Small 4 x5 around the tree layout question

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by jflessne, Oct 19, 2006.

  1. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

    But not too small for two trolleys...:thumb:

    The house only needs a little accenting of the shingles to set it apart from an R-T-R look, an India ink wash with some drybrushed light grey will do wonders. Maybe Granny on a rockin' chair and Rover at her feet on the porch?:)

    How's the crossover working for you, especially at the rail joints? Is the transition smoother than the picture tells?

    BTW...twern't ignorin' ya jes' busy settin' mine up, too.:thumb:
  2. jflessne

    jflessne Member

    I mentioned in an older thread I installed the pond using white glue. I created a silicone berm on the outside of the pond to simulate snow banks. Later it will be covered by snow. Then I simply put down a thin layer of white glue. Before it dried I stuck in a few rocks from our rock yard and a few sticks. In an effort to keep my 3 year old involved in the project I allowed him to add some ballast to the outer edge of the pond. It didn't turn out so great as the ballast quickly oozed into the inner part of the pond. :(

    The end result was a pretty cool pond. However I wish I would of painted the foam a bit better before starting the pond. The pink foam seems to cast a hue on the pond. :( By someones suggestions I will add another layer of glue and maybe some white paint.

    I realize now I grabbed the wrong size ballast. Fine ballast just doesn't look right to me. I think I should of grabbed some medium. I feel for you N/z scale guys that use the fine. I couldn't keep it in one place. Floated like crazy.

    I created a foam hill for my "country house" I'll cover the imperfections with plaster cloth. I'll need to create a sidewalk and driveway. I think the driveway will be an old gravel road. I think the sidewalk will be covered with snow for the most part. I purchased a 50's chevy pickup with headlights. Also have an old gas driveway lamp to install.

    Pictures to come soon.
  3. jflessne

    jflessne Member

    It's hard sometimes when you post something. And your not 100% happy with. The worst is when no one responds. LOL
  4. oldtanker

    oldtanker Member

    Hey it's for Christmas and a learning experance.....I don't see anything wrong with it and am planning to do something similar next year in N scale for our small 4' tree. You gave me the idea!

    I'm my own worst critic!

  5. ocalicreek

    ocalicreek Member thing for getting the alcohol or 'wet' water down onto freshly poured and shaped balast is an atomizer sprayer. Just look in the travel toiletries section of any Wally World and find the little plastic travel bottles, OR in the garden section for a nice plant mister. Buy one from the dollar store at your own risk...I speak from experience here, they are prone to freeze up or not give you a reliable, fine mist spray.

    The whole idea is to gradually soak the balast with that wet water or alcohol so that your glue/water mix can be applied with an eye dropper, old Elmers or Sobo bottle, etc. at a faster rate without disturbing all the hard work that went into spreading out that balast so neatly to begin with.

    But let me encourage you to keep working on this project and hang in there! Make sure the train runs reliably all the time or it will quickly become a static display...neat, but far less magical around the tree. With HO that can be a difficulty due to dust, carpet fibers, cat hair, tree needles (real or fake), etc. fouling the track and causing derailments. SO you want to have super bullet-proof track to begin with to make trouble-shooting a derailment a simple matter of finding the culprit foreign item and removing it, not having to kneel beneath the tree and solder and cuss at the track to get it back into place.

    I think the plan you've selected is nice, with the crossing. Hide it in back...even in a tunnel or behind a big present so that each time the train comes around it is on a different track. Cool effect. Keep us posted on your progress! Looking good!

  6. ocalicreek

    ocalicreek Member

    As for the house...check out pictures of real homes in the snow to see where it accumulates on the walls, eaves, window sills, etc.

    And here's a crazy idea...find one of those fiber optic trees that change colors and know the ones that are green but have the fiber optic cabling embedded in them somehow. Anyway, pull out the fiber optic guts and drill many many holes in the house, then feed the fiber optics into those holes and voila - Xmas lights! Could be really neat in some lichen shrubs around the building...with a good dose of snow on them, of course.

  7. Gil Finn

    Gil Finn Active Member

    I say none, let the snow do it.
  8. pgandw

    pgandw Active Member

    If you are using Atlas flex track, the natural spring makes it difficult to get a constant radius, and smooth joints where the track is curved.

    Guidelines drawn will help. Cardboard templates cut to your desired radius can work, too. Another solution is the radius gauges made by RibbonRail. They fit between the rails and hold the track at a fixed radius.

    To get around the kinks at the track joints, most solder the track joint and rail joiner together while the track is still straight. This strengthens the joint so the thin sheet metal rail joiner doesn't have to hold the two rails in perfect alignment by itself. Then bend the combined flex track sections to your desired curve.

    my thoughts, your choices
  9. jflessne

    jflessne Member

    Ahh the ribbonrail deals seem perfect for what I needed. :) I was a little concerned since everyone mentions flex track being easy to lay.

    What do they look like? I can't seem to see a picture of them.
  10. jflessne

    jflessne Member

    I spent a lot of time cleaning up all the ballast that ended up the top of the rails. Doesn't seem to affect running trains it just looks terrible to me. I'm convinced I used the wrong sized ballast. Oh well. It's not going to end up under the tree this year because I just couldn't get it done in time. :(

    I'm still working on some elevation variations in the foam. I'm waiting on some tunnel portals etc.

    Hopefully pictures soon.

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