Monday, November 16, 2015

November Update

Going by post count, you'd think that the Skally was sitting dormant for the last month. That couldn't be further from the truth. I figured I would lump a whole bunch of updates into a single post.

Normally this is the time of year where I start to try to figure out how I'm going to get a dozen engines built over the next month, but I'm not doing this year. I'm focusing on finishing 2 engines for my friend Harz S., an SD70MAC and a C44-9W. I try to be efficient when I paint, so as I paint the 70MAC, I am throwing a bunch of other engines I needed in orange into the booth, to get the best bang for the buck. The -9 is a silver and red warbonnet, so it will be in paint later. Here are the future BNSF engines (green will be the next color 3 of them get hit with, one will be a swoosh).
I'm also working on some rolling stock projects. I have some special graffiti projects that will be unveiled later this year, but for now, here are the ones on deck. This HiCube was an Exactrail advertising car. I stripped the paint and tried my friend HK's new method of Rustoleum painting. The decals are Highball. I know it is the wrong model of HiCube for the number, but most people will never notice as it rolls down the Hinckley Subdivision.
My friend Mike P. has been showing me his weathering techniques. He helped teach me on my new Exactrail gondola. All I have left to do is seal it up with some Dullcote.
The layout expansion continues... I built a second corner. This one is 125 degrees, to coresponds with the angle of my Hinckly Modules. I hope to run the track power bus line tomorrow and then get the fascia on. It will be getting its own legs, the tool box just happened to be in a nice spot for test fitting the module.
On the structure side I started building the Skally engine house. This will hold all 4 SCXY engines, just like the prototype. It is a scale 280 feet long, just like the real thing.I'm trying to figure out how to make the doors operable. I'm sure an idea will hit me.
So I am rocking right along. I may move the Willy's (the 1948 CJ2A) in the garage so I can get more of the layout strung together, but that will have to wait for a nice warm day.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

2 Down, A Bunch To Go...

Two locomotives have made their way from the workbench to the completed file. I times it out so I could paint them at the same time. The first was Clichfield 919. This was a fairly easy build that took some basic details and an odd conversion to get the fuel tank right (the shell sits on the frame backwards).
Next out was BNSF GP50 #3158. This was a labor intensive build that I am glad to be on the back end of. It was fun, but now it is time for something else. I have a whole slew of BNSF engines I am going to try to get done this month. I'll keep you posted as progress happens!

Back To Back!

I'll try to get some more updates going about the layout and loco builds pretty quick. I'm just a little short on available time right now (only 4 days off in October).

If getting published in the last N Scale Railroading wasn't enough, my next article got published in the Nov/Dec 2015 issue. So if you are interested in the full MILW GP20 build, pick the issue up.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Another Day in Print!

Some of you may have noticed my SD60F build in the newest issue of N Scale Railroading! I'm pretty proud of this article. I hope you enjoy it too!

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Car Forwarding

I know I've been a bit busy lately, so here is a quick update on what I've been working on. Now that all of the trackage is coming together, I have been figuring out a way to purposefully move cars around the layout. I got the Mac App Switchlist. I've been entering car and industry information and running some sample switchlists. I want to thank my friend HK for helping me tune these to look more prototypical. If any of the Skally guys want to let me know if I'm sounding crazy, please do (Tavis: I'm still working on those clocks for you, the first attempt was not good enough).

 I've broke the line into 2 jobs. The North job will run from Rush City to Hinckley and back. The South job will run from Rush City to North Branch and back. I haven't included the new tank car loadout in Rush City, as I don't know what it will look like yet, that will come later. Here's what I have so far:
North Switch List (Sample):
South Switch List (Sample):

It's a work in progress, but I think this will help crews get things where they need to go.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Reality Check Friday

Railfanning in Vegas is... different. Around town there are some great spots around town. South of town there is one of the coolest spots, Sloan. The old tunnel has been abandoned in favor of the new cut through the side of the hill here. Because of the grade, the trains are easy to pace.
South of Sloan is Erie. This passing siding provides a long trailing or approach shot. Here is looking South at the departing Ringling Brothers Red Circus Train (I saw an elephant).
Looking North at Sloan is a great banked corner with desert landscape all around. I was standing on the shoulder of Las Vegas Blvd. when I took both the Erie shots.
This is Aware country. His tags are everywhere from here to L.A.. I've seen some great shots and am looking forward to more.
Arden Yard: Home of the Vegas SD40Ns. These SD40-2 rebuilds are everywhere and pull all the locals in town. Maybe someday they'll try some more creative paint schemes.
This last shot is how I often see Vegas. This shot summed it up well. It's open, airy and a little on the dirty side. One of the Locals was heading North on Monday. The crew gave a friendly shot with the airhorn, that helped.
Vegas is more than the casinos and the lights. It has many faces, and there is one that will match whatever mood you are in, you just have to know where to look.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Skally Changes

It was so nice when I was a half hour south of the Skally, but now it would take me a three hour plane ride to get there. Google finally updated the satellite maps and Rush City was as I had seen it last, just more complete. I was there as the engine house was being built. An old NP well had been found and was being capped on the day I was there last. So there wasn't much for surprises there. The Ardent Mill (new name as of last year) look the same as ever, with the new engine house and speeder shed in this picture. This picture has north to the left.
The surprise came on the south end of Rush City. My friend HK had asked me about a siding south of town and I thought he meant the tiny spur to Federated Coop. I couldn't have been more wrong. There is a new passing siding (2400 feet long I'm guessing) with a long passing siding (2000' maybe) turning West to the south end of the commercial park. There is a crossover so the siding can be accessed from the main. Interstate Energy will be building a new propane transfer station on this site. Propane will come in by rail and be shipped out by truck. This photo is orientated with North at the top.
I am planning a trip back to MN next year, but I'm not that patient to see what's going to be built.