Saturday, November 28, 2015

Another cabin added

 This was a former PRSL caboose that I got off eBay. I mentioned it in an earlier post where I showed how I sanded off that lettering with a very fine grit sanding stick.
 It had a red roof so I repainted that black while keeping the cupola red. It was just put into revenue service and looks pretty good on an eastbound freight.
 In that earlier post, I showed how I saved the repack data. I covered it up when doing the weathering so it looks like an update after the car was painted.
 Here it is off the trains so you can see the ends. It is an N5b with the higher grabs on the side and comes with a metal roof walk. This car was missing the end bracket so I had to fabricate that as well. I saw another of these models and it too was missing that bracket so seems they had a soldering problem at the station that worked on these cars.
These cars have roller bearings but are heavy and can run poorly. I run them with a dremel and that seems to loosen up the bearings. I am happy how it came out and it makes a good addition.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

N6's are ready for service

 Well, I finally finished what I thought was going to be an easy project to update some N6's and they are ready for service. I took advantage of the football games to glaze and finish them. Here is the line up for the branch.
 I tried to vary them somewhat with the weathering but doing them all together was a bit of a disadvantage in that regard. This car has the number of one of the last N6's in service as it was used on a branch line railroad in NJ.
 I do like the patina you get with the Vallejo Dark Brown Wash. They all look like they are in service for a while.
 I kept the shadow keystone one lighter as it would have been painted in the last two years. I also suffered with some cars having been factory painted so the base color was darker. I had sanded off the lettering as I did not like what came from Precision. Thus the car is darker.
 More of the group. They are the same yet different.
I used the Mt. Vernon Car Shop decals which are such an improvement on even the improved Champs. The car on the left is one I painted about 15 years ago using the Champs. The one on the right is a recent one with Mt. Vernon lettering. You can see how much sharper and finer the lettering is. Plus, he gives you many more regions to hose from. Mine is the Northern Region.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

More work on the scenic dividers

 Well, last Monday was a work night and we continued with the building of the scenic divider. Paul and I put up framing to hang the sheet rock on as we come down along the yard.
 Using a level to check vertical plumb and level of the top of the wall, we screwed the studs to the side of the band board of the yard deck. We got 16 feet up in the allotted time.
 Here is how it looks from the other end. You can see it is on a broad curve. Soon this view of the yard will be no more! This is actually the easy part.
 Meanwhile Ed and Rich are going to put a piece of sheet rock over that styrene that I put up before. It was too hard to work and did not want to give up the curl that it had from storage. We need to carry the sheet rock one more stud so I can go on from there with the new sheet rock over the Masonite.
 Ed has made a template of the scenery form on the left end so they could cut the piece to conform to that. It came out very well so it will be easy to integrate it into the scenery.  They have the sheet up and are starting to screw it in place. They decided they needed some adhesive on the seam end so they are preparing to  put some in place.
Rich has pulled the end of the sheet out and will put in the adhesive, then screw it down. The hard part is going to be putting up the sheet rock on our hands and knees. More later.

Working on the caboose fleet - N6b's

 Well, we need to expand our caboose fleet as more trains are running on the branch. I purchased some poorly painted N6b's on Ebay some time back. Then I sanded off lettering and/or paint, spot repainted and then relettered with far better material. There are 5 that are in the group that I am finishing up. One is in shadow lettering and the other 4 are in the pre-1954 lettering.
 I have taped the wheel treads to protect from the weathering that I am going to spray on the undersides. I did not care about the color of the undersides as they look the same with the coating of grime they will receive.
I then added Steve Grabowski's PRR lanterns to the bodies. A pain to solder on as they have to be bent to catch the corner. The smoke stacks also will be painted with a steel color. I will then put a dark brown wash on the cars and top it off with a grime overspray. These cars are at the end of their service lives so will not be too clean. More pictures as they go on the layout after all the weathering and then the glazing.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Open House

 Well, we had an open house that I have spent the past 3 months getting ready for. A total of about 21 fellows came from as far away as Buffalo and Gettysburg. Most were from the Washington DC area and were part of our old Friday night gang. Here we see Rich Randall operating one of the main lines and concerned that he is controlling two trains at once. He came down with Art Selby who is one of the longer serving members of the group.
 Looking across the benchwork (a view soon to be gone as I put up more view blocks) you can see close inspection of the engines and turntable by Andrew Dodge, Chris Smith and John Sethian. I get a lot of good suggestions from the fellows who all have skills in different areas. It is a very productive visit from my perspective!
 Chris and John seem to have found something! I have to go over and check what I missed.
 Peter Gentieu had a fun time operating the branch line and ran many trains up and down. Here he is up on a stool checking out the yarding of a train in the holding loop at Mt. Carmel.
 Discussions took place all around the room. Ed Rappe is expounding on a subject with Ray Grant and others. Can't tell what it is but he might be talking about the merits of DCC versus my standard DC and block control. We talk about that a lot!
Here is most of the gang at the end of the visit. This was the end of a long day for many as they had left the NOVA area about 7 am and driven down to see Ed's and my layouts. Now they face a long and rainy drive back north. We do this every November and it is really a fun time for us to show everyone what we have accomplished in the past year.