19 August, 2013

A Look At What's Still Left

Every so often, I get to a point where I feel overwhelmed with all the things I 'need' (want, really) to do for the layout.  So, I take a little time to write/type it out in a document.  Here's my latest iteration, after looking at what's done and still 'needs' to happen. Who know if & when it will get done, but it's nice to brain dump and then have a little tickler to pick & choose what I can afford and want to do. Hope this will help you, if you're thinking about building a layout and what you 'need/want' to do.

I. LAYOUT CONSTRUCTION
1.     Turnout controls:
a.     Blue Point Switch Machines to control all staging switches – Eight completely installed & functioning, but need stiffer rods!  Have four remaining switch machines & control pulls.  NOTE: Challenging to install; need two people – high priority.
2.     Track (i.e. Fix kinks & gaps, paint, etc):
a.     Ballast Track:  In Progress.  Using leftover Woodland Scenics ballast for C&O, baseball diamond dirt for gravel plant, and the Scenic Express Ballast for RF&P.
b.     Painting:   In Progress – Left half  of layout track was spray painted!  Do NOT DO AGAIN! Going to hand paint with acrylics AFTER ballasting!
c.      South Wye Interchange track – coming up; needs regluing & possible adjustment.
d.     Weather Track – barely started; need to follow Joe Fugate’s and others, to stain ballasted track between rails, etc.
3.     Duck-Under –INSTALL black/yellow safety striping & get 1/4”-thick Plexiglas on either edge, to keep trains from falling off, but will not block view.  Check Lowes or Home ‘Despot’.
4.     Fascia (1/8” thick x 7” deep) – Paint Satin Black, to match Valence (see below).
NOTE:  Apply with a Roller!!
5.     Backdrop/Scenery Painting – in progress; Day is not happy with style & scale - planning to redo.  Want low, rolling hills to the west, with lots of trees.  Need a decent picture of Squashapenny Junction, to put on Backdrop!
6.     Landforms & Scenery
a.     Scenery to hide staging – In progress.
b.     Trees – need lots more!  Super Trees, Sedum Trees, and kit trees.
c.      Lay out roads – in progress.
d.     Lay out Route 1 (Jefferson Davis Hwy) – in progress.  Scribed expansion joints, painted, and glued in place; needs lines and signage.
e.      Day’s Mountain – Scott Mason painted and put basic scenic layer on.
7.     Structures & Scenic Elements needed/planned for:
a.     HN Cabin (Alkem Scale Models kit) – in progress, but slow going; back shelved.
b.     Doswell Station – NOT STARTED;  Built mock-up and gave suggested compression to Jimmy Simmons – final kit too difficult to make with his schedule; shelved at present, due overloaded custom orders.
c.      Doswell Freight House – NOT STARTED – needs to be scratch built; have only a few pictures of prototype from Paul Dolkos; working with Michael Duggan (Paw of A Bear) to make into a kit.  Awaiting a mock-up.
d.     Norm’s Gas & Oil – scenicked, all buildings done, arranging on layout, basing and adding exterior details.
e.      Daisy’s Doswell Diner – scenicked, completely assembled, arranging on layout, basing and adding exterior details.
f.       Sprague’s Gravel and Sand – scenery In Progress.
g.     L. Baker Produce Supply (Fos Scale Structures Kit) renamed to Milford Produce Supply – structure complete;.  Needs lighting (with Microlumina LEDs) completed.
h.     Bear Island Paper Plant –in progress; built mock-ups– need to add some paper ‘details’ such as roller freight doors.
i.       Laskey’s Cabinet Company – COMPLETED, but not based and mini-scenes incomplete. Probably will take off the layout.
j.       North Doswell Pulpwood Yard – in progress; dirt down, office placed, 1st pulpwood pile (Walthers) procured.  Received Log Lifter; what else is needed to finish scene? Possibly, a Log semi-trailer
k.     ‘Route 1’? Overpass – Rix Highway Overpass - Kit - 50' w/Pier. Have two assembled; ordered one more pier (due in by 8/21/13).
l.       V-1 Propane – buildings and LPG tank out, but not placed.  Need fence placed as well. Not sure of name, either (currently named for Daylene’s home town dealer).
II. OPERATIONS
1.     DCC:  Set up Locomotive Consists – HIGH PRIORITY! - In Progress.  MAX: 2 Locos per consist.  In most cases, pair up one sound-equipped with one non-sound.  Also, EMD with EMD, GE with GE.
2.     Determine Operating System – in progress
a.     How will it run?  I like what Paul Dolkos is doing for his layout (dispatcher uses car cards & waybills, then gives operators switch lists - see MRP 2010).  Discussed again with him 07/10/10 & confirmed probable method.  NOTE:  Car Card & Waybill System is in-place; most cars & locomotives on layout or able to run have Card Cards; Waybills about 15% complete.  Also, nothing done for consisted locos or cabooses – not sure what to do yet.
b.     Prototype used Switch lists (have an e-copy recreated in MS Excel).
c.      Determine “crew size” for comfortable & safe op session – four maximum, in pit (w/one additional as a dispatcher at desk?) 
Can possibly double crew size, if I do two “tricks” per operating session?  Not likely.
d.     Get Off-Layout Storage for Rolling Stock & Engines – in progress, but not enough!
e.      Create car tracking database – started in Excel; low priority.
3.     Electrical/DCC Materials
m.  Digitrax Throttle – Send one UT4R; get one converted , for taking to future op sessions (i.e. Ralph’s layout in November, etc.) at www.digitrax.com.  High Priority!  Also, eventually upgrade DT400 to a DT402 directly from Digitrax.   Final, after all UT4s are converted.
n.     Fast Clock – Super Chief system has a clock built in, so only need a display for operators to see (if deemed useful for Ops). Low Priority
4.     Signaling system – Low Priority – started; bought a dwarf signal and a switch to mount on fascia.  Need to research & plan it out! Also, need some crossing sigs?
a.     Historical Note:  RF&P was Centralized Traffic Control (CTC) in ’80.
b.     Determine whether to ‘simulate’ (non-live), or ‘imitate’ (live/working); layout may be too small for anything other than ‘simulated’.
III.  MISCELLANEOUS
1.     Lighting – Fixtures: Completed.  Purchased some large, white foamcore panels (Wal-Mart) to mount in overhead (inside of valence) to keep light from going up into joists.
2.     Valence – Installed.  Still need to seal seams (wood blocks?), then paint satin Black.

3.     Flooring & Benchwork skirting – Need more workout mats from Wal-Mart, for crew comfort (concrete is hard on feet & knees!).  Eventually, skirting materials (black?)

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