30 August, 2019

Long Overdue Update

I finally got some mo' going, to get back to my model train 'obsession'. Of late, it's been more of an interest, and I guess that was bound to happen.  I stopped primarily because we were renting our home, and were not sure we'd buy it.  Having bought it in May, we're here to stay.  Also, moving out West has changed our behavior a bit.  We're closer to our kids and (very busy) grandkids, the weather is much nicer for outdoor activities like ATV ridin', shooting, and traveling, plus the job I'm in has some travel (that part isn't really new, except that it's confined to CO, UT, AZ, and NM).  All in all, it's good to be back, working on the layout.

In any case, I got back to building my benchwork.  For those who are interested, it is based off of David Barrow's Domino style.  However, the track plan (ably done by Bob S & modified slightly by Bernie K) is not, so I'm not quite sure why decided to build it this way - we hope to never move again, so probably I'll most-likely never move them, and it is rather lumber intensive ($$$).  But at this point, I'm in it for the long haul.  See below.




All the 'modules' are bolted together, and I'm working on the staging and the upper frames, for the plywood sub-base.  Some top frames WILL be modified, to allow some scenery to go below a flat plywood. Got a new Jigsaw and I hope to learn how to do some 'cookie cutting' of the plywood. I also hope to finish painting the four segments of luan back drop a basic blue.  One challenge I am facing, is the room is currently not air-conditioned/heated (naturally ventilated, due to HVAC equipment); that will be hopefully remedied with a friend's help, in a couple of weeks.  The ceiling fan I put up has helped, but not enough.




Recently, Rob Spangler was able to put me in touch with a fantastic modeler in my area, Doug Jolley.  He models in S-Scale (narrow gauge), and has a beautiful steam era layout (http://www.ldsig.org/jolleydrgw).  He and I are going to get together, to see if we can start putting down the track plan for the yard, and get me going.  For me, that's the hardest part.  Once I'm shown how to get track plan from paper to benchwork, or it's done by someone who has a clue/experience, I am pretty sure I can do the cork roadbed, and flex track.   The one big disadvantage of moving from VA, is I lost the amazing and skillful help of Bob, Bernie, and Shannon Crabtree, another modeler with a great HO layout (https://virginiamidlandrr.blogspot.com/).

One final note, I'm blessed to have a wonderful & supportive wife, who has allowed (well, insisted) me to make this year's Mid-Atlantic RPM (www.marpm.org), held in Baltimore, MD, next month, so if you're around, please stop by the volunteer table and say hi!  Until next update, have a great and safe Labor Day holiday weekend!

17 April, 2018

Another (Module) Frame Makes Some Dust

Hey!  Gonna get you two - another module frame made some dust - sawdust, that is!  Yes, I butchered a Queen song, but I am unable to stop myself. :oP

So, nothing big, just was able to get the leg leveling hardware at Lowe's.  I decided to finish putting that second module's legs on and get it up.  So, two 2'x4' module frames down, unsure how many more I'll do before I get a track plan.  As an FYI, the basic frames are set for 39", with adjustable feet.  Any additional height for tracks & scenery will be done with cleats/risers, from the three horizontals & side rails of each module.  And, backdrops will eventually be basic 1/8" thick, luan plywood, with a max height of 14-18".

On a slightly different note , I have been toying with my Medusa Cement (see previous post), and I saw that the 'ducting' on the Walthers kit is pretty basic.  Friend and modeler extraordinaire Ralph DeBlasi (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCO4KRWlsSoZIlkA5WMgGcSQ) suggested I get into some of the wonderful stuff Ed Traxler did with Rusty Stump's Scale Models, for HVAC Duct Fittings.  It's got my curiousity piqued on how it would look, so I'm going to order my share of fittings, now that I have supply of Evergreen square & round tubing.  This may get used on this kit, or to add some interesting detail on other basic structures I'll be using (from my previous switching layout) & creating.  Check out:  https://www.rustystumps.com/HVAC-Fittings.asp, if interested.

15 April, 2018

Pre-painting Fit Test for Medusa Cement

Being a little under the weather, I only got a little done on the layout... working on the sub-assemblies for Medusa Cement. Almost ready for the "paint booth".

11 April, 2018

And So, It Begins!

Well, I've finally been putting saw to wood and got one & a half module (frames) done.  These are based on David Barrow's Cat Mountain & Santa Fe "Domino" arrangement, shown in Jeff Wilson's Benchwork Book.  Just in case we don't buy the home we're in (a whole 'nuther story), this layout will go to storage or with me.  But, staying positive (no pun intended), I wired my temporary short wall, so I can use "electrickery" closer to where I need it and eventually for the layout. It will be a one stop on/off for the whole shebang.  So, just a quick few pictures, as I finished up a little work for the week.  No idea how or what I'll put on top of the modules just yet - working with the awesome layout & track planner, Robert Sprague (https://www.bobstrackplans.com/).  He's got some amazing plans on his site, so check it out.
"The Mess" - On the left is the Boss' canning shelves, center is the short wall, and to the right is where the modular layout will eventually go.  My old, door-based switching layout is still in boxes.
The short wall, to separate the food storage and model trains, also allowing me electricity closer to the layout.  It is currently able to plug into the only outlet for the unfinished room, via extension cord.  You can also see the first and a partly assembled second module frame, along with my model trains, still in bins/boxes.
Not much to it, just some 1x4s, 2x2s, and a couple of 1x3s for leg bracing.  It may be a bit before I get some trains running, but this is a good start.  In my mind, gotta have a space for some benchwork, and some benchwork to know what will fit on it...

09 March, 2018

Pictures of our "new" hobby areas

Our "happy mess", albeit temporary. We will organize more, hang more on walls, etc. And, the grandbabies' train table is already ordered.#LifeIsGood





Here We Go Again - I think!

I have been looking at many of my MR books, not the least of which is the late Andy Sperandeo's "The Model Railroaders Guide to Freight Yards".  In it, Dave Barrow's "domino" modules are shown in several places and are interesting to me. So, I ordered Jeff Wilson's updated benchwork book and that comes Saturday, to see about creating some.

Using my former Bowman Center, creating a small yard, and maybe some run between, or thru tracks, in what looks like an 8'x 16' (rough estimate) space, should be sufficient to keep me entertained.

Also, tonight a large folding table became my "new" workbench.  Just need some brighter lighting near it.  Bonus:  I found about 75% of my tools/stuff to actually start modeling and weathering again.  Super bonus: It is right near my Honey's new sewing/quilting station, so we can do our own stuff and yet be together! I'll get set more up tomorrow and take some pixes, while the warranty repairs guys are fixing the ceilings upstairs... THAT is a long story in and of itself.

17 October, 2017

Another Layout Shuts Down, but for a GREAT Reason!

I've not done much with the layout or even model railroading in the past six months or so, due to several things (life, family, work, our living situation, etc).  Well, the Bowman Center has come down (nothing but shelf brackets left, and that's going away soon as well), thanks to the above mentioned GREAT reason.  We're moving across this great country to be nearer to children and grandchildren, as well as a new job to peak my interests.

As such, it may be a while until I do something MR-ish.  I will certainly try to keep the blog alive, with some railfan exploits as I cross the country and get to our new home. Stay tuned!