Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Planting Laskey Cabinet - a little progress is a good thing

A while back I posted about the Laskey Cabinet Company kit that Norm Wolf donated to the railroad when he moved south to greener pastures. I'd tried the building in a few spots, but none of them seemed as "right" as the spot I first chose for it, north of Randolph Center. 
I got home rather late last night and had a few things to take care of upstairs, so I ended up with only about 15 minutes or so in the basement. Rather than delve into some huge project I got out the ground foam, sifted dirt, and glue and "planted" the main building from the Laskey Cabinet in place. I think it looks pretty good. 
As I mentioned to Norm, although it may not be prototypical for the spot, it has the distinct advantage of being "done." (And frankly, Norm did a really, really nice job building it!) 

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Grassing things up - and some outbuildings for Mr Griffith's farm

I'm awaiting some additional material to finish the dam for the mill stream so instead of working on the mill stream itself I've been spending some time with the static grass applicator over the last few days. 
Some areas of the layout hadn't gotten static grass applied - in some others, like this section just north of Randolph, the static grass had gotten pretty beaten up during the course of building, and rebuilding the layout. 
A quick squirt of hairspray, a misting with water to create some relative humidity, and a few minutes with the static grass applicator and the refreshed grass (left) looks much better than the old, dusty faded stuff (right):
I also planted some grass around the highway underpass just north of Waterbury - this is right at the end of the peninsula and is one of the first scenes visitors see when coming downstairs. For some reason I'd never "grassed" the embankments on both sides of the railroad overpass - so while I had the static grass applicator out I took care of this area. 
I had several visitors from Richmond yesterday - Mike Garber, Mike Pulaski and Joshua Blay stopped by and we had a nice visit. They arrived during this static grass party - Mike G. and Joshua hadn't tried using static grass so we had an impromptu hands-on clinic. They did some grass around the Derby & Ball wood yard - they did a great job. I hope they picked up a useful tip or two! 
I also realized that I'd never mentioned the outbuildings I've been adding to Griffiths Farm. In addition to the hay barn, "Ol' Man Griffith" now has a corn crib and a small tractor shed. Looks like there's some activity in the barn yard. (As a side note, I need to clean up my modeling desk!)

The last stretch of static grass I've done is along the mill stream - which I'll show in a future post - and in the area behind the curve between the mill stream scene and Randolph. Since this was in the background I was careful to use the shorter (2mm and 4mm) grass instead of the long stuff I tend to use in the foreground scenes. 

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Down By the Old Mill Stream: 4 (aka "I'm baaaccckkk baby!")

Rather than a long detailed explanation as to why I haven't done much posting for the last month and a half, I'll simply say the entirely necessary but seemingly never-ending work project is at last finished
I feel a little like one of the late 20th century's most brilliant philosophers....

My oldest son Jeff came up to visit for about a week. We (Jeff, myself, my youngest son Matthew, and Bernie Kempinski) took in all the sights (sounds...and smells...) of the Great Scale Model Train Show in Timonium on Saturday. We also headed over to M B Klein's where I added a new Broadway Limited 2-8-0 to the roster - a planned phased replacement of the fleet of Bachmann Spectrum Connies that are starting to show their age. I drove, and we couldn't simply drop Bernie off without peering in his basement to monitor his progress. So we spent a pleasant couple of hours seeing what he was up to - as fascinating as always. Jeff even managed to leave with a steering wheel...long story. 

I rewarded myself with a day off yesterday - so Jeff and I occupied ourselves in the basement for most of the afternoon - we got the background hills behind the mill stream finished and replanted. I also got a first coat of riverbed material in place - the whole scene needs a few minor details tweaked here and there but it was great fun to spend time working on the layout - having Jeff around only made it more fun!