Category Archives: scenery

Inglenook shunting puzzle…

One of those, “Where has the time gone?” moments. While rearranging things in the train room, I realized that I had not looked into my shunting puzzle’s packing case to see if it survived the move, a move that happened almost a year ago…yikes. Thanks to my beloved’s design, the layout survived just fine, losing only the steeple to the church to the many jolts it took along the way. The other buildings are still packed in their places and are just fine. I don’t know that this will be a permanent home but it still works for the time being…

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Woodland Scenics burns down…

a well respected and long time manufacturer of various forms of scenic ground foam and kits.

—unknown photographer

Quite a loss to the hobby, I hope they fare well.


“Dear all,

As you may have heard we have experienced a fire here at Woodland Scenics and there is good news and bad news. The good news is that no one was hurt during the fire or evacuation process. The bad news is that it took out a couple of our manufacturing buildings. However, and fortunately, there is more good news than bad.

We encompass multiple buildings that are spread out all over the town of Linn Creek. We only lost two of those buildings and those two contained just a small portion of our manufacturing facilities. Our shipping department, warehouse and corporate offices were spared any damage, as were most of our manufacturing buildings, so it is business as usual.

Thanks for all your concerns.


Gale Cousins
Director of Sales & Customer Service
Woodland Scenics”

Modeling water…

…in short, I hate it. I’m not too fond of any of the current techniques, each having their own compromises. One simply learns to live with the shortcomings of ones chosen technique, mine being varying shades of acrylic paints coated with many coats of clear gloss medium, interspersed with gloss coats that have been tinted with various shades of brown, green and blue.

The water where I live has a noticeable tea color from the cypress trees along the shore. I simulate this with a couple drops of brown craft paint to tint the gloss coat. Ditto for one coat of green for algae and one coat of blue for reflected sky. The effects are much more subtle than the camera gives justice. A nice touch is the ripple effect in the simulated sand bottom created by the tinted water settling in the styrofoam beads that is very noticeable near the ends of the bridge…



The acrylic, like most products, has an unsightly edge creep that needs dressing up…not as bad as most but foliage patiently applied works very well here.

The girl is Frankensteined together from 3 different Plasticville figures. I made a putty out of styrene sprues dissolved in liquid plastic cement. Once applied and hardened, it carves easily to any shape, in this case, the hair and contouring her body to be more feminine (she started out life as a brakeman, mail carrier and male pedestrian).

The pier is cobbled from scraps in the junk box with some wood dowel for pilings, then aged and weathered.


Scenicking the Procrastenatan River…

4 1/2 years after I put the shell down…sigh…

My technique is fairly simple…buy lots of cheap half-full bags of Woodland Scenics ground foam at train shows for pennies on the dollar. Paint the shell with a generous coat of equally cheap Wally World craft paint…then coat it liberally with various shades and coarseness of ground foams while the paint is still wet. Over spray it all with a mist of water with a bit of alcohol in it to help drying time, then dribble a 50/50 water and acrylic matte medium solution over it all…touch up as needed.




From the, “I will build this someday” files…

…this neat roadside garage/warehouse made using a standard 50′ boxcar found near one of my complexes…




Details to note would be the lone window, the small T-111 sided shed to the right, roll-off dumpster, the roll up doors and mismatched siding…no doubt from some recent storm damage. It’s also far from any trackage and there is no evidence of any roadbed near enough to cover the era of the car.