Tie Plates Everywhere!




Was going to use a Dime for scale but the color similarities made it hard to get a good and clear shot


Last night I had a good opportunity to work on some tie plate gluing, the kids were in bed my lovely wife was out with friends and I have today off work so I could work late into the night.

Since the last time I’d done tie plates I’d emailed Andy from Proto87 Stores to ask him about using the syringes for gluing. I’d tried a couple glues but had never been able to draw it into the syringe. It turns out the way to do it is pull out the plunger and load it from the top. I will just say using a 0.008″ syringe needle to apply CA is possibly the best thing ever.

My initial goal was to get the 9″ stretch I’d already started done for tie plates and call it a night, but I really found my groove so to speak. Apply the right amount of glue to the right spot (made way easier with the syringe), drop it in and probably the biggest time saver is do minimal adjustments. I found the more I tried to adjust it the more likely I was to push it out of alignment. Before I knew it I’d not only finished that section I also had a back stock of ties (and several episodes of Dr Who had played in the background).


That may not look like much but it’s good for another 9 inches of track and should be enough with extras for the Speeder Shed diorama.

Weekend Update 22

Trains, Weekend Update

Despite having a holiday weekend, and the kids at the grandparents for a whole week I got basically no modeling done this last week. But it was nice today  (40F) so I set up the space heater in the garage for a while and pulled out the pliobond (which has a very strong odor which is why it was in the garage) and put glued down a rail.


It went pretty well hopefully it bonds well. I realized after I put everything out I should have included a reference object like a Dime as I recently took a tie with tie places to work to show an interested coworker and he was blown away with how small it was since all my posted pictures are quite zoomed in. I got a couple spikes in too but I can’t tell if they are far enough down. I suspect the one on the fourth from right tie isn’t down tight. These spikes were ones I’d already painted so I had a little more contrast putting them in.

More Tie Plates


I was able to get some time to work on tie plates this afternoon and managed to get a 9″ section done on one side. My plan is to try glue down one rail before I finish the other side to make sure tie plates are in gauge when I glue them down (or at least that’s the plan)


I was working under my new desk lamp which you might recognize if you read Jeremy Dummler’s 78 Miles to Yosemite blog as he mentioned it in a Modeling Tools post back in October. It’s a LAMPAT Dimmable LED Desk Lamp which sounds like something you might find at Ikea but is actually available on Amazon.

Tie some plates down



I was able to restart my Proto87 track work for my speeder shed diorama tonight. I had ordered some new supplies so I’d have un-painted materials to work with. I’m not sure yet if my pre-painting last time was causing problems with the glue but for sure having things un painted made it way easier to see what I was doing. I only got one row from the fret done (which is why I stopped at an odd number) and don’t think I’ve quite got a good rhythm to it yet but I feel like it’s going better than last time.

I get asked a lot why I torture myself like this, which is a good question… I usually joke that I’m nuts or a gluton for punishment. Those might be true but I think a better answer might be in my day job. The new fancy general term is “knowledge worker” (or so I’ve been told) so I usually spend an inordinate amount of time sitting in an “open workspace” (which is just code for a hard place to concenrate) trying to concentrate and solve problems (that are mostly caused by bad decisions out of my control) and at the end of the work day all I’ve done is shifted some 1s and 0s around and probably given myself a headache.

Model building on the other hand I generally don’t have to think too hard and at the end have something tangible to show for it. This is why I like hand spiking track, I can just sit there and perform a repetitive task. I just look tie plates, scale spikes, and joint bars as taking things to the next level. Doing it isn’t neccesarily fun, but very satisfying.