Sunday, July 27, 2014

A Long Move Complete

Sorry I've been a little slow in getting posts up.

The Skally Line is in a moving truck somewhere between Minnesota and Nevada. I have some current projects and my camera with me, but most of my trains at the mercy of Mayflower right now.

My family and I completed the 1650 mile drive in just under 48 hours. The rail fanning was great, but I didn't stop for pictures. This was all about getting the miles down as quickly and safely as possible.

It will be another month and a half until we get into our permanent residence, for now we are renting a house in the same neighborhood. I'm looking forward to expanding the Skally in our new home. I am also thinking about joining up with the regional FreemoN club. They strictly model the southwest, so the Skally Line won't quite match up. I guess it might be a decent reason to build a couple of traveling modules, and then the Skally could stay together as my home layout.

We'll see how I feel when we get settled in.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

A Day On The Skally Line

I want to thank the hard working crew of the Skally Line: Tavis, Bill, Justin and Dave. These guys are great people who also happen to be really good at running a railroad. They were good enough to let me tag along for a day and watch them work. The day was busy and long, but I got to see the Skally work from it's North end to the South end.
The day started on the south end of Hinckley where the NB train was waiting with outbound cars.
A quick interchange with the BNSF swapped cars heading out with ones heading to Rush City. The PRLX trio of GPs are still working the Hinckley Local.
 SCXY 1363 and 1352 were waiting in Rush and after switching out the yard, the twins were split up.
SCXY 1326 and ILSX 1345 would be doing the heavy pulling on the south end as well today.
SCXY 1363 ran ahead to facilitate the moves on the facing point switches.
What a great day, thanks again to my hosts! I owe you big time.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Raider Grafix

I want to give a little credit where credit is due. One of the modelers that got me off on the path I am on is my friend Brian. Brian is the media arts instructor for the Roseville High School in Roseville, MN. The students in Brian's program run Raider Grafix (yes, that's how it's spelled), a self funded program that can make almost anything you can think of. I recently got some great coffee mugs made by Raider Grafixs and they also made this awesome clock for me, from a photograph I took of a Skally Line electrical box.
This is going to looks great hanging in the new home of the Skally Line. Thanks Brian!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

CN 9007, the "Red Barn"

While I'm making a little progress on the Skally SD40M-2s, I needed to keep my SD40-2 fix going. I had the Kaslo SD40-2F kit and I decided to get some progress done on it.
I cleaned up the shell and got it fitting nicely on a Kato Mid-Production chassis. I had to do a little trimming on the fuel tank, but it ended up sitting pretty well.
I shaved off the molded on grab irons. If you are going to build an engine like this, why not go all-in? Then I attached the front and rear pilots. I'll leave the grabs off until after decaling.
Up front I added the grabs I could, a MbE bell, sand hatches and Sandro Sinclair antennas. I also fit and installed the separately applied snow shields. I had to add a little styrene to the engineers side to made it wide enough in the back, but you'll never notice once it gets painted.

Monday, June 16, 2014

N Scale SCXY 1325

There is a great quote on government spending from the movie Contact. Don't worry if you didn't see the movie, it wasn't that good. The quote applies very well to model railroading as well: "Why build one when you can have two at twice the price?"
And so it goes with the new Skally engines. I figured why not build both the SD40M-2s at the same time? The details are a little different, but the paint and decals are the same. I still need to do some more research into SCXY 1325, to make sure I get the details right, but I had a couple of photos to work from already.
The 1325 required the same upgrade to the dynamic brake housing as the 1326.
The nice thing is that the 1325 has the same brake configuration as the Kato model, so I didn't have the work to do there that I did on the 1325. I still have to fill in the rear number boards and shave off the rear class lights.
I still need to get some overhead shots to verify grill, AC and airhorn types, but I will get those pretty soon. I figured this was a good start to the project.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

SD70ACe In N Scale Railroading

I'm am a lucky guy. N Scale Railroading accepted another article from me. In the July/August 2014 issue, my SD70ACe build makes its official debut. I'm really happy with how the cover came out. Kirk and Bill did a great job of putting it together. This is always a great magazine, so I am glad I can contribute to it. If you get to read it, let me know what you think. Thanks!


Tuesday, June 3, 2014

N Scale SCXY 1326

With the first SD40M-2 already in Rush City and the second one (SCXY 1325) on its way, I decided to get some work going on my SCXY 1325. I got the shell of the Kato SD45 stripped down and made some progress on the initial detailing.
The first step was to remove the brake wheel and fill that spot in with some .010" styrene. The I used a door from BLMA #101 to match the door on the prototype.
On the nose I cut in and installed a brake ratchet from a GP9 shell in the parts bin.
The next operation was to modify the engineers side of the dynamic brake housing. I cut part of the blister off of a Kato Mid-Production SD40-2 and spliced it onto the SD45 shell. This was the most nerve racking part of the build so far. You can also see the BLMA #71 AC unit and the antenna stand I installed. The nose grabs were also BLMA parts.
On the back of the engine I filled the number boards in and drilled out for the grab irons. I also installed the large rear lift rings. I used the mounting eyes from the BLMA #13 Cut Lever set.
Up top I drilled out the fans and installed the BLMA #81 grills on the radiators. I couldn't install the dynamic fan grills as I was out of BLMA Center Plate grills (I should have checked before I went to the LHS parts shopping, oh well). I also added a T Vent of a Kato Mid-Pro 40-2. I did drill out for the smaller lift rings, I just haven't started installing them yet.
All in all it wasn't a bad amount of progress for the little bit of time I had into it. I'd like to have this one all wrapped up by the 4th of July, we'll see how I do on hitting that goal.