I was taking some picture with my new camera for an article I am working on when I decided to take a break from picture taking a catch a quick video. Here are Kato Union Pacific SD70s and AC4400 pulling trains slowly across the Rock River.
N Scale Model Railroading is Fun!!!
After getting the power problems of October 17 solved, I was looking forward to a problem free operating session yesterday. However… a problem free session was not to be! We did have full power for the entire session and we actually did very well in getting trains running and completed. There were problems however with a few throttles and getting turnouts to throw consistently. Additionally, signals were pretty much non operational. There was also some issues with the ability of the dispatcher, but that a topic for another time.
I was able to do some trouble shooting yesterday evening and I was able to recreate the problems we were having. I have six UT-1 Digitrax throttles. When four are plugged into the loconet there are no issues. Once I plug in a fifth throttle, one of the throttles goes flaky and the signals fail to operate. Just one of the throttles goes flaky, the other continue to work fine. Anyway, the Digitrax UP-5 Loconet Panels have provisions for a separate power supply. I connected a 12 volt power supply to one of the panels that two of the throttles were plugged into and the problems went away. Plugging a power supply into one of the panels only helps that panel. In order to get the additional power to the other panels I need to run a 22 AWG wire from panel to panel. So, that’s what I’ll being doing between now and our next operating session.
You decide! Static grass or no static grass. Right now I am undecided.
I finally got around to experimenting with some static grass, thanks to Bill Pistello and the use of his static grass applicator. My first attempt, the lighter green grass in the third photo, had a couple of misteps on my part. One I used glue straight out of the bottle which was way to thick. The grass did not stand up too well and the glue is partially visible even when dry. Also, the green was too light and contrasts too much with the existing terrain. I added some foliage to the grass especially around the edges to lessen the contrast. This helped a little, but still needs some work in my opinion. The second attempt I used 50-50 glue and water which work quite well. I also used a darker green which blended into the existing scenery better.
I am not sure how much the grass improves the scene. I'm thinking as I get better at the technique, the improvement will increase. Your feedback and suggestions is appreciated.
I made the mistake of using Floquil enamal paint for painting handrails safety white on most of my Kato engines. The paint looked great, but does not adhere well to the plastic used for the handrails by Kato. So, after years of use, many of the handrails had paint that was flaking off. The flaking finally got bad enough that I spent some time the last couple of days addressing the issue. I got some Badger Modelflex reefer white paint and added a bit of black and yellow to tone down the brightness of the white. Modelflex paint is acrylic based paint that is designed to adhere better to the plastic and flex with the handrail instead of flake. One by one, I took each of the affected engines (24 of them) and used an Xacto knife to gently flake off any remaining floquil paint. I then repainted the handrails with the Modelflex paint. Took awhile, but I think the effort was worth it.
I also used a picture of the old coaling tower in Nelson to hide the hole in the wall that allows the mainline to pass from thee furnace room, containing Nelson and the east staging yard, to the Rock River crossing and Franklin Grove.
The pictures below show an example of newly painted handrails, the coaling tower and the prototype photo of the coaling tower in Nelson.