Monday, June 10, 2019

Retirement = Increased Modelling Production

After 40 years in education, I have officially retired.  Among other life changes, this will give me more time to devote to the UPRR Geneva Subdivision.  I have a ton of projects lined up that I will document the best I can.  I will document on this blog and also via my YouTube channel.  The goal will be to post weekly updates on layout progress.  Breaks in the weekly postings should only be interrupted by travel.

First project is modifying two Fox Valley Models GP60 in SP/SSW paint to patched Union Pacific units.  These two unit will serve as Global III switchers.

Here are the models after adding Micro-scale decals.  Up next will be weathering.  These units were built in the early 90s and were still in operation in 2016.  So, a lot of wear.

Before I started, I did some research on the models and came up with a number of photos from which to work.

Monday, October 29, 2018

Weathering Frenzy

   I've been on a weathering frenzy for the past few months.  In all, I have weathered 14 locomotives, 63 general freight cars, and 56 crude oil tank cars.  That's a lot of wreathing.  How did I get into a situation where I had so much non weathered rolling stock?  Well, it all started about 6 years ago when to weather by rolling stock with an airbrush.  I never really had any luck with acrylics and found the enamel paint much easier to work with.  When the Floquil line was discontinued, my weathering discontinued as well.  Although my weathering had stopped, purchases of new rolling stock continued. So, I ended up with a large number of non weathered rolling stock.

   With larger and larger amounts of rolling stock non weathered, the look of the layout suffered.  So, I finally broke down, purchased some Model Master acrylic paints and began experimenting with wreathing techniques.  Back when I painted the track on the layout, I purchase a new compressor and airbrush.  My old compressor was small and cheap when I got it 20+ years ago and was not putting out air like it used to.  The new compressor really made a big difference as I quickly found out that my issues with acrylic paint was due mainly to a lack of sufficient air flow.  After a few practice tries on some old throw away cars, I felt confident enough to get started on the real thing.

   Below are some videos I shot showing my weathering techniques.  I did all the weathering in batches.  With such a large fleet and a large layout, it is important that these types of task be streamlined to get a good overall look without taking up an enormous amount of time.  Maybe someday, when I am retired, I will go back and get more detailed in the weathering.  But for now, I got a railroad to build!

  I still have a few coal cars and intermodal cars to weather, but very soon I will be moving back to layout construction.  There are a lot of areas needing streets, buildings, trees, details, etc. Look for a survey coming soon on which area of the layout to work on next.

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Improvements to Lone "Turn-back Curve" on the Geneva Sub

   Turn back curves are locations on layouts where the track makes a complete 180 degree turn in direction.  Although almost all layouts have them, they are quite up prototypical in appearance.  When the layout was back in Rochelle, IL there were zero turn-back curves on the layout.  Here in Georgia, our basement has a narrow, 9' X 22' section where a turn-back curve is unavoidable.  So, the challenge is to disguise it a bit by breaking the curve into two sections with a scenery block.  I chose to use a small area of woods that are common in northern Illinois.  The trees do a great job of breaking up the curve and makes the scene a bit more prototypical looking.

Roads for Elmhurst, IL Metra Station Area

Roads have been added to the area around the Elmhurst Metra Station.  Woodland Scenics paving plaster was used for the road surfaces.  Styrene was used for sidewalks and Line O Tape 1/32" pin-striping was used for road lines. A backdrop has also bee added to the area.  Road signs, street lights  and people will be added next. Lots of work and detailing still also needs to be done on the buildings. Stay tuned!

Sunday, November 26, 2017

More Progress on Elmhurst Metra Station

Made a little more progress on the Elmhurst Metra Station.  Added platforms up and down the line from the main station area.  Also added striping for the warning area close to the tracks.  The kit come with yellow striping stickers, but I opted for some Tamiya striping tape I had on hand.  I plan to add a bit of grey paint to the roof edges as I do not like the brown plastic.  I also need to add streets, parking lots and landscaping.  Plus, quite a bit of weathering.  But, its coming along.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Elmhurst Passenger Station

Just completed assembly of the Kato passenger station kit for use as the Elmhurst Metra station.  The kit's prototype is the Schaumberg Metra station, which is larger than the Elmhurst station.  However, I felt it was a good match for use in Elmhurst.  The kit was a bit expensive, but it is a high quality kit and produces a very nice structure which work nicely as a Metra Station. I especially like the brickwork with mortar.  As you can see from the photo, I did not plan real well so the kit extends off the layout.  I will build a short "bump out" to support the kit. I also plan to add narrower 3/4" platforms extending in both directions about 12".

Sunday, November 5, 2017

More Water Works on the Geneva Sub

Did some more work on two bridges.  I was not happy with the color of the Des Plaines River.  It was two black and did not match the color from prototype pictures and did not match the picture I am using for the back drop. So, I repainted it a green/brown color and then added another layer of EnviroTex.  I have also added more lighting for the Maywood/Proviso area, so the pictures are of better quality than last time.

For the Fox River, I painted the river a very dark green with brown highlights.  This color matches the prototype photo I am using for the backdrop.