Thursday, April 5, 2012

Layout Construction – March 2012

Falls Yard Expansion
After the last USRM club meeting, I became inspired to finish the track work and get into full operating sessions. The Red Coulee bridge is far enough along to begin laying road bed for Falls Yard. After several weekends, the road bed for Falls Yard is complete. Next, building switches and starting to lay track. The yard consists of three yard tracks and  two engine house tracks. The rest are a grain silo spur and mainline with a passing track. Both the mainline and passing track will extend to removable staging tracks at the end of the layout.

Click on the photo for a larger view.



Additional Scenery Details
The paint I was using to cover-up the pink foam and plaster is a gloss orange-brown color. The paint is a reject from my sister-in-laws kitchen remodel. While not a bad color, I wanted something closer to nature. After searching the paint reject bins of several big box home improvement stores, I finally located an acceptable color in the rejects at a Wal-Mart. The upper left photo shows a sample of the new paint.

(Upper right photo) During a visit to my favorite hobby shop, The Train Shoppe, I acquired an NJ International set of crossing signals. To see how they look at the crossing in Denton, I installed one of the signals and powered it up just for fun.

(Bottom photo) Another just for fun project was placing Woodland Scenics Black Angus cattle in the stock pen at Denton. Additional cattle will be needed to justify the stock pen for the railroad. It is interesting that the manufacturer decided to include “cow pies” as part of the set.

Click on the photo for a larger view.



Friday, March 30, 2012

USRM Club – February 2012

Monthly Clinic
This month the Utah Society of Railroad Modelers celebrated its first anniversary. I joined the organization in December and wish I had known about the club sooner. The meeting have been excellent. They are very informative and fun. The clinic this month was by Richard Piccuilla, proprietor of Custom Signal Systems, LLC. Richard helps modelers create signal systems for their layouts. His explanation of signal aspects was very helpful. You can view his website here:

Click on the photo for a larger view.



USRM Newsletter
I was asked to create a mast head for the club newsletter. The newsletter was only occasionally done and did not have a name. With the club growing, the newsletter needed to be a marketing piece that really represented the cub. We started with a poll for the name of the newsletter on the club Yahoo Groups website. After several weeks, I created designs based on the top three suggestions. A mock-up of the ideas will be presented at the next meeting and voted on. Here are those designs.





Spiker Mast V1

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Layout Tour – February 2012

Bob Lewis’s Green River, Wyoming Union Pacific Layout
I had the fabulous opportunity to go on my first layout tour. This layout was constructed by Bob Lewis, a member of the Utah Society of Model Railroaders. It includes over 300 feet of mainline and spans his entire basement. The railroad winds its way through the Wyoming countryside crossing high bridges and nice long tunnels. A large hidden staging yard underneath the layout on the opposite end from of a large radius helix provides plenty of action. On the other side of the room, a visible yard handles the necessary chores for local trains. The entire layout is signaled to help operators complete their runs flawlessly. All I can say is WOW! Thanks to Bob for letting a nubie drool on his layout and thanks to Jim for setting up the tour.

Click on the photo for a larger view.








Layout Construction – February 2012

Staging Track Rebuild
While filming videos for a previous post, I discovered that the staging tracks for Lewistown were badly out of alignment. No matter how hard I tried, I could not get the them to align properly. Upon inspection of the removable section, I found that the wood had warped. There was only one way to correct this problem. Rebuild! To prevent this from happening in the future, I needed to find another base for the tracks. Plywood is definitely an option, more stable, easy to cut and easy to construct. I want to be able to add ballast to these tracks. Wood would have to be sealed in order to use water based glue. More work and I can not be sure that it still will not warp in the future. Thinking of a different material to use, I remembered a scrap piece of composite 1” x 6” that was taking up space in the garage. Perfect! Won’t warp, the right width, length and thickness. Now how to I strengthen the board? A trip to the big box and I came across the metal angles. Perfect! Stable, easy to cut, holes predrilled to attach to the board. The electrical connection to the track bus is almost the same as before. The photos below show the results. In the left photo you can see the old staging tracks leaning up against the wall

Click on the photo to enlarge.


Red Coulee Creek
During the constructing the bridge for Red Coulee Creek, I decided it would be easier to finish the bents if I had a better idea of how tall to make them. It’s not really that difficult to build the bridge bents with out the scenery base in. I just really wanted to finalize my ideas for the scenery and stop work on the bridge. The bridge construction is tedious and boring, so I escape to another project. Speaking of avoiding things, with the scenery base in, I of course had to complete the fascia. Now I should run to the big box and get some paint for the fascia or maybe I should start laying the road bed for Falls Yard or maybe I should…

Click on the photo to enlarge.



Layout Construction - January 2012

Wolf Creek Bridge
Needing to do something artistic, I decided to add more scenery detail to the Wolf Creek bridge area. With the addition of more static grass, tuft grass, small bushes, cattails and trees this scene is nearly complete.

Click on the photo for a larger view.


USRM Post Card
Another reason I wanted to enhance this area was an idea I had for a post card. I had taken a photo of the Wolf Creek bridge area just after removing the pink foam for the creek. The idea was to combine the old photo with a new photo showing the transition from start to end. While another design was selected for the actual post card, I thought it was still a unique idea.



Worlds Greatest Hobby Show – January 2012

Once every five years the World’s Greatest Hobby Show ascends on Utah. This years show featured displays from many manufacturers and regional vendors.


Layouts from the WGH Show
There were quite a few great displays of local modular layouts at the show. Including the Utah Free Mo group which is featured in the first to photos. Mike Nelson (top left photo) is a member of the USRM and gave a very interesting clinic about Free Mo modeling.



Treasures from the show
I can’t seem to go to a railroad show with out buying something. This show was no different. I found a three car set of Western Maryland box cars that I could not resist. I had been searching for the “speed lettering” car (Upper left photo) for a long time. The other WM cars were a bonus.



The USRM at the show
The Utah Society of Railroad Modelers had a booth at the show for recruiting new members. We were able to sign up 21 new members to the NMRA. Below are the business cards that I designed to hand out to people interested in joining our club.