Hi-Ho! It's been a while since I posted to my blog. I've been sick on and off for the better part of September & now October - pneumonia... fun, fun. However you didn't check in here to see how I'm doing health-wise... TRAINS!
So, let me fill you in on a couple of minor things...
A few posts back I mentioned that several craftsman kit manufacturers have announced their limited edition releases for the year. Well, there was a rather disgusting controversy with one of the most prominent kit manufacturers, Fine Scale Miniatures. Plagarism and downright stealing of someone else's design, along with the aftermath created by the owner of FSM and a lack of ethics or integrity has soured me completely from buying any past or future kit that FSM would ever put out. I will say no more about it, other than to say I'll never endorse it.
I will however, mention that Fos Scale Limited (http://www.foslimited.com/) has come out with a very large, very nice limited edition, multi-building kit, called Canal Steet & Third. It's an amazing five building kit and limited to only 150. I wish I could get one, as owner Doug Foscale has put plenty of variety and a touch of humor in a kit that has a lot of uses... the buildings can be separated or used together (he has them in a little town scene, that includes a multi-level street arrangement!). While I'm disappointed, I am not too much so, since the Boss let me get Scott Mason's Limited Kit, the Laskey Cabinet Company (http://www.scottymason.com/Laskey_Cabinet.html), as an early Grad School Graduation present. I think this is a very well made kit, with much appeal and will fit in with my layout design. I get to pick it up at the 2009 Craftsman Structure Show (Scott: be ready to autograph the instructions!). And, for those who are interested in getting your first craftsman style kit, check out Jimmy Deignan's Railroad Kits line (www.railroadkits.com). He's offering several skill levels of kits and there's something for everyone... I have two and plan on a couple more (hopefully for Christmas! Hint, hint, honey?).
Speaking of layouts, I finally have a 99% completed track plan. Bob Sprague from the Model Railroad Forums (http://www.kitforums.com/) has taken it to task to come up with the below track plan. I think it's a real winner!
It's still got a couple of minor tweaks to go, but this is essentially ready to start construction. I even started acquiring the necessary roadbed, switches, and kits (Laskey's is one). I've also started building those structures I have to get them ready to fit. While it's great to have an idea of each structure or mini-scene's footprint, it's best to have the buildings ready to go and figure it all out, almost like a jig-saw puzzle. For those who don't already know, the layout will be called RF&P's Doswell Junction - that's the main Layout Design Element. It's a real junction between the Chesapeake & Ohio (C&O) and Richmond, Fredericksburg, & Potomac (RF&P) railroads. time period is '75-'80. It'll be a multi-operator layout as well, probably 3-4 (max) people, but still be small enough if I want to do some "Lone Wolf" train running. All the locos will have DCC and Sound, so I think this will be a fun as well as operationally entertaining layout. Now, I just got to build it. Anyone who wants to help, learn, or just hang out, c'mon down and check it out!
Last, but not least, I had the privledge to be part of an interview on modern, prototype-based model railroading, on the September Scotty Mason Show (check out http://www.modelrailroadpodcast.com/). It was a very interesting discussion with Host Scott Mason and weathering and structure-building guru, Mike Rose. I hope our discussion was both entertaining and educational...
Well, I best get on to resting up, so I can enjoy my family and my passion for trains!