Saturday, October 29, 2011

Dirty, dirty hoppers

As my roster of hoppers grows I decided I had better get cracking on weathering. I have been experimenting with different techniques. I read a great tutorial by Tom Mann and here is what happened when I mixed some of his ideas with some of mine...Not all my hoppers will end up in this condition, but you need to have some that show the wear and tear of time. This hopper I received from my friend HK, I put MT trucks and BLMA wheels on it. The car and trucks got a diluted spray of Roof Brown and a light application of burnt sienna for the rust. On the wheels I used a micro brush to paint the sides roof brown.

ILSX 1418

ILSX GP10 1418 is out of the shop! After suffering a catastrophic prime mover failure while working on the TCWR, we brought it back to the Bethel shops and got her running again. Today the one of the Skally crews stretched the legs of the 1418 by running a fertilizer load from Hinckley down to the Peterson Mill in North Branch.The 1418 is a chopped nose shell I cast myself in resin. I made my own winter hatch to match the prototype. It has a MbE firecracker antenna and sand hatches, BLMA cut levers, wipers air horn, grab irons, lift rings, mirrors, mu hoses and air lines. The fuel tank will be swapped out for a full tank (per the prototype) when the parts arrive, but that is an easy 'after the fact' fix. 1 engine down, 13 more to go by Feb. 1st.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

So many projects...

As I was finishing up ILSX 1374 and as I get ready to finish ILSX 1418 I took inventory of the workbench. Currently there are 14 engines to be completed. I figured if I let everyone know that, I would motivate myself to complete them in a timely manner. ILSX GP10 1418 will debut by the end of this week, so that will take care of one unit. Here are the next 6 (in no particular order)...ILSX SD38AC 1211, NS High hood SD40-2, CN 8-40C, MILW U30C, ex-SLRG ILSX SD40-2 1201 and ex-CN ILSX SD40-3 1341.

As I progress on the pictured 6 I also hope to peg away at a few of my long term projects...
SCXY GP8 1352, SCXY GP9 1363 and ILSX SD9 1384

I also have CN RDC-1 1501 another pair of high nose SD40-2s and an IAIS GP38. Can I get them all done by the end of January and still finish Rush City Redo by January 1? Oh boy...

Monday, October 24, 2011

Rush City Redo part 3

Track work has started. I finished the roadbed work (cork and wood portions) and I got the PCB ties epoxied into place. and got the first section of rail soldered down. Hopefully I can get enough track to get the majority of Rush City laid this week. It's not much, but it is progress.

ILSX 1374

I caught ILSX 1374 taking a cut of empty hoppers up to Hinckley to interchange with the BNSF. We brought this engine in to help out with the expanding traffic at Horizon Milling and Petersons Mill. The venerable SD9 was brought back from the Dakota Quality Grain Co-op in Ross, ND to assist in operations on the Skally Line.This is the first unit on the Skally that wears the "official" ILSX paint scheme. It is a Soo Line inspired scheme. 1374 has been outfitted with an Atlas air horn, strobe, MbE antenna, fans, BLMA grab irons, lift rings, cut levers, air hoses and mu cables as well as GMM All-weather window and rear ladders. The decals were custom made for me by Scott Wright at Solidesign. Hopefully I'll have time to get the matching ILSX 1384 done before the end of the year.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

N Scale Railroading

I want to thank the staff at NSR for publishing my article on building a GP39E in the Nov/Dec issue. I'm pretty proud to have been published. It also includes John Leaders' great Marias Pass Layout (N Scale Addiction) and more of Bill Denton's amazing work (Model 160). Check out the magazine, I hope you all enjoy it!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Tunnel Crew

The SCXY car shops finished work on a Clinchfield Tunnel Ice Breaker Car. The shop boys were so excited to have it done they hooked it to ILSX 203 (one of the ILS tunnel motors) and ran the line to test it out. They came back to the shop a little depressed after they realized there are no tunnels on the Skally Line. I caught a few shots at sunset as they rolled it back to the shops. The car should be off to Clinchfield country by the end of the week.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Rush City Redo part 2

Work is progressing on Rush City. I worked on the track layout tonight. It helps that I have the main part of the Horizon Mill complete. I used a stand in building for the SCXY HQ. The track will all be code 55 on the main and passing siding and I want to use code 40 to the mill. I got some of the cork started but I will use a sheet of 3/16" cork around the mill to keep the ground as flat as it is in reality. Switches between the Main Line and Passing Siding will be #10s, all the others will be #7s.
The flour loadouts on the south end of the building curve just after coming out of the building, I will try to match that in my model.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Rush City Redo part 1

Some of you may remember my first attempt at modelling Rush City. The largest industry on the Skally as well as the Corporate HQ and I had the whole scene fit into 4 square feet of layout. It was time to remedy the situation. I have started building Rush City V2.0. The new scene will include the Horizon Mill, Corporate HQ (scratchbuilt new) the Masonic Temple, Federated Co-op and 2 working grade crossings. I've decided to strech the scene out so it will initially be 18" Wide and 12'-6" long with the ability to stretch the length of the passing siding to the North if needed (and it will be needed). The benchwork has already started. I will be building the Scene to FreemoN standards so I can show it publicly until I finalize the home layout design.I used 3/4" birch plywood for the frame with a 1/4" birch plywood and 1" foam top. I need to make some legs this weekend, but I hope to start laying out for the trackage and getting some cork down tonight.