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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
Edit: I started this new thread by mistake. I thought I was merely adding an Advanced post to my "My New Project" thread. But now that I've started this one, let's continue with this one. I added a link to this thread should somebody start with the old one.

Update 7/20 #2
With the new paper cutter and a tool called a brayer; my son and I were able to lay out my basic design on my art board with construction paper and a whole lotta' tape. Then I laid out my structures. I put in propane tanks and outhouses, but I think they will make the green belt too cluttered when I add the trees and street lights. The streetlights themselves are too top-heavy to sit still without either gluing or weighting the bases. I've decided I like the funny little shed with a cupola as the well house; and I left out the Trading Post until I get brave enough to try to paint it. Right now, the building in the corner between the 3 cabins and the two cottages is my Woodland Scenics "Work Shed" only because it has long enough eaves to shelter two of my vending machines. I put the other phone shed next to it as an emergency phone for the guests.

A lot (model railroading-wise) has happened today: my hobbylinc.com order came early; I ordered a small board from Amazon, and I'm having a serious reality check (with episodes of despair) over trees. But I've typed all I can for now. Be back later. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
7/20 Update #3: Hey, guess what? For <$2.00 I ordered 6"x6" Art Board from Amazon. The first person to correctly guess what it's for gets . . . absolutely nothing! Stay tuned for hints.

My hobbylinc.com order came. I should have ordered the bears in HO. The HO potted plants are tall, but I don't think the pots themselves are too big for outdoors in N scale. The grass scenery mat is a better shade of green, and the "Desert Sand" mat looks like . . . sandpaper. The 7-Up vending machines are tiny but will make a nice detail with my ice machines, and the Atlas pallets go with my forklift. The HO Model Power street lights are my second set of them.

Hint #1: It goes with something I bought by mistake.

As I noted on the "Beginner Q&A" forum; I was surprised to discover just how delicate model railroad trees are. After asking for suggestions and the reading the directions (what a concept!) I decided getting a bottle of the Woodland Scenics product they recommend is a good excuse for another hobbylinc.com order. Another thing I noticed is that some of the trees have a base about the size of a penny, while others (the fancier ones) just have a little thingie that you're supposed to stick in a 1/8" dia. hole, and then the tree trunk fits on a long pin that comes out of the thingie. The problem is that the thingie is longer than my board is thick. So I'm going to be using the ones with bases. I believe they come apart as well, so it's a matter of hiding the bases under the grass mat. Which means in addition to a bottle of Woodland Scenics' spray glue to hold the leaves better, I need 4 more trees. Probably the orange trees and say they're peaches.

Hint #2: It also goes with one of my new tools.

Ok, so I need a spray bottle of "Scenic Cement" and the set of four orange trees. And I do want the HO black bears. I'll use the standing HO one vs. Yeti, the N adults as her cubs, and one of the HO adults as sasquatch's friend. I still need to find a solution to where my vending machines go. I'm going to order the N scale Tomytec "Outdoor Pavilions". I googled the Tomy part # and didn't find any assembly instructions, so I assume they're not a kit; and they seem to come with some outdoor furniture. The description says "pack of 2", so the other can be an awning over Ma's doghouse. It comes to ~$50.00 w/ s&h. I'll talk with the CFO.

Give up? The item I bought by mistake was the "Summer Grass" mat, and the new tool is my brayer. What's a brayer? It's a rubber roller on a handle. Look it up on Amazon. And the answer is . . . it's going to be a test of whether I can use my brayer to help stick scenery mat to an art board, or whether my brayer will crush it. And then I'm going to try sticking a couple of cast resin structures I'm not planning to use to it. If I've got to go to the "moisten and scrape" method illustrated in that video to get my structures to stick I want to spray my board gray first so it looks like my structures are on concrete pads. Otherwise, they're on pier blocks hidden by the siding or skirting. :)
 

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Tougher trees

7/20 Update #3: Hey, guess what? For <$2.00 I ordered 6"x6" Art Board from Amazon. The first person to correctly guess what it's for gets . . . absolutely nothing! Stay tuned for hints.

My hobbylinc.com order came. I should have ordered the bears in HO. The HO potted plants are tall, but I don't think the pots themselves are too big for outdoors in N scale. The grass scenery mat is a better shade of green, and the "Desert Sand" mat looks like . . . sandpaper. The 7-Up vending machines are tiny but will make a nice detail with my ice machines, and the Atlas pallets go with my forklift. The HO Model Power street lights are my second set of them.

Hint #1: It goes with something I bought by mistake.

As I noted on the "Beginner Q&A" forum; I was surprised to discover just how delicate model railroad trees are. After asking for suggestions and the reading the directions (what a concept!) I decided getting a bottle of the Woodland Scenics product they recommend is a good excuse for another hobbylinc.com order. Another thing I noticed is that some of the trees have a base about the size of a penny, while others (the fancier ones) just have a little thingie that you're supposed to stick in a 1/8" dia. hole, and then the tree trunk fits on a long pin that comes out of the thingie. The problem is that the thingie is longer than my board is thick. So I'm going to be using the ones with bases. I believe they come apart as well, so it's a matter of hiding the bases under the grass mat. Which means in addition to a bottle of Woodland Scenics' spray glue to hold the leaves better, I need 4 more trees. Probably the orange trees and say they're peaches.

Hint #2: It also goes with one of my new tools.

Ok, so I need a spray bottle of "Scenic Cement" and the set of four orange trees. And I do want the HO black bears. I'll use the standing HO one vs. Yeti, the N adults as her cubs, and one of the HO adults as sasquatch's friend. I still need to find a solution to where my vending machines go. I'm going to order the N scale Tomytec "Outdoor Pavilions". I googled the Tomy part # and didn't find any assembly instructions, so I assume they're not a kit; and they seem to come with some outdoor furniture. The description says "pack of 2", so the other can be an awning over Ma's doghouse. It comes to ~$50.00 w/ s&h. I'll talk with the CFO.

Give up? The item I bought by mistake was the "Summer Grass" mat, and the new tool is my brayer. What's a brayer? It's a rubber roller on a handle. Look it up on Amazon. And the answer is . . . it's going to be a test of whether I can use my brayer to help stick scenery mat to an art board, or whether my brayer will crush it. And then I'm going to try sticking a couple of cast resin structures I'm not planning to use to it. If I've got to go to the "moisten and scrape" method illustrated in that video to get my structures to stick I want to spray my board gray first so it looks like my structures are on concrete pads. Otherwise, they're on pier blocks hidden by the siding or skirting. :)
GNfan;

You're right about model trees, at least a lot of them. They are delicate. Woodland Scenics makes some with bendable plastic trunks which are quite sturdy. I don't care for the looks of their conifer kits with this type of trunk, but they are sturdy. They also offer deciduous trees with the same type of sturdy plastic trunk. I model the Pacific Northwest, hence I need lots and lots of conifers. Buying that many would quickly bankrupt me, so I make my own. One feature I wanted in any trees I spent lots of my time making, was durability. I use cheap paintbrushes, with flexible plastic handles, for trunks. The foliage is made from 3M Scotchbrite scrubbing pads, which are also flexible plastic. The trees made this way are tough enough to withstand handling, or even some mishandling. The pdf file just below the left side of the photo shows how I made the conifer trees shown in the photo.

regards;

Traction Fan :smilie_daumenpos:

trees 2.JPG

View attachment Paintbrush Pine Trees.pdf
 

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Thats awesome traction fan . really cool how those are made. Thanks for posting. Those look real good.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
7/22 Reality Check: If my scene is supposed to be Eastern Washington in the early 1960's, the trees probably wouldn't be there yet. Maybe the apple trees as what's left of an old orchard, but that's probably all. There is a JTT Scenery product that looks about right for Eastern Washington scrub steppe, but its $8+ for a 5"x7" sheet. I might get one of the green ones and plant the apple trees in it some day; But for now, "the joke" is that there actually isn't any shade at the ShadyLane Trailer Park. The green grass border is probably also unrealistic; but I've got two sheets of it, so I'm going to use it. :)

traction_fan, those are nice trees, and they do look like Western Washington did back in the days of your layout. Last time I was there (last summer), "Pugetopolis" runs from Marysville to somewhere around Fort Lewis and east to North Bend. Not a lot of natural trees left. :(
 

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Wrong trees

7/22 Reality Check: If my scene is supposed to be Eastern Washington in the early 1960's, the trees probably wouldn't be there yet. Maybe the apple trees as what's left of an old orchard, but that's probably all. There is a JTT Scenery product that looks about right for Eastern Washington scrub steppe, but its $8+ for a 5"x7" sheet. I might get one of the green ones and plant the apple trees in it some day; But for now, "the joke" is that there actually isn't any shade at the ShadyLane Trailer Park. The green grass border is probably also unrealistic; but I've got two sheets of it, so I'm going to use it. :)

traction_fan, those are nice trees, and they do look like Western Washington did back in the days of your layout. Last time I was there (last summer), "Pugetopolis" runs from Marysville to somewhere around Fort Lewis and east to North Bend. Not a lot of natural trees left. :(
GNfan;

Yes, I see what you mean. Eastern Washington is a lot different, I've read. Some farms, some deserts, and no dense conifer forests. I've been to Portland, Oregon more recently than Seattle, Washington, and (at least western) Oregon still seems to have plenty of forests. Also it seems like a lot of the residents have large conifer trees in their suburban yards, & communities. Maybe they saved some of the big trees, and built around them? I remember visiting a sister-in-law in Kent, WA. and she had a giant fir tree in her yard too.
For apple trees you might consider a trick used on my old club's layout, which was set in Southern California. They wanted to model a commercial orange grove. The model deciduous tress were pretty conventional items, twig trunks with W/S foliage. They used the "tiny time pills" from Contact brand cold capsules for oranges. The "orange trees" looked pretty good, and were quite popular with visitors. The orchard also provided a logical customer to fill some of the P.F.E. refers on the layout. With red, yellow, or green fruit, the same technique could be used for an apple orchard. Or, for your time period, maybe a few apples on one tree, and some dead apple trees?

regards;

Traction Fan :smilie_daumenpos:
 

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Discussion Starter #8
My inspiration

The attached photo is Desert Aire, WA, a "planned community" in the middle of nowhere. It was started in the late 1960's, and is in the same general area as the Milwaukee Road's bridge across the Columbia River. :)
 

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I see

The attached photo is Desert Aire, WA, a "planned community" in the middle of nowhere. It was started in the late 1960's, and is in the same general area as the Milwaukee Road's bridge across the Columbia River. :)
Yup! That looks like the middle of nowhere all right! I,m not familiar with the bridge across the Columbia.

regards;

Traction Fan :smilie_daumenpos:
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Let's try this instead

OK, this should look more like the paradise :rolleyes: I call home. I've got the Desert Sand mat and I'm going to use the vacuum cleaner on my apple trees to make a "former orchard". I ordered from hobbylinc.com the JTT mats (which are described as HO :eek:hwell: ), a fence kit that is prototypical for here, and those Tomy open-air tents to use as awnings since I don't have shade trees anymore. Now I need to go over to Fifer Hobby - they have some truly derelict vehicles from Model Tech Studios, and the "back 40" needs more than some dead trees. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Update 7/25: I made it to Lowes today. I found some 2" wide black non-skid tape. It's a little shiny, but it's going to be tarmac. :)
 

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Dulling it down

Update 7/25: I made it to Lowes today. I found some 2" wide black non-skid tape. It's a little shiny, but it's going to be tarmac. :)
GNfan;

If you want your tape road a little duller, try sanding a small scrap piece of tape. That should kill the shine. You could always paint it flat gray/black.

Traction Fan :smilie_daumenpos:
 

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Discussion Starter #13
A few months ago it seemed like the posts to the N scale forum were so few and far between I was afraid traction_fan and I were the only ones left. So I started using a thread like a blog, recording every online order, posting the occasional crummy pic, and sometimes "thinking out loud"; because I didn't want some newbie to find this site and think both N and Z were dead forums. But I'm not "feeling it" anymore. My "scenery piece" project is coming along now that I got over my poor judgment about pre-made trees and decided to model the relatively treeless terrain in places in this desert. But "due to circumstances beyond my control" I'm not getting my loop of track to go around it and that has left me quite discouraged. And now the camaraderie that used to keep this place vibrant has come apart. I'm not going anywhere, but I can't keep up anymore. :(:thumbsdown:
 

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What's the problem?

A few months ago it seemed like the posts to the N scale forum were so few and far between I was afraid traction_fan and I were the only ones left. So I started using a thread like a blog, recording every online order, posting the occasional crummy pic, and sometimes "thinking out loud"; because I didn't want some newbie to find this site and think both N and Z were dead forums. But I'm not "feeling it" anymore. My "scenery piece" project is coming along now that I got over my poor judgment about pre-made trees and decided to model the relatively treeless terrain in places in this desert. But "due to circumstances beyond my control" I'm not getting my loop of track to go around it and that has left me quite discouraged. And now the camaraderie that used to keep this place vibrant has come apart. I'm not going anywhere, but I can't keep up anymore. :(:thumbsdown:

GNfan;

Yes, the forum overall has been dead, and not just the N & Z sections. The HO forum, (normally the busiest due to the popularity of that scale) hasn't exactly been bustling with activity either. Nor have the other sections. About the only fairly consistent source of new posts seems to be from newbies introducing themselves.
I tend to write off the decline in forum (and probably general model railroad) activity, to the coming of summer.
Species Homo Erectus model railroadus has emerged from their sub-terrainian basement hibernation enclaves like tulip shoots breaking through the soil. Or perhaps more accurately, like their ursine cousins, the bears, emerging from their caves. They are now no longer snowed in, and can venture out into the surrounding world. (Says the guy from sunny San Diego! :laugh: )
If that's not it, then I don't know what's happening, but whatever it is, it doesn't seem to be happening here! :confused:

If we are the only two N- scalers left, then we might as well chat back and forth to each other. It may keep the loneliness at bay. :rolleyes:
What's the problem with your track? I think you said you were using Kato Unitrack right? If so that should snap together pretty easily. I know you have disability issues, so do I. Two months ago, I cleverly added to mine by falling off a step stool onto the concrete floor of my garage/train room, and breaking my wrist. :smilie_auslachen: I'm still wearing a cast on my left arm.

Or is the problem related to fitting all the things you've bought inside the loop of track? If there's anything I can do to help, let me know.

Last guy out, please turn off the lights :D

Traction Fan :smilie_daumenpos:
 

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Discussion Starter #15
My idea of a loop of track on a 2½'x2½' board that came apart into two sections wasn't a bad idea - just an impractical one. My wife and sons installed the upper storage shelf, and it's too high off the floor not to require a step-stool. The consensus was that I wouldn't be able to safely set up or put away my little layout on my own, which was one of the objectives. Meanwhile, my trailer park & rental cabins "scenery piece" continues on. I just don't have the "gumption" anymore to update my "blog" any time I get a "Your order has been shipped" e-mail. :(
 

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GNfan;

If we are the only two N- scalers left, then we might as well chat back and forth to each other. It may keep the loneliness at bay. :rolleyes:

Traction Fan :smilie_daumenpos:
I know a N scaler in Canada, so that makes 3 of you (in North America). All kidding aside, I’ve been following this thread, and I don’t model in N scale. I understand the frustration of posting, and the sound of crickets after, but I keep on posting and hope I inspire one person in this great hobby....cheers, Andy
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Ahhh, Nanaimo - one of my favorite places when I was a teenager in the mid 1970's. We were Seattle-based pleasure boaters, and after a week or so in the aptly named "Desolation Sound"; Nanaimo at the time had a fairly new shopping mall across the street from the small craft docks. We usually spent a couple of days there every year. :):thumbsup:
 

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Lower shelf?

My idea of a loop of track on a 2½'x2½' board that came apart into two sections wasn't a bad idea - just an impractical one. My wife and sons installed the upper storage shelf, and it's too high off the floor not to require a step-stool. The consensus was that I wouldn't be able to safely set up or put away my little layout on my own, which was one of the objectives. Meanwhile, my trailer park & rental cabins "scenery piece" continues on. I just don't have the "gumption" anymore to update my "blog" any time I get a "Your order has been shipped" e-mail. :(
GNfan;

Can you talk the family into re-mounting the shelf at a lower level?

regards;

Traction Fan :smilie_daumenpos:
 

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We got a live one

I know a N scaler in Canada, so that makes 3 of you (in North America). All kidding aside, I’ve been following this thread, and I don’t model in N scale. I understand the frustration of posting, and the sound of crickets after, but I keep on posting and hope I inspire one person in this great hobby....cheers, Andy
Andreash:

Good one! :laugh: However it's up to four now. We picked up a new guy, "down Louisiana way." He's an the Air Force vet, and trying to model part of the modern Union Pacific in a 10' x 10' room. Challenging, even in N-scale.



GNfan;

Post as little or as much as you want. I always enjoy hearing from you.:)

regards;

Traction Fan :smilie_daumenpos:
 
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