would make the illuminated globes not so hot.

Heritage Park Lantern Copper

In the this image you can see the finished "Heritage Park" arch lying on the ground. I will paint that semi-gloss black. I painted the extra columns today since I dropped a couple and broke off the fragile spheres on top. They're perfectly round and took off in the basement to parts unknown.

Heritage Park Details

I made two signs. These will be painted black with the lettering highlighted in bronze using a paint marker. All the lettering is legible except for the smallest font which is just at the printer's low resolution point.

Heritage Park Sherman Signs before Paint


Images (3)
  • Heritage Park Lantern Copper
  • Heritage Park Details
  • Heritage Park Sherman Signs before Paint

I got the column lanterns finished today and ready for installation. I made some spacers to center the brass tubing in the middle of the hollow shaft in the column and keeps the tube directly under the transparent globe on top. It tested it with the lights off and it does glow, but not brightly. The very bright actual LED will be buried below the base plate surface and will not be seen. As I said yesterday, if I build any spot lights to highlight the tank, they will probably wash out the column lights. Something to think about. In the room they even seemed less bright than the camera image.

Heritage Park Column Lantern Lit

I completed the gate posts by adding the gates in an open position. I will add some small hinge details tomorrow. I have to decide whether I'm going to put the CL2 driver directly on these LEDs or use my LED circuit connector. It depends on what kind of leads will be running below the layout from these lights. I have on circuit board built in anticipation of this lighting.

Heritage Park Gates

The LEDs are held into the brass tubes using Bondic. Bondic works as long as the UV light can get to it. It does not work in a blind joint. In this image you can see one of the two centering spacers that hold the tube into the column.

Heritage Park Post Light Potting

I got a few more sections of fencing in place. I found the thin (and fragile) fence vertical posts to be more trouble than they're worth and cut them off. By leaving them off I was able to correctly position the columns so the fence sections were nice and straight.

Heritage Park Fence Progress 2

At the oblique corner I had to add another wood splint to provide some reinforcement and gluing surface.

Heritage Park Fence Angular Connection

Won't be long until the park is complete and I can work on the tank that will go in it. I painted the Sherman sign and the Heritage Arch. Tomorrow I highlight the text on the signage.

My park bench print was a complete failure and will require a redesign before attempting it again. And the light pole base print was also a complete failure leading me to believe I need to make an Teflon film change. It's been a while since I changed it and it's getting a bit ragged.


Images (5)
  • Heritage Park Column Lantern Lit
  • Heritage Park Gates
  • Heritage Park Post Light Potting
  • Heritage Park Fence Progress 2
  • Heritage Park Fence Angular Connection

Thanks… I guess…I do a lot of planning for some projects, e.g., the engine house and my track planning, but I do have a bias for action. I'm more of a "Cruise Missile Manager"… ready, fire, aim. I get a direction, do some planning, start working and do a lot of field mods to make it all come together. It's why I'd fail as a kit manufacturer. My models would be hard to build out of the box.

I also practice "Test Pilot Problem Solving". When the plane's going down you try A, B, C, D, E….until you pull out or auger in. I've said this a million times… I am impatient, which is why I get into projects quickly, but am also very persistent, since I finish what I start regardless of the obstacles.

I have a close friend who never got his railroad built because he was seeking the perfect track design. There is no "perfect". I also had an employee once who would get catatonic when handed a new project that had a big pile of research accompanying it. He would just freeze up. I would admonish him, "Just start!" For me, a project with a big pile of stuff was just a good, target-rich, environment. Some of my most successful work endeavors started as a huge pile of stuff to wade through. I'm an optimist. If I see a big pile of manure, I know there's a pony buried in there somewhere.

That's my philosophical crap for today! It will be a truncated session since we have a routine doctor's visit to attend to. And the weather here in L'ville sucks, with a "Wintry mix" including freezing rain. "Wintry Mix" reminds me of a nice box of Christmas Chocolates.


A requirement to getting good light transmission is the the transmitting end and the receiving end be optically smooth and flat.  Our techs used nano sandpaper (the grain is measured in microns) to smooth and polish the ends of the fiber.

Any irregularities will cause the light to reflect and refract thus reducing the amount of light being passed.


I did flatten and polish the bottom, but I can assure you, it wasn't optical quality. However, it does work! I finished everything today except for the tank and the landscaping. I got all the lighting hooked up today too. And took a bunch of pictures.

This little project is, for all intents and purposes, complete!

I finished putting all the fencing in and it's tougher than it looks. I was able to fudge it enough so each fence segment had whole geometry in it. I realized after I was all done that my first two segments were installed too low, but it was too late to adjust them. I will live with it. I was able to install fencing around the watchman's shanty.

I used a Sharpie metallic marker to paint the raised lettering on the two "Sherman" signs. The marker worked beautifully just letting me pick off the lettering without flooding the surface. In the "old days" I would have dry brushed it. The marker was easier. It is a nice bronze color.

Heritage Park Signs Painted

I drilled a #32 hole in the base for the signs after testing them in a number drill gauge to find the right size hole. I also glued (thick CA) the "Heritage Park" arch. It's delicate, but shouldn't be touched going forward (famous last words).

Heritage Park Entry Complete

I soldered together the + & - LED leads from the two LEDs so they were in series, and then used one of my driver modules to run them both. I have bus bars all over the place under the layout feeding 12VDC for present and future LEDs. I added some heavier zip cord to the LEDs' other + & - and ran them through the same hole in the layout that already existed for the Shanty's power.

I attached the Shanty using 3M Transfer Adhesive Tape. It's great when the surfaces are nice and flat and clean.

With the room lights on, the lanterns are not really visible, but with the room lights off, the lanterns look pretty nice. They're not bright, but they are definitely on. This image was taken before the signage went on, but I needed to see how the fence looked. I realized in this pic that I didn't add a sewer inlet. Not hard to do, but it means getting down below to undo the wiring before removing the base. I'm not going to glue this vignette to the layout. Since it's really a structure, especially since the tower is solidly fastened to the base.

Heritage Park Fence Complete

I then added the tower and signage. Again I plopped the unfinished Sherman to see if it all still works. You can clearly see the area that needs the landscape work to blend the edge into the terrain. That will be a quick and fun job.

Heritage Park Complete 1

Heritage Park Complete w Tank Trial

And then I took a bunch with the room lights off.

Heritage Park Lanterns Working 4Heritage Park Lanterns Working 3

Again, no upper storm drain managing the lower inlet. This image shows the lanterns well.

Heritage Park Lanterns Working 1Heritage Park Lanterns Working 2

Again, I ran into a suspended print job due to an error code. This time it crashed at 13% completion. And it was printing beautifully. I now have enough park bench end frames for 8 benches, but have yet to successfully print the slats. I took the back cover off and checked out the USB port since the error is claiming a USB error. The actually USB connection is on the mother board and there's a USB extension cable that brings another female connector to the outside of the case. I plugged the new "non-working" flash drive directly into the mother board connector and it worked! It wasn't consistent. Sometimes it worked and others it didn't get read. Something's going on and I have to find out what. The park benches aren't in the critical path. I can add them at any time just like I can add the tank.

I am going to redraw the slats to add more heft to the end caps. They're very frail. I had about 1/3 of the slats printed and used this as an opportunity to see what trimming was going to do, and found this weakness.

It's Friday so y'all have a nice, safe, warm, socially distant, weekend. It's really winter here in Louisville. We never really had one last year. There's actually frozen water all over the place….Weird!


Images (9)
  • Heritage Park Signs Painted
  • Heritage Park Entry Complete
  • Heritage Park Fence Complete
  • Heritage Park Complete 1
  • Heritage Park Complete w Tank Trial
  • Heritage Park Lanterns Working 4
  • Heritage Park Lanterns Working 3
  • Heritage Park Lanterns Working 1
  • Heritage Park Lanterns Working 2

Thanks Mark! Yup… it was just sitting on some green construction foam and wasn't very noticeable. Now it's permanently part of the this vignette. I also forgot to put some bushes and other landscape on the site. If I'm going to do that means removing it from the layout so I might as well put in the sewer inlets too. I don't think I have any more resin inlets that I got from Westport Model Works. I'm going to measure the height I need, drew it and print it, once I figure out what's going on with the printer.

Actually had one hour to work on the trains today. The printer crapped out again. I'm going to have to talk to the manufacturer to find out what's going on. This time the print stopped at 12%. When that happens, whatever's done is ruined.

I got the sewer inlets made. Just scratch-built some out of thin styrene. Much easier than drawing and printing, especially when the printer keeps screwing up. And I wasn't sure how to cut the notch into the finished Heritage Park base without breaking off the delicate stuff. It didn't take long and is convincing.

I cut the pieces out of 0.015" styrene sheet. Before cutting anything, I made pencil marks to locate the street line and the width of the street inlet grate. I cut face and top pieces. The face pieces needed an opening, while the top pieces needs some cross-hatching to simulate the non-slip surface on the cast iron inlets in our 1:1 world. I taped the piece down to the work surface with some double-sided Scotch tape so it would stay put while I scribed it.

Heritage Park Scribing Sewer Top

I glued the pieces onto the base with gel CA (of which I'm now out of and have to buy more).

Heritage Park Inlets Installed

I painted the pseudo opening with flat black and the iron with Tamiya Dark Iron. I then dry brushed some A-K Interactive Real Metal cream.

Heritage Park Inlets Painted

I then added some foliage to simulate various bushes. I used W-S Clump Foliage and some lichen that I had laying around all held with the W-S Scenic Cement.

I put the vignette back on the RR and re-attached the wiring. And then I took more images.

Here are the two inlets as viewed from their respective streets (Front and Bridge Streets).

Heritage Park Front Street inletHeritage Park Bridge Street Inlet

And here are some overhead shots of the completed foliage.

Heritage Park FoliageHeritage Park Foliage 2

I left spaces for the eventual park benches… whenever I can get them successfully printed.

And lastly, I took an overhead shot of the whole town showing how it's filled in. I will do the terrain work starting Monday to clean up all the track-to-base transitions. This includes the base edges next to the appliance store and fire house in addition to the Idaho and Heritage bases. I will then take one of my status shots with the Canon on top of a ladder in the same spot as many other shots. I have a photo diary of the entire layout build from the same vantage point… could me a stop action video. Remember, the bare green foam spot to the firehouse left is going to be the Rick House so that site's been accounted for. There are no open lots in town anymore. Too many of my structures were corner properties which forces them to CORNERS. I've run out of corners and had to resort to parking lots to fill in the gaps. Of course without streets wide enough for street parking, having lots of parking lots is sensible city planning.

Layout Town as of Feb 2021


Images (8)
  • Heritage Park Scribing Sewer Top
  • Heritage Park Inlets Installed
  • Heritage Park Inlets Painted
  • Heritage Park Front Street inlet
  • Heritage Park Bridge Street Inlet
  • Heritage Park Foliage
  • Heritage Park Foliage 2
  • Layout Town as of Feb 2021

Got sloppy today. I added the Sculptamold into the transition for all the base plates at the front of the layout including the Heritage Park and the Idaho Hotel base. Again, I mixed it with some W-S Earthtone base to kill the whiteness. I put protective masking tape on all the track.

Before doing the plastering, I added a filler strip to the exposed Heritage edge so I wasn't stuffing plaster underneath the baseplate and wasting plaster. I measured, cut and painted some heavy strathmore, and then fastened it to the plate edges using that very helpful 3M transfer tape. Once you learn how to handle it—it's really, really sticky—it's not too hard to wok with it. I also boxed in the remaining open area around the crossing signal base.

This picture shows the filler before painting and final fastening.

Heritage Park Filler Strathmore

I started the plater filling with the fire house and appliance store base edges. I also masked the base to keep the plaster where it belongs. Again, it will take a couple of days to fully cure before painting and ground cover.

Heritage Park STM Applied 2

Here's the filler at the Heritage Park. Notice, I knocked over one of the columns and two fence sections. I'll wait until all the terrain work is complete before putting it back together. It was kinda delicate.

Heritage Park STM Applied 1

This image shows an in-process shot of how I first glom a blob (technical term…) of STM and then spread it with some sculpting tools. I wet the tools so it slides on the plaster and doesn't grab it. I mixed the STM more on the dry side so it didn't slump and stayed where I put it.

Heritage Park STM Progress

The STM was actually starting to set at the far right end of this wall and I had to hurry to get it shaped.

Here's the finished plaster work on the long wall. I tried cleaning of the plaster slop on the painted parts of the wall, but it's still pretty sloppy so I may have to apply some paint before I landscape. With dirt, grass, weeds, tall grass and some bushy things, will finish this all up.

Heritage Park STM Applied 3

After plastering I got to work on the Sherman. Since the fellow who gave me the model had done so much work on it, I was able to almost complete the assembly in the hour I had left today. All that's left is some photo-etched stuff, a lot of painting and the tracks (which also get painted). It's a nicely detailed model.

Heritage Park Sherman Details 3

I still don't have a solution for the printing problem and the Elegoo Service Dept in China is closed for New Year's celebration until Feb 21st. They may be able to answer before then, but I'm not expecting it.


Images (6)
  • Heritage Park Filler Strathmore
  • Heritage Park STM Applied 2
  • Heritage Park STM Applied 1
  • Heritage Park STM Progress
  • Heritage Park STM Applied 3
  • Heritage Park Sherman Details 3

The plaster was fully cured today so I could start applying ground cover with the tan house paint followed by the brown w-s "earth" stuff I use. I'm letting this set up until tomorrow and then I'll vacuum the excess and get ready to add the vegetation part.

Heritage Park Earth

While this was drying I got back to the Sherman and almost finished it. I got the rest of the photo-etched stuff on.

Heritage Park Sherman PE Comp

I airbrushed all the undersides and non-sun facing surfaced straight Tamiya olive drab.

Heritage Park Sherman Dark Bottom

And I shot the upper sun-facing surfaces with lightened o.d. and much lightened o.d. It probably could even be lighter.

Heritage Park Sherman OD Paint

I hand painted the road wheel tires a very lightened black and then painted the tracks Tamiya Dark Iron followed by a liberal application of rust pastel powders followed by black of the same variety. This tank hadn't moved in years and the tracks would be completely rusty. Most modelers rust active tank tracks too much. The abrasion of the surface on which they're running abrades rust off as quickly as it forms especially in desert use. Military modelers in general get a little crazy with weathering, especially aircraft. Modern aircraft are kept very clean since you must be able to see leaks very easily.

Heritage Park Sherman Rusty Track

You'll notice the red arrow in the above pointing out the left headlight guard PE that fell off. PE drives me crazy since you're depending on tiny surface areas and CA to hold it. The CA is brittle and just an errant touch will knock it off. And now I have to glue it back on to a painted surface that complicates things.

All that's left is to apply some basic decals and then overspray them to make them look old and faded. This Sherman is an "Easy " which is one of the last iterations of the breed and is almost identical to the 1:35 Rye Field masterpiece that I finished a couple of months ago. In 1:48, this model had about 250 parts. in 1:35 and a full interior with working tracks, that model had 2,000 parts. Big difference. Should be ready to go on the railroad this week.

Our 2nd Covid shot was rescheduled from today to Friday due to the winter weather in L'ville.


Images (5)
  • Heritage Park Earth
  • Heritage Park Sherman PE Comp
  • Heritage Park Sherman Dark Bottom
  • Heritage Park Sherman OD Paint
  • Heritage Park Sherman Rusty Track

Thanks Mark! This is yesterday's post. I'll post again tonight with today's work.

I only had an hour, but you can get stuff done in an hour. First thing was to add another layer to the terrain work. I vacuumed all the loose earth particles. I then liberally sprinkled the mixed turf over this, sprayed it with "wet water" and then dribbled scenic cement to fully saturate all the cover. I let this dry until today. I also added bad ground cover to the front flat edges of the layout in these areas since the original 7 year-old ground cover has been wearing off.  Today I will be adding the small bushes, tall grasses and other foliage to liven it all up.

Then I have to glue back the parts of the fence that fell apart. Funny thing… when using the super-powered shop vac to remove the excess earth particles, I sucked one of the fence sections into the machine. Luckily, it was in the tank unbroken, but a bit dusty. Regardless, I had a couple more sections on the fret that I could have pressed into service if this piece got wrecked. Shop vacs can be dangerous beasts around model railroads.

I got the other track on the tank, put back one piece of PE and lost the two that protect the tail lights. As the fellow that gave me the model said, "This display could have lost parts over the years." I put some clear gloss where the decals are going and will apply them today.

Here's the terrain work that happened yesterday.

Heritage Park 2nd Layer CntrHeritage Park 2nd Layer Leftheritage Park 2nd Layer Rt


Images (3)
  • Heritage Park 2nd Layer Cntr
  • Heritage Park 2nd Layer Left
  • heritage Park 2nd Layer Rt

The Heritage Park project is effectively complete. I still need to do some touch up concrete painting for the retaining walls. But all the ground cover and ballast repairs are done. I finished the tank and put it in its new home. I then took some serious images, including placing the Canon EOS on the spot on my 6 ft step ladder that I've been using since the very beginning. I have enough shots from that spot that I could make an interesting time-lapse video. I've put marks on the floor so I can place the ladder in the same spot each time. My next project is the Bradley IFV with full interior, and the I'll be tackling the Rick House.

The ground cover and ballasting were finished on the Idaho Parking Lot perimeter. Needs touch up painting. Didn't want to do this until all the scenic cement is fully cured.

Heritage Park Comp 7

Here's the same done at the firehouse/appliance store property edge. The masking worked perfectly and had no mess on the building bases.

Heritage Park Comp 6

And finally here's the edges along the park. Notice I did get the broken fencing back in place. It definitely wasn't as easy to fix it as it was to build it in the first place.

Heritage Park Comp 5

Here're more views of the park with the Sherman on permanent exhibit. This is shot from the Loopie Louie's Appliance Emporium roof.

Heritage Park Comp 3

Heritage Park Comp 2Heritage Park Comp 1

I then took some of those comprehensive pics to show the layout's current status.

Layout Status EOS 2-21Layout Status EOS Town 2-21Layout Status EOS Back End 2-21

Here's the layout at night. If you look closely, you can make out the lanterns on the park's entrance columns. Those street lights really work!

Layout Status EOS 2-21 Night

AND…. I actually got to run some trains! Wooohooo! They ran a little ragged for the first couple of loops. They hadn't been fired up for months. Thank goodness for O-gauge three-rail track. It's very forgiving. Even when dirty, a little sparking on the roller and the oxide is burned away. If this was HO or N, they wouldn't have run at all until I cleaned all 350 ft of track. Ugh. I did have to readjust the gate door. In winter, the gate structure shrinks a bit and I get this when it's closed. I can push-pull the door to get it to align and it did. The trains ran great it's really why I do all this nonsense. It's not just a static hobby.

If left like this, some, not all the equipment would derail.

Layout WinterTime Blues


Images (11)
  • Heritage Park Comp 7
  • Heritage Park Comp 6
  • Heritage Park Comp 5
  • Heritage Park Comp 3
  • Heritage Park Comp 2
  • Heritage Park Comp 1
  • Layout Status EOS 2-21
  • Layout Status EOS Town 2-21
  • Layout Status EOS Back End 2-21
  • Layout WinterTime Blues
  • Layout Status EOS 2-21 Night

Bravo, Myles!!  The whole town looks great, and the Heritage Park with the Sherman really sets it off!  I do see the globe lights at the entrance in the night photograph.  I forgot about the Bradley kit.  I'm sure it will turn out as good as the Sherman and the other one you did last year.

The track alignment problem in the winter looks like there is a fault line running right through Louisville!

I need to finish up my reading.  Have a great weekend!

Thanks to all of you for the great comments. As to having the layout in the model railroad press, the answer is no! A while ago I had submitted some pictures, but Roger Carp said there "Was too much unbuilt spaces and they only include finished layouts." I would suppose that it's finished enough for him. I have been published with big articles twice in Railroad Model Craftsman; Substation and Distillery, and have two more sitting with the editor there, Engine house and The House. I also sent two manuscripts to Allan Miller, but since the first contact requesting them, I heard nothing from him even after repeated attempts to make contact. I would welcome an article on the overall layout, if it were to happen.

It was a good day. My wife and I got our 2nd Covid Shots and my arm is sore to prove it.

I touched up the retaining walls today and did a little landscape maintenance on the layout edges. It's been a number of years since the grass was "planted" in those areas and it's showing its age. I added some fresh turf and will continue to do this working around the layout as time (and mood) permits.

Heritage Park TouchupIdaho Parking Wall TouchupLayout Landscaping redo

I started the Bradley today with the completion of my sprue rack extension. This kit has a lot of sprues and a lot of parts, so with a hot glue gun and some scrap cardboard from a liquor box, I got the rack extended to the letter "Z". This little device really saves a ton of time when building complex plastic kits.

Bradley Sprue Rack Filled


Images (4)
  • Heritage Park Touchup
  • Idaho Parking Wall Touchup
  • Layout Landscaping redo
  • Bradley Sprue Rack Filled

I have noticed that Roger Carp only publishes articles on 'finished' layouts or little articles about doing rather simple projects.  Interesting about Allan Miller.    It's those editors' readers' loss.  RMC seems to be your best bet!

That is a handy tool to keep your sprues in order.  It resembles what I have for my bills, but sections are divided by day of the month!

Congratulations on the 2nd vaccine.  My wife (an RN) and mother-in-law have both received 2.  I have to wait until the 64 and under group, or I turn 65, whichever comes first.  This year's birthday may come up first. 

Everyone should be able to get shots by the end of the Summer including you young guys. There aren't many times that I'm glad I'm 75. I guess this is one of them. The other is getting all the cheap crap. My arm's still a little sort and itchy, plus very slightly swollen, so something's working. It's important to get some kind of reaction to let you know that your immune system is responding.

I did work on the Bradley yesterday, but won't bore you RR guys until I have some major progress to report. Suffice it to say that Meng Models is probably the premiere Chinese brand that rivals Tamiya in engineering, accuracy and molding. They've come a long way.

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