Saturday, October 29, 2011

Update on my layout

Here's a picture of another section of the layout I've recently been working on. It's the east entrance to Cordelia tunnel on my layout. Not much of the scenery is yet 'scenicked' but it has the raw forms in place. Card board strips , polystyrene foam and masking tape make the rough contours of the terain. Once this is completed, I'll paint it with an earth tone latex paint. Over this a layer of a terrain mix paste is applied (the paint serves to make the paste stick to the masking tape better). This mix is made up of portland cement, vermiculite, and crack filling plaster, mixed with water. I got this technique from Joe Fugate's scenery dvd series (10 mile Creek).
On the picture my (new) SP 7305 leads NE 1623 with a short local into the tunnel.  (the absence of a tunnel  portal still very obvious).

Thursday, October 27, 2011


The SD40 locomotive and derivatives was/is a well known locomotive on the US railroad networks, also the Southern Pacific ordered 79 of these 3000 hp strong locomotives, that were powered by the then new EMD 645 engine, in a turbo charged V16 configuration. The SP received these locos numbered 8400-8478. Later on in life, they underwent the SP rebuild program, basically an effort to extend their life and reliability (upgraded controls etc). They were then renumbered in the 7300 series and went through life with the designation SD 40R .
I've just ordered a model of this locomotive. According to it's number its a rebuild unit, namely 7305. How accurate it is I do not know yet, perhaps there will be some work needed to fully reflect changes that may have occured during the rebuild. One thing I've noted from the pictures below is that the real loco has an additional set of lights on the nose, which the Athearn RTR model lacks, a nice little project to add in due time.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Layout Progress

It's been a bit quiet recently I admit. I guess I suffered from writers block a little, and I hadn't done too much, however I am pleased to report that in the last week or two, I've managed to progress a little further on my own layout. This is what's been happening:
- I've continued installing some scenery 'webbing', cardboard strips that will form the skeleton over which hills etc will be formed.
- I've bought and measured out some 3mm MDF board, which I'll be using to make the fascia, I've also bought a green paint which I'll use to paint it with.
- I've also installed an inspection pit inside the CFNR workshop but need to work a little on a few details and finishing before I'll grace this blog with a picture of it. I've used the commercial available pit from Peco as the basis.
- I've ordered a Golden West Service box car (patched for SP) and a further one I've just won on e-bay. These box cars were / are in regular service in the domain of the SP and CFNR, so I had to have a few.
- Lastly I've also won a Chevrolet Van made by Herpa, suitable for the period I'm modeling, so that the cars on the road add to the correct for the feel of the era and area.  I've not even gotten to the point of detailing roads yet, but when I come accross an item that I feel I can use , I'll buy it, so that I've got it in stock when it's needed. Particularly my era cars are hard to come by. I've mentioned before that I need to rely on second hand models mostly, as the manufacturers seem to only make transition era and modern (current ) cars, nothing much from the '80's early 90's at present.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Steve Jobs

I've always used Macs ever since I used personal computers, since 1991. This blog is written using one, a Mac that has been working for over 8 years, and still is almost as useful today as it was back then. I wouldn't want to use any other computer to write this blog with.(unless it's another Mac)
 On October 5th, it's 'inventor' died, Steve Jobs, due to ill health related to cancer he contracted several years ago. During his life time he told many to live like it's your last day, to do what you enjoy most, be creative, think differently. This is also true for a model railroader, being creative, and think out side the box to come up with a solution to a modeling challenge requires the same creative thinking.
Thank you Steve for your vision, your products, and your lessons. R.I.P.