This is an on-going lessons learned article. The hope is to document the issues I’ve encountered so others may avoid the same mistakes. Likewise, if I write them down, perhaps in the future I will avoid the same mistakes as well.

  1. Run trains extensively before beginning (or completing) scenic work. Including the longest and most modern trains you have. I only had a GP-38 and an MP15 when I finished my track work and they ran fine. Since then I’ve acquired a few dash 9 locos, and they exhibited problems that the shorter locos did not. I suspect some of the longer passenger cars I want to purchase will also have issues. Since I’ve completed a number of important scenic details, such as the tunnels 1-3, and the main cross over bridge, I can’t easily rectify some of the issues. Thus, I must live with the issues, or completely deconstruct the scenic work. For now, I’m living with the issues.
  2. Fully test all turnouts, in both directions, many, many times before adding ballast, structures, and scenic details. Ensure turnouts are fully tested before and after rails are painted as well. That will allow you to determine if any potential issues with the turnout is because of the paint, or not.
  3. If you’re using Woodland Scenic Foam Roadbed, use Liquid Nails for Projects rather than regular silicone adhesive. The LNfP seems to adhere better to the foam and is less likely to peel up over time. I know for a fact that the regular silicone adhesive peels over time. If I had to do it again, I’d likely use cork roadbed or homasote
  4. Do not add static grass until the primary ground cover is complete.
  5. Apply scenery from the farthest point away toward the nearest area. I continually relearn this. My preference is always to start near me and work towards the wall. That means I’m continually putting my arms, legs, and torso in freshly laid scenic materials. 47 ruined tee shirts, sweatshirts, and pants and I still forget.
  6. Use ground goop. It works and it works well. It provides a nice, natural looking base for scenery.
  7. Paint all rail work before beginning any scenery.
  8. Ballast track inside tunnels before beginning any scenery
  9. Use white glue for scenery rather than Matte Medium. The white glue dissolves in water, making the scenery “modifiable” after it sets. Matte medium does not appear to have the same property of being water soluble after curing.