Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Brrr ...

Man, it turned cold! And with the precipitation, it's really a small ice storm. There's very little moisture other than a little sleet and snow, and a bit of that melted and refroze.

Work in the unheated area of the shop is not going to happen until it gets warmer. And, the past few days, Cindy and I have been fighting the flu or bronchitis or whatever the current "universal infector" is. Cindy and I did get flu shots last fall, early in the season. Anyway, we are both on the mend, and are recovered enough to get back to work subbing in the schools.

Cindy slid through the ice to school today, and tomorrow's my turn. Yippee. At least it is a delayed start time.

The TxOutlawOn30 Yahoo group has had a couple of discussion items going since the Plano show. One concerns the secure placement of the track ends on the foam-based modules. I have an idea I'm going to try on mine.

That brings me to the other item, the module construction contest. I think that this will be the perfect time and forum to try out my idea. As soon as I have something to show and tell, I'll post it here and on the group, too. In fact, if it works on the new module as well as I think it will, I'll have to find a way to retro-fit the Yellowhouse Switch module without major demolition. :-(

So, I'm sitting here, beating the keyboard, listening to "Classical Pops" channel on Sirius XM off the dish tv system, and slowly working on the resin kits that are staring at me ... I guess I'd best sing off and grab the hobby knife.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Plano Show Return and Cleaning the Shop

The trip to the Plano Train Show was long, tiring, and well worth it. I had a great time, got to put names and faces together, and buy some "goodies." Cindy and I drove half way home and spent the night in Abilene. The last 200 miles on Monday morning was easy, and we arrived about lunch time.

Today (Thursday) was, finally, a warm day. I got to work on cleaning the shop. After all the "carnage" that has happened in there the past few months getting ready for various things, it almost need sanitizing!

Anyway, I made a good start at it. In the process, some useful pieces of plywood were uncovered. There are eight pieces of plywood, eight feet long by 11-1/2" wide. Four are 1/2" and four are 3/4" thick. By ripping these into 3-1/2" wide strips, I should have the basic frame pieces for the start of a HOGRR-based home layout. I'm working on the detail drawings for fitting it into the available space.

If you're not familiar with the HOGRR (Heart Of Georgia RR) concept, it is a design that cuts a 4x8 plywood and rearranges it into an 8'x9' (approx.) layout. By making the benchwork 12" wide, it is the same square footage as the 4x8, but is more open. Look up the Yahoo group sometime for more details.

Anyway, there's a LOT more cleaning to do, but I'm beginning to see a small glimmer ahead. I just hope it's not the light of an oncoming train ;-) .

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Heading for the Plano Show ...

Here's the newly-decaled train headed for Plano across the Yellowhouse Switch module.

There is much detail work left to do on the train cars, but I'm happy with what has been achieved thus far.

These three side dumps are also to make the trip to Plano with loads of potash in them.

The two large cacti just to the right of #74 are used to mark the gaps in the track, needed for electrical purposes.

The potash loads are fresh from a wash in India Ink, then sealed with Dull-cote. When dry, they drop into the side-dump cars.
Each of the three is different in detail. They are very neat set of castings from Firebox Models.

Right now, the only visible animal on the module is this bull by Arrtista. A nice, heavy metal casting, it really makes the module work in my view.
I plan on adding a couple of varmits at a later time. Otherwise, the module is nearly finished. I'm following a "less is more" philosophy here.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Modeling along the YCS RR

I've been forcing myself into a state of increased concentration the last few
days. It hasn't been easy, as my "retiree attention span" seems to be
getting shorter, but ...

As a result, several things have progressed (not finished, just progressed) to
the point I feel comfortable taking these four items to the Plano show on
Jan. 16-17-18.

1. The Porter Cab Forward has been lettered and numbered. It now shows
"YCS" and "16" on the cab sides.

2. The 15' flatcar (with the JD 'Waterloo Boy' load chained on it) now sports
"YCS" and "59" markings. This one that may be considered very close to
being 'finished.'

3. The combine/caboose bash proudly displays "YCS" and "94" on the side
of the baggage area walls. It also is close to being done.

All of the above have been treated with decal set, dried, and sprayed with
Dull-cote. This is a first for me.

4. The resin kit tender for the cab forward is assembled and runnable. The
light for backwards operation shows brightly at the appropriate times. With
couplers. They have been a real problem.

The loco and tender still need grab irons, steps, and numerous miscellaneous
detail parts applied, but they are together.

Also, there are several resin kits that are beginning to move along, now that
the (common) coupler issue seems to have found resolution, thanks to an email
from Mr. TxOutlaw himself, Don Culbertson.

Among these resin kits are a couple of 15' boxcars. I played a hunch a while
back while ordering parts for other things, and got four Grandt Line S-scale
reefer hatches. I think they are a perfect fit, so one will be a reefer. Also,
there is a 15' caboose. I'd say these are approximately 60% done.

Other items not even started are, well, never mind.

I'm looking forward to the show, but I'm looking forward to being back, warmer
weather, and more shop time to continue modeling along the Yellowhouse
Canyon Southern RR.

Who knows, maybe even starting a home (non-modular) layout. Will wonders
never cease?

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Opening musings

It's Wednesday, January 7, 2009, and this is my first effort at anything like this.

The purpose of this blog will be, primarily, to record my slow and unsteady progress in the building of a home model railroad layout in On30, with the construction of secnery and rolling stock using materials and techniques that are relatively or completely new to me.

It will also be a place for reports concerning the maintenance and expansion of the portable TTrak-N layout module set I currnetly have.

A bit of TTrak-HO will also creep in here, as the local club had me start that system for them after seeing the TTrak-N layout.

Finally, and I'm not sure why I did it, but there is a small (no pun intended) infestation of T-scale (1:450) around here, too. Oh, well, so much for the sanity of a single scale ...