Tuesday, January 29, 2013

SP Cement train Picture of the month

Below is a SP cement train, somewhere in the early '80s,  running on the SP coastline headed for San Luis Obispo, CA.
 Motive power is GP9 3428, hauling 5 PS-2 cement hoppers, and a caboose.

And yes, it's a model.
The loco is a detailed, repainted and weathered Lifelike Proto2000 GP9, and the hoppers are from a variety of sources (Kadee, Atlas etc), all detailed / decalled and weathered, by Brian Moore.

Photo by Brian Moore

Monday, January 28, 2013

Athearn announces new GP50

Athearn has just announced their new GP50 in their Genesis line of locomotives.

The models are based on the earlier release of the GP38-2, sharing the same modular construction and mechanics. Athearn has developed a new set of molds to enable them to produce a variety of 'Geeps' over the coming years, rather than having to develop molds for each locomotive variation. It can be as easy as just attaching a different short hood, different door set, roof ventilator etc etc.

Below a video of their introduction. They will ship later this year.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Operating sessions at the local club

Recently, I was present and operating at our local club, using modular boards build to the NMRA-BR specification. For more about our standard , visit the NMRA-BR website at: www.nmrabr.org.uk , or better still, become a member, only 23 pounds per year , including our own full colour bi monthly magazine Roundhouse.

This video was filmed by Mike Ruby, with the intention to show how long a switching session can last, if you operate proto-typically .  It is an aspect of the hobby that is getting more and more interest in the UK and elsewhere, and is much more fun than just watching trains run around in circles. It gives them a purpose.
Hope you enjoy it.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

SP power at Napa Jct

SP Power on the service track at Napa Jct CFNR service facilities.

It's 1994:

The California Northern is about 1 year old, and running over former SP trackage. The SP is still present however, and takes over trains that the CFNR brings down to Napa Jct. and elsewhere. Here a string of mixed SP power waits for their next assignments. Meanwhile CFNR SD9 203, one of 4 SD9's they own, is just about to depart with a short mixed freight West to Suisun, and will continue it's run north towards Willits, to be part of a lash up of 4 SD9's for the downhill run of a long string of flat cars loaded with wood, the so called Willits turn.
This run with many grades needs to be operated with locos equipped with Dynamic brakes, and the SD9's are the only locomotives so equipped owned by the CFNR. The fleet of GP15-1 are normally used for the flatter runs.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Interior details

I wanted to add some interest to the warehouse I'm building so I decided to model the building with one of it's 3 freight doors open. I then needed some interior details, but wanted to make sure that it appears that the building is quite large and has lots of storage, after all, it is a warehouse.

I decided to surf the web to find a suitable picture, that I scaled down and printed out. I glued the picture on a piece of scrap styrene and glued this a short distance behind the door opening.
To further create the illusion of depth, I will add some 3D details in front of the picture, and of course the door frames etc still need to be added too.
The overall effect is already quite good, so it gives me hope that the end result will look convincing.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Scratch building a warehouse

I needed a rail served industry for my module 'Wolter Springs', so I had a look around commercial kits that I could possibly use.
I found however that none would really fit the bill, and would need significant kit bashing to fit in the space I had planned for it.
It is at an angle and therefore the building, when viewed from the top would need to be largely triangular. I therefore decided to scratch build my own warehouse. It is entirely 'made up', I don't have a specific prototype for it, but I will make sure it will look 'authentic' enough not to look unrealistic. Besides, I had several scrap bits of styrene laying about that I could use.

Here is an 'in progress' picture of it's current status. This evening I've spend extending the structure , added a door and steps , re-enforced the inside of the walls and added a ledge on which the roof can be put down, and put a loading floor inside behind the doors. This will enable me to add a small amount of interior details that might be visible where the doors will be modeled open, but not the complete depth of the building.

Monday, January 14, 2013

SP at Napa Jct

I have put a bit more time into my home layout, and have finished the fence near the scrapyard, apart from weathering. See picture.
Also, I have moved my GP35 locomotive to the layout, I've swapped the decoder to a TCS T4X for the time being, and used the Lenz Gold that was present in it for my CP rail GP38-2. 
In future I will go for a sound decoder in this locomotive.  
Below is the GP35, at Napa Jct, on the spur to the loco service facility.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Wolter Springs update

Well here we are, my module Wolter Springs is slowly progressing.
I've just finished 'gluing' together the Faller grain silo kit I described before. I'm not done with it though.
first off, the structure just screams 'Plastic!!!' at me. It is therefore in need of paint and weathering to loose that plastic shine. Also some of the detail parts are quite coarse, so painting them darker will make that less obvious. The worst part is however that the loading tube, that runs from the top of the conveyor tower to above where a hopper would get parked, does not fit properly, and therefore was unable to be attached. Something went wrong in the dimensions at the factory. Also, some other parts didn't quite fit, or had warped a little bit. nevertheless, I think I can rescue this structure, and scratch build a couple of parts to make it look much better and hide the defects.

Next to it in this picture are my newly acquired F9 A+B, which also need some work. However they seem to run quite smooth in DC mode, so I'll now go ahead and identify the parts needed to super detail these, as well as a suitable (sound) decoder. This being a wide body diesel, I should be able to get a bigger size speaker in it (particularly in the dummy B unit), so it should sound quite good.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

New Years resolutions

Happy New Year everyone!

It's this time of year that people set new plans/goals for the coming year. Some choose to go on a diet, others try to quit smoking etc etc.
I'm looking back at 2012 and noticed that I haven't posted as much as in year prior. While there have been personal issues in my life that have taken up leisure time, I could possibly have been a  bit more active.
I have to say that I have also posted on some other forums around the interweb, sometimes as part of a discussion, sometimes to report something new/relevant.
Of course this blog suffered a little, and therefore I've made the following resolution, and that is to post more frequently on this blog (obviously not for posting sake, but with some model railroad news, my progress on my two layouts (the CFNR / SP layout in the roof/loft of my house, and my Wolter Springs module), and other related topics.

I hope you will visit me regularly, and by all means post a comment / question or so, not only will that keep me on my toes and encourage me, it will also provide me with feedback for the blog.

By the way, I'm progressing slowly with my scenery, as below picture shows.
Thanks for visiting.