Monday, September 29, 2014

Covering bare foam and cutting in a turnout

The end of the peninsula that houses the branch line has been bare pink foam for months now.  I finally couldn't take it anymore and slapped a coat of paint and a layer of mixed ground foam on it.  Just some basic cover to have a place to start the scenery from.

I cut a turnout into a section of existing track.  I didn't follow the old adage of "measure twice, cut once" and the gap was a bit long.  I have a 1/16" gap on both ends of the turnout.  I will either attempt to fill the gaps with solder or cut a plug to slip in the rail joiner.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

A bit of scenery and ballst

Due to health issues, I have not worked on the layout for several day.  I did make it out there today for a little bit.  I worked on some scenery around the river crossing on the branch.

And just a bit of ballast.  If I could just stop modifying the track plan, maybe someday the ballasting will be done!


Friday, September 26, 2014

Rocks and scenery

Last thing last night, I poured a couple rock moulds full of plaster.  This morning I tipped them out and painted them up.  This evening I put a few in place along the river bank.  A little scenery to fill the gaps and they will look great.

The plastic on the front of the river are dams in preparation for pouring the Enviro-Tex water.  I seal them in with a bit of clear silicone.  Once everything dries, you can't see the silicone.
I was in the area so, I decided to splash some paint and ground foam on the stream that I plastered yesterday.  It still needs static grass, bushes, etc, but I just needed to cover the pink and white, it's kind of a peeve of mine.  I need to come back with a smaller brush to get under the bridge.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Loco roster page added and a bit of scenery work

Check out the new page I added that has photos and descriptions of my loco roster.
I did some basic scenery to cover up the area that I tore up to relocate a passing siding that had a turnout that was very difficult to reach.
I had a section of the stream that has been sitting with the foam half cut out for months.  I finished the basic shape and put down plaster.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

No progress to report, but a plan for a track change

My new security system arrived today, so the only layout work that got done today was the installation of two more sets of track lighting.  I decided to go ahead and wire them up because I had the power off anyway to wire up the new cameras in the shop. 

This is the most recent incarnation of the track plan for my layout.  This is how the track sits right now with one exception, the siding on the right side has been moved.  The upper turnout has been moved down and the lower turnout has been moved around the corner and is up against the river.  The siding is now curved, albeit more gently than the curve in the picture. 

 I moved it because the upper turnout was unreachable from the lower isle which meant a 70' walk every time you needed to throw it.  The stub siding is still in that location and has two industries on it.  The spots can't be reached from the upper isle and the turnout can't be reached from the lower.  It's a giant pain.  Tomorrow, I will be relocating the siding and industries to the open area on the left end of the layout.  There is plenty of room over there, just empty forest for the most part.

Looks like winter is on it's way.  Guess I better get the heat hooked up in the layout room while I'm at it too!!

Monday, September 22, 2014

A few pictures

I had a piece of equipment break down in the shop today and spent all day working on it.  I never even made it into the layout room at all.  Here are a few pictures that I took for the weekend photo threads on the model railroad forums that I frequent.  If you have seen them before, I apologize, but either way, enjoy.


Sunday, September 21, 2014

Radio tower and background buildings

I built, lighted and installed this radio tower today.  It's from a BLMA kit. 

I also put up another sheet of that terrible Walthers backdrop and some building flats.  The flats are printed on cardstock and glued to black foamcore.


Saturday, September 20, 2014

Current Keepers

I brought the triplets in from the layout to install Tsunami Current Keepers in them all.  There is a lot of extra room in these Atlas shells so, installation was a breeze.  I took the excuse to lube and tune them up before putting them back into service.

I started on a new project this evening.  I am converting an Atlas GP7 to a GP7u.  The cab will be replaced with the new low nose variety that marks the GP7u's that were rebuilt by the Santa Fe.  The BAR bought several of these unit and they are still in service today in the classic red, black and grey, paint but, with Maine Montreal and Atlantic lettering.

I think it will end up as #23 when its all done.


Friday, September 19, 2014

More lights

Was in town all day so, not much progress.  I did get a few more lights installed and wired, though.



Thursday, September 18, 2014

Atlas GP38 DCC and sound install

The only project that I got to work on today was installing a tsunami sound decoder into one of my Atlas GP38.  I had two of these left to do and finally decided to work on them today.  I milled the weights on both of them while I was in the shop. 

In these locos, there is enough room for a current keeper on top of the board.  I am completely enamored with current keepers.  They make locos run so much smoother.  I have purchased a pile of these and am adding them to any locomotives in the fleet that don't already have them.  Soundtraxx makes the best one in my opinion, but TCS makes a very good one as well.  The TCS one is about half the size, but only holds power for about 3 seconds.  The tsunami one will hold power for 10 seconds.

I prefer Train Master speakers.  They have models with baffels installed that fit most popular locos.  I got one all buttoned up, programed and running.  Hopefully I will get the final GP38 finished tomorrow and can start putting current keepers in my trio of GP7s.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Power lines and more lights

I started to string up some power lines on the poles at the paper mill today.  I only got 3 lines run today, but plan on adding the rest tomorrow. 
I saw these neat looking parking lot poles on ebay and took a chance on buying a pair.  Still need to paint the bases and connect them to the bus, but they do look good.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Moving a siding and a bit of scenery

I had a short siding that was used by the local for dropping a few cars and picking them back up on the return trip.  At the time, I didn't realize that the north turnout was out of reach of the south turnout.  An operator had to walk all the way around the peninsula to throw the north switch and walk back to throw the south.  I ordered in a curved turnout so that I could move the whole siding south. 

The new south turnout.

The middle of the siding.  Where the curve ends on the left of the picture is where the south turnout used to be.

The old north turnout was of the left edge of the picture.
I added some base scenery and ballasted a bit more of the branch.


Sunday, September 14, 2014


Had to replace a door today, so I spent what little railroad time that I had today working on trees.  I had a small batch of Woodland Scenics super trees already dipped and hanging from the other day.  I painted the trunks, some grey, some brown, and then applied ground foam and Super Leaf.


Saturday, September 13, 2014

Power poles and super detailed track

I have been extremely busy the last few days, but did get a bit of work done.  I put up some power poles in the mill.  I don't have the wires up yet though. 

I have been missing the work and satisfaction involved in hand laying track.  I decided to lay some track, but to go all out with it.  I ordered scale tie plates, joint bars and spikes from Proto87.  This stuff is really hard to see and handle, but makes great looking track.


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Slow day

I spent almost the whole day in the layout room, but didn't really do anything.  I wired a few lights to the bus and painted a few feet of base scenery, nothing photo worthy really.  I did snap a picture of some track that I handlaid today.  I used to hand lay everything, but this layout is so big, I cheated and used flex. 

At times, I just really get bit by the bug to hand build track.  I have scale tie plates and joint bars to place on this stretch of track too. 


Tuesday, September 9, 2014

boxcars and lights

I have a pile of Blueprint series boxcar kits sitting under the bench.  I decided to assemble another one today.  These are really nice kits.  Easy to build, well detailed, but really fragile.

I put some weathering on a reefer and a boxcar so I could put them in service on the layout today too.

I got the lights that I installed yesterday wired up.
  Pay no attention to the Shay and the old cars on the siding, they are just an illusion.  :p