Friday, December 29, 2017

The End is Near...

No, not the end of the world. And the title doesn't even refer to the end of 2017 although that is rapidly approaching. It's the end of the poly fiber trees that is near. Over the past week or so I finished covering the Styrofoam lift-out behind the engine terminal at North Pierce. I waited to cover the lift-out until all of the tracks were operational in service area and the ballasting and scenery was finished. The photo below shows how this area has looked for a long, long time.

And the photos below show the results of the recent work.

A quick observation about the light green colored trees- that color will fade over time. I assume it's due to the fluorescent lighting, but it has happened all over the railroad. The colors all fade slightly and end up with a subtle variation that works well in my environment. Also, there will be another post soon on how the engine terminal was ballasted and the momentum is has provided for structures in this area.

So after what feels like fifty years and tens of thousands of trees, there is only one, small stretch of hardshell that remains to be covered. The photo below shows the hillside by the to-be-built Austin Coal tipple in Nelsonville. While I'm close to the design of the structure, it hasn't been finalized yet. And I want to wait until the plans have been developed before I start scenery in this area.

While a large number of projects remain to keep me busy, and as we all know, a railroad is never finished, for the very first time it has begun to feel as though the layout is approaching the point where it is largely complete. And that means it's time to seriously start planning for the expansion into the crew lounge. Stay tuned.

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Wheels of Time Lumber Load- Finale

Well... that was just awful! As easy as it was to assemble all of the individual loads, applying the straps was a true PITA. I used thin black tape which has an adhesive on the back but the strips are so thin that the adhesive wasn't much help. The straps still had to be held in place until the ACC dried. And it just seemed like it would never end. After I finished the first row, it became obvious that I was never going to get through two loads this time around. So I punted and only completed one of them. But alas, one of them is done- see below.

As I was working to complete the load, I struggled with how I was going to make it removable. Last night, I looked through the folder I have with old flatcar articles in it and the solution was in the very first article. Bob Rivard,  who's work I have long admired, did an article in the January 2014 issue of the NMRA Magazine titled "Modeling Canadian Pacific Flatcars." Bob used a trio of Proto 2000 flatcar kits for his article, and he described in detail how he made the lumber loads. In order to make the loads removable, he took four pieces of 2x6 basswood, cut them to the width of the deck, and then inserted pins made of wire to hold them in place. He then glued the load to these pieces. It's a brilliant solution, and I copied his technique. The only difference is I used two pieces of 2x6 instead of the four he used.

For appearance sake, I may go back and two more. And the load really does need some additional blocking in order to be prototypically correct. I may yet try and figure out how to do that as well, but for now, I'm declaring this project finished- finally!!!

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Photo Fun

As I walked out of the railroad room the other night, I saw DC-15 out of the corner of my eye. The train is in the process of being re-staged at Nelsonville and it looked like it might be a neat photo opportunity. So this morning I grabbed the camera to take a few photos.

The photo below is the shot that I initially thought would be the best. It's a view across the leads to the engine terminal.

While I like the perspective and the detail in the photo, the train that was supposed to be the focus of the shot is too far away. So I tried another angle.

This photo keeps most of the detail but brings the loco a little closer. Still, it wasn't quite the shot I wanted. So I changed the angle just a bit and zoomed in a little closer.

This one is much closer to what I had seen in my minds eye when I first thought of the photo opportunity. But just for kicks, I thought I'd shoot it from a slightly different angle.

While you can see the locomotive much better with this angle, it just doesn't have the same feel that the others do, at least to me. So I think I'll say that #3 is my favorite.