The Finishing Touch of Grass

Little Switzerland (LS) has been greened…. that is, the base layers of the scenery are complete. It is now time to work on those little details that can, and I hope will, take years. Here’s a photo journey of the greening of this little HO world:

When we last blogged about LS, we had just finished about 1/3 of the base layer. I was having some issues with the Marklin C Track which is easily messed up with glue and such. The real issue is not the outer rails, but the inner lugs that the locos get power and digital signals from. These are little metal bumps in between the rails. They pick up all sorts of glue, paint and such, and then can’t be readily cleaned with a rag or paper towel, as these get snagged in the bumps.


Here is the section that needed some real work. The ramp which elevates the train up and over some of the hidden sections in the mountain were made with risers from Woodland Scenics. These things are Styrofoam, and need covering… I used some plaster cloth, the type used to wrap steam pipes in industrial settings (thanks to a friend for the wrap!). Snip with scissors, dip in water, apply to riser, let dry: voila!


In the meantime, the station area was being detailed to a point where it actually looks pretty good. The station is a remarkably detailed version of Bonn Station in Germany.


Here you see the Rhur Express hauled by a Class 55 loco passing through the station area.


The risers get a paint job here: Dark grey is a pretty realistic color in all railroad applications. One can buy quarts of flat grey at any paint store these days: it’s cheap, flat, and water based making for easy cleanup.


Between the yard tracks I went for a darker grey paint, one that most closely matches MArklin C-Gleiss: DARK matt flat grey. I brought a piece of track to Lowe’s. They happily gave me this ugly paint color in a fresh quart can. At the same time, I was liberally painting earth-brown and sprinkling with green foams to make the meadows you see below. You can also see the blue painter’s tape used to mask off the track from getting all glued up. If you use tape like this, buy the tape for sensitive walls, not the durable tape which has a death grip.


Here is a general wide field shot off the LS layout as it currently stands. In the far background you can see the N Scale USA layout resting on its 4×8.


Some video for you: A Marklin DB CL 005 locomotive pulls some international passenger cars in a typical European Express Train consist.

About johnb

- Director of Grainger Observatory, Phillips Exeter Academy. - Variable-star-crazed astronomer, but have done research in other areas. - Drummer, archer, pilot, chef, friend, pet owner, husband, father, Train-nut.
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