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!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Rush City Redo: Version 2.1

Hopefully I will be dragging some new plywood home in the next couple of days to start the third version of Rush City that I previously mentioned HERE back in Febuary. I will call this version Rush City 2.1. In the previous post, I forgot (or didn't know about yet) one important item that is driving the new build: the Rush City Engine House:
The big difference from the previous plan is the new trackage for the 270 foot long engine house. This will give me plenty of room for prototype car volumes. I will need to up the number of flour cars I have, but that is a story for another post. Here is a pic of the new plan next to the satellite shot (old pic, missing some buildings).

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Rusty Hoppers

I met up recently with another N Scaler in Vegas named Mike. Besides being another FreemoN guy, he is also pretty good at weathering. I have also been taking inventory of all of my rolling stock while I am waiting to get into the new home of the Skally Line. I had started to experiment with some new weathering techniques, which I will probably combine with some that Mike showed me.
Here are a couple of the cars I did back in MN:
Nothing too fancy, just a simple wet sanding to soften up the logo, some blotted on rust spots, a cote of Dullcote, some Pan Pastels and another coat of Dullcoat to seal it all in. I will come back later and airbrush the trucks and wheels to give them a used look too.

Friday, September 5, 2014

SOU SD45s Part II

More progress on the SD45 (SCXY and SOU). I got most of the details done on SOU 3130 and 3114. 3114 comes from a slightly different line in the SOU SD45 roster. It will be the only one of the four I'm doing with white number boards and it also has more antenna than the other 3. UPDATE: I got an email explaining that the white numberboards indicated a Locotrol Unit. These engines could control midtrain pushers via radio signals to a mu'd boxcar. Pretty cool stuff for the time period. Thanks for the info Tyler!
You can see the conduit on the roof as well as some of the other details I added (like the T Vent between the front (long hood forward, remember) firecracker antenna. A also found one shot where I could see the one oddball radiator grill. I had to model that too.
SOU 3130 is a little more mainstream. You can see the new electrical cabinet behind the engineers side of the cab. I have to add that to the two units I already ran through the paint shop.
More progress coming soon!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Hinckley Watertower

In preparation for my upcoming ops session (third week of December is my plan). I have decided to make things a little easier on the operators. Both the operators know the prototype line, one knows it almost as well as I do, but I want to make it easy for any operator. I have decided to mark the north and south ends with the respective water towers of the towns that sit there. Lucky for me, both towers are close to the tracks, so it will add to the scene.
The first tower I make will be the Hinckley, MN tower. This sits just north of the junction of the SCXY and the BNSF.
I picked up a Walthers Modern Water Tower and was I ever let down. DOn't get me wrong, I can make it work. This is a prepainted model, I had to sand off the horribly done seam on the side.I will probably remove the cast on light at the top in favor of some more appropriate details. Here are the pics after I finished the sanding. By the time this post goes public, I should probably have my compressor back up and running and will start painting this to look a little more like the real thing.
I think it will be nice to be able to tell operators that Hinckley is North and North Branch is South. They will be able to glance to that end of the layout and see the water tower rising above the rest of the scenery. I hope it helps!