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Hi again! So I started on “Phase 3” or the downtown/passenger part of my layout today. I’d like to share my progress through the next few months if anybody’s interested. Till I figure this out better I guess I’ll just explain and put pics at the bottom for now. If anyone has a suggestion or a step by step process of how to put photos in different places in the body of the post that would be great. I am not real savvy at this stuff.

So I’ll try to footnote this as much as possible.

After settling on a final downtown layout I cleared the area and drew out the roads and sidewalks with sharpies. I like to use different colors for different materials. Less confusing.  I then traced out the sidewalk dimensions on 1/4” thick foam sheets. After cutting them out I sanded the edges and coated them with spackle. Now those have to dry.

Next I recessed the trolly track by tracing it out and cutting just outside the line with a jigsaw. Screwing up from underneath I closed it up with a couple strips of luan. I used a few scraps of the foam to shim the track to where I HOPE I wanted it…screwed it in and poured it full of a material called Smooth-it. I left the ends open so I can install bumpers later. I just use a loose truck to clean out for wheels after it sets up a bit. Now that has to dry.

I want the platforms and the walkway to them to be up level with the track so I replaced the trackbed with sheets of the same material to fill in.

I then weathered the track. I just use a reddish brown acrylic through an airbrush and a Scotchbrite pad over the top of the rails after. While I had it all out I went ahead and painted all the areas that will be ‘natural’ landscape just so no white shows through.

I finished my day on the layout by experimenting with some ‘clay foam’ that my buddy discovered recently and some cobblestone and brick texture rolling pins to make the streets.

I capped off the night shift in the shop part of my basement with the trolly bumpers. I’m using the old Lionel style because I believe they’re the most solid but I wanna make them more realistic. So far I’ve ground out the sides and primered them. Next I’m gonna try to do somethin with those lights.

Well…that’s about it for day 1! Thanks for l👀kin!!!


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Last edited by ceckenrodt74
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Thanks Mayer and Dave! I lowered the track in one other spot on the layout and I think it finished out pretty goood. Hope this one turns out as well.

Didn't get to work on it much today but I’ll show what I got done.

The first thing I did this morning was sand and paint the sidewalks. I painted them with just plain rustolium I had in the cabinet. You can use enamel because the plaster protects the styrofoam from the lacquer in the paint. I sanded through the plaster in random places…mostly toward the edges…to let the paint eat at it a bit to make it look crumbly. This was a gamble. Seemed to work okay. Then using a square and bic pen I scored the joints and made cracks with a toothpick. After that I coated with Elmer’s glue so I can repaint tomorrow and weather. The glue will also protect the foam.

The only other layout project tonight was a some work on a passenger station I’m kitbashing out of an MTH bus station…bank…and various other parts I’ve collected.

Tonight I worked on the roof and foundation for bus station part. I cut 1/4” foam because I had some left from the sidewalks and put that on the roof. Tomorrow I’ll get some sandpaper and glue it on top of the foam. The foundation is some thicker foam I had from a previous project. I cut it to fit and put mortar lines in with a soldering iron. I then coated it with plaster and will follow the same steps as the sidewalks on it tomorrow.

Well that’s about all to report on the layout today. I’ll check back in tomorrow with hopefully more progress.

Thanks again for lookin!


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Hi Bill…I’m glad you asked!

They come from a Warcraft supply store in Spain called Green Stuff World. They are a wonderful source! When you get them they have knob ends on them. I just em off so I could get close to the edge of whatever. Also…most material wants to stick to them so I actually just use flour like you would on a pie crust.

Another great product they have are these leaf punches. I used white paper here to show them better but in application I use real leaves. The ferns behind the tree are from them as well.

Suppliers of Warcraft…Dungeons&Dragons…Military Modeling…vehicle/equipment modeling and others are great sources for our hobby. Some of these vendors are overseas. Warcraft and D&D are big in Europe. The scale is sometimes in millimeters…around 32 seems to be best in my opinion for our scale.  As I show more of the layout I’ll try to include where to get some of the more obscure details. In the meantime maybe I’ll put together a rundown for scenery Sunday.

Thanks for l👀kin!


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Hi there! Back with a little more progress on the sidewalks. Done! At least enough to install them and get to puttin roads in tomorrow. I glued them in this afternoon so they should be sturdy in the morning. I basically just dull coated and washed with a watery dark grey acrylic. I ended up lightening the color this morning with acrylic and airbrush. The reason I dull coated is because if you wash with acrylic over acrylic it will move it. The lacquer between stops this. Same sometimes with enamel/enamel. I sealed em one more time and laid them in. I put it all back together just to make sure everything’s workin out alright. Good enough for me for now. Platforms need raised a bit more but no biggie. There’s a sweet spot there where the heavy’s just barely slide in and keep the steps over the boards. I’m tryin to hit it. I also primered the station and painted the stone foundation.

Well that’s about it for todays layout progress.

Thanks for lookin!


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Howdy folks! Not much to report on layout progress tonight. Pretty much just failure. I did a previous post with cobblestone rolling pins in clay foam. I thought this was gonna be the miracle medium but it turned out to be a couple hours of head scratchin to no avail. It shrinks when it dries quite a bit which makes it wrinkle in the middle and curl on the edges. Guess I’ll try regular molding clay tomorrow. If anyones got any suggestions I’m all ears! Or I guess it would be all eyes. Anyway…till next time!

Thanks for lookin all!


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Evening everyone! I was pondering the layout on my way up after last nights visit I realized I’m getting the horse before the cart so to speak. I still have three ‘scenes’ that need quite a bit of work where I left off last spring. I actually would have painted myself in a corner on one of them. Guess I was just excited to get into the Downtown part.

  So I’ve decided to finish the farm (Phase 2) first. It’s actually the grain farm and chicken coop part of bigger farm scene and the centerpiece of the layout. The other half is all animals and pretty much finished. I’ll feature it all on Scenery Sunday one once it’s finished. Anyway…better get started…probably take a few days.  I’ll abridge as much as I can. I’m pretty windy tho!

  The first pic is of everything I still need to do. It’s mostly at the comfort of my desk here out. I feel like the ‘landscape’ is close enough for now. The second pick is just the layout of what we’re working on.

  In image number three I’m just adding some cross bracing because the wall boards were a bit spongy. I mostly wanted to show how beautiful this model is inside and out. Well at least at that point. I’ll edit with information where I got it tomorrow. I’ll try to explain where I get things as I go. Don’t hesitate to ask if you see something your interested in tho.

In the fourth I just want to show the wheel I used to age distress the barn wood.

  Number 5…wood stain. I keep about 5 different tones for contrast. I use it A LOT! Mostly detail brush. The chiken coop is from Birkshire Vally Models. You’ll see them a lot on here. The corn crib is scratch.

The next I think is showing part of the tin roof process and most of the tools used. The other part can’t be shown because I don’t have that tool. It broke. But I will do a visual when I get a replacement. For now to explain there is an artist tool that you put paint tubes through and it squeezes out every last drop through two rollers that crinkle it. I just run sheets of tin or brass I get at the hobby store through it. Not super sturdy but they’re fairly cheap.

Lastly are the various hinges doors and hatches. I like for things to work so I’ve found the dollhouse hinges in various styles. I’ve used them in several other places. They work well! We’ll be adding bolt heads to these later but I didn’t have many left and just ordered today from Precision Scale. Please come back for color weathering and more details tomorrow night!

  So that’s all I got in me for this round. Better hit the hay…them ol’ roosters’l be a crowin’ pretty soon!!!

Thanks for l👀kin folks!!!


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  Thanks Frank and Pete!!!

  To answer Franks question…first of let me say I really think it’s great that you wanna see more of it. And you will for sure! When I decided to start sharing my project I put a lot of thought into how to go about it. I settled on documenting my journey..step by step…through the final phase of my layout over the next four-ish months all the while sharing..scene by scene…what’s already done. Some scenes are stand alone but most are a chapter in a bigger story. I plan to mix them all in along the way on scenery Sundays. Starting tomorrow!

  Thanks again guys!

  Good progress was made on the farm today and I feel like it’s fitting in. Here’s the rundown.

  I started the day making door handles. Round brass bent with wire bending pliers superglued into holes drilled with pin-vice. I used a figure for height. I then backed them with square bolt heads from Precision Scale. Sorry I don’t know the size on the brass or bolt heads but I’ll try to get that information for the future.

Tried to simplify with a big pic of everything I worked on and the supplies I used. Hit me with any questions.

  Couple things to mention:

Broke the wagon axle while I was whitewashing it. Glueing somethimg like this back together just faced up will never hold. A pin-vice and a piece of brass and it’s even stronger.

The cable for the lightning rods is from the jewelry dept at hob lob. Every piece of rope chain or cable I use is from there. Super affordable! Off sub but worth mentioning is that almost every crumb of rock or sand on the layout is for aquariums…including all ballast, most roads and also coal in hoppers. It’s literally pennies on the dollar! PetSmart…Petco…and WallMart all have. The rods are again a piece of brass sharpened with a file and attached to the cable with super glue and a little ring of heat-shrink. Cable is held to building with rings and stanchions fron Precision Scale.

The corn is just plain old rice out of the kitchen cabinet. I just put it on a coffee can lid and shook it around while spraying it yellow with the airbrush.

I also added a pic of the colors of powder I used weathering.

Well…that’s about it until tomorrow’s adventure! Lights and equipment probably.

Hope you enjoyed…and thanks for lookin!





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Last edited by ceckenrodt74


   Well it’s been a long two days since I was on her but I put my head down and finished the ‘Grain Farm’ scene of the layout.

  It’s kinda two scenes in one. The grain loading building is not wired in and will have a loaded truck turning in and an empty turning around but that’s gonna have to wait for now. There’s quite a few photos…so I only inserted a couple. Be sure to check out the rest below.

Sorry I didn’t take more pictures during the build. I did take some and I’ll try to post on here along with where I got some of the scenery tomorrow or the next. I mostly just didn’t think about it till too late and also figured if anyone wants to know how something was done just ask and I’ll be happy to explain or do a demo. It’s not a fast movin hobby so every minute counts.

As I said any questions would be great! Might be Wednesday be fore I can answer tho. Tuesdays are pretty non-train busy for me. But still fun…and I usually see many real trains in my travels!

Anyways here’s the ‘finished’ (and I use that word lightly) project!!!

Hope you enjoy. Let me know what ya think. And as always…thanks for l👀kin!!!



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Last edited by ceckenrodt74

Hope you enjoy. Let me know what ya think. And as always…thanks for l👀kin!!! 

Wow. Being a hobby farmer and one who has friends who still farm "old-school" i have to say you really nailed that scene. The only thing i question is why the farmer is UNloading the corn bin into the truck as opposed to UNloading the harvest from the truck into the bin...maybe he's selling to another local farmer whose crop wasnt so good.? If so, might neighborly of him!  All in all a fantastic scene.

Thanks guys!!!

  Yes Mike. It is just rice painted yellow. This was the smallest I could find.

  For Joe. I actually first visioned the corn unloading out of the wagon into the crib and I actually laid it out that way months ago when I build everything. This way just seemed to take up more space and have more action opportunity. Guess maybe they were holdin on till prices got up.

Thanks again!

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