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 …

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 …

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A plaster grade crossing covering two tracks.

Scandal at Maple Valley – Episode 35: Sylvia Meisner Has Not Been Forgotten, Yet

The big news around Maple Valley this week has been the suit filed against the Burthrap twins. Some guy named Dortsin Gimblemack hired a fancy lawyer from New York and sued them because he said they stole his recipe for binzelphrast. The bigger question was why anyone would want to eat something that is essentially …

Continue reading Scandal at Maple Valley – Episode 35: Sylvia Meisner Has Not Been Forgotten, Yet

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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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

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 …

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