Sunday, January 5, 2020

Pierre's New Years Levee!

So a couple of days later, but who's counting?
Jan 4, 2020, I had 4 friends come over to run the layout in it's fullness. At least as full as it is right now. There is still the Pinedale branch to build, likely this summer.
The plan was to run 2 trains, the regular daily way freight and a reefer block extra.
Gerry, Robin(AKA Mr Murder), Trevor and Stephan all had accepted the invite, so I got to sit back and observe and revel in their joy of running the layout. And the layout performed brilliantly. The operating concept was proven to be a solid one. I foresee many years of operating pleasure out of this layout.
And while it is now in full running mode, there is still much to be done. Many more structures to build as well as orchards and vineyards. But with it now running I can ease back a touch and enjoy the efforts of the last 2 years.
Stephan has posted a few short videos on Youtube
And here's a selection of stills from the day

It's been a very long time since I've had an operating layout, and I'm so pleased with this concept and design. Thanks so much to Trevor for dropping this idea into my lap and thanks to the guys for coming out and bringing the dream to life.

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

New Years Day 2020

What better way to pass the day than working on the layout?
Or more precisely, styrene cores for 3 structures for Clovis.
First up, Clovis Lumber Co.
I don't recall how I found this image, but I was super pumped when I did.
This being the warehouse for the company and the tracks would have been to the left in this photo and the photographer standing on 3rd St.
I built the core out of 0.060" styrene and will overlay scribed siding once it's delivered. The plan is to affix the wood using industrial transfer tape, which is a high end double sided tape.
The roof will be some form of metal, likely a standing seam style.

The other 2 cores are for the Superior Granite Co.
These 2 are an educated guess, based upon the Sanborn map and aerial photos I've found online. Both will be sheathed in corrugated metal and standing seam roof material. The 2 walls facing each other will have large rolling doors added, thus no window openings.
The concrete bases is simply 1/2" MDF cut to size, the edges sealed with sanding sealer and painted "Old concrete".
Short of finding oblique aerial photos of Clovis, this is as best a guess as I'm going to make on this.
I've had no luck yet finding online oblique views of the area from the '50s. Feel free to let me know if you know where to find this resource.
I'm now ready as I'll ever be for Saturday and the first full ops session with a few friends. 2 trains out and back switching most of the entire layout.
It's gonna be fun!

Monday, December 30, 2019

The ongoing struggle to be organized

The world of model paint as undergone quite a few changes in the last couple of decades. There was a time where my paint rack was 90% Floquil, with a few Model Masters enamels thrown in for variety. However with the demise of the Floquil line, changes have been forced upon us.

Scalecoat paint is now my paint of choice for freight cars but acrylic paints are now being used by me more and more. For structures, scenery and weathering. I still don't trust acrylics to adhere to resin. And we are blessed with a plethora of model paint manufacturers. Tamiya, Vallejo, AK Interactive, Ammo Mig, etc. However all these options for paints creates a small problem. Storage. There's not a lot of commonality in the actual paint bottles. Which for me meant that my paint space was getting out of control.

This just wasn't working anymore.
I've been pondering this problem for sometime now and decided to solve the problem by throwing money at it. Enter . This company offers a large array of work space storage solutions, including a variety of paint racks.

Such as the one shown here, sized for Tamiya paint bottles. There are other sizes to accommodate most of the currently available paint options on the market.
So I sat down and counted paint bottles and sizes, did a little planning and placed my order. Very quickly it was delivered.

The racks are made from MDF and Masonite, precision cut by CNC routers. Assembly is straight forward requiring only carpenters glue and the occasional clamp. The engineering is clever, resulting in very sturdy units that are modular in concept, allowing for an easy time mixing and matching the different bottle sizes.
I assembled the various units over a couple of days and finally bit the bullet and attacked the mess of paint bottles.

The only bottle I'm having an issue with is the very large Scalecoat 2 oz bottles, but I think I have a solution in hand.
All in all, I'm very pleased with this investment and would urge you to consider this system for your own needs.

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Peak Vinegar Tank Car?

Three more of these Sunshine kits have just been finished and will be mailed to happy customers in a couple of days.
I've lost count of how many of these kits I've built over the years, but I'm sure it's now over a dozen. And I think I've had enough of them.
I know that a number of people are intimidated by the sheer number of parts that are in this kit, but it's not that bad when you step back and think through the process. But it is a lot of work.
The tank wrapper alone takes a couple of hours to get right, and it's only that quick because I figured out a long time ago to have metal cores milled upon which the wrapper is formed and fitted.

I'll think long and hard before taking on this car again.

Monday, December 9, 2019

Who's Next?

In response to my last blog post,
Chris Vanko sent me this image;
I really like his weathering style.
Anyone else want to share images of assembled Yarmouth Model Works kits?

Friday, December 6, 2019

Don't get enough of these

In yesterday's email this photo was sent to me,

It's from my friend and fellow resinator Bill Darnaby. As he describes it, it's his resin efforts for 2019. It's of special significance to me, since other than the "Southern" Double Door car, all of the cars were built from Yarmouth Model Works kits.

It's heartening to see modelers get the kits they buy out of the boxes and onto their layouts. I would love to see more of this kind of thing from my customers.

Thanks for sharing Bill.