Friday, December 30, 2011

Layout Overview Video

   Here's the layout overview video I promised that I hope gives everyone an idea of the entire layout.  Its not my best cinematography.  Try not to get too dizzy watching. :)  But, I think it does accomplish its goal of giving the viewer a good idea of what the complete layout entails.  I'm also posting a track plan that you can follow.  I hope this will inspire you to come up with some good blog names.  Thanks also for supporting our advertisers!!!

Email Subscribers also Eligible / First Contest Entry

   I realize that a number of you follow the blog through email subscription (see widget on lower left side) rather than being an official follower. I just wanted to clarify that email subscribers are also eligible to submit a blog name for the B23-7 Giveaway.  Also, we have our first official blog name entry, "Excellence in Miniature."

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Name that Blog - Atlas B23-7 Giveaway

   Let's ring in the New Year with another locomotive giveaway! This time its an Atlas GE B23-7.  While the loco is 10+ years old, it still runs well.   However, the new owner may want to give it a thorough cleaning, new brushes, etc.
   You can win this loco by helping me rename this blog.  My sister-in-law (Thanks Kate!!)  mentioned to me over the holidays that I needed to give my blog a catchy, more descriptive name in order to drive more visits to the blog and, of course, generate more revenue through ad clicks (support of the blog advertisers is appreciated).  While "UPRR Geneva Subdivision" means something to me and to some model railroad enthusiast, the casual blog surfer has no idea what the blog is about.  So, I am looking for a catchy blog name that will generate interest and will communicate that the blog is about a high quality n scale model train layout.
   The contest will have two parts.  The first part will be submission of new blog names.  Only blog names submitted by blog followers will be considered.  So, to be in the contest, you will need to be registered as a follower of my blog and then submit your blog name through a comment to this post or any subsequent post.  You are not limited in the number of blog names you can submit.
   The second part will be voting for the new blog name.  I will select my favorite five submitted blog names and then everyone will be able to vote for their favorite name.  You will not have to be a follower to vote and you can vote multiple times, but no more than once per day.
   Of course, the winner of the Atlas GE B23-7 will be whoever submitted the winning blog name.  They will also win the satisfaction that they named the best N scale blog on the web, which we all know is worth much more than a locomotive :)
   I'm not sure how long each part will last, but I am thinking a couple of weeks for each.  I will post when each part will end a couple of days beforehand so any last minute submissions or votes can be made.
   I will be posting a video of the overall layout to inform and inspire you. I hope this contest is a lot of fun for everyone and helps give the blog a great name.  Please feel feel to let others on the web know about the contest, the more participants the better!
  Here's the loco.  The contest starts now!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Shore Detail, UP Bridge Shop & Thomas & Betts

   I'm almost much done with the Mississippi River/Clinton area of the layout. I added ladders to the shore area, added a paved road across the tracks for access to Thomas & Betts, put in a gravel road, weathered the roadways & parking lots, put in some background buildings, planted some telephone poles and added a few people.  The background buildings are from an old Heljan slaughterhouse kit that is now on its fourth layout.  I've gotten my money's worth out of that one!  Only thing left to do is add some static grass and put a background picture where the road ends at the backdrop.  I will hopefully get to the static grass next week but won't get to the background picture until things get green again in the spring and I can take an appropriate picture somewhere.
   The next areas of the layout I am going to tackle are the Proviso warehouses and ballasting the Proviso Yard.  I may try to get to the prototype Proviso Yard next week and get some pictures but I won't be able to begin construction until after Christmas break.  If I have time I may also try to weather some engines and the BLMA spine cars during break; maybe even one more video.  Stay tuned.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

I'm Getting in the Christmas Spirit!!!

Being an educator in a Christian school, I never find it hard to get into the Christmas spirit each year.  With Christmas programs, decorations, faculty devotions, religion class lessons, etc. its hard not to feel the Christmas cheer.  Today is our last school day before Christmas break and we just sang Christmas songs as part of the chapel service I led.  The children are now watching movies and having parties between lessons the teacher's are trying to still fit into the day (this is school after all!).  This afternoon I'll be at the bowling alley with the 5th through 8th grade students and then Christmas break officially begins at 3:00 p.m.

I thought I would share a little Christmas spirit with all of you by uploading a short video I shot last night. I'll probably post a few more items over the next couple of weeks as I'll have some time to work on the layout. 

I hope all of you have a great Christmas and a wonderful new year.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

More Progress on Thomas & Betts

   I used my airbrush to apply Floquil reefer white and Floquil earth to the Thomas and Betts plant in Clinton, IA. Also added doors windows, vents and roof detail.  I am in search of a good source of a large rooftop air conditioner to complete the project. I got a bunch of nice details a while back from a company that only sold via their website, but I can't remember their name.  They had air conditioners, dumpsters, air vents, wood crates, pallets and more.  If you have any ideas, let me know.  I also put in the parking lot, gravel lot and put ballast on the spur track.  A few vehicles and other details were also added.

   While I was putting in the parking lot, I decided to put in a road to the bridge shops that are right next to the western exit of the rotating bridge.  The shops are for maintaining and operating the bridge.  The two buildings do not match the prototype structures, but they will do for now. In fact, I probably won't get back to scratch building the correct prototypes until after a whole lot of other project s are completed on the layout.  I also did some work on the riverbank area.  I included below some prototype pics for reference.
   Sometime during Christmas break I plan to weather the road and add static grass around the area.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Thomas & Betts ready for Painting

I'm ready to paint the Thomas & Betts plant.  Since the last post, I completed the roofing on all three structures, added the vertical storage storage tanks, added the passageway between the two tall towers and built the small roof access structure to one of the roofs.  I will still need to add the large air conditioner as well as other assorted details.  I made the storage tanks out of 1" PVC pipe.  Once the building are painted, I will install the windows and doors.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Thomas & Betts

While I may still come back to the Mississippi River for some tweaking, I have decided to move on and tackle the Thomas & Betts plant right next to the bridge.  On Black Friday, while Patti was shopping, I took a trip to Clinton  IA to snap some pictures of the plant and, of course, some more of the bridge.  Below is a couple of pictures of the facility.  My favorite, by the way, is the third one taken while standing under the bridge.

It appears that the taller white buildings are the original structures while the Morton style structure was added on later.  While the Morton building occupies much more square footage than the original structures, the original are much more visible due to their height.  I do not have near enough space for the entire facility, so I opted to include the original white structures only somewhat downsized, but greatly reducing the size of the Morton style structure.  I used Evergreen styrene .060 sheet and .020X.100 strips for the main structure along with Grant Line windows.  For the Morton building I used a modified Pikestuff engine facility kit.  I'll post more pictures as I complete the plant.