Monday, December 27, 2010

ILSX 203

Now this may look familiar to some of you, but this is the debut of my latest labor of love. ILSX 203 started life as an Intermountain DRGW SD40T-2. I stripped it, added BLMA fans, wipers, cab shades, air hoses, mu hoses, mirror, grab irons, an Atlas bell and MU cable. I built my own electrical cabinet from styrene and painted the unit in Conrail blue. The decals are from Solidesign. The Sinclair antenna is Intermountain and the Leslie 3 chime is Kato. I'm still waiting on IM to send me my missing window and silver truck frames so I can finish this one off. It will also be getting a Digitrax DN163I0 decoder.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Thursday, November 18, 2010

1374 Progress

As I wait for an email back from the decal guy, I made some progress on some other small things. Some things worked, some need to be re-worked. I added J&J etched metal ladders on the rear of the unit. That was good. The tool box side of the weights (by the fuel tank) I like how this side turned out. I might remove a little metal from the frame later.
The rack side of the fuel tank, I need to do more material removal here and add the posts for hanging parts from. Hopefully next week I have a little time to work on it.

Hopefully by the end of Thanksgiving weekend I'll have some progress on two of my other project engines to show you (SCXY GP9 1363 and ILSX SD40T-2 203).

Minnesota Bound

Some shots from around town...
MNNR B23-7 #40 works the Fridley Line by Locke Park.BNSF GP39E 2901 and BNSF GP38-2 2264 hold up at Interstate waiting for clearance into Northtown Yard.
SOO (CP) GP38-2 4410 works the CP line in Redwing. She's faded, but still working hard.
BNSF C44-9Ws 5275, 4828 and 5287 blast a grain train by University.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

1374 Update

After some time away from home I was able to get some things done on my SD9. I got the appropriate fans installed, paint mostly done, mild weathering, sand hatches, cut levers, mu hoses, wipers and train lines installed. I need to get the decals made, rear ladders installed and get the mods made to the fuel tank so you can tell its DM&IR past.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

ILSX 1374

My latest project is an ex-DM&IR #155, ILSX #1374 chopped nose SD9. I've gotten some of the details on and the cab is mostly done. This one has a mix of BLMA, Miniatures by Eric, Atlas and J&J details. I cleared off the pilots after these photos and will get the cut levers mounted this afternoon.Here you can see the prototype in this Robert Garton photo taken in Ross, ND. The paint scheme is Soo Line inspired and I may use the earlier ILS badging on the long hood.

M&D Junction Overview

per you request and overhead of M&D. I still have a lot of work to do in this section. As you can see I follow the David Barrow "domino" design for layout construction. That way the masses stay out of the house. I'll probably finish the ground cover next weekend and I'm still waiting for the backdrop to be printed.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

202 is Done!

I can move on to my next project. 202 is done. I fixed the front plow details and got the weathering done. Check it out...

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Southern MN / Iowa

If you ever have a chance (or are forced) to drive from Mankato, MN to Omaha, NE bring a camera. The roads are lined with some of my favorite things: trains and grain elevators.
Just south of Worthington, MN I caught Minnesota Southern (ex-ILSX) MSWY GP7 1379 and GP9 1365 waiting to get clearance onto the UP mainline. Just a little further north and you can see two more ex-ILSX units at Huron Bio-Energy.
Along Hwy. 60 you'll see plenty of elevators, quire a few are owned by New Vision, this one is just a little north of Mountain Lake, MN.
One of the highest capacity elevators on the line is the shuttle loader in Alton, Iowa. The steel building with the white roof is covered grain storage.

Monday, October 4, 2010

ILSX 202: Out of the Shop

ILSX SD40-2 has rolled out of the shops in Bethel and is working on the Skally Line.

I started with a Kato SD40-2. I added BLMA lift rings, cab shades, mirrors, cut levers, mu hoses grab irons, fans. Atlas sand hatches and bell, Miniatures by Eric exhaust manifold, brake wheel, firecracker whistle and horn. The engine has an MRC 1806 sound decoder.I want to give special thanks to Frank Nesbit for letting me photograph the prototype up close. The decals came from Solidesign. They matched the photos I took perfectly. I still need to put a different plow on it (something smaller), add the front mu hoses and the air hoses. Here's the top view, weathering is coming, no worries there.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

M&D Jct., a Work in Progress

After dropping of its load in White Bear, CP 5902 made use of the Wye at M&D Jct to get facing north again. The large building in the background is St. Croix Valley Hardwoods.Now 5902 is facing north again it passes by the entrance to Universal Forest Products, the end of the line for many a Canadian lumber load.

More CP Power on the Skally

Some of you know I have been doing some "fleet modifications" downsizing and upgrading the Skally Line motive power. All of my engines have been modified in one way or another. The only engines I have left that I didn't upgrade myself are my CP units. My latest addition CP SD40-2 5902 came to me with all the bells and whistles (at steal of a price). Here it was on it's first revenue run on the Skally Line, pulling some lumber loads south to M&D Jct. in White Bear Lake.This shot was captured as it ran light back up to Hinckley.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Random Shots From Summer

CP AC4400 8524 slides out of Pigs Eye Yard while BNSF Dash 9-44CW 4791 waits for its turn.MNRX MP36PH-3S 505 takes commuters back north as ex-C&S BNSF SD40-2 1594 drags cuts of cars out at Northtown Yard.
CEFX AC44CW 1041 glides past MN&S Juntion in Crystal, MN pulling a stack train east.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

So Close, Yet So Far

I have been making progress on ILSX 202, but I'm being slowed up. I'm stuck waiting on an exhaust manifold and the proper horn from Miniatures By Eric. He makes some great parts, I just wish he was on this side of the Canadian border so the shipping wouldn't take so long. I've got a nice package of decals from Scott Wright at Solidesign waiting to go on the long hood, I've already done up the front numberboards using his decals. The BLMA cab shades, lift rings, mirrors, wipers, the Min. By Eric antenna and the Atlas sand hatch are all installed, as are the Atlas bell, BLMA fan grills, cut levers and lift rings. The paint is Conrail blue and the anti-glare patch is a Micro-scale decal.Did I mention how much I love BLMA fans? Especially on my darker engines. I paint the fans white and the grills black, boy do they pop!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Slow but sure

I've made some progress on two of my project engines. ILSX 202 and SCXY 1363 have progressed. I haven't had much time lately, but what I get has been good. Grab irons are done, most of the lift rings are in (I left a couple out on 202 until I get the exhaust silencer installed) and some of the other details are finding their home. I have a couple orders of parts on their way. Once they get here I will get the next round of progress underway.

It's Alive!

I have driven by MNNR S13 CTM 1 countless times, but I never saw it move. A couple of weeks ago I got lucky and I got to see it switch out Loadmaster Lubricants where it resides. It was nice to finally catch this critter in action. I'm guessing that is the engineers pickup, he must have driven up to handle duties at the northern end of the MNNR Hugo line.

Monday, August 9, 2010

30th Annual MRHS

What a blast this trip was. There were so many highlights I don't know where to begin. Thanks to Brian and Hans for bringing me along. I've finally had a chance to go to so many of the places I've seen only in pictures. The rail-fanning was a blast. I see that the DM&IR is an addictive railroad and now I've gotten a little taconite in my system.

Missabi Best in Show

There was an interesting light power move over the Skally Line this week. It happened to be the 2010 Missabe Railroad Historical Society Best in Show. I want to congratulate Brian for his outstanding DM&IR SD-M.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

MOW Equipment

As the line grows, I wanted to start adding some MOW equipment. nmanica from got me thinking about a Gondola Crane. It was a pretty simple one night project. I could have taken longer, but I'm happy with the results. The gondola still needs some work...

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Long Term Projects

A couple of fellow N Scalers have gotten me into locomotive detailing and I have decided to take it a step further. I have begun collecting parts and building the SCXY GPs. I'm starting with SCXY (ILSX) 1363. This is going to take longer than I thought, but I think it will be worth it in the long run.Until now I have been using mostly BLMA details. I just got my first shipment of Miniatures By Eric detail parts. The first thing I installed was the proper bell on ILSX 3109, CP 5559 will be getting its winter hatch and the now chop nosed 1363 got its firecracker antenna and is getting fitted for it's winter hatch. I cut down the battery boxes and will be working on matching the walkways and railings soon.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Motive Power Update

There are still a few small details to add (MU holder tube) but otherwise ILSX 3109 is ready for service. I finished the decals, most of the details (check out the wipers and the rear view mirrors) and the weathering. I'm very happy with how it turned out. I also added fiber optic ditch lights up front. I'll dress them up a little more at a later date.
CP 5559 is a new addition to the fleet. The shops still need to get the winter hatch back on top, but we have a couple months of summer to get that done.CN SD40-3 6256 has been receiving some work lately. I still need to swap plows and mu hoses on this one, but the bulk of the major work is done. This one and ILSX have both received BLMA fans and MRC 1806 sound decoders (which are working very well).