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.
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.
Well, being gone for almost six weeks seems to have allowed the weeds to grow.
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.
Well, all was quiet on the railroad front as I spent a few days traveling to New York and West Point to see my nephew graduate from the United States Military Academy and leave to join the Army.
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.
Good progress today… Here’s the mill test-fitted together and a view of it inverted so you can see the detail of the woodwork. This is pretty neat, though it will be out of sight to most observers.
Continue reading Windmill Nearing Completion
Well, the best laid plans of mice and men gang oft agley, as Bobby Burns said.
Here’s the outcome of my earlier plan for a fixed-position floating sailboat
Continue reading Sail Fail
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.
This afternoon I finished moving dirt into the backyard (not putting it down, just getting it into the yard) and completed the last “big” landscaping project on the center section: two hills. I have more planting to do in the middle, and of course the pond to put down, but it’s coming right along.
A big change from 2014
Continue reading Looking Back (and Ahead)
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.
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 🙂
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 🙂
Here’s a late-March picture of the layout
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.
Continue reading Sailboat Idea
There was some heavy ice/snow while were were gone over Christmas break
Click for a larger version
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.