Tuesday, December 30, 2014

A little track work

I took a bit of a break from the wood chip un-loader project today. 
I have had three problems in the yard that has been bothering me for months now.  I have had very limited locomotive storage and no space for sand and fuel, I had no off layout staging, and a broken turnout on the north leg of the wye.  After lots of time on rail planning software and hours of staring at the north end of the yard lost in thought, I finally decided how to solve all 3 problems at once.   

I removed a piece of track that represented the north leg of the wye and tore out the Micro Engineering turnout that had a broken switch point and replaced it with a Peco turnout that faces the other side of the mainline.  This will lead to off layout staging.  Behind that turnout, I cut in a curved Peco turnout that now leads to two tracks that will house a sanding and refueling yard.

The staging yard will be 5 tracks along the wall in a 15 foot hallway behind the backdrop on the north end of the layout.  It will come and go through this hole in the backdrop near the concrete plant.  I have trees in reserve to fill the area and block the passage off the layout.
Thanks for stopping by today and come back soon!


Monday, December 29, 2014

wood chip un-loader project progress

Continued to box in the motor housings and added cross beams to the base of the un-loader today.

I also started on the Gradall that will sit on top.  I am starting with a Custom Finishing kit which will be heavily modified.

Thanks for stopping by and come back soon!

Finally taking the plunge

I have been procrastinating on this project all year, I think, because I am afraid of it.  But, I finally decided to get to work on it.  I only have very few pictures of the wood chip un-loader that spent time at LaGrange Maine, but enough to build a reasonable model of it.

All credit to the original photographer as this was emailed to me without ownership notation.  This is the machine that was at the LaGrange siding.  (now, unfortunately, abandoned and used as a recreational trail)  I have started roughly building the I beam frames.

I added N scale wheels inside the bottom square beams and started boxing in the drive motor housings.

This and another wood chip hopper are the only projects on my bench at the moment, so progress should be quick on the days that I have time to get into the layout room.
Thanks for stopping by and come back again soon!


Tuesday, December 23, 2014

More loco storage

Merry Christmas to those who celebrate it and Happy Holidays to friends who do not.
I have just a few too many locos than I have track space for in the yard and have been searching for a solution for awhile now.  Yesterday and today, I decided to cut in a turnout in the engine house lead and add another track next to it.  This track added room for 5 locos with a sacrifice of room for 2 locos on the engine house lead where the turnout now sits.  A net gain of 3 is pretty good for the lack of space that I had in the area.

I had to move some tracks to be able to use a curved turnout as all of the extra turnouts that I have tucked away are curved.
Thanks for stopping by and come back again soon!

Friday, December 19, 2014

MOW equipment

Weathered and added some ties and tools to a bulkhead flat that I am building for the MOW department.

I also weathered this tool car today.  I picked this up in a auction lot and it was just spray painted grey all over.  I repainted it, washed it with a black wash, and weathered the roof and trucks with chalk.  Threw on some window glazing and it's ready to haul tools for the MOW department.

Thanks for stopping by!  Come back soon!


Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Peninsula backdrop and JMRI

Started putting up supports for the backdrop on the peninsula today. 

Also, I finally got my laptop working again.  Took 3 weeks of fighting and a new hard drive, but it's working again.  Since I have it working again, I decided to finally get JMRI set up.  I am quite impressed so far.  If your not familiar with JMRI, it's computer based, visual programing software for DCC decoders.  It allows you to program DCC decoders of all kinds with the click of a mouse.  It explains what all the CVs do and allows you to change them with a click.  If your layout is DCC, you should give it a try.  Best of all, it's free!
Thanks for stopping by!  Come back soon!


Tuesday, December 16, 2014

New motive power

Just in from our friends across the border, Rapido, a new pair of F40PH-2D's.  This is my first experience with LokSound and I am impressed.  The sound and lighting on this pair is simply amazing.  Spent an hour just running them around for break in with the brass hopper that I finished over the weekend.

Now to dig out the passenger cars!  Thanks for stopping by today and come back soon!



Monday, December 15, 2014

Brass hopper, another woodchip car

Finally finished up this Overland brass cylindrical hopper today.
And since a box of Sergent Couplers arrived today, it, and the below woodchip conversion, got put into service today.

With couplers back in, the 3 Branchline boxcar kits that are partially built can finally be finished, hopefully tomorrow.

Thanks for stopping by!  I know updates have been slow, but its cold in the layout room so I have not been out there very much.  See you again soon!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014


Not much time spent in the layout room the last few days.  I am having a heat issue and it's been about 40 degrees in there.  I did get decals on the brass hopper project.  Sorry about there being only one cell phone picture, but the cold killed the batteries in my camera.
The large decal wrinkled when I put on a layer of Dullcoat.  I'm not quite sure why.  Guess I have some reading to do to avoid this in the future. Thanks for stopping by and I'll see you again soon.

Monday, December 8, 2014

More trees

Wow, it takes a lot of trees to model Maine.  More grinding out trees on the menu today. 

That's it for today.  Thanks for looking and come back soon.


Sunday, December 7, 2014

details, trees, and progress on a brass hopper

It's tree factory time again.  Another box of Super Trees start the process today.  I shaped them while watching movies last night and soaked and hung them today.

Since the layout scenery is mostly complete (except for trees, soooo many trees), I am finally digging into the huge pile of details that I have been collecting over the years.  I worked on a few screw jacks and mail boxes today.

I painted the safety yellow on the handrails on two of the tank platforms that I am building.
I put down the first layer of paint on this brass cylindrical hopper this morning.  I also painted and weathered up the trucks that go to it.  This is my first foray into brass rolling stock. 

And finally, trucks are starting to populate the industries around the layout.  It's amazing how much difference vehicles, figures, and small details make in a scene.

Thanks for looking!  Come back soon!



Thursday, December 4, 2014

Decals and weathering

Here is a picture of the decal work and weathering on the wood chip conversion that I am working on.  I have several of these, and other cars, in progress that I am waiting on an order of Sergent Engineering couplers in order to finish.

I also started on a Branchline Berwick boxcar kit today. 

Thanks for looking!  See you again soon!


Wednesday, December 3, 2014

A bit of progress and a few pics

Got the Jade Green down on the wood chip hopper that I am working on. 
(Actually got the decals on too, but forgot to take a picture afterwards.  Those will be up tomorrow.)

Made a bit of progress on a retaining wall.
And a few shots of #23 working at the mill

Thanks for looking!  Come back again soon.

Monday, December 1, 2014

A new post.. on Monday?

I spent some time at the bench this morning so, I thought that I would post up what I worked on.  Only had my Iphone today, so the pictures may not be top quality.  I started on another woodchip car conversion.  Removed all the details, cut off the roof and started adding the extended sides.
I received a few trucks in the mail today and started detailing them.

They still need some weathering and lettering.  Finding grain and propane trucks has been a pain.  Some are not quite right for the mid '80s, but a little too new is better than an empty space. 

Thanks for looking today and come back soon!