Category: model railroading

Boot Hill Graveyard – GGRR Part 9

 

Boot Hill Graveyard is a scenic centerpiece for my spooky-themed Gruesome Gulch mini-layout. This step-by-step build covers scenery techniques using foam, Sculptamold, and Polyblend sanded grout – plus painting and finishing with acrylic paints and colored chalks. I make a spooky tree from some sagebrush branches, and “populate” the graveyard with a passel of laser cut headstones. Loads of details, including dead grasses, tumbleweeds, ravens, vultures, and a dilapidated old picket fence!

Thanks for watching, amigos!
Dave

Build a Haunted Train Depot! – GGRR Part 8

 

Another scratchbuilt structure for my spooky-themed Gruesome Gulch mini-layout – This time it’s the GGRR train depot! I show how to build a small, dilapidated western depot with a special spooky twist: a built-in Pepper’s Ghost illusion to make a frightful figure appear in the window. Tips and tricks for board on frame construction, weathering, and a complete Pepper’s Ghost how-to.

Thanks for watching, amigos!
Dave

Making Skull Butte – GGRR Part 7

 

Scenery work continues on the Gruesome Gulch mini-layout with the addition of Skull Butte! Carved from XPF foam and painted with acrylics like the rest of the GGRR rockwork, Skull Butte rises high above the landscape as a spooky landmark for the entire layout. A good recap of my foam rock carving techniques with insights into planning and executing themed scenery to look natural while telling a specific story.

Thanks for watching, amigos!
Dave

Customize a Bachmann Rail Truck with TWO Different Car Bodies

 

Here’s a build video that gives you two for the price of one! Follow along as I customize an On30 Bachmann RGS Rail Truck with not one, but two freight car bodies – One for use on the Thunder Mesa Layout, and the other for my spooky themed Gruesome Gulch project. I use two totally different techniques to create these two very different car bodies. Both are scratchbuilt, but one uses printed CG textures for high quality graphics, while the other relies on laser-cut precision to replicate Victorian era details. The Galumphing Goat lives!

Thanks for watching, amigos!
Dave

Foam Rock Scenery for Gruesome Gulch – GGRR Part 5

 

It’s alive! Spooky rock formations sculpted from extruded polystyrene foam (XPF) help to set the scene on my On30 Gruesome Gulch mini-layout. In part 5 of this series, I demonstrate techniques for carving and finishing lightweight XPF foam to create realistic looking rock formations.

Thanks for watching, amigos!
Dave

Foam Benchwork and Laying Track on Gruesome Gulch – GGRR Part 4

 

It’s time to finish the benchwork and get some trains running on my On30 Gruesome Gulch mini-layout! In this installment, I build both benchwork and roadbed from layers of lightweight extruded polystyrene foam (XPF), then lay down some On30 flextrack on the upper and lower loops. Some tips on soldering track connections with a butane torch too, and a little track cleaning to keep everything running smoothly. More to come!

Thanks for watching, amigos!
Dave

Thunder Cam: Circle D Ranch

 

Howdy Folks! I’m documenting every scene on the layout in these short “Thunder Cam” videos. Each one features Thunder Mesa trains passing through scenes on a typical day (or night) of operations. Supplemental music and sounds have been added where appropriate, but all else is as it might appear on a visit to the layout. As new scenes are finished on the layout, these rail fan style videos will act as supplements to the builds and projects. The ultimate goal is to chronicle the entire layout over time.

This episode features a busy day at Circle D Ranch, home of Elias Homage the railroad’s president. A short stock special delivers some very special cargo to the ranch today in the form of a spirited palomino stallion.

Dave