Sunday, September 16, 2012

Progress Report 09.16.12

Late last night (after 10pm), I got around to working on the layout.  I really wanted to work on applying grass to the layout so I can begin tree placement.  I had added a few to the completed area in Rock Island and it completely transformed the scene.

I had applied grass on the peninsula in the past using glue.  It was a chore and didn't provide overall control of where the grass went (as the glue followed the rules of gravity).  I wasn't pleased with the process and have since been apprehensive regarding tackling the project again.

So, Friday, I went down to Lowes to pick up a quart of earth brown paint.  Due to an inattentive clerk at the paint desk, I scored a gallon for a quart price.  Anywho, I painted the scenery shell with a thick coat of paint.  I would work in small sections.  While still wet, I sprinkled a grass mixture using a small sifter over the area.  The grass mixture is Woodland scenics green grass, burnt grass and yellow grass.  I didn't like any of the colors by themselves so I just mixed them up until I found something I like.  I believe the end result works well.

Last night, I painted and applied grass to areas in Bureau, LaSalle, Peru, Rock Island and Moline.  I was skipping around to random areas across the layout.

So, today, I went back and vacuumed up the grass off the tracks.  I also held the shop vac about two inches above all the grass areas.  It sucked up the loose grass leaving a perfect finish without having to apply glue!  Awesome!  It was exactly what I was hoping for.

So, here are some pics of the progress.  The Rock Island scene with the unit grain train ballast, grass and a few trees in place is looking awesome!  I'm truly inspired and ready to hit it hard pushing forward with scenery.  Again, this is my first time to ever create scenery as I never had a layout to this stage before.  Everything has been a learning process, but I seem to be fumbling through it ok.

An empty unit grain train returning to Iowa passing through Rock Island

My daughter Sarah in the background helping me place trees.

This scene is coming together really nice.

Grass is coming in at Bureau.

Sidewalks are also going in at Bureau.

I'm not sure what I will do in the area inside the Wye.  For now, it will be just a grass field.

I plan on building a park that overlooks Hennepin Canal hence the parking lot there.

The bluff cut between LaSalle and Peru.

The white area will be painted various shades of gray and will represent a rock cut.

An overall view of the area between LaSalle and Peru.  You can also see the quarry area.  This area will be heavily wooded.


  1. The grassy areas look really nice in the pictures, but I'm sure they don't do it justice. Being from the Dallas area, I have to ask: Will there be a grassy knoll somewhere on the layout?

  2. The Secret Service will be monitoring closely any grassy knolls on the layout.