Monday, July 30, 2012

Progress Report

In between chores this weekend I did manage to make a little progress on three of my engines.
The modified SD9 was my test platform for soldering handrails. I added a new conductors side step in front of the cab and I also installed the lift rings. This one may sit a bit as I wait for a Miniatures by Eric three chime airhorn and MLE all weather windows to show up in the mailbox. I included I shot I took of the prototype for reference.
SCXY 1352 received a new handrail as well. Soldering the brass isn't to bad once you get a couple practice runs out of the way. This GP8 only had one battery box removed from the conductors side. I still need to add a step back in for my N Scale crews.
I stole the frame I had started for SCXY 1363 to finish ILSX 1345. So I am starting all over for the GP9. This worked out well as I had missed a couple things the first go around. The smaller item was an engineers side grab iron, the larger item was the very unique electrical cabinet behind the cab. The cabinet location also cued me into an added louver. In this photo they stick out pretty well as they aren't painted yet. I made the cabinet out of styrene and the louver is from a GMM GP7 detail set. I will chop the front battery box off and add handrails to this frame later this week.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

ICE storm in July

I love railfanning in Minnesota. I have always enjoyed seeing Iowa, Chicago and Eastern (ICE) and Dakota, Minnesota and Eastern (DME) motive power. The last few weeks the St. Paul area has been crawling with them. It has been nice seeing so many of these colorful SD40-3s around town.
ICE 6410 was on a Rip-Rap train in Red Wing.
 ICE 6438 was leading a manifest through Pigs Eye Yard.
ICE 6210 was working the Cottage Grove auto unloading facility..
 ICE 6421 has been the Hastings power for a couple of weeks.
 ICE 6100 and one of my personal all time favorites DME 6089 were getting serviced at Pigs Eye.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

So many projects...

I have been re-evaluating by current project lineup. I am prioritizing 5 engines and setting myself a deadline (we'll see what day I pick to get these done).
ILSX (NREX) 6158 is a Spartan cab SD9. The prototype for this engine is in Hills, MN. I'd love to see it on the Skally Line, so that build has begun. It will be in H1 paint when I finish.
 ILSX 1338 is the second H1 engine I'll be doing this go around. It is an ex-CN SD40 so it will also have a set of those sweet MbE intake snow shields. I've already gotten the brake wheel in the proper position, a different cab on the engine and Trainworx radiator screens installed. The grab irons are BLMA.
 ILSX (LTEX) 213 is an ex-DMIR SD38-2 that would really help on some Skally unit grain trains. There will be a scheduled grain train called "The Main Streeter" and I'd like this 38 in the consist.
SCXY 1352 is way behind schedule. I need to build 1 handrail (the side not pictured) and repaint the yellow to something brighter. The decals are made, I just need to get it done.
 SCXY 1363 is in the same boat as 1352. I need to chop the front battery boxes off, build handrails, fix the pilots and so on. I also need to add the funky electrical cabinet on the conductors side and because I waited so long I need to repaint the airhorn silver. So much to do and so little summer left...

CRR 10061

The Skally Line Car Shops just finished another order for the Clinchfield Blue Ridge Subdivision. CRR 10061 is a custom tie gondola. I'm not sure exactly how it is used, but the shops did a great job matching the photos they were working off of.
ILSX 1344 was used for a special photo run before the car headed off to the BNSF interchange.  
 This car is a real mix of parts. The frame was from a vintage 40' gondola. The ends were from an Atlas boxcar, chopped and flipped to get the rib spacing correct. The side sills, C channel sides and car top are all custom styrene and the tube sides are brass wire. The grab irons, stirrups and air hoses are BLMA. The brake wheel is a Miniatures by Eric piece on a custom built wheel stand. The brake wheel platform is BLMA tread plate bent over brass wire. The trucks are older Kadee, but they were correct for this build. The couplers are body mounted Z Scale Micro-Trains. They look better and still work with the N Scale knuckle couplers. The paint is Polly Scale Engine Black and the decals (if ever so few) are Micro Scale. The wheels are FVM painted Polly Scale Roof Brown.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

NSNX GP7 2012

I just finished up a build to celebrate has a few traveling pieces of equipment that work their way around the globe, being documented on different members layouts. There was a need for a diesel that would cover a broad spectrum of timeframes so one night when I couldn't sleep I built NSNX 2012. I kept the details and the paint simple and sturdy as this engine will see some travel time ahead. A special thanks to Sean M. from California for providing the chassis for this build!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

NTW Yard 7-7-12

I do love stopping by Northtown Yard (NTW) which lies partially in Minneapolis and partially in Fridley, MN. Even on a Saturday afternoon there was so much going on...
Some runthrough NS power (C40-9W  9039) on a WB manifest.
 Hump power, this is my favorite sett, two SD40-2s and BNSF TEBC6 #258.
 A little graffiti on a BNSF Dash 9 5278 getting hostled around.
 Dash 9's, a snowdozer (BNSF 972500), a rotary plow (BNSF 972551), the reamin of the Fridley wreck (BNSF 4663).
 BNSF GP38 2218 getting some front end work. Notice the new plate steel, lack of handrails and a missing numberboard. I wonder what she hit.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Little Updates

Things have been a little busy lately, so I haven't been hitting any big projects, but I have been catching up on little ones. I finally finished adding the sill striping to ILSX 1384. That finishes this one, for now.
I've also been continuing on my rolling stock upgrades. About 2/3 of my fleet has been converted to metal wheels. Graffiti has become more prolific on the line (I am a modern modeller), I've been adding more crossover platforms and the weathering continues. I'm trying to get between four and six cars done at a time.
I've been trying graffiti by different suppliers and haven't found one that's all around great. I've tried Micro-Scale, Blair Line and even some random ones off eBay. If anyone has some they'd like me to try, let me know, I'm game.
As for upcoming projects you'll be seeing:
1) I'm nearing completion on my SCXY Jordan Spreader.
2) I have started a scenic domino for the Skally Line, Rock Creek will debut soon.
3) Work has started on a Clinchfield "Tie Car" for Ken Borowski's Blue Ridge Subdivision.
4) I'm hoping to start work on a very special SD9 this month.

 And I think that is enough teasers for now.