Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Tank cars

Well, inspired in part by some tank castings I just received from modeler Tom Madden, based on an article by Tony Thompson, I've been building some tank cars this week. The other reason I've jumped into these now is that I'm building the P2k ones I had on my shelf, and these are cars I feel comfortable building without making any modifications at this time. Most of the other cars (box cars in particular), I'm finding I want to make modifications  as I build them. Usually running boards, adding missing details, etc.

While the theory is that I'll build styrene kits as is, to match the RTR versions I have, and I'll make modifications later when it comes time for weathering the cars, in many cases it's tough to do that.

So, in the last four evenings I've built five kits, and have two more about 75% done. The first five were all Time Saver kits, which helped. These two, plus an additional four I plan to complete this week, are full kits.

Not all is perfect, I've found it quite difficult to get the hand rail installed without it being wavy. I'll decide later if it's worth replacing. My guess is I won't do that until I've completed a few kitbashes or resin kits where I have no choice but to do the hand rail myself.

So here they are so far -


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Updates? What updates?

OK, so I haven't posted anything in almost a month. It's been a busy month, and actually quite a few things related to model railroading, but not much on the layout itself.
I've continued testing on the layout, but what I really need to do is complete enough basic waybills to set up a real test operating session. Dick will also probably be helping me create some mockups of the major structures, which I think will improve operations as well.

I'm finding that the track is expanding quite a bit (in an often cold basement). Cutting gaps with the dremel fixes the issue, although it requires installation of more feeders since I haven't completed all of them yet. Bill was telling me he had the same issue when he first built his layout, and that time and cutting gaps resolved the issue.

I had a great time in Springfield, picked up a number of kits and stuff, and saw a lot of great people. I'm looking forward to getting together with Gary soon, he was the final assigned conductor in New Britain Yard for the New Haven, and also grew up in New Britain.

Bill and I went to operate Perry Squier's layout. It's an awesome layout of the Pittsburgh, Shawmut and Northern in 1923. We had a great time, and yet another variation on Time Table and Train Order operations which has given me a number of things to think about in regards to my layout.

Lastly, and what has taken up a lot of my time aside from Emily's quarterly round of routine check-ups with her doctors, is that I am now officially working for True Line Trains. I've been building the website for about a year now, but I'll also be working on getting product out in the US. There are a lot of great products on the horizon, and I'm looking forward to the work. It's part time right now, and not enough to replace unemployment (in fact, we're still working out the details), but I'm excited.

So that's the news, such as it is. I'm really working to get something together for the layout for an update. Hopefully in the next week or so...