Monday, September 1, 2014

BNSF 616 Intro

Happy Labor Day everyone! I started work on my latest article, so I figured I'd give you a little sneak peek. This will be a Frankenstein type engine. BNSF 616 is a C44-9W that BNSF had rebuilt to ES44C4 standards. It will probably be designated as an AC44C4M. I'm using a Kato shell, with the electrical cabinet section off a FVM ES44AC. It is going to be fun.
There will be plenty more to come on this one...

Sunday, August 31, 2014


These are two of a four engine set I am building for an N Scaler up north. I am actually heading back to work on them as soon as I finish writing this post. I took today (I'm writing this on Friday) off to get a bunch done on these. I will have to run to pick up a temporary compressor to finish painting parts and the other two shells as I can't wire my big compressor in at my current location. I'll get better shots once I get the next round of decals on.
These are cool engines. The toughest part of this project was getting off the GN Big Sky Blue. That stuff does not dissolve easily.

Friday, August 29, 2014

I'm not fast, but I am Swift

Only two more weeks and I make the final part of my move into my house in Las Vegas. Most of my projects are in a holding pattern because they are in boxes or certain parts are hiding on me. I did manage to get some things onto the workbench. My priority project right now is some Southern high hood SD45s. I'll get some pics of those up later this weekend. While everything else was buried, I pulled a quick project out and modified a new Con-Cor Swift intermodal container to fit on a Kato trailer. I had already used the Deluxe Innovations decals on the Volvo tractor. It still needs some more details, but this will provide some nice traffic in Rush City.
I'll add more decals to the trailer later as I find them. A small project, but progress none the less. I think it makes for a nice set.

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.