Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Ardent Flour Mill

A recent arrival got me to make some progress on the permanent Ardent Flour Mill for Rush City. I had a foam core mock up in place for the last year. It was time to start the upgrade. A couple pounds of styrene later, it's starting to come together. I need to detail it and paint it, but it already looks better than the stand in. Next I have to add all the concrete floors inside, the scale on track 6 and the floor grate on track 4. One thing at a time.
In this area I will add the fall protection system over the tracks. It will also get the weather sealing around the loading lock doors and small roofs above each door. In this shot you can see part of the reason for all the progress: the new BLMA PD hoppers (more info below on those).

Inside the north end doors there will be a scale house (yes it's inside, between tracks 5 and 6) as well as a bunch of other mechanical stuff.

The BLMA (now Atlas) hoppers. Wow. I have been in N Scale for 30 years and these take the cake. I got them in three reporting marks, CITX, GACX and TILX. I need to weather them all, but that will be a little ways out.
The cars are fabulous. Body mounted couplers, metal wheels, air hoses, reporting marks stenciled on the trucks, the blue bearing caps.
The trucks are mounted with screws instead of pins. Check out the rear profile on the wheels. You don't see that on FVM.
 The cut lever, etched metal walkways and crossover platforms.
The underbody piping runs to both sides of the car (something Walthers never tried). The pnuematic lines are even painted!
A side shot to show off some of the fine printing. In full disclosure I did have some flash I had to trim inside of one of the couplers to get it to couple just right , but if that is the worst thing that happens, I am one happy camper. 
I'll get all of the ones I bought out of the boxes soon. I picked up 15 total. That helps my layout out pretty well. I'm hoping they rerun the TILX cars so I can add more of those to the fleet, but this set gets me a great flour hauling start.