I think it’s obligatory for a hobby blog to 1) start any post after a long period of noting with an explanation why, and 2) a comment about how unnecessary such explanations are…
So here is my totally unnecessary explanation of why it’s been nearly a year since I’ve done any significant modeling. I think that covers #2 so on to #1, about a year and a half ago I made a pretty big job change, that changed what kind of time I had to do hobby related things so it dropped off significantly fast forward to this fall we came to the realization that the room that my home office/train room lived in would be better utilized as a bedroom so that’s what happened and the layout/storage shelf came down.
Fast forward a couple months and I’m sort of settled into my new office (in terms of work) but haven’t done anything modeling related other than stacking boxes on shelves in the closet. Then I see this post show up in my RSS feed: Scalescenes Box File Layout
Now I had looked at Scalescenes before as I have done a couple printed card stock models but at the time I couldn’t justify spending the time or money on something that wouldn’t even be on the same continent as my ongoing projects. But I have wanted to do some UK themed projects for quite a while (and my UK trip last year didn’t help with that 🙂 ) but I was looking at it from the lens of 1) I don’t have active projects, 2) I don’t have a lot of space and this doesn’t take much space, and 3) this is awesome.
I don’t have much started yet (hence no picture) as I’m waiting on supplies (the size boxfile they use isn’t terribly common in the US) and I’ve got vague memories of various things I’ve seen on blogs that I saved away somewhere for when I did a project like this… and have no idea where I saved all these things but expect to see more here soon.
Earlier this week I started tearing down my shelf layout. In short the room that is my home office and train room needs to be re-purposed as a bedroom which means I need to put the closet back in… the one I removed to accommodate the shelf layout.
As I’ve been packing things up I’ve found a lot of started but not finished projects so maybe it’s a good opportunity to try and get some of these projects done before I start thinking about figuring out another layout.
It’s been a long time since I’ve updated, and it’s not a weekend and also not a specific topic so I’ve decided to be a little cheeky.
Primarily I’ve just been too busy with kids activities and work. At the end of August and beginning of September my wife and I had a trip to the UK. We didn’t really see much train related stuff because I more paying for it than planning it 🙂
There were a few things that were tangentially train related that I also managed to get pictures of (and a bunch of things I couldn’t/didn’t for various reasons). To start if off we were in Oxford briefly (on our way to Highclere Castle which was cool) and as we were walking to Christ Church College (which was also cool) I saw a sign for Pembroke Square which made me think of Pembroke:87.
We took a train from Edinburgh to London and there was plenty of cool rail infrastructure and trains but where I was seated couldn’t really take any pictures but one day in London I looked up and saw a “CANADIAN PACIFIC” and I thought that was pretty cool.
The only other train related pictures from that vacation are of Waverly and Kings Cross station.
I’ll also included this picture because I think it is one of the best ones I took, and this was just a quick shot with my phone.
In more local news I got a ScaleTrains.com SD40-2 I ordered back in January. This one is a rivet counter EMD Leasing unit. Unfortunately like my last ScaleTrains.com SD40-2 this one also arrived in not perfect condition.
I was able to get the truck re-attached fine and it seems to run well. It’s a DCC ready one so I added a LokPilot 4.0 decoder to try and get all the lighting effects possible without having to pay for sound. I’ve got the colored class lights working which is pretty cool but have yet to get the strobe light to turn on at all yet.
It would be nice if the cool lighting effects were available on the operator edition because I don’t really need all the easily breakable detail pieces (like the ones I broke trying to get the shell open to fix it and install the decoder) but I guess we can’t have everything.
In other news Jeremy Dummler’s WordPress blog was compromised and he basically lost the content of his blog. He has a new blog setup at http://trainmodeler.com/ so check it out if you were following his blog before and hadn’t heard… or just check it out if you are looking for a good model railroading blog.
First off, yes posts 3 days in a row… it’s been a crazy snow storm.
Most of my weekend was converting cars to Sergent couplers and making more. I ended up putting together some 64 couplers with only 3 not making the cut (one I forgot a ball bearing, two glued shut but they are soaking in acetone to be redone) I only got 8 cars converted so I’ve got a good stash of couplers ready to go.
I also dug out some long languishing projects, I’m hoping being visible will help them get a little more attention to get done!
Right now I’m in the middle of “snowmaggedon” (ice, a lot of snow, and blizzard conditions) so to stave off a little cabin fever I worked on some coupler conversions. I’ve been reorganizing my home office/train room and found some cement hoppers in what I thought was a repair drawer but I can’t find anything wrong with them and can’t remember what was broken so maybe they’ve been sitting in the drawer a couple years for no reason.
I ended up running out of couplers, and it’s still snowing, so I there was nothing for it but to make some more.
I ended up making 32 more, 30 standard ones and 2 narrow shank ones. The narrow shank ones belong to cars that have been half converted, that is a Sergent on one end and Kadee on the other. I’m also planning on finishing some scratch building projects I started a while ago and doing Accurail scale coupler boxes and narrow shank couplers.
I was going through my paints to see if I had anything on hand to use for my speeder shed (not that it’s done by any means, just had a few minutes). I settled on Vallejo Model Air 71.105 Brown, it looked pretty good brushing it on a test piece so I thought to myself “once I get my airbrush working I’ll have to start painting it”
Then I realized, that’s how I tend to not get things done so I pulled out a brush and started on one side. Being fairly thin airbrush paint it takes several coats to brush it on but it’s something I’ve been able to spread out over short painting sessions with good results so far.
I still haven’t figured out what I’m going to do for shingles yet though I’m open to any suggestions.
When we last left our scratch building project I’d gotten the basic shell built up. I ordered some smaller styrene to trim wood and this weekend got a chance to continue work.
I think I should have gone a little smaller on the trim, especially on the small window but it’s what I had it and just went with it. I was able to straighten out the windows and doors with the trim pieces which does make it look quite a bit nicer so that’s a plus.
I’ve got some scraps in my styrene stockpile that should work for the roof and doors so I’ll have to try them next. I’m also going to take some of the cutoffs of the siding to test paint colors and see what looks good.
I realize I’ve done scratch building before but I’ve never built a building before. Since my layout will require almost entirely scratch built buildings I thought I’d start with something simple.
This is not something I scratch built, this is a card stock building I made a couple years ago. I like it, it looks awesome… but keeping things straight is a hassle and it weighs nothing so it doesn’t like to stay put. But most importantly it’s a simple building so it seemed like a good thing to try replicating (and it’s handy not having to convert any measurements).
I started with some clapboard siding styrene, once I got the walls all cut out I went to glue the walls together. I had even gotten some Plastruct specifically for styrene and that’s when things went wrong. I used some magnets to try and hold the first two pieces and ended ruining the siding.
After that I switched to CA glue because it works reasonably fast and doesn’t melt the plastic.
Overall I’m pretty happy with how it’s turning out so far, I need to dig through my styrene to find some pieces for the doors, roof, and trim pieces for part 2. I also need to determine how dilapidated I want to make it look once painted. I didn’t really have a choice with the card stock version as that’s how it printed out. I’ll probably go with a better maintained look as my diorama’s era is more contemporary to when the building would be well maintained.
I’ll also note this progress has been the result of small bits over several weeks. It’s been a nice project where i can come spend a couple minutes on something and put it away until I have time again (so don’t necessarily expect part 2 to be published tomorrow 🙂 )
In my last post I alluded to an issue with my second ScaleTrains SD40-2, rather than detailing it in the post I sent off a note to ScaleTrains support line and ended up in an email conversation with the VP of Product Development well after normal business hours. Huge kudos to ScaleTrains for the great support. That locomotive is still waiting on a decoder but in the meantime I had a friend point out that I had managed to get two BNSF SD40-2s with a number ending in 21. Wasn’t intentional… just made sure I didn’t do the same number.
My friend Mike had an operating session this last week and I took 6821 and it ran exceptionally well which is always nice. I managed to grab some photos of it in the wonderful scenery Mike has done.
On a more local note I’ve been doing a little bit of work on my layout, it hasn’t been much because of being busy, seasonal illness etc but finding some little things to do when I can. I had the idea to 3D print some knobs for my PDC switch machines… and then my imagination got the better of me. First I thought it’d be cool to have a representation of the turnout on the knob. Then I took it to the next logical step, put LEDs in it that light up to show the current route.
I’m sure it would have worked but I’ve come to decide it might be too fiddly and I should probably take a step back and go with something simpler for now at least.
As an update to my previous post I did find the biggest problem I had was related to layout issues not electrical pickup (dirty track and a failing power routing switch on a turnout). The next issue was a fuel tank issue that I was able to easily fix so I wanted to update because I realized after the fact I might have come across a bit more negative than I wanted to and don’t want to leave my readers with an incorrect impression.
I also received a second SD40-2 (though this one doesn’t have a DCC decoder yet) and a buffer service hopper. I’ll have more on this in a later post as there was a slight issue with this order and I am going to wait until ScaleTrains responds before I post on it.
Progress on the layout is going well, I’ve been installing ties on the turnouts and have some found some electrical faults that need to be fixed but after a long drought work is getting done.
(Sorry for the poor lighting, the layout lighting messes with my phones camera and the room lighting is positioned such that I could only get a picture with my shadow in it)