Category Archives: Scenery

Another Car for the Layout

Here’s another eBay find. These Danbury Mint cars sold for ridiculous prices when new, but now can be bought for around $20. I’d never put one out on the layout at full price ($100)–but this eBay find will go out later this week.


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.

Refurbishing / Upgrading Buildings

I really should have done it this winter, but I was busy building new buildings and finishing up the track work. So it’s time to drag in a few buildings that sat outside all winter and work on them. First up was my kitbashed CMS main street building. While the front windows still look good and the lights in them are fine, I realized that I’d put no lights on the loading doc. This turned out to be a mistake, since that’s the side that faces the house. So I added three LED lights to the loading doc which really added to the look of the town at night.

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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Laser cut houses

One really nice thing about laser cutting styrene structures is that once the file is created, you can cut as many as you want with (almost) no additional effort. This one has a different roof (made from a CMS shingle pattern section) and I tried out some laser cut windows and doors. But the walls are cut from the same file as the other one.
So I built this house for around $10 in materials: half of a $4 sheet of 6mm sintra, $3 worth of Plastruct strips, $4 for the roof panel, and some paint. And (IMO) it looks as good as a more expensive kit-built structure–for sure from 10 feet away.
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Sidewalk cafe scene

Whilst it’s too cold out to run trains (23 was this morning’s lovely number, with 18 mph winds) I’ve been working on some indoor projects.

Now that the town is mostly laid out, I want to add some interest to the main street. My idea was to add a set of tables with umbrellas in front of one of the “cafes” on the street with some figures dining there. But because of the high winds here, I didn’t want to use plastic umbrellas. So here’s what I came up with:

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Laser cut window panes

I tend to buy used G scale stuff, because my railroad is on a shoestring budget. A couple months back I bought a couple of Piko shops that were badly in need of repair. One thing they needed was new windows. The old plastic was brittle and opaque, so I thought about casting new panes and using acrylic for the glass. But getting a good casting for something so fine turned out to be harder than I thought. So I decided to laser cut a set.

Harp stand

I’ve been wanting to have a visual indicator for switch direction and I decided on these Ozark Miniatures harp stands. The points are being moved by a servo on the other side of the track, which also moves the harp stand.