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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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Small train moving through tunnel

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

My purpose in sharing these thoughts and photos is to assist you in the development of your HO scale model railroad. If there is a set of rules for model railroaders, I haven't seen it. Rule number one should be, Do Not Hurry! No matter how bad you want to see trains rolling by at …

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Front entrance of Detroit MRRC

The Detroit Model Railroad Club Open House

It’s always fun to visit Holly, Michigan. Antique stores, Battle Alley Coffee Shop, Altered Designs, and Bittersweet Cafe are favorite stops for us. Saturday, November 12, was an exciting day because it was the first of many open houses at the Detroit Model Railroad Club. We have been to the Detroit MRRC many times, but …

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How to Install Foam Risers on Your HO Scale Model Railroad

My new layout is basic, no clever design schemes, just two mainlines for simultaneous train operation and some sidings. There is a long branch line that runs from one end of the layout to the other. The destination is Maple Valley. The train running the line will be a vintage model engine like “The General” …

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Scratch-Build a Two-Story Trackside Structure in HO Scale

This is the Maple Valley Supply Company. It sits on the line that brings passengers from Midtown to Maple Valley on The Old General. The two-story structure is scratch-built in balsa. The windows and doors are plastic models purchased at a model railroad swap meet. I drew plans for the structure on card stock. I …

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Make Your Own Static Grass Applicator for Realistic Scenes

This definitely has to go in the category, "If I can do this, absolutely anyone can." I made my own static grass applicator that really works! I've been working steadily on the scenery of The Maple Valley Short Line Model Railroad. I'm creating scenes with more detail than I have on any other layout. On …

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