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.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

April Progress

I've had another Ops Session, I'm hoping to have another one soon. They seem to be a great way to stimulate progress.

My last session lasted a little over 2 hours and flowed well. I think I only had to bad order one car the entire time, and over 50 cars were moved during the session.

Here a cut of cars are being brought into Rush City. The sole bad order was moved to the engine house for repair. The Master Car Repairmen there had it back in service the next day.
The scene if filling in nicely. The Mill got a base coat of white and is waiting for detailing. The garage behind the Masonic Lodge is in and the ground cover is expanding. There is less than half a square foot left to cover in the 18 square feet of Rush City.
I began work on the Creekside Cafe, another Rush City landmark taking shape.
The Prototype:
I also worked more on Ivy Farms. It turns out they are a trucking company. That makes a lot more sense than the dairy they once were.
It looks like they got a new roof on the shed. I'll have to repaint mine.
Rock Creek is closer to done too. I got the rails painted, I repainted the bridge piers and added guard rails. I got more of the ground cover done (it still has a long way to go). But the bridge is in an weathered. Best of all it holds up trains.
Thanks for watching!

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Feb/March Update

I was hoping to get this update out last month, but I've been busy. Right now I am trying to get Rush City closer to completion. There are so many details my mind (and camera) remember that it is hard to capture them all. There are some gaps to fill in, but I'm getting there.

Grade crossing are close to done. I still need to figure out detection so I can have the lights and bells operate.
The forests continue to grow. I found I can make about 80-90 N Scale trees out of one box of Super Trees.
The Mill is getting detailed, here the loading dock progresses. The parking lot is next.
The garage for the funeral home is in. I didn't feel like scratch building it, so I had it 3D printed for me.
 More Mill details going in.
 Details for the Masonic Lodge. They now have garbage service!
It will be a few weeks till I get any more done, work is keeping me busy right now! Thanks for watching!

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Happy New Year!

I find when I get on a roll making progress, I forget to document it. I missed December altogether, so I will get you up to speed.

First I want to take a look back to a year ago to remind us what the Skally Line looked like then:
Since then I replaced the foam-core mill with the styrene version (still not painted), I finished the engine house and the speeder shed. I have done a bunch of ballasting and ground cover as well. The same scene looks a lot different today:
Taking a step back we can see the park across from the Masonic Lodge. I've started making SuperTrees where appropriate.
Here is the view looking south at the Mill. You can see the north engine house switch that got added just after the prototype last year. I finally got some good PD hoppers for hauling flour, thank you BLMA/Atlas. These are amazing looking cars.
Ivy Farms Creamery has started to take shape just north of the Mill. I still have a building and a half to finish there, but the scene feels more complete already.
Here is a look at the Masonic Lodge before I installed it on the layout. After sitting for two years I finally finished the front stoop, the front door, the fire escape and some other details. I just need to make decals for the signs now.
I'm glad I got the pictures looking back. When you stare at it every day, it doesn't feel like much has happened. But then you look back and see how much you really did get done. I hope this year yields the same amount of progress.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

The November Break

In November I have to start making sure I take days off, before New Years hits. I took advantage of the time to make some Skally progress.
I've been working one end of the line to the other... in Rush City I added the roof to the engine house. I need to add some details and then paint it up. I also weathered all the new flour cars, so they don't look so... new.
 I added some sidewalks to 4th St. Now I need to fill in the park and add an artillery piece.
I forgot to mention I also started the electrical substation that sits just North of the Ardent Mill.
 I added the newest customer on the line, Interstate Energy. The LPG cars are already off-loading.
 I scratch built the unloading racks. I'll go back an spruce the scene up later, but it works for now.
 I finally made it back to the Rock Creek bridge. Sorry for the bad exposure on the shot. I hope to get some track permanently set soon on this one.
Tiller, or should I say "Titan-Lansing" now has started to materialize. I mocked up the sand sorting and cleaning tower (to scale) out of foamcore and I built the loadout shed (out of styrene). The construction trailer is there to remind me to finish the scene...
Lots of progress, but nothing done, so it goes.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween! A couple of weeks ago I was in North Carolina shooting the Blue Ridge Southern (BLU) and the NS. While photographing the NS near the North Carolina Transportation Museum in Spencer, I got a shot of the infamous Pumpkin Car TCMX 20821.
I almost missed the shot on the pumpkin car because I was so focused on the power for the train, it was 4 C44-9Ws, 2 SD40-2s (one of which was NS 1625, one of the last High Hoods) and a GP38-2.
The BLU was one of the highlights of the trip. We caught the T31 in Asheville, interchanging with the NS. They picked up about 30 loaded woodchip cars. My friend Hunter was conductor and gave a friendly wave as he passed us. The train had 3 SD45 bodied SD40M-2s. It reminded me of the Skally with the BLU's knock-off paint scheme.
Here we caught the T31 closing in on Canton, NC. 
Canton is home to a large paper mill. We got to watch the crews switch the plant out, and I got this nice scenic shot of the plant.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Engine Update

Not a lot to report. I made some progress on the LNG facility. On a good note, after an extended hiatus, I've finally gotten back to locomotive building. I scratched one more of the list with the completion of NP 3617. This was a fun build using a 3D printed cab.
Finishing this engine leaves me one SD45 left to do, GN 400. That will probably wait until after I finish some BNSF power.