Category: Special Projects

Return to Gruesome Gulch! | Building a Themed Stand | GGRR Pt 12

 

Gruesome Gulch returns! With a show coming up this spring, it’s time to get back to work on my spooky-themed mini-layout. To kick off phase 2 of the GGRR, I’m building a portable themed stand that will both make the layout easier to move and to work on. I need a stand that’s sturdy, attractive, and that can break down flat for travel – oh, with castors, room for storage inside, and electrical power too. Follow along as a I build a spooky stand that looks like it might have rolled straight out of Dr. Frankenstein’s lab! More Gruesome Gulch to come!

Thanks for watching, amigos!
Dave

Bandit Canyon Railway | The Blackjack Mine Pt 2

 

BCRy Part IV. Here it is! The second episode of the Blackjack Mine build for my On18 Bandit Canyon Railway project. This time around, I build a steam powered hoist for the mine with all of the machinery visible in an open air shed. Plus weathering, final details, lighting, and a scenicked base for the entire complex that blends right into Bandit Canyon.

Thanks for watching, amigos!
Dave

Crow River Products: https://www.crowriverproducts.com/index.php?cPath=33_36&osCsid=jtu2jnmd3ep4p2r17m9ntvu555

Blackjack Mine Part 1: https://youtu.be/i3Aw-SBnBkQ

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Bandit Canyon Railway | The Blackjack Mine Pt 1

BCRy Part III. This is the first of two episodes on the Blackjack Mine, a small complex with loads of character for my On18 Bandit Canyon Railway project. In this installment, I scratchbuild the freelanced head frame and shaft house using some repurposed parts from an earlier project. Lots of info on typical mine construction out west, plus modeling tips for wood construction, using stencils, weathering, and making your own corrugated roofing. Cinefoil “Black Wrap”

Thanks for watching, amigos!
Dave

Bandit Canyon Railway | Roadbed, Track and Power

 

BCRy Part II. Work continues on my On18 Bandit Canyon Ry micro-layout! This week, I add risers to raise the plywood sub-roadbed up to the desired height, then it’s time for cork roadbed, laying some Peco flextrack, building a simple manual turnout linkage, and hooking up the DC power. Join me as I bring the BCRy to life for the first time and explain a few tips and tricks learned over the years to make all of these tasks a little smoother and easier.

Thanks for watching, amigos!
Dave

New On18 Project | The Bandit Canyon Railway Rides Again!

I’m always up for a new project when inspiration strikes! This time I’m revisiting the Bandit Canyon Ry in On18 scale. This 2×3′ portable micro-layout will combine spectacular Southwestern scenery with the legends of Butch Cassidy, the Sundance Kid and the Hole in the Wall gang. This video introduces the layout concept with plans and drawings, and we begin work on a portable stand and base.

Thanks for watching, amigos!
Dave

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Race to the Finish Line: GGRR Part 11

 

Time’s up on my On30 Gruesome Gulch mini-layout! Here is the mad dash to the finish line in the final week before my self-imposed deadline of October 29th (Halloween weekend). Though I didn’t get everything done that I wanted to over the past 4 months, I did managed to get the layout to a level of finish that makes it presentable to the public. In this video I add the layout fascia, build some mock-ups to stand in for yet-to-be-completed structures, and detail the front side of the layout with ground cover, ballast, weeds, shrubs and some 3-d printed details. with a few spooky lighting effects! Realistically, I could have used another 4 months to get everything done that I had planned – like the elaborate underground scenes on the backside of the layout, but all of that will have to wait for a future series of videos on the GGRR. Until then, thanks for following along.

Happy Halloween, amigos!
Dave

 

Spooky Lighting Effects for Gruesome Gulch – GGRR Part 10

 

It’s time to really set the scene on the On30 Gruesome Gulch mini-layout with a few spooky lighting effects! First I build and install a 9 volt power strip for all of the structure and scenic lighting, then it’s time to improve the layout ambience with some LED RGB tape lights for the background, and a pair of warm/cool can lights for the front of the layout.

Thanks for watching, amigos!
Dave

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