Is it a given that Lichen will just dry out ?  I have some older Lichen that was stored in a bag, it was faded, but not totally dried out.  I put in a tupperware bin, added a little bit of water and it softened up quite nicely.  I used some cheap green watered down tempera paint which brought it back to a nice green color.   I glued some onto my layout about 10 days ago and it has already dried out.   I live in Western Colorado so our climate is quite dry here.   I have the old book "Scenery for Model Railroads" by Bill McClanahan,  ( great book )  He talks about using Glycerine.  Will Glycerine keep it soft ? or will it just dry out again.  

Steve

Original Post

Will the glycerine work on other natural scenery as well?  I use sedums extensively on the layout as trees.  I actually have an article on using sedums as trees, should anyone want it- e-mail me:

 

mikewyatt49@gmail.com

 

Sedum Trees on the layout

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I literally have some that is over 40 years old on the layout. I spritz it very occasionally with Glycerine. I also have some that I store in a sealed baggie. This was all the strange colors that Life Like used to market in that cardboard box you could buy years ago. Same thing...whenever I see it in the bottom of the scenery tub, it gets a little spray every few years. It is still fine. 

An interesting thing for me....and most likely just me....but lichen has a very unique smell. Not offensive at all, but unique. Whenever I open up that sealed bag I have, I can smell the lichen and it immediately takes me back to some of my layouts I built as a kid. Scent has a way of rekindling memories. I will never get rid of that plastic bag of memories. 

OK....now you all know I am just a little weird.

Donald

If you don't touch it on the layout it will still be brittle but will look fine for many years.

When you go to move it or touch it, it will crumble. Replace with new and use the crumbled old for ground cover.

Waste not, want not

@3rail posted:

I literally have some that is over 40 years old on the layout. I spritz it very occasionally with Glycerine. I also have some that I store in a sealed baggie. This was all the strange colors that Life Like used to market in that cardboard box you could buy years ago. Same thing...whenever I see it in the bottom of the scenery tub, it gets a little spray every few years. It is still fine. 

An interesting thing for me....and most likely just me....but lichen has a very unique smell. Not offensive at all, but unique. Whenever I open up that sealed bag I have, I can smell the lichen and it immediately takes me back to some of my layouts I built as a kid. Scent has a way of rekindling memories. I will never get rid of that plastic bag of memories. 

OK....now you all know I am just a little weird.

Donald

Donald,  Yes, I get that old smell memory too.  No, not weird.

Thanks to all for the tips,  Will try to find some glycerine.   Think Walmart or a hardware store might carry the stuff ?

Steve

Glycerine is a little hard to find right now, since it is an ingredient of home-made hand sanitizer.  There are many brands on Amazon. You have to search for one that is in stock and not ridiculously expensive. They are there, though.

@coach joe posted:

Don, what kind of spray bottle do you use for the glycerine?

Hey Coach Joe. I just use one of those smaller Woodland Scenic spray bottles. Honestly, I do not know how "old" my mix is. I just give the bottle a shake. The mix is nothing special. I just use water from my basement dehumidifier.

Donald

@Steve24944 posted:

Donald,  Yes, I get that old smell memory too.  No, not weird.

Thanks to all for the tips,  Will try to find some glycerine.   Think Walmart or a hardware store might carry the stuff ?

Steve

Amazon has a 24 oz bottle from Purad'or which will be in stock May 27 for $9.99 with free shipping  if you're a Prime member.

gly

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@3rail posted:

An interesting thing for me....and most likely just me....but lichen has a very unique smell. Not offensive at all, but unique. Whenever I open up that sealed bag I have, I can smell the lichen and it immediately takes me back to some of my layouts I built as a kid. Scent has a way of rekindling memories. I will never get rid of that plastic bag of memories. 

Donald

Wow, I thought I was the only one who would smell a bag of lichen to trigger my layout memories as a kid. A very unique smell indeed. For me, it may very well be the strongest memory scent I have know. Thanks Donald for reminding me of that. Now, where is that bag of lichen........

I have some lichen that i picked out in the woods about 5 years ago, I boiled it in glycerin and rite dye for the colors I wanted, I don't remember the mixture but the lichen is just as soft and pliable today as it was when I first got it and I have done nothing to it since. There are many instructions on how to preserve lichen online. that was how I found it.

@3rail posted:
Whenever I open up that sealed bag I have, I can smell the lichen and it immediately takes me back to some of my layouts I built as a kid. Scent has a way of rekindling memories. I will never get rid of that plastic bag of memories.

Oh yes!  For me, too, smell can definitely trigger memories. In the model railroad realm, there's two that really trigger good memories:

1. When I open a bottle of Solvaset decal setting solution.

2. When I open a bottle of original formula Floquil.

Both of those aroma's take me back to my basement in KC as young teenager during that time that I was working on my second layout. It was with that layout that begin to learn how to paint and decal my own equipment.

Lichen? I can't remember the last time I've gotten a whiff of lichen... but I recall the boxes of Life Like's lichen I used as a kid on my first layout. In fact, I can still "smell" it in my mind. IF I ever see a box of Life Like lichen somewhere, I would be inclined to purchase it just to keep around for "memory whiffing" every now and then!

Other "smell triggers":

* Oil of wintergreen. Immediately takes me back to the slot racing race tracks when I was teen. We used oil of wintergreen as a tire traction additive.

* Certain aroma's from coffee (like when I first open a fresh can). This one was a puzzle. Every now and then I would get such a coffee whiff... and my mind would transport me to when I was a kid walking to school for my K-grade 1-2 grade years! This one had me stumped. One day long after I was married and my parents were aging, we were talking about memories and I mentioned this unusual coffee memory trigger. Dad said "That one's easy: Folgers Coffee". Huh? Yup, during my earlier years, we were within striking distance of the Folgers Coffee plant in KC, and that aroma was Folgers roasting their coffee beans!! It was particularly more aromatic on a crisp morning.

I could go on with "memory whiffs", but I stop at this point.

Glycerin:

According to articles past, you want "industrial" grade glycerin. Far cheaper than consumer grade/hygiene glycerin. Dave Frary has a book about scenery that talks about the lichen pickling process in detail, including a recipe for pickling lichen. Dave describes step by step how to go about pickling lichen.

Fun thread!

Andre

Gee...l thought us model builders  only got accused of huffing model paint, not lichen?😁

Truth be told....I keep a little "stash" of the good stuff in an old Altoid tin (red label) that I carry around in the console of my truck. Every time I feel a little sluggish and need a pickup, I grab the tin and crack the lid for a flashback to the good old days when all I had to worry about was my paper route and if I was going to graduate high school!

Donald

Ahh, the wonderful smell of plywood when you walk past it at the home center - instant trainboard memories for me.

Reminds me of my original 4x8 and 35 years of subsequent expansions

Hi Andre,

Thanks for the reminder about the smell of a freshly opened can of coffee. When I was working, we had a small kitchen with a couple of coffee makers. I would monitor the coffee in the large can and try to be the one to open the next can. Working the hand can opener and getting that first whiff of ground coffee took me back to being 8 years old and mom asking me to open her a fresh can of coffee. What a powerful memory. Also the smell of Lionel smoke fluid reminds me of the smoke pellets from my brother’s 2037 steamer. 

John

John, You wouldn't be recollecting the old style metal coffee can with the key on the bottom, would you? Like Maxwell House or Chase and Sanborn used to come in.

Steve

Hi Steve, 

Sorry but no.  I collect only train stuff now. We had to simplify our lives once the kids moved out. I’m going to focus on trains. I have a modest O gauge collection, maybe 50 pieces total and about 15-20 G scale items for the future outdoor railway. Until you mentioned it, I had actually forgotten about the key on the bottom of the coffee can. Good memories!

John

The nose knows:

The whiff of fiberglass resin take me back to working on the Chinook CH-47 prototype ducts at Vertol before Boeing.

Also, nostalgia of the smell in early Lionel smoke.

My bag  of Lichen.

The odor of early hot open frame motors.

Differential gear oil.

Pine scents of smoking PW building chimneys.

The odor of first opening an early MRC power pack.

Plus, as mentioned above, the formaldehyde in plywood.  Not healthy but nostalgic non the less.

I visited Havana a few years ago. There was something strangely familiar about the odor of the city. Took me awhile, but I finally realized that what I was smelling was  car exhaust from leaded gas that had not gone through a catalytic converter. Hadn't encountered  that odor in a very long time.

 

Glad to read this about keeping lichen soft.  I have several bags purchased at Hobby Lobby in past couple years.  But, it is the several old boxes of Life-Like I have needing most looked into and kept in good condition.  Thanks for the information and memories of smells.  All very much a part of our mutual hobby.

Jesse   TCA   12-68275

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