Railroad scene with Woodland Scenics static grass, tree, rocks, and track

Fellow Model Railroaders in FB Groups Taught Me How to Plant Great Looking Weeds on my HO Scale Layout

Creating beautiful scenes on an HO scale model railroad is a learning process. No one is perfect from the start. Everyone can learn to do things in a better, more convincing and efficient way. YouTube videos and Facebook groups offer an incredible opportunity to look at the work of fellow model railroaders and see the …

Continue reading Fellow Model Railroaders in FB Groups Taught Me How to Plant Great Looking Weeds on my HO Scale Layout

Small shed, green ground cover, blue pickup truck, building, water tower

Hand-Planted Weeds: Adding Fine Details to the Maple Valley Short Line Model Railroad

I have to admit, I haven't been thrilled with the results of the static grass applicator I made. Even though I've gotten some powerful zaps from it myself, I wonder if the static field it creates isn't strong enough. My scenes look pretty good, I just thought the grass would stand up better. If you …

Continue reading Hand-Planted Weeds: Adding Fine Details to the Maple Valley Short Line Model Railroad

New grade crossing, pickup truck, two tracks, ground cover

Part Two: How to Build a Grade Crossing on an HO Scale Model Railroad – Project Completed!

In Part One, I gave the details about cutting balsa pieces to make forms for a grade crossing using plaster. The photo shows foam two-faced tape in place on both sides of the track. I pressed the balsa form onto the tape against the roadbed and track. You can read part one by clicking this …

Continue reading Part Two: How to Build a Grade Crossing on an HO Scale Model Railroad – Project Completed!

A train track in the foreground, with a fence with posters, several people, trees, and a shed.

Model Railroading Really Does Offer Great Therapy

In a recent post, Why Is Model Railroading So Much Like Therapy, I gave a short list of characteristics of mental health therapy that fit into model railroading. I said my assertions were meant to be "tongue-in-cheek," as helping with mental health is serious, not to be taken lightly. In comments I received in response …

Continue reading Model Railroading Really Does Offer Great Therapy

From the roof of Maple Valley Supply, two trains pass through trees and across a bridge.

Why is Model Railroading So Much Like Therapy?

It is absolutely amazing how similar model railroading is to mental health therapy. I am licensed as a professional counselor, and I have noticed some unmistakable characteristics of model railroading that fit nicely into the rubric of the talking cures. Model railroading will not try to change you. If change is needed, it will be …

Continue reading Why is Model Railroading So Much Like Therapy?

How to Build a Grade Crossing on an HO Scale Model Railroad

Building a convincing grade crossing on my HO scale model railroad was something I really wasn't looking forward to. I debated whether to buy a crossing kit at the hobby shop and be done with it, but I decided they were too expensive. I turned to YouTube, the model railroader's best friend. Who am I …

Continue reading How to Build a Grade Crossing on an HO Scale Model Railroad

Part Two: Mistakes on My First and Second HO Scale Model Railroads that Taught Me What Not To Do

I have to admit, my second model railroad was more of a "get a table built so I can run trains" kind of layout than a well-designed plan. I stayed with two mainlines, and allowed for a twenty-two inch radius on the outside. I again used Linn Westcott's book, How To Build Model Railroad Benchwork, …

Continue reading Part Two: Mistakes on My First and Second HO Scale Model Railroads that Taught Me What Not To Do