Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Woodchip gondola progress

Here's a quick shot taken from my latest project. Visible here are two pairs of car sides, which had all the vertical braces and the top brace applied today. In stead of plastic bits, they now start to resemble what they're supposed to be. As you notice I mention two, what happened to number 3? Well, that one has to wait a bit, as my usual supplier only had 2 pairs of trucks in stock (Kadee), so I decided that I'll build two for now, and will build the 3rd one at a later date.
Also just visible in the bottom of the picture is my scale ruler. If you haven't got one, I recommend getting one, it's 10 times easier using one of these when converting measurements from a drawing onto styrene or similar, without difficult calculations etc. My ruler has scales (in feet and inches) for HO, N, S, and O, and even comes with a drill conversion table from US sizes to metric, as well as a recommended guide for drills and tap sizes. Less than £10,-.  Get one! :-)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Caboose again?

Perhaps I have a second change on getting a nice caboose. After the cancellation of the Exactrail C50-9 caboose, Athearn just announced a C50-7 caboose in their genesis range, available for pre-order now, and delivery in Feb 2012.
I may just order this one instead. Details on the prototype are here: http://www.athearn.com/newsletter/071911/01_Gen_BW_Caboose_071911.pdf
Of course I will still go ahead and scratchbuild my own at some point, I have too many parts on order etc to stop this now.

Athearn also announced a Rotary snow plow+ F7B power unit combo,in their RTR range, in several road names incl my favourite SP. However I am not that certain if these rotaries are 100% accurate for the SP version.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Too much going on

Sometimes I feel like I have too much going on at once, too many projects, locos, layout aspects, caboose, and now my newest distraction, building a SP G-100-17 woodchip gondola, 3 of them.... No wonder I never manage to complete something in the time I want. There is a bit of method to the madness though. I had plans (and already bought some parts) to build an SP C50-9 caboose, but having never scratchbuild a car before, I thought I start with something simpler, just to get used to it, and gain some skills. So a woodchip gondola, of which there were 1000's on the SP system at one point, and are still around today, would be a nice start. Here's a picture of the prototype:
And here is a picture of the 3 sets of car sides, simple styrene rectangles. Now comes the task of adding all the visible braces, at which point they will start to resemble more than just bits of plastic.... 
To be continued. :-)

Monday, July 11, 2011

New products

An airshow and new job meant I didn't have that much time to spend on rail road items. However, I do have some news. UK based model railroad retailer Model Junction, has teamed up with the renowned Pele Soeborg, to offer exclusively weathered rolling stock and locomotives under the MJweathered brand name.
Pele is of course well known through his several articles written in Model Railroader, as well as his books on various modelrailroad subjects, one being weathering and detailing called 'Done in a day'. If you don't trust yourself weathering, or it's just not for you, but like the look, this may be an option to consider. As expected the items are weathered beautifully. The only problem is, once you have one, you'll want your entire fleet weathered... Check out the Model Junction website for details.

Friday, July 1, 2011


It's July already, time flies when you're having fun. I was able to do a little in the last week too.
I've started laying some track for the next part of the layout, and re-layed some parts where the Davis Station was going to be, but got cancelled due to lack of space. I would not be able to do it justice, so perhaps on a next layout :-)
I've installed a Tortoise turnout motor too, which is pretty easy to do with my type of roadbed. I just cut a hole in the foam to the right size and the tortoise slots right in, easy to remove etc. I'm pleased how that worked out. The next step will be to wire some of this track up and connect it to the power bus going under the layout. I put feeders on about every 2 meters of straight track, and of course where needed around turnouts and insulated rail joiners etc.
I've also changed jobs within my company, this means that my travel patterns will be more regular and I'll be home most weekends. This will increase the precious family time, and of course , gives me more opportunities to do some work on the layout too.