newbie help

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by michi_skip, Dec 11, 2006.

  1. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    Feb 14, 2003
    Likes Received:
    That looks good. 2 things to remember about kids. 1-They have great imaginations, so they will make up the detail they want to see if it isn't there. 2-There is nothing that says it has to be finished when you give it to the child. Giving a child an unfinished project where the trains will run, but some scenery needs to be finished is a great way to get involved with the child in finishing the scenery on the layout. It can then become a parent/child project which is much better in many ways than a full blown completely scenicked "turn key" layout that the child has no "sweat investment" in.

    As an example, my youngest daughter was assigned to do a diorama in the 3rd grade. Each child was assigned to do a state. She was assigned Florida. We went to a toy store and found a toy alligator. At a hobby shop I found some palm trees that would have worked as is, but we wanted to model palmettos instead of tall palm trees, since when we visited my wife's relatives in florida we saw a lot more palmettos than tall palms. When we got home, I cut 2 pieces of plywood 2'x2'. Then I used my jig saw to cut a hole in one for a lake. I showed my daughter how to spread yellow glue on the boards and glue them together and then she helped my clamp them with furniture clamps. The next night, I mixed up some plaster of paris and showed my daughter with the first paper towel how to make a hard shell. She dipped the rest of the paper towels herself and put them over the diorama and smoothed out the towels too remove all air bubbles. I then showed her how to paint various earthtone paint colors and sprinkle ground foam all over the secne, and paint the bottom of the "lake" before putting on numerous coats of gloos medium to simulate the water. The final project was to make and plant the palmettos. I cut the stems of the palms down to 1 inch in length. Then drilled holes to just fit the stems into. Finally we took a container of sawdust that I saved from the original cutting ot the plywood, and some white glue and I showed her how to dip the stem in glue then dip it in the sawdust, and repeat as needed until the base was built up to simulate a palmetto. She got an A on her proiject and we had fun together. My wife was at an open house where my daughters diorama was displayed and overheard other parents saying that it was a project done for her by her parents. It was done by her except I didn't let her use any power tools. I did perhaps 1 square inch to show her how, and then she did the rest of the ground cover, painting, etc. I did 1 palmetto to show her how to do it, and she did the rest. We had a great time doing it together.