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HT Make a Unique Lake for HO Scale Model Train Layout

My son was lucky enough to be given an HO scale model train layout on long-term loan. It has 10 switches, a bridge, and came with an assortment of buildings. But somehow, it was still a little plain.

There was a large open area that my son decided needed a lake. Now I will show you the process of how we created the lake. This is what I was up to while I was finishing Angry Macey and why I had no time to blog.

ECO ALERT: The great news about this project is we made it with almost entirely recycled materials!

First I begged my husband to retrieve a piece of scrap wood out of the rafters of the garage for me. Then I had to clean off said wood. Then I put it on the layout and did a rough estimate of where I needed to cut. Use the appropriate saw to make the job easier. (I did not.) Sand rough edges.

I present to you Guitar Lake, so named because, well, it looks like a guitar.

Guitar Lake

Then we painted it blue, darker in the deep spots. We painted it white where the current from the lake dumps in.

Guitar Lake painted

Next we decorated it to our liking. This is where you can have the real fun!

I insisted I would only help him with this project if I could put the Loch Ness Monster into the lake. Then I had to explain what the Loch Ness Monster was. I painted an outline of his body coming out of the dark depths of the lake. Then I glued down a small wooden peg. I cut the head off of a dollar store dinosaur for the head. The buoys are painted wooden stakes. Watch out for the electric eel and the shark. There is a pop can because my son said to be realistic, the lake needed litter.

We began adding painted and physical accessories. Beware the Loch Ness Monster who guards the sunken pirate ship and its treasure!

We coated the surface of the water with Mod Podge. (Beware, Mod Podge remains sticky to the touch and may attract dust. But, it is also pretty inexpensive for a project such as this.) We used more Mod Podge to glue sand for a beach, pebbles, and small rocks for the shore. I wish I had built up the beach a little more, because much of the sand fell off after the glue dried.

To be thrifty, we collected the sand and rocks from outside, then baked them in the oven to kill any bugs because, bugs–YUCK.

The lake laid in place with the river.

 

A view from the deep end, complete with Hot Wheels boat.

My husband said we needed a mermaid. I just happened to have one of those laying around the house.

A view from the beach. Swimmers beware the mermaid’s song.

And that completes the lake project.

But, in the meantime, we came in possession of two train cranes within 24 hours: one functional, one not. You know me, I had to find a use for the broken crane. Taking a cue from many other more sophisticated layouts we have seen, I decided to age the crane. I started with some graffiti. (I Googled graffiti generators until I found a design I liked.) I added rust and dirt with acrylic craft paint as well.

Damn hoodlums, vandalize everything in the whole damn railyard.

I glued on some moss to make it seem as if it had not moved in a very long while. Here is a side by side comparison of the good crane vs. the broken one.

New vs. Aged

Then my husband had a great idea to make a whole abandoned track.

Sad, abandoned track

It was so fun that my husband decided to age his own engine (not pictured here). I have no doubt we will be aging more non-functioning stock in the future.

And you might think that is the end of our railroad upgrades.

That is, until the ZOMBIES showed up…

Beware the impending zombie attack!

Your past shapes you. It can’t be undone.
ANGRY MACEY
NOW AVAILABLE $.99!

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Technical Difficulties…

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…Please stand by.

2014-03-05-11-06-25-229471342

Excuse Me

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I’ve been busy this week.

This is all I have for you right now. Enjoy.*

REDNECK PORCH LIGHT

*Note: I am a redneck on my maternal grandfather’s side.

Potty Training – The Saga Begins

My son, M, is now 21 months old. I have started to try to potty train him. So far, I have been highly unsuccessful.

He has his own little potty. He loves to take it apart (no surprise, see post Like Father, Like Son). I tried making him stay seated on it while I read him stories. I found when he got up off the potty is when he would actually pee-pee. In the corner, or next to the potty. Anywhere but in the potty.

Now M doesn’t want to sit on it. He wants to wander around the bathroom with no diaper on or sit on my lap (must be more comfy than the potty). While his baby butt is adorable, we really aren’t getting any closer to getting this done.

I have a theory. And since this is my first child and I have only potty-trained (i.e. housebroken) my Lab-Chow mix Dave, it really is just a random theory. I believe that to potty train a kid, they have to be old enough to understand what you are trying to accomplish. But I also believe you have to train them before they are old enough to decide not to do what you are asking of them, just to spite you. From the stories my mom tells, she makes it sound like I was the latter.

Plus, everyone says it is easier to potty train when you are at home to devote time to it. I am definitely at home with time right now. And fearing my unemployment will run out at the end of the year, I need to get him trained before I have to return to work. And I could wait longer to go to work if I didn’t have to spend money on diapers.

I feel like if I could get over this child development hurdle, it would be smooth sailing from here on out. Because I am a first time parent and I am just that naive. I haven’t gotten within spitting distance of the terrible twos or terrible threes yet. But the two things that worried me most before I ever got pregnant were changing diapers and potty-training. Hmmm. I sense a theme here.

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