Full Version: UP SD40-2's 2021 Do Something Challenge
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OK, my challenge is to finish, or "deep detail" about a 5' long by 1' wide section of the layout along the back west side of it. I have the Diner area and United Transfer pretty much done, but the areas between them, and to the rear of them are needing to be finished off. 

Two big parts of this section is to finish the water tower area, and to kitbash some wig wags. I have been wanting to make wig wags just like the ones that were just 3 blocks from my house on CNW'S line. Sadly, the wig wags that were all through the West side of Beloit are long gone now, just like the CNW line that they were on, now its a dog gone bike path Icon_rolleyes Icon_cry , but with my memories of them, and pic's I have found its do able.
I guess the biggest part for me is to do the wig wags, I really have been wanting to get them made for many years but keep putting them off. I have purchased two wig wag kits that are very similar to the ones I grew up with, with some modifications I wont get them 100% exact, but boy they will be close enough. 

The wig wags on the CNW line in Beloit's West side were "similar'ish" to those in this pic, yet different Misngth . These are actually just like the wig wags that were on the EAST side of Beloit, on The Milwaukee Roads mainline,   but this will give you an idea...
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I been researching old water towers, and found most of the old ones like I have were on cement pedestals and have long grass around them from neglect now. I ended up cutting the base away and reglued the cut out pedestals back on the tower, painted them the same cement gray I use on the layout and weathered them, the pic below only shows I cut them out, not painted or weathered yet. I also repainted the black rubber road crossing pieces, they look so much better flat black. 
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I had bought two wig wag kits that were not the same as I needed, but I am going to use some parts off them to help out making the wig wags, here's what comes in the kit..
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Here is what I am using from the kit, the brass(?) parts bent when I breathed on them, making them unusable...I am almost totally not even kidding on that one. So yeah, here is what I am using...
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I always swore I was NEVER going to go with static grass, I had tons of flock I had collected through the years so I never needed to do anything more...guess who is doing static grass now...THIS GUY!
Cripes, yes, I took the leap, and decided to learn it on this challenge. The back area I am doing is kinda hard to take pics of so this really is the best area to learn this static grass process. I did the area around the Diner first, before I realized I should be taking pics. I used 2mm grass in hopes it was short enough to look like a cut lawn, I think it worked out GREAT in that area.
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Once I had done that area, and found it wasn't that hard to work with, I then started pulling up all the trees and brush, and taping off the track...
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After that, I put 2mm and 4mm static grass in the water tower area, and the thin strip of grass buy the road to United Transfer got 2mm, 4mm, and 7mm grass on it...
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The rest of the areas got tall 7mm grass, WOW, what a difference it realy makes!
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I bought medium AND light grass thinking the mix would be great...I wasnt quite happy, a bit to light still, so while the glue was still wet I sprinkled two darker "saw dust" greens over the grass, then fanned it into the grass so it wasnt on top of it, HUGE IMPROVEMENT! No pics of that, going to wait for all the glue to dry before any more pics are taken. I plan on going to Rockford to pick up some dark grass this weekend.

SO, thats all for this installment. 

Till next time...
The grass looks great. It does seem to be more realistic.

I have been debating on using it and after seeing your work I am leaning strongly toward trying some.
I agree with Tom, I think it's the slight variations in color plus the texture that you can't duplicate any other way. Really great job.... Applause
Look out, folks, it's Deano the Landscaper, coming soon to your town to make things look better!!!

Nice work Deano, on both the water tower and the landscaping.  Static grass, when done properly, as you've shown, can really lift a scene from good to great. 

I've had mixed results, but the areas where it worked well seem to be among the favourite locales that my grandkids like to stroke.  They're very respectful of the layout, so nothing gets damaged.


Icon_e_surprised  but Applause  Thumbsup

Looking good!
Thank you so much for the very kind comments guys, Thank you!

OK, so I ended up getting all the grass down, and worked on the water tower area. I also got some of the areas I had taken apart put back together...
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I really like the idea of heavy tree coverage, but it was really making it hard to get any good shots in this area, so I cut back on a couple trees and instead relied on brush and tall grass to give the feeling that you are getting away from town, entering fields/Forrest areas...  
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NEXT UP, my wrap up and final pics/thoughts... Icon_e_biggrin
Well, time had really gotten away from me on this challenge, four things I DID NOT get done on this I feel really killed me.

1- did NOT get the wig wags done, EPIC FAIL 
2- did NOT finish the Famous Daves sign on the diner
3- did NOT put the "R"s down on the crossing signs on the street
4- did NOT paint the turnout rails going into United Transfer

In my mind I failed the challenge for those reasons. I did however pull a couple personal "wins" out of this challenge though:
1- I got off my duff and worked on pretty much the whole back area of the layout, making it more pleasing to the eye and better for taking pics in this area.
2- I learned how to do static grass, each time I did it I learned from mistakes I had made. 
3- this challenge helped to get me thinking about how I would redo/makeover the rest of the layout.   

Though I did not accomplish all I hoped to in this Challenge, it was fun, and a great learning experience for me, WELL WORTH DOING!

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Thank you so much for viewing my Challenge, and I give a HUGE APPLAUSE to ALL THOSE that did this Challenge Applause , WELL DONE! Worship Icon_e_biggrin
It was well-worth viewing, Deano, and really lifted your layout to another level.   Applause Applause Applause

A good number of great photos. You made quite a bit of progress.