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I am doing more work on 'downtown'. I am building 'Bill's Oil Yard' (borrowed name from Frank Ellison). Bill will be selling heating oil and propane at insanely low prices since he has a secret source. I don't think having propane and heating oil in the same yard is prototypical but ol' Bill ain't your common kind of guy.

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Let the scenery begin!
While I am finishing up on Bill's Oil Yard I have started scenery. Already I made a mistake. I applied ballast to some track first then since this area is going to be a yard I decided to cover the grass mat with sand . I should have done it the other way around since the sand covers some of the ballast instead of the other way around.

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I had some canisters of Woodland Scenics (WS) coarse brown ballast but knew they would not go far so I went to a building supply store and bought a couple of large canisters of roofing granules. They were brown but not the same shade as the WS stuff so I everything into a box and mixed it all up to even out the color. I spread the ballast with a Ballast King and by hand near turnouts. I tried both 90% alcohol and wet water as wetting agent for the glue; could not tell the difference so stuck with the cheaper wet water. I have a gallon of Scenic Express Matte Medium so am using this until it is gone then I will switch over to diluted Mod Podge Matte.

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Work progresses on the yard. I figure to add yellow grass / tufts etc. between the tracks.

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The second part of my scenery adventure concerns the incline off to the right of the above photo. It started out as a WS 2% incline. I then added plaster cloth. Once that dried I mixed up Sculptamold (easy to work with) and spread it over the plaster cloth to smooth things over. I had mixed in some acrylic tan paint with the Sculptamold but thought it too light. I bought some acrylic brown but that was too dark so I ended up mixing the tan and brown to tone down the brown color and using a brush dipped in water painted the Sculptamold.

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The incline will be a grassy area so I will be starting with WS Green Blend first and go on from there.

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Work continues on Bill's Oil Yard.

The plastic portion is assembled and painted but it is still in pieces.

2022-01-30 Bills Oil Yard 001

I will be building a fence around the property using Plastruct's chain link fence kit. The post material looks like their standard TB-2 tubing which is a plastic coated wire so is easy to bend at the top.

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I chose a GC Laser kit I had in stock for Bill's office. It is an inexpensive card-stock kit that is very easy to put together however the one thing I did not like was the paper siding so I ended up staining basswood strips 1/32 x 1/8 and 1/32 x 1/16. The 1/8 planks were glued face-down while the 1/16 planks were glued on edge to simulate board and batten. I could have simply cut and glued either preformed wood or plastic board and batten but I wanted to try my hand at scratch building this.

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I took a break from ballasting and decided to do something that should have been done at the beginning - adding fascia to the layout table. I used 1/4  hardboard since no bending was required. Since I have pull out shelves I kept the width to 5 inches with about 1/2 inch sticking above the table.
It's not 'furniture' grade - I don't plan on painting or covering over the screw heads



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It's back to ballast this past W/E. Two things I have discovered when gluing ballast -

1. I am using matte medium as the glue and was using wet water as the wetting agent. I found that I needed to go back over the same area more than once for the ballast to harden. I decided to try 90% isopropyl alcohol. It worked much better. The ballast cured rock hard overnight.

2. For large turnouts like the Ross 4-way I ended up buying sheet cork from a local crafts store. I trimmed the cork a little bit and glued it down with white glue. Saturday I started to glue ballast. I covered the area with alcohol and glue. Sunday morning the sheet had puckered up like it had swollen. I spent some time cutting excess sheet away from the turnout and am hoping the track screws will hold the rest in place.

Please join me for the grand re-opening of Bill's Oil Yard, established in Dec 1946 in the town of Raymondale. it was first served by the Delta Lines. Since then Ol' Bill has branched out with new products such as propane as Bill keeps pace with new technologies. And yes Ol' Bill is still around. When asked about his secret of longevity Bill was heard to a shot of whiskey and a good cigar after EVERY meal. Needless to say the crew gets a little antsy when Bill gets too close to the propane tank..........

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say hi to Bill and his drinking buddy

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@Joe Fauty posted:

Please join me for the grand re-opening of Bill's Oil Yard, established in Dec 1946 in the town of Raymondale. it was first served by the Delta Lines. Since then Ol' Bill has branched out with new products such as propane as Bill keeps pace with new technologies. And yes Ol' Bill is still around. When asked about his secret of longevity Bill was heard to a shot of whiskey and a good cigar after EVERY meal. Needless to say the crew gets a little antsy when Bill gets too close to the propane tank..........

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say hi to Bill and his drinking buddy

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As a Frank Ellison fan.......I love it and appreciate the story!

Peter

They are just draining the sludge from the bottom of the propane tank. No Problem

While we're at it a prototype propane tank has domed not dished ends due to the pressure they operate at.

I am fine with the minor points - looks well done. I have carbon dioxide tankers at my oil yard. Looks nicer than my effort to date.  My bald guy is loading barrels, that's giving him a workout.

Nice job  @Joe Fauty

I had posted the above in the wrong forum post so copied it and pasted into this forum post. Apparently that did not work out to well. I will re-post below and delete the other one

It has been a while since I posted progress on the railroad. I was laying ballast but had to stop when the brown roofing granules ran out. It has been about a month and so far the roofing company has seen no granules. I did start laying gray ballast on the main lines (got a whole bucket from a friend) but as usual got bored so decided to try scenery.

I am using brown ballast in the yards and gray on the main lines. Hopefully this will work out since my knees hurt.



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When I decided to take a break from ballast I started scenery on the edge of the railroad board (after installing facia). I have never done this before so all this was new to me. I have been reading books and articles plus viewing YouTube so came up with a recipe using mostly Woodland Scenics products. I had a WS sand mat to start off with in most of the places. In the one corner I built up a small hill with brown paper, plaster cloth and Sculptamold then painted it a dark tan.

The scenery recipe follows:
Fine Turf:
Little bit Soil
Lots of Green Blend
Little bit Yellow
Little bit Green Blend over Yellow

Coarse Turf:
Patch work not total coverage
Dark to Light

Under Brush:
Use Scenic glue
Put in clumps
Dark to light – dark on half of glue lines – light on other half
Highlight with fine turf – some green – some yellow

Bushes:
Put glue in other areas
Dark to light
Tone down with fine turf

Foliage Clusters:
Use Scenic glue
Peel off a clump and find a place by itself
Use just a little
Tone down with fine turf

Foliage:
Comes in a sheet
Pick off a clump and stretch it out a lot
Drop on bush
Tone down with fine turf

Lichen:
Spread out a littler bit
Place on top of bushes
Tone down with fine turf

Some photos are below. It looked ok but I kept having the feeling it was not 'real' enough.2022-04-24 Prescott RR 007

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The trees above are Aspens - Julie's Organic Aspens - Anderson Model kits - www.modelrailroadkit.com.

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The short 'tree' is WS fine leaf foliage

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One night watching YouTube I discovered the joys of Noch leaves. I saw a video where Kathy Millat made low bushes starting with polyfiber, then another one by someone else who made taller bushes using sisal rope. I gave both a try today. without a doubt Noch leaves are the secret sauce.

Millat - Low Bushes
Spread out Woodland Scenics Poly Fiber or Foliage on double sided tape on brown paper– push up a little
( I had some purple Sil-for I used so I painted it med green)
Spray scenic cement
Add some fine ground foam
Spray scenic cement
Add some more fine ground foam
Spray scenic cement
Add leaves

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I will let this stuff dry overnight then place it on top of some WS foliage and see how it goes. The purple stuff is actually the Sil-for left overs on the bench after stretching out sections of the stuff. I simply picked the leftovers up and sprinkled them over the bushes.

The sisal rope bushes -
Hemp or sisal rope
Spread out fibers on end of rope
Cut fibers into shape you want
Add white glue to rope ¼ inch below spread fibers
Cut
Make samples with different lengths
Paint dark tan
Sprinkle on 10-12 mm static grass while paint is wet
Paint dark tan
Sprinkle on fine ground foam while paint is wet
Spray scenic cement
Sprinkle on leaves
Spray scenic cement
Sprinkle on highlights – fine ground foam (did not do this as yet)
Cut bottom off and glue in place

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This stuff is looking more real to me

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Last edited by Joe Fauty

Did some more ballast then took a break with the back and played around with some scenery. Note none of this is original. I read and watched Youtube.

a more detailed photo look at making bushes with sisal rope. A detailed procedure was given in an earlier post. I bought 3/8 inch diameter rope and discovered it is made up three 1/8 inch diam strands. So one can make bushes with 3/8 , 1/4 or 1/8 inch trunk diameter. Last post I made 3/8 inch trunks. Below are 1/4 inch trunks.

The sisal strands are separated and white glue was applied to the trunk portion.

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I spray painted with a dark tan and while the paint was wet I sprinkled on some 12mm static grass (color does not matter).

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Once dry I sprayed painted again and added fine ground foam (green blend).

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Once dry I sprayed with an adhesive and sprinkled on Noch leaves. It is the leaves that make all the difference in the world.

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I also played around with some Aspen trees I inherited a while back (2008?)  from a local train store that shut down. Below is how they started.

2022-04-25 Aspens

I used the 3M spray adhesives and sprinkled on 12mm static grass. This time the color counts (green).
After the tree dried I sprayed the adhesive again and sprinkled on Noch leaves.

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Don't know if I mention this previously - I found Martin Welberg Scencic Studios through Youtube.
This guy makes some great product (Holland) that can be bought from Scenic Express. He specializes in tufts and bushes.

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Joe, Bill's oil yard looks really good. Wow, what a nice lookin project.  Your ballasting looks sharp. Thanks for the tip about the isoproply alcohol.   I'll try that when the time comes way down the road.  Your scenery is very nice looking and looks realistic to me.  Your layout is coming together very nicely. I've seen some of the martin welberg videos. He cracks me up. Where did you get the Noch leaves.

Tom

@TomSuperO posted:

Joe, Bill's oil yard looks really good. Wow, what a nice lookin project.  Your ballasting looks sharp. Thanks for the tip about the isoproply alcohol.   I'll try that when the time comes way down the road.  Your scenery is very nice looking and looks realistic to me.  Your layout is coming together very nicely. I've seen some of the martin welberg videos. He cracks me up. Where did you get the Noch leaves.

Tom

Tom - from Walthers

A friend gave me some Sedum plants a while back. One is supposed to let them sit for several months before using for trees. Since I had them for 5 years I figure they were ready to go....

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The plant on the left is the raw Sedum. I sprayed 'scenic cement' on the whole plant and let it sit overnight. I then sprayed the plant with a flat gray primer. Once that dried I took a different approach than with the sisal rope and Aspen trees. I soaked the plant with scenic cement then applied some coarse turf. I followed up with Noch leaves that were a shade lighter in green. The 'trunks' are kind of skinny so I may end up placing these behind other tress or cutting the trunks down and use as an oversized bush.

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Some more tree making

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I cut some dead branches off a scrub brush behind my house. On the right is what I started with and on the left is a finished tree.

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The "usual" formula is to glue on fine leaf foliage or super tree material which is time consuming. I decided to try something different. I sprayed the trees and sprinkled on 12mm static grass. I let the trees dry than repeated the process. Photo above is initial application of static grass.

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Once dry I sprayed again and sprinkled on some Busch foliage (kind of like Woodland Scenics coarse turf but a little smaller. Once dry I repeated the process. Again photo above is initial application,.

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Last thing was Noch leaves. As I stated before this stuff is night and day for trees.

Next up was Woodland Scenics ready make tress. They come in two basic flavors - standard and premium.

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On the left is the WS standard tree. It looks like the tree was flooded with glue and WS bushes were piled on. Rather then strip the tree bare I removed most of the material but left some on individual branches.

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I repeated the procedure I did for the scrub brush trees but needed to apply the 12mm static grass only once. I followed up with the Busch foliage then Noch leaves.

Last up is a Woodland Scenics Premium tree. More expensive but better made.

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All I did here was add Noch leaves.

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Last edited by Joe Fauty

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