Nov 222013
 

My husband and I became volunteer managers of an HO Scale model train room at our area’s Senior Recreation Center last year.  How we have created the waterfalls and other scenes are shown hereTrain Room RR MuseumTrain Room scenic painter Train Room scenic painting

We found donated, non-working trains stored away in old boxes.  They deserved to be seen and enjoyed.  So, creating a railroad museum allowed these antiques to be displayed.

I’ve never considered myself an artist, but the walls needed some painted scenery for the trains to travel past.

A (circular track) helix that’s designed to bring the trains to the upper or lower level of tracks doesn’t allow me to reach portions of the wall.

Train Room scenery Great Salt LakeI had to devise my own “painting wand” out of a paint roller extending rod.  Masking tape holds an artist brush to the rod and allows me to add mountains, trees and clouds on the walls.

HO model trains pass by the Kennecott mine on the upper level and vignettes of our West Valley City and surrounding areas on the lower level.

We recently added the Great Salt Lake scene with its historical Saltair and Antelope Island.  Sail boats launching from the marina are included on the lake.

Trains, both real and make believe, hold so many wonderful childhood memories.

I would love to hear about your favorite recollections of watching or playing with trains.

May 152013
 

As previously mentioned, my husband and I became volunteer managers of an HO Scale train room, at our area’s Senior Recreation Center last year.  Besides fixing the railroad track so the trains can run smoothly, we are remodeling the room to reflect how our town may have looked in the 1950’s.
Train Room waterfall full length

Originally, the waterfall was just a blue strip, with wads of cotton stuck on to simulate water.  I found some tutorials explaining how to create waterfalls by using clear caulking.
Train Room caulking gun copyLuckily our bathtubs aren’t in need of a re-caulking just yet, cause making waterfalls seemed like a lot more fun.

caulking linesI spread the caulking on clear plastic wrap with enough lines to match the width of the waterfall area and about 15 inches long.  I made five of these caulked sections, to cover the length of the waterfall.caulking merged

Then a tooth pick was used to blend together the caulking lines.  By twisting and lifting the toothpick, the roughness of water splashing was created.

The next day, the caulking strips were dry enough to attach to the train room wall, by using more caulking as glue.

By accident, I found that the pressure from the caulking gun made long drips which were perfect to simulate the waterfall’s streaming water.

After the strips were attached, more long drips were added since this looked so cool.  Sparkle Paint was dabbed sporadically and wisps of cotton added for a clear, rushing water effect.Train Room waterfall bottom portion

Apr 242013
 

My husband and I became volunteer managers of an HO Scale train room, at our area’s Senior Recreation Center last year.  This meant fixing the railroad track, so the model trains would run again.  Also, an ongoing project is to create scenes that bring back our childhood memories of an era when we paid 59 cents a gallon for gasoline.

train room copy

After many months of time and effort, our train room was ready to be shown off to visitors, including our city’s Mayor and Council Members.  The Salt Lake Tribune reporter labeled our accomplishments, “a gem in the heart of West Valley City.”

In celebration of our Model Train Room grand re-opening, I created a special cake for the occasion.

train cake copy

The bottom layer is two lemon cake mixes baked in 9 x 13 inch pans with green tinted whipped cream for grass color and white whipped cream with graham cracker crumbs for the ground coloring.

The train engine is a chocolate cake mix baked in two loaf pans and a mini-loaf pan.  I filled one loaf pan 3/4 full, so it would puff up higher and rounder to make the boiler.   The second loaf pan was filled 1/2 full to make the coal tender.  The mini-loaf pan cake was tipped on end for the engine.

Three mini-donuts were covered with chocolate frosting for the smoke stack.  A gold foil wrapped Rollo candy is the train bell and red licorice added trimming.  Oreo cookies (without the filling) were used for the train wheels with life savers in the center.  Crushed Oreo cookies were used for the tender’s coal.  Carmel Corn was threaded on a stiff wire that was bent to simulate the smoke and then inserted into the mini-donut smoke stack.  Licorice created the train track and a picture of Mickey Mouse was inserted for the train engineer.

My inspiration for this train cake came from the many great ideas shown on this website: http://www.coolest-birthday-cakes.com.   Please let me know if you have any questions on the assembly of this fun cake.

Mar 182013
 

Lee played with model trains when he was his grandson’s age.  It instilled a love for trains that he still has today.HAYDEN & GRANDPA

We purchased a home for retirement that fits our empty nester life style, which only allowed room for an N Scale size train set.  We found this 2’ by 3’ layout and a rolling table that fits perfectly in a corner of Lee’s office.

0107 copy
After learning about the techniques of remodeling a train layout, Lee changed the scenes to reflect our travels through the Moab, Utah area.  The new mountain has red rock spires with trees, rock climbers and campers, surrounded by city life in miniature.

BEACH SCENE copy

The beach scene has all its available camping sites filled with trailers and tents, boaters, picnickers and swimmers.  This is the kind of camping that we are looking for when we venture into the outdoors.

picnic table 1How small is an N Scale layout? One of the picnic tables that Lee assembled fits on a dime and he made them all without a magnifying glass.  Basically, N scale is half the size of the HO scale.  The HO scale is half the size of the O scale model trains.  All our grandsons begin their love of trains by playing with Thomas the Tank Engine, which is just the perfect scaled down size to fit their precious little hands.

GRANDPAThe youngest of our grandsons are now learning how to become expert train engineers.

Lee has been sharing his love of trains with all seven grandsons and may need to be careful as to how many train sets he promises to build with the grandboys.

 
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