The New England Prototype Meet was great fun as always. A few folks came over Wednesday to see the layout, two ops sessions on Thursday went very well, the meet was a blast, I presented the DL-109 clinic on Saturday, and a good turnout for the Sunday open house.
I have a small punchlist of things to fix on the layout, most completed or underway. In particularly we identified some things that will make it easier for the Agent/Yardmaster/Stanley Foreman to do while preparing switch lists.
One of the things that became apparent is that it was confusing when writing switch lists that involved Stanley Works. This was because a list would be written for the Stanley crew, for work they needed to do in plant. But when that was completed, a new list would be created for the cut of cars that was now to be handled by the New Haven crews. To fix that, I've created a switch list form specifically for Stanley Works crews, modeled after the New Haven one. I had intended to do this in the future (Stanely Works shouldn't be using New Haven forms), but didn't consider how helpful it would be.
The last couple of months has been focused primarily on getting the layout and the clinic ready for the meet. Now that I'm past that, and my schedule is opening up a bit, I'm working on finishing up many other projects. The layout, of course, will still be the priority. It needs scenery and structures.
But I also need more locomotives. Thanks to Mike Redden for the new one-piece cabs, I have resumed my work on the S-1s. One of them will be "leased" to Stanley Works for further ops sessions this year.
As usual, I've also been working on several smaller projects.
- I want to get to the ground cover and ballast, but I need to finalize my process for weathering the ties first.
- For the ops sessions (and the foreseeable future as I wait for track), I have several industries delivering coal to the yards to be transferred to trucks. So I've built a couple of coal conveyors that I'll modify. I've also been practicing with the airbrush, and plan on trying the chipping medium on these.
- I'm finalizing measurements and getting photos together to start structures.
- Reassemble staging and finish rewiring for signals. I'm debating additional staging modifications, although they aren't entirely necessary and could be done in the future if that changes.
- Once staging is fully operational again, I need to configure and weather the RDCs. Ops sessions will remain in 1953 for now so the two RS-2s, an S-1, and the RDCs will cover all of the power I need.
Other projects are planning ahead for when the Rapido 44-tonners are released. At that point I'll reprogram the RS-2s for regular throttles and add trains to operate other years. Those already in progress include:
- Cabooses - first up is getting a color I like (because of a side project for Dick). I also need to finalize the decal art with Bill so we can get those produced. Once through freights are running I'll need these.
- Passenger cars - any session prior to 1953 will have regular passenger trains.
- RS-1s - these are the primary passenger locomotives, plus I'll need at least one DL-109.
I'm still working a lot of extra hours, but I try to post something over at Facebook periodically while I work on the projects and compile more substantial posts for the blog. Just waiting for a part to arrive this week to continue on the S-1s since I'd like to finish both at the same time.