Category Archives: Garden

Scale Kudzu

Well, I think I’ve found at least one plant that I won’t be planting on my layout again: wirevine.

This stuff is amazingly tenacious and ridiculously invasive. I planted a single 3″ pot of it last fall, and it’s gone crazy. Not only did it cover the cleared area where I planted it, it jumped (over and under) a paver, climbed two dwarf Alberta spruce, became intertwined with two other ground covers, and keeps trying to cross the right of way despite regular applications of Roundup. And places where I’ve pulled it up, apparently roots and all, it’s come back. All in about 8 months.

But if there’s someone else out there who needs to model Kudzu, this is your 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.


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.

More Pond Progress

I was able to make some more progress today. I got the rest of the liner-hiding rock-on-a-roll installed on the front and mostly filled the pond with water.


I need to get some additional plants, line the bottom of the pond with rock-on-a-roll and finish up. But I think it will look good.


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:


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

Help with the Pond

I started working on the next steps of the pond, installing the liner and the first section of “rock on a roll” that’s intended to hide the liner.

While filling the pond, I had some help–I don’t know why playing with the hose is always so interesting 🙂


More Trees and Dirt

Most folks wouldn’t be excited to get dirt for their birthday, but I was very pleased. My wife allowed me to spend my birthday money on topsoil so I could make more progress on filling the raised bed to the level of the track. Once that’s done, I’ll be able to ballast the track and build my mountain. I also picked up a few more dwarf Alberta Spruce trees, which were on sale at Lowe’s. I know what I’ll be doing this weekend 🙂

Sailboat Idea

Here in Kansas, the wind is a constant problem in the garden. Gusts up to 40mph regularly move things around (including buildings) and wreck havoc.


I’ve been thinking about putting a boat in my pond when it’s done, but with the wind it would need to be anchored somehow. Add to that the possibility of water-level fluctuations, and there’s a problem–if the water gets low and the wind blows, the boat could possibly wind up on shore.

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