Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Track test

Since I will be making a 3+ hour each way drive to the airport in the middle of the night tonight, I spent very little time in the layout room today.  I ran a short train up the new trackwork on the branch to test it out.  Everything has power and the track is pretty smooth. 

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

More progress

Spent some more time on the river area of the branch expansion.  Filled in and started plaster for the basic shape.

Ripped up a couple turnouts that used to service industries that will now be out on the branch and replaced them with regular track.  I will likely do what most real roads do and leave the sidings in place so the weeds will have a place to live.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Branch progress

Here are a few pictures of today's progress on the branch peninsula.  Most of the track is laid out and ready for glue.  I ordered one less turnout than I needed so, I'll have to wait to finish.  I cut out the basic form for the river and a spot for a deep culvert. 

Sunday, July 27, 2014


Built the benchwork for the branch expansion today.  Ran the bus wires and 110v line with a few outlets underneath.  Put a nice round end on it and put up the first piece of facia.  I will be laying the track and roughing out landforms here tomorrow.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Clean up and bridge work

Spent most of my train time today cleaning up the center of the layout room so I can finish building the peninsula.  It's amazing how much trash building a layout can generate.  The only photo-worthy progress today is the weathering on this through truss bridge from Brownville Jct.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Just a picture

I had to spend the day in town today for the little lady so, I didn't get anything done today.  I did, however, pick up the foam to top the peninsula for the new branch.  To help make up for no progress pictures, here is a shot of the North Atkinson Paper's ex-CP RS3 spotting a few tanks.
I am still looking for a couple Atlas GP-38s in the red, black, and grey paint.  If you have one for sale, or a pair, email me at

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Canoes, track, and potatoes

I put some boaters in Alder stream today.  This scene is coming along nicely.
Cut in the turnout for the new branch.  Started cutting in where the stream will pass through the scene. 
Working on making up some potato fields in bloom.  I made this up today by halving some corrugated cardboard and coating it with dirt.  When it was dry, I hit the top of the "hills" with more brown latex and sprinkled on ground foam.  As a last touch, I hit it with some hairspray and with foam for blossoms. 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

boxcar kits and grain silo

I have a big stack of Branchline Blueprint series boxcar kits that have been sitting around for awhile.  I started the first of them today.  

These kits have really nice detail, but are super, crazy fragile. 

They went together a lot easier than I thought they would and they look great when done.  I'll weather them once they are all done.

I also put together this grain bin today from a Walther's kit.  Wish I had realized there was just one in the box.  Pricey kit for just one bin.

Monday, July 21, 2014


I made a run to the lumber supplier to get some 1" pine for benchwork.  Setup a first little bit to see how it would all go together and check for aisle clearance. 

I also picked up some lights and installed a couple to see how they work.  I went with LEDs for electricity savings.  We swapped all our bulbs to LED bulbs and our electric bill went down $40 a month. 


Sunday, July 20, 2014

Facia tests

I tacked up a few pieces of facia today to see how they will fit.  Went pretty well. 

I also did some more ballasting and ground cover today but, since that's not very picture worthy, here is a shot of a passenger excursion led by BL2 #54 over Alder stream.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Rusty Gon

Other than replacing a set of Kadee trucks that fell apart during switching, I only got to one project today.  I weathered up a hard working CN gondola.


Friday, July 18, 2014

Less is more

I decided to try a bit of less is more weathering today.  This was just a bit of airbrushing with only 3 colors.  I think that it came out really well.

I've had this brass cylindrical hopper hanging around forever and decided to finally start painting it.

Got a base coat on it.  I will be lettering it for the NAP.  The North Atkinson Paper company is the fictitious owner of the large paper mill on my layout that is based on the mill in Searsport.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

A little scenery

Put down a bit of scenery today.  Nothing special, just continuing the quest to cover all the bare foam.

I got in this pair of Cary metal shell F3s.  One on a Proto Power frame and the other on an Athearn blue box frame.  I am going to put them both on Genesis frames with DCC and sound, but it will take a good bit of milling inside the shell. 
I am still looking for a couple Atlas GP38s in the Bangor & Aroostook black, red, and grey paint.  If you have one, or more, that could be for sale, send me a message at

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Off stage work and weathering practice

Spent a lot of time today doing things that are not really photo worthy.  Ripped Masonite sheets into strips to use for the facia.  Hung and wired another set of LED track lights. I spent some time on the Anyrail program working up a plan to add a peninsula to double the mainline run.  It would mean moving the N scale stand-alone layout that I had originally planned to build in that spot to another spot in the house, but I have several empty rooms in the house itself where it can eventually live.  I'll post up the new tentative track plan I am working on.
Spent a bit of time at the bench today installing a Tsunami decoder in this Atlas GP38.  Installation went smoothly and it runs and sounds great.  Since this blue paint scheme would be very old in the 80's, I am practicing some weathering technics with water thinnable oil paints.  I plan on making this loco look like it's worked had for it's pay.  Here is a picture of it's current progress.


Tuesday, July 15, 2014


I spent what time that I had today giving the brass BL2 that I just finished a good run-in.  It's a heck of a puller and the keep alive circuit that I put in it is magic, but I had some problems.  This loco doesn't like my Micro Engineering turnouts.  It picked just about everyone of them and, having brass pilots, every time it derailed, it shorted the DCC system out.  I might just have to replace the wheels.  I thing the flanges are too wide.

I was just about frustrated enough to park it in the engine house and get the triplets out, when it picked the points on a stub siding and it broke the spring that locks the points to the outside rail.  It left the turnout inoperable.  I did what I would do when I was MOW and spiked it over for the main until I can fix it permanently.  I ran the triplets for a bit, sorting a cut of cars for the paper mill to calm myself down.  I then headed back into my shop to get some real world work done.


Monday, July 14, 2014

Brass BL2

I finished up the DCC part of the BL2 project that I have been working on.  Got a new Tsunami decoder to replace the defective one and installed it today.  It's a fine runner and the sound works great, if a little quiet.  I will build a baffle for the speaker in the coming days to see if it helps.  Can't wait to put this loco to work on my layout.

The next loco project came in today.  I will be installing DCC and sound in this  Athearn blue box GP38.  I've got grabs irons, a new horn and some other details to upgrade the shell a bit.  I haven't done one of these since the blue box specific install kits were discontinued, so this will be interesting.