HO Scale Diorama & Christmas Village

Posts tagged “Diorama

The Johnson Family



Oak Valley is an imaginary small town in northeast Illinois in 1912, and I like to believe that in 1912 there was a small, but growing, black middle class in Oak Valley.  All manufactures of HO scale figures include black and Asian figures.  Early 1900s figures are becoming scarce, and there are NO black figures in this era.  I have “converted” several individual figures over the years, but always longed for a middle class African American family for Oak Valley.  I need a little more practice with color, but  hope to have more AA residents in the future. I took this photo in the middle of town, so it is fairly dark.  Here’s an image of the daughter, Emeline. Johnson_Daughter


New Outdoor Cafe

I’ve always wanted an outdoor plaza for the restaurant, and scraped up enough people and chairs to make it work. Since this is opening day, I mixed the church goers with the working men.


Building Maintenance Specialist!

post_office_60515 ov_60515_1

Because these dollar store buildings were designed to be nothing more than Christmas decorations, exterior walls and roofs were translucent.  Also, some of the older buildings dating back to the 80s have very small front doors. This week, I worked my way through most of the buildings to make any possible improvements (some buildings are just place holders until I find something that works better, but I’m quite fond of others).

I started by painting everything except the “glass” windows and doors in black paint to cut the translucency. In some cases, it took three coats of black, and then several coats to cover the black! Not my favorite project!   Obviously undersized doors were visually enlarged by painting the door and surround the same color, and in some cases, I converted solid doors to glass, which are very pretty at night.

The Post Office was completely repainted in new colors, and a flag pole and 1912 flag added (Arizona and New Mexico became states in 1912). The result of the renovations is added detail and contrast in daytime, and more believable buildings at night.  It was well worth the time. I don’t look for perfection – just something that is pleasing to my eye.

Coming back December 24, 2016 to add a new photograph of the hotel on Drexel Street featuring the background.


First Motor Car In Oak Valley!


I have had a couple of kits for early automobiles for years, but have not yet tackled them. I bought this car cheap on ebay, along with bits and pieces of other HO scale projects.  It was constructed but not painted. It is difficult to paint after construction, but not impossible.  I used several coats of paint with a high gloss acrylic top coat. It took awhile, but I am so pleased with the outcome.  I referred to http://www.earlyamericanautomobiles.com/ , I was not able to identify this automoble. If anyone finds a match, please let me know!

Lunch First. Oak Valley Renovation Tales to Follow!

The restaurant has been relocated across from the Protestant church, and is a very popular place for Sunday lunch!after_church1

Deserted City in Winter


Oh, my gosh!   The early spring cleaning may last until summer!  After removing all the loose snow, I realized two things:

(1) my plaster hills were cracking, and one was actually pulling away from the base.  I have been applying Elmer’s Glue to all the hills for a week. When I’m satisfied, I’ll repaint.

(2) I’m going to have to crawl around under the table to re-route some of the wiring. It was not so difficult years ago with a helper and  pre-shoulder fracture!   This is when I feel isolated from the typical HO Scale collectors…aka, “The Train People.”  I wish I had a buddy to give advice and work along side!

At least I have made progress in drilling the holes to light the last buildings. The buildings are just a backdrop for the people, but I’m taking a little time to touch-up paint.  If all goes well, there will be several new houses, a restaurant with a plaza, and maybe a little stream. Stay tuned!

Restaurant Delivery