Sunday, November 26, 2017

November Update

This has been a busy month. I finally finished some engines for a friend in Chicago and got them off my workbench. I had an MRC Sound decoder fail in SCXY 1325, so I swapped an ESU LokSound Micro in its place (huge improvement). I am having fun making layout progress right now, so that has been a big focus of the month.

I made some more progress on Ivy Farms Trucking. I added the shingled roof to the main building. I also repainted the pole barn and got it weathered.
I got the Creekside Cafe almost done. The outside is painted, roof is on, and signage was added for the cafe and the Other Side Bar.
Inside I added tables, chairs, bar stools and a pool table.
 I got a Willy's to park outside the Corp. HQ. That was fun to paint.
More trees planted in Hinckley.
I completed a sideboom crawler I've had on the bench for years.
I added some powerlines in Rush City. there will be more of them coming soon.
 I added the camera pole for the Mill. The solar panel is a decal.
And I ran trains. This run helped me find a troublesome spot in my 5/6 switch. A quick shim on the throwbar in it was back in service.
Hopefully December is as fruitful as November was!

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

N Scale Railroading Again

I think this is my 13th article. I'm losing track with so much going on. It was the build on the Clinchfield Hopper I made for the Skally. It was a fun and easy project. Hopefully I can get another printed before the end of the year.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Freight Car Projects

I had one project that has been on the back burner too long and one I am hoping to get a start on soon.

The one I stalled on was my Wisconsin Central Mega Log Hauler. I got mentally geared up and added a couple hundred pieces of styrene to it. 
It has been time consuming, but rewarding to see it happen.
The other project is in a holding pattern. I've got all the parts here or on order. It will be a big one. Here you can see the 36 axles that will fit under WECX 800, the largest railcar in the world. The N Scale version will be 17" long, plus I'm going to build a load for it that will make it over 24" long.
I'm also going to build a support flatcar and an escort caboose for the monster Schnabel Car. Here is the start of that car.
I may be thinning my fleet down again soon, I always seem to have more cars than I need and I want to make room for higher quality pieces as they become available.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

So much to share!

I know it has been a while since my last post (2 months, sorry about that). I've been getting an amazing amount of things done. I will break this into three posts, the first one will be layout progress. The second will be freight car projects and the third will be my latest magazine article.

I added another grade crossing, this one is 420th St. I wanted to add this crossing for the unique NP style crossbuck posts. I painted them myself and I added the switch stand for the sand plant.
 Here it was in the rough stages.
 I added more trees and a switch stand in Hinckley at MP 74.
Yesterday and today in Rush City I ran trains. Sometimes it can be therapeutic to have an ops session.
I was having some camera fun and shot this picture of Ivy Farms Trucking. I have a new special edition Prairie Shadows/TrainWorx James Bond Edition Kenworth coming that should look right at home here.
 I added the 415th St crossing to Zinpro and Titan last month.
 As well as signage and trees at Titan Lansing.
Zinpro progressed rapidly from foam core mock up to styrene structure. I still have a lot of work to do, but it looks better than an empty scene.
I also built the loadout shed for Zinpro. This really changed the look of the scene too.
So most of the progress has been scenicing. It is nice to be getting the layout to a more finished state. I hope to get back into tree making soon, that always helps.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

N Scale Railroading Again!

My 11th Article (2nd this year) has hit print. In the Sept/Oct NSR Magazine, I have a detailed BNSF AC44C4M build. I'm happy with how this one came out! There is also a great update on Bill Edgar's North Shore Int. (Duluth, MN to Thunder Bay, ON) layout. Hopefully I can get 1 or 2 more printed by the end of the year.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

3 Month Update

I've been horrible about keeping the blog up to date this summer. I'm happy to announce I have another article coming out in the upcoming issue of NSR. It is a full build up on my AC44C4M. 10 pages of fun!

It has been warm working on the layout, but I have been progressing just the same. Mostly scenery work. I was heavy into the making of trees, but now I have transitioned into roads. It feels good to be getting all this asphalt down.

To recap:
More trees in Hinckley. I have now planted two full boxes of Scenic Express Super Trees (250-ish trees). I think 4-5 more boxes will get me to a good place. MP 74 looks good, I need to fill in all the way to MP 75.
At the Horizon Mill, I added the fall protection system above the flour cars (yellow structure) and a radio tower behind the HQ.

I started experimenting with the Woodland Scenics Smooth-It Road system. I started with W 1st St in Rush City.
 From there I went to CRR 133 in Hinckley. The Pan Pastel weathering really brought it home.
Next I added the blacktop to 415th St in North Branch. I mocked up Zinpro in Foam Core before I started the project. Since taking this photo I have weathered the blacktop, contoured the terrain between Zinpro and the road and I added the crossbucks at the grade crossing.
I mocked up the Titan office in Foam Core, but then I got excited, so I built the styrene verion. I still need to paint it, but I have since added the grass to the right of the building and one of the AC units outside. I hope to install the Titan-Lansing sign tonight.

I think that gets everyone caught up with the bulk of the work. Hopefully my next update will come sooner!

Monday, May 29, 2017

May Update

Where did this month go? I seriously blinked and it was gone!
I've made progress in a few different areas this month. Engines, freight cars, structures and scenery.

I finally finished the BNSF AC44C4M I started 3 years ago. This will be added to my BNSF fleet for unit sand train power.
I also finished a custom ES44C4 project. This one will probably head to eBay. I like the Swooshes, but I think I have more than I need.
Work has started on the control tower for Titan-Lansing. I have a ways to go, but I'm happy to get this one kicked off.
 You can see the prototype in the lower left part of this photo.
I also got another box of SuperTrees. I made about 100 so far, I think that gets me up to about 400 or 500 trees on the layout so far.
I also body mounted the couplers and added conspicuity striping to a few more freight cars. I think I have about 2/3 of the layout cars body mounted at this point. I think I'm only about 60% on the conspicuity striping. At least they all are weathered and have metal wheels.