Sunday, November 30, 2014

CP Photo Shoot

I got out to the Hinckley Sub today, and I caught the CP exercising trackage rights from the Twin Ports back down to Saint Paul. CP 9007 was on the point, still working hard!
"What's that? The SCXY just called the BNSF dispatch, let's head over to the Skally to see what the power is today!"

Friday, November 28, 2014

D.I.A.B (Electonics Stuff)

I'm not a wiring guru. I can wire things, but I'm not a tech genius. As I look forward to expanding the Skally Line I decided to simplify my life. I am going to copy the N-Land Pacific FreemoN groups wiring. They have come up with the "District In A Box" or DIAB for short. You can see more about it HERE. I figure if they can run large layouts by plugging these in, why wouldn't it work for the Skally? And then when I hook my modules to theirs, I have once less hurdle to overcome. I've got the box build and have started collecting the electronics. I need to get a coat of paint on it and it should be up and running by the time I lay track on the new modules.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Canadian Pacific Locos

Well, my locomotive reduction plan is behind schedule (when doesn't that happen). I have been working hard on a couple of Canadian Pacific units. Both have a slew of detail parts on them, from MbE to Sandro to things I had to make myself. I hope to get them outside for a natural light photo shoot tomorrow, but I figured I would share the progress:
CP 9007 is a Southern Alberta Rail SD40-2F kit. I mounted it on a Kato Mid-Pro SD40-2 chassis, mostly so i could get the ditch lights going. I modeled this one as it looks recently, the solid front door was replaced with one that had a window and the striping wasn't replaced afterwords.
I had fun weathering this one to match the prototype.
CP 3015 is a GP38AC, this one looks easy, but I had a bunch of time in relocating the headlights to the low short hood. The fibre optic tube just didn't want to fit in the already full nose. I also gave it the Canadian plows, sand hatches fixed the brake to be more accurate and weathered it to look more realistic.
I gave this one the small Pac-Man scheme. It was fun making the rear black stripes.
This is always one of my favorite views, looking down on the fans.
I hope to get these two up on eBay before the end of the long weekend. By then the Skally SD40M-2s should be close to done and I should have some progress made on my next fleet reduction engines (CN is next).

Friday, November 7, 2014

Railfanning Around Vegas

I explored a little around Vegas today with my lovely wife. I found a few interesting items. I am thinking about building a couple of FreemoN modules to use with the N Land Pacific Freemo group and I think I may have found my muse.
I started the day at the Olin Chlor Alkali plant. This place is huge. It has a couple of swithcers and I was lucky enough to photograph one today. Savage (SVGX) GP9 #8607. This looks like an ex-CP unit. I would love to know its heritage.
North of Vegas is a great spot called Apex. The UP interchanges with the Nevada Industrial Switch there. So far the short line has eluded me, but I did catch a trio of SD40Ns, led by UP 1837 sitting idle between jobs.
One of the industries at Apex in a Portland loadout, right next to the main line. This may end up being a winter modeling project for me (Freemo style of course). Don't worry, my main focus will still be the Skally Line.
One of the cool things is that the UP service road bridges are all made from flatcars in this stretch. Here you can see the one right at the switch to the portland loadout.
All in all it was a nice day. I also got to see a B25 Mitchell, some B-1Bs, A10 Warthogs and a C5A Galaxy getting loaded over at Nellis Air Force Base. There is more to Vegas than the Casinos...

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Time To Refocus

With my cross country move done and some other projects cleared off the bench, I started to unpack some other projects. After that I unpacked a few more projects. In the box under that I found more projects yet. I believe I have too many projects right now...
I counted over 20 engines in queue right now. Most of them are just thing I wanted to build. For the Skally I have some details to fix on ILSX 1345 and then the SCXY SD40M-2s and some BNSF C44-9Ws to finish. Everything else is just... taking up space I guess.

I decided I am going to thin the project herd down. Between now and New Years I am planning on finishing and moving 12 of those engines. I have some vacation time coming up that I plan on using up to get through all these projects. You can see some of the future dispositions in the photo above:
CP SD40-2F #9007
CP GP38AC #3015
DMIR SD38-2 #213
CN Track Inspection Car #1501
and the list goes on...
It always feels good to clean house, so away I go! Wish me luck...

Sunday, October 12, 2014

SOU SD45s Part IV

The SD45s are done and they have all made it to their proper home in North Dakota! I got a little excited when I finished the second engine, so I didn't get pictures of it before I shipped it away. I tried to capture the look of the engines as best I could. I found a shot that showed that SOU 3114 had a different grill on one of it's fans, so it has one oddball, just like the prototype. I like to add warning labels on where they go, I think it is a nice detail.
SOU 3114 has white number boards so crews know it is equipped with Locotrol, and early Southern method of using radio control to run mid-train helper engines.
I also want to say thanks to Donnie Dixon and Allen Stanley, I used a copy of the 1983 SOU Locomotive Description & Equipment guide they put together as a reference for some of the details on the engines.

Monday, September 29, 2014

SOU SD45s Part III

SOU 3167 rolled out of the Skally Shops today. The Shapeways cabs were a little difficult to work with (I wish Mark 4 Design was still up and running), but the results are pretty good. All the details came together for a nice finished product.
I painted the class lights, mu glad handles and fuel caps. I also added the wind deflectors and the wipers. I used fibre optic tubing to get the lights working on the new short hood.

 I had to modify the coupler openings a bit to get smooth operation from the MT 1015 couplers. These engines are good pullers, so it is important the couplers are up to the task.
One down, three to go!