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October 17, 2013 Finishing My Swimming Pool Module

This project is long time coming, December of 2009 I built up a removable section for my layout using a Walthers Cornerstone Two Story House Kit and a scratch built swimming pool.  I had problems with expansion and contraction in my garage because it was not insulated causing the Paper Mache base material to go berserk.  I have since added R30 insulation and have a good handle on the temperature in the garage.     

To make things more complicated over a period of several years the Woodland Scenics Real Water in the pool looked like it had evaporated and dried up into what looked like old floor wax buildup.  Between the badly warped and cracked Paper Mache and the very disgusting looking pool water the module needed to be totally overhauled.

As all Model Railroaders know when you start a redo on any part of your layout it can and usually does get out of hand.  This little remodel was very typical of that scenario, it got out of hand.  The module sits on the side of Red Mountain close to the mountain cut of my helix, what better time to overhaul the cut.  That required a new frame from the layout up to the track level to hold the new Hydrocal rocks and the new module with the swimming pool.

The construction of the frame, Hydrocal Rocks and the Swimming Pool Module are earlier post that can be viewed by scrolling down my Blog.

I decided to discard the Walthers plastic house on the swimming pool module in favor of one of my scratch built Catalog Homes so that meant starting over with a new and slightly larger module.  All my plastic house kits look like plastic kits and my scratch built homes look much better.

The pictures below show the new module with the ½" OSB base, the carved 1½" foam board covered with Paper Mache and flocked with Woodland Scenics Flocking.

I soaked the grass flocking with thinned white Elmer's glue and set the pool in place then set 4 one pound weights on the pool deck to press it into the flocking and Paper Mache. While the Magic Water Resin was curing I worked on the module adding the grass flocking and the fence, the Magic Water pouring and curing was a 5 day process.  The 6½' high scale fence is made up of ⅞" strips of Midwest HO scale flooring and Midwest Scale Lumber 2 x 4s.

The glue is dry and the weights have been removed leaving the pool with the grass looking good.  The Woodland Scenics Fine Turf #T1345 really does look like grass.

I have replaced the streetlamp and powered up the lighting.  The 12 volt lights are operating at 8½ volts for increased life and a more realistic look.

This is a closeup with the ambient lighting reduced creating the setting for an evening at the pool.  The under water lighting works much better than I expected, the Magic Water is fantastic.  The Acrylic resin used by Unreal Details to make their Magic Water conducts the light so well that it looks like real water.

Things are coming along nicely, the underwater lights,  the decorative yard light and the garage are on a separate switches from the house so that they can swim under moonlight.  The following pictures are with the party going full blast.

I have placed the party figures in the grass by drilling a #61 or .039" hole for the straight pin for each figure.  All of the figures are super glued to the head of a 1¼" straight pin so that they can be easily moved around or removed for repainting. The furniture is also mounted on pins.  As I'm basically still a Techno Wienie after 50 years working in electronics I make everything easily removed for future maintenance.

A medium sized Oak tree plugs into the brown washer looking thing in the lower left corner.

All of the young ladies on the pool deck are mounted on straight pins in .039" holes drilled in the styrene deck.

The figures in the water and the young lady on the spring board are factory painted Preiser people, the rest are hand painted by me using Crafters Acrylic paints with a 00 artist brush. 

I had a request for some night pictures so I posted a few after I added a bit of scenery and party goers.

I plan to add more foliage clusters to the Oak tree next to the garage.

I kept the young boy standing on the barrel looking over the fence at the girls.

This is a better view of the Oak tree, as you can see it needs help. The pop bottles on the round table are 1/16" pieces of number 22 telephone frame wire.

The swimming pool looks very good with the underwater lights illuminating the swimmers. The pool party is in full swing.

This is a scratch built 1916 Sears Catalog home and garage, the home owner is the Superintendent of the Susanville Southern Pacific passenger terminal and maintenance yard.  I built the house from plans I found on the Internet, the garage is my design.  The Superintendent's house is located on Red Mountain Road.

I will add a dozen cars for the party goers including the Superintendent's wife's car and his Jaguar in the garage and his Lincoln just outside the open door.

The picture above is a daylight view (flash) that shows the added foliage to the Oak tree.

Added October 22.2013

The following pictures complete this post.  The module is finished and ready to install on my layout.

It took three months to complete this module.

It was a fun project even with all my problems with the Paper Mache.  Paper Mache is very difficult to work with but I still prefer it over Plaster of Paris for basic ground work.  It is very strong yet pliable, accepts all types of paint and wood glue works great on it.

I still need to attach the power drop to the house so I will bring the adjoining module in to my hobby room to do that then install both on my layout and seal the edges with ¾" newspaper strips soaked in thinned Elmer's white glue.

The redhead is working on the grill while the girl in black serves refreshments.

As the white glue is drying I'll cover it with flocking to blend the modules together.

These final pictures show the module grass, bushes, trees and details close up.

The pool turned out fantastic and it goes great with my scratch built houses, there are four more houses on the adjoining module.  All five houses are built from floor plans obtained from the Antique Homes Style Site of the 1920's and 30's era.

There are hundreds of floor plans from the early 1900s to the 1950's on their site.  I chose the 20's era for my layout, I built 8 of the Catalog Homes.

The only thing left to do on both modules is to add some parked cars from the 50's.  I have about 40 cars but all have headlights and I will keep them for operation on roads and highways.

The left gate scale 4" x 4" post is dropped in a hole so that it will swivel open and close.

This concludes this post, I will start a new post after I have placed both modules on my layout showing the sealing process of the joint gaps.  

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