Category Archives: General Backyard Stuff

Building Repairs / Refreshes

So, in the Kansas climate (summers in the 100s, winters in the 10s) buildings really take a beating. It’s now time for me to bring some in (into the air conditioned house) and work on ones that have deteriorated.

My oldest building is this Piko station. I enjoyed building it–it’s one of the few “new” kits I bought, but it’s definitely in need of some work. The base is a piece of Sintra laminated to a piece of acrylic, which seemed like a good idea at the time but has started to separate. Also, the “street” lights need work and the interior needs to be cleaned out.

First I’ll tackle the lighting: the LEDs in it are cool white. And after three years they’ve started to dim. Which means that it’s time to trade them out for new, warm white ones. That includes the interior lights, the light that highlights the passenger and station employee, and the two exterior post lights.

Visited the Train Shack

Today I dropped by the Train Shack in Burbank. They have a pretty good selection of Piko ¬†and LGB stuff–more G scale than I usually see in a LHS. Pretty cool place, though the prices are just average. They do have some running layouts in O and HO to watch–my son really liked those.

Burbank-train-shack

Waiting on Parts

I have a lot more to do, but am currently waiting on a list of parts.

For the sawmill/logging scene, I need wheels. I’m going to make some horse-drawn logging wagons, but need wheels.

For the windmill, I need the Pola motor. I ordered it, but it didn’t ship for a couple of days and I’m still impatiently waiting for it to arrive.

For the windmill scene, I ordered some Pressier figures. From Germany. So those will be a while coming.

So lots to do, but right now it’s hurry up and wait.

Webcam?

With a Raspberry Pi in the train shed that’s connected to my network, I could easily attach a webcam and be able to “see” the layout even when I’m trapped in my basement office. I decided to go for it:

webcam

All those bags in the far background are the dirt from my birthday that I haven’t finished spreading around yet.

Layout Plan Complete

Just finished updating this for (hopefully) the last time. This incorporates all the changes from my original plan–the not-a-wye, adding straights to my revers curve, one less siding in town–and shows the current state of the track, at least. Most of the other scenery is there, too. The only big thing left is the mountain.

garden-real

Laser Cutter

Just bought this little goody off eBay.
laser-cutter
I’ve read some posts on the various train forums that this can be a really useful tool for building structures, making rolling stock, and generally fiddling around. We’ll see how it goes.

Local Train Shop

It’s a funny thing–I got into garden railroading here in central Kansas, a couple hundred miles from the nearest big city–but it turns out that there’s a neat store “near” here in Wichita called Garden Railway Gizmos that carries plenty of large scale stuff. The owner, Claudia, is knowledgeable, friendly, and always a pleasure to do business with. If you happen to be in this area, you should check it out:
garde-railway-gizmos