“Here’s a tip for realistic country blacktop roads over foam:
First, mark the path of the intended route.
Then mark the edges with painters tape.
Spray Rustoleum black paint between the painters tape.
If there is a risk to other structures in the area of the road, mask with newspaper, perhaps held down with the tape placed along the road’s route.
The result is that the rustoleum eats just enough of the foam underneath to give a nice weathered surface.
I realize that I’m not submitting an actual favorite tip … it’s more of a “lesson learned” kind of thing. Hope I don’t waste your time.
At one time I belonged to a model train club. Eventually, I found this group to be comprised of three categories of RR guys: Collectors, Modelers, and Toy Train guys.
Collectors all seemed to be quite egotistical, spending tons of money purchasing the most precisely detailed scale models, bringing their acquisitions in on club night under tight security and (perhaps) putting juice on the track to run them.
Modeler types were more sane, but obsessed in spending every waking moment gluing and trimming and fussing over minute details without running their trains every meeting.
I found I belonged to the last category – I was content to just put my childhood trains on a track and watch them run around and around. I do that at this time of year with a track on the floor; it’s all the thrill I could want out of that great toy invention.
So, the lesson I learned was that the three categories of train guys I had joined didn’t mix too well all the time.
Their goals are different, and when it comes to putting on the annual train show, one quickly discovers the hierarchy of the groups.
Collectors trump modelers and toy guys… only their cars are good enough for the public to admire.
Modelers are more respected by the public… they get the most questions to answer, about their clever landscaping.
Toy guys are at the bottom of the food chain. I had fun, but without having much track time. My trains were… just toys.
I still love them.
I’m kinda a rookie all talk and no action but I was going to try and use diluted inst. coffee crystls for rusting or weathering train cars or buildings…There is a commercial for Advair the gal or guy is in a fog Something to create the fog on the surface of an area will give an aged look Still thinkin on that one….
Crushed eggshell feed used for raising chickens would work for ballast but it would need to be crushed finer some way I talked once about using rice barley flax for cargo and ground clutter even ballast My wife said I’d have mice eventually. I said thats why they make traps isnt it…..Traps would be good for someething….
I’m going to try sections of broken glass for water the underlayment will need some features painted or drawn first then the glass overlay. Shorelines will be a challenge
Mine would be plan, research, budget. It’s easy to be woo’ed by the amazing models and technologies, the craftsmanship and the cool factor, then go to a store or show and spend like you on drugs! We have all done it. With a solid plan in place, you can get the reward without the buyers remorse, and still be cool!
I took a couple quick shots from my new layout expansion. Not the best pics, but gives you a good idea what I’m up to. The foreground mountains/rocks are not completed yet.
Thanks for all you hard work throughout the season.
If someone is interested I’m happy to answer questions.
“Hi Al, Jim here from CO. I had a couple of HO layouts back in WI years ago, about 30 I guess. So I am totally new to On30 and have been waiting for information I sent for. In the mean time I have built my first structure for my Florence-Cripple Creek railroad. I can see the entrance to the old narrow gauge railroad from our home and have been up there many times since moving out here 26 years ago.
I am going to try to sent a picture of my Water Tank.
In the past 35 years I have built three full size airplanes, two biplanes and a 1909 Bleriot XI so I guess it is time to get back to my old Hobby. Thanks, Jim
Some great tips -and pics. Please keep ’em coming.
And don’t forget The Beginner’s Guide is here if you want to grab the bull by the horns, stop dreaming and start doing.