Thursday, May 14, 2015

I hate puzzles.

Well with the water all dried up, tonight I went back down to attempt the relaying of the foam floor tiles.  Wow, what a PIA.  I knew it wasn't going to easy, but I thought I would at least be able to do it faster than I did?  I was never good at puzzles.

Only about 2/3 of the tile had to come up.  From the east wall on the south side of the layout over to El Dorado all had to come up.  Then from the East wall by Malvern all the way back to past Calion needed to come up.  There was standing water, but it was only in small areas.  I pulled back the tiles, Lisa then wiped them off with towels and i used more towels to mop up what water was still standing there.  We then leaned the tiles up so they could dry.

In the storage room where most of the water came in, I just turned on a couple of fans and also turned on my dehumidifier and let them run for several days!   

When the rain was coming down that night I figured I was going to get some water in the basement, which turned out to be less than I've had in the past.  I actually had to remove several cinder blocks years ago and repair them, which did stop the majority of the water and I also added downspout extensions.  After these things were done, the basement became dry, so dry in fact that the sump pump froze up from not being used.

I would say this is the first time since 1993 that I've had any water in the basement.  1993 was the summer of Rain.  It literally rained almost every day of every week of every month.  This time we got anywhere from 6" to 14" in about 6-7 hours!  The main reason I got water this time was because it's been so dry and the dirt had pulled away from the foundations so the water ran down and found places to seep in.  Hopefully the dirt has now swelled up enough that we won't see this happen for awhile?

Actually, I don't know what's more of a PIA?  Cleaning up the water and trying to put the tiles back together or, trying to clean up the layout after I've had it all tore up from doing scenery?  I have shit scattered all over the layout from one end to other!  A lot of the stuff I'll have to go back through and find boxes for it and then find some place to store it. It's just going to take some time.  

The workbench is a disaster!

Thursday, May 7, 2015

First major storm of the season!

While I live for this type of stormy weather, it usually comes with a price. Last night we got hit pretty hard, mostly in terms of torrential rain fall here in town. The official total at the airport was recorded at 6" but there were places that got up to 12"-14"

Other communities south and southwest of here were hit by several tornados with extensive damage. So I consider myself lucky with nothing more than heavy rain.

They were forecasting bad weather all day, claiming it was coming that night, this was just after 8pm.  I had the urge to build an ark.

The storm lasted well into the early morning, but before I went to bed I thought I'd better go downstairs and see what if anything was happening.

Well, it's been awhile since I've had water in the basement and it's been so dry over the last several years that the ground has pulled away from the foundation. This allowed all the water to run down the outside walls and find several cracks to which to seep through.  Did I say seep?  I found a small river flowing from one end of the basement to the floor drain on the opposite end of the basement!

Why can't it leak right by the drain, why does it have to always be on the opposite end?

This was the first time I've had water on the floor since I redid it several years ago and installed the foam tiles.  If it wasn't for the tiles I don't think I would have had such a mess as the tiles allowed the water to react with a capillary action and spread almost throughout the basement.  I bet we pulled up 2/3rds of the tiles and wiped up the water.

Oh well it was time for a good cleaning.

They say we are due for another round tomorrow night and this weekend again?

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Is it time to let the sheep out?

Last night I finally got a good chance to play around with some static grass.

Things went good for the most part.  Answered a few questions that I've had and got a chance to play with a couple of brands of grass other than Woodland Scenics. Also tried a couple of different ways to glue it down.

The first time I tried the static grass was with diluted glue and Woodland Scenics 2mm.  Wasn't too impressed with this for a couple of reasons.
1 - I didn't like the length or the color.  It looked like Peach fuzz or frosted grass.
2 - It didn't stand up too well.

I was told that the diluted glue could have caused the grass not to stand up.  Being so thin, the glue ran up the grass and bogged it down as well as the grass not being very long to start with.

Also the color of the WS wasn't as green as I would have liked it to be.

This time I had ordered two different Noch blended grass packs.  These have a mixture of 2.5mm and 6mm grass and several colors in a mostly green/yellow. Both colors were very close to being the same, there really wasn't much of a difference.  After I got them down, the yellow in the mixes really showed up.

The other grass I got was some Silflor brand in a summer green 4mm  and a lighter green later summer 6mm.  This was much darker green without the yellow. However after applying some of it, I decided to add a small pinch of the Noch to add a bit of yellow.  I can see how you can spend a small fortune on static grass trying to get the right color mix. 

Before I go any further, let me explain that I had glued down a layer of ground foam for a base color. For this I used WS Blended Turf, the green stuff.  Then I applied glue over this and applied the static grass.

With the woodland scenics I used a thin glue mixture that didn't work well.
Then I was told to use Hair Spray and spray it on the ground foam and let it tack up a bit before applying the static grass. This worked OK, but I had to make a mask out of paper to cover up any place I didn't want the grass to stick to.  Kind of a PIA, but it worked.  

Last night after revisiting a few videos on applying grass, I seen one where the modeler used straight Modge Podge right out of the bottle without thinning it. Not having any flat Modge Podge I tried using some Matte Medium right out of the bottle and then later some White glue that I did thin down about 1 part glue to 1/2 part of water.  Just a enough to make it spread easier but not enough to run up the grass and bog it down.  

Both glues work well and I think this will be the way I will continue in close quarters.  The Hair Spray will work in wide open areas that won't need much masking.

The other thing I found out was the actual applicator.  Mine is powered with a 9v battery which seems to work, but I think I was using and old battery and it wasn't allowing the grass to stand up.  This could have been part of the problem in my earlier attempt?
I also noticed that the battery life isn't that long or all the batteries were already weak or drained?   Once a new battery was installed, the grass stood right up!  If the batteries drain that fast, I can see a plus for a 110v version!

OK enough of me rambling, let's get to the pictures...

These first two shots are of the W&OV engine facility [yeah I know I need to repaint the asphalt].  

The next three shots are of the Olin-Chlor sidings. These turned out pretty good!

The next five are the Crushmoore Chip loading siding. I still need to clean this siding up.

These last four are the Heavy Metal siding.

I've been warned about using static grass on active sidings due to the fact that it can come loose and get caught up in the gears of the locos.  While this is entirely possible, the urge to resist the desire to do this was too great.  

I will go back and manicure the grass between the rails to a manageable amount so as to reduce any problems as much as possible. 

I had to do quite a bit of work to get the cars to roll freely. The tracks very rough from glue and from stray grass that stuck to the rails.  I had to scrape the tops and inner the edges of the rails to get the cars to roll and the loco to run without stalling.

Here's the proof, but please forgive the crappy quality of YouTube.  The original video was pretty sharp until it got uploaded.

Malvern will be the only place that will have sidings that are as overgrown as these.

Next comes the trees...