Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Scenery @ Proviso / Clinton

As I continue to apply basic scenery to the layout, the next section is the Proviso / Clinton Yard area.  Its a big chunk of real estate, but with the large amount of track and area set aside for warehouses and other industrial buildings/roads, there is not that much scenery involved.  First step was to attach aluminum screening. 

I got a new small staple gun for Christmas that made the work so much easier than my old 25 year old generic model.  Should have gotten it before I started on the scenery.  Oh well, water under the bridge. 

Next, is the messy step of model railroad building and probably my least favorite; plastering.  I mix up the plaster of paris and apply it to the screening with a butter knife.  I know there are lots of newer methods out there, but this is the one I know. 

Finally, painting and application of ground foam.  Also a bit messy, but doesn't bother me as much since its closer to the finished product.  Before I began, I first covered up the track with masking tape.  A step that I also did before plastering, although for that I just taped the track next tot the plaster.  Here it all gets covered up.

After getting a second gallon of paint, I got to work and completed yet another section of basic scenery. I now have just one more section left to do.  I hope to get that completed before the end of Christmas break next Tuesday.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Open House for St. Paul School Children

The UPRR Geneva Subdivision conducted an open house for children of St. Paul Lutheran School of Rochelle, IL where I am Principal and my wife is Kindergarten teacher. It was a lot of fun to see the children excitedly watching the trains. We had a few mishaps, but for the most part everything went very well. There were a few derailments due to children getting a little too close with their fingers as they counted the cars. Also had one head on collision due to someone pushing a button which crossed a train from one mainline to the other. No one would admit that they were the one that pushed the button. :) Nothing hit the floor during the open house so I am happy about that. Fifty three people visited over 2.5 hours and I think everyone had a good time. I know I did. The first picture below show the most popular part of the layout for the kids. Its also where we had the most mishaps. I think they liked that they could get close to the trains and plus,it was pretty cool to have the trains come out of the stairs.



Sunday, December 12, 2010

Signals Knocking Down to Red at the Mississippi River

So this is what they mean when they say the signal is knocked down to red.  These are my first three light head signals.  All the others to this point are searchlight.  Very cool if I must say so myself!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Time to get a Humidifier

I had problems last winter with dry conditions drying out and shrinking the wood.  I really thought I would not have more of the same problems this year.  But, as you can see below, the wood is still shrinking from drying out.  My wife has been bugging me for years to install a whole house humidifier.  I think maybe its time I listen to her.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Mississippi River Bridge Abutments & Scenery

Worked on the Mississippi River area this weekend for two reasons. One, it was the next area on the agenda and two, I just received some really nice signals from Scale Models Division and really wanted to get them installed. I already had the aluminum screening installed so Saturday morning I got things ready for plastering. As this is a bridge area I first needed to get the bridge abutment installed. I checked the photos I had of the prototype as a guide.
 East Bank
 West bank

For the abutments I used pieces of Masonite that I attached to the roadbed using finishing nails.I drilled holes for the nails to aid in exact placement of the Masonite and make them easier to nail.

East bank:

West bank:

I then got to plastering

That was it for Saturday as I needed to let the plaster set up for 24 hours before painting.  Today after church I painted the scenery, added ground foam, and  painted the track. 

Lastly, I added the rock work to the east bank and installed the signals.  The rock work is from Choch and is a flexible rubber sheet that is cut to size and applied.  It even has a peel and stick back that makes it very easy to install.  Great product.  I will be using it for all the bridge piers as well.

The signals were custom made by Scale Models Division to match the prototype below.  They look great and will really be awesome guarding the rotating bridge whenever I get that built.  I have not yet hooked them up to the signaling system but hope to take car of that this week sometime.  Here's a prototype photo from the Clinton side looking east and a satellite view of the entire crossing with the bridges being modeled circled in red.