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Lennart's Model Railroad Blog

About this blog

This blog is about my current model railroad layout project; The N scale "Summit" layout, which is a freelanced interpretation of the Southern Pacific Tehachapi tunnels and their surroundings. Or at least, that is what it is meant to be. What it will turn out to be is another matter. The banner photo above shows what I want to recreate in N scale.


Scenery Posted on Wed, September 07, 2011 15:07:36

I finally came around to do some trees. It is not only laziness that has kept me. I have also waited for the live bush, a Spirea bush, I wanted to use to reach the proper state. This is what the Spirea looks like when it blooms.

Around this time of year the flowers have withered and can be “harvested”.

After some pruning I ended up with this little forest of various size trees.

A piece of extruded foam is ideal to stick the trees into while being made over.

Next I mixed some water and white glue in a plastic bowl. More water than glue. A kind of milky liquid is good. Then I dipped a “tree” in the glue mix…

…and then into a plastic container with some Woodland Scenics turf. When needed, I used my fingers to scoop and sprinkle the turf so that I got a good cover.

I actually had two jars. One with Burnt Grass Turf and another with Green Blend. To get some variation I used the burnt grass for some trees and the green blend for others. Some of them even got a little of both. Here is a finished tree, with the green blend…

…and the complete batch.

Finally, I planted the trees on the layout. This batch was enough for the area around tunnel #16.

Freigth action video

Scenery Posted on Sun, August 21, 2011 16:40:34

I put together a video showing some freight action. A westbound freight takes the siding, and is being overtaken by a prioity freight. Shot with my cell phone so the quality is not exactly HD.

Some of you might recognise the audio from the Southern Pacific videos by Houtenkop (on YouTube). “Stolen” with permission by Léon Honing, the creator of those videos.

Electrical boxes

Scenery Posted on Sun, April 10, 2011 17:07:19

I did some detailing today, installing a few trackside electrical boxes. I used a kit from BLMA containing two etched metal electrical boxes.

I also reused another, somewhat larger, box from the previous layout. I assembled the BLMA boxes using CA and some Kristal Klear, and removed the painting from the old one. That one was already mounted on a concrete slab made from plaster, but the other two got new styrene foundations.

Then I painted all three of them using a light gray paint. The styrene foundations got some tan color as well. Here is one of the smaller boxes installed on the layout.

A view from above tunnel #15 showing the larger box as well.

Telegraph poles

Scenery Posted on Thu, March 24, 2011 20:47:25

The ground cover is in place, everywhere! To top things off I also added some telegraph poles. These are poles I salvaged from earlier layouts, both from my old Tap Creek layout and the previous incarnation of the Tehachapi.

The old poles had varying number of cross-arms – some had four, some had three and some had two. On this layout I wanted all of them to have the same number of cross-arms, since they will all be along the same stretch of track. I settled for two arms on each pole, as in the banner photo on the top of this page. So I removed some arms from some of the poles, and mounted them on some new poles instead, ending up with a fair amount of two-arm poles.

Here are some photos. Click on a photo to see a larger version.

…and continued

Scenery Posted on Sun, March 13, 2011 13:13:31

I’m still working on the scenery, but by now most of it is done. It is more or less only the hill above tunnel 15 remaining. Apart from the odd tree and track side details like telegraph poles. Here is a view railroad east, towards tunnel 16.

And this is in the opposite direction. As you can see there is still no scenery on the hill above the tunnel.

My scenery technique is very straightforward and includes no surprises, but I though I could show it anyway. The first picture shows the next area to scenic, while still being nothing more than painted foam.

The first thing I do is to pour some white glue over the area in question.

Then I spread the glue using a brush dipped in some water so that the glue will flow a little easier.

Next I pour some natural sand, starting at the top and letting the excess sand find its own way down the slope.

Then its time for some more glue, in the form of a water and glue mix. But before that I soak the area in denaturated alcohol.

And here comes the water and glue mix.

Followed by more sand, of a sligthly different grade and color. At this step I use a house-hold stainer to sift the sand through. This to get rid of the larger pebbles.

Following the sand are different shades of static grass. In this case I want the colors to be very subdued so I use Wild Honey and Burnt Grass only. Once again, I use the stainer to sift and spread the grass.

Last I put on some foliage and turf (Light Green and Burn Grass), but only in a few selected spots where some dampness might stick, such as below larger stones and rocks.

In the photo above there is still a lot of water and glue shining through. Once that has dried the overall impression will be better, and the newly done area will blend with the scenery to the left.

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