Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Bridging the Gap

I need to pick up  new roof for my tower as the current one is missing a big chunk out of  corner.  Steve from Hobby Gallery will have one at the Springfield show, so I do not have to wait long.  In the mean time, I have constructed a Rix concrete overpass to continue the road on the upper area of Norwich If that area looks familiar, it is John Pryke's South Boston from the large layout he had in Acton MA. I built the bridge bet the instructions and the base coat of paint is Krylon Camo Khaki.  It still needs to be permanently placed and weathered.  I still have more work to do in the area, so I will wait to permanently place it.

Monday, January 22, 2018

Fixer Upper

Like the popular HGTV show, it is possible to get an inexpensive, or in this case free, building and make it into a nice looking model.  I was given this built, but in need of TLC, tower a few years ago.  I have just started the process of upgrading it.  I started by removing the upper set of window castings on the end of the tower.  To get them to fit the kit, the had been put in at an angle and did not look so good, replaced the upper sill with thinner styrene and now the window fit.  I need to replace to roof and upgrade the paint.
The upper front windows fit fine and did not need reworking.

Here is one end with the upper windows reworked.  The
casting has a decent size crack, not a huge issue in the brick,
but the door will need a bit of a patch 
I have a couple of Branchline laser kits that need some rework as well.  More diamonds in the rough.

Lost Weekend

This past weekend was to be the first in two weekends that were to be very model railroad centric. This coming weekend is of course the very large Amherst Railway Society Railroad Hobby show in West Springfield, MA. http://www.railroadhobbyshow.com/ I am going on Saturday and meeting friends for dinner afterwards.  It is a huge show, over 400,000 square feet of space, per the web site.  Not only is it dealer, it is manufactures, historical societies and lots of layouts.

This past week end I was to join Chris Adams at his Valley Railroad for an operation session. I have a link to his fantastic layout in the margin of the blog.  His layout is almost like two railroads in one, much like the actual New Haven Railroad he so faithfully models.  The largest portion is of course the New Haven’s valley line, a single track branch line that was served strictly with local fright, no passenger trains in his late 1940’s time frame as well as a four track high density main line going through Old Saybrook CT. Well, I made it a nearly 1/3 of the way to Chris’s house when my car decide it did not want to continue on.  Fortunately I have AAA gold card and was able to get my Honda towed back to my dealer in Manchester, NH and got it repaired by 3PM on Saturday.  I was able to get down to the basement of a bit on Sunday and able to get a couple of projects moved alone.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Wordless Wednesday Followup

Yesterday’s image was of a railroad valuation map of Putnam, Connecticut taped to the wall where I plan to build it.  You can see that the wall is in need of a lot of work, framing, insulation wiring and of course dry wall.  I hope to tackle that this spring, once the weather breaks as I like to do all the cutting of lumber and drywall outside to reduce that amount of dust I am introducing into the basement. 

The Valuation map was down loaded in pieces from the Digital Archive Collections at the University of Connecticut.  They have many maps and aerial photographs of Connecticut as well as the archives of the New Haven Railroad.  One of these days I really need to go down and visit the facility and do some research that I am unable to do online.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018


The cold temperatures have made it quite uncomfortable to work in the basement for any length of time.  The one reprieve we have had I used to get all the outdoor Christmas decorations taken down and put away.  I also used the time to place a few odds and ends on Craigslist (non-railroad items) to continue to clean excess out of the basement.

I also enjoy photography and am getting into post processing of images.  I have started learning to use Adobe Light Room.  It is not only useful for making adjustment to images, it also helps create a way to tag the images with information such as names, locations and quality of the image and so on.  GPS information can be recorded here if you have a cameras so equipped.  I also have a scanner to bring in many older, analog images.  I built a small work station to make working simpler, and to keep material from getting scattered around my dinning or living room.  I used an old table I have from the old apartment living and added casters to the wheels so I can roll it around the basement to keep it out of the way.  I us a lap top, so I use an older but nice external monitor, as size does matter when working on images.  The scanner is an Epson V600, it can scan prints, negatives and transparences.  I added a keyboard and a mouse and I have a nice post processing work station.  The real nice part is I already had all the bits and pieces, other than the casters.

Here is my "Digital Darkroom"

Monday, January 1, 2018

Happy New Year

2018 is here, a time to review the year gone by and look forward to a new year with new goals.  I am about one month from the one year anniversary of my blog.  It started off well, but work on it as well as my modeling has trailed off as the year progressed.  A change in where I worked along with a busy time around home led to the slow down. 
In 2017

  • I have been able to get the portion of layout I had built function, added the south end staging and started to work on structures.
  • Finished my Conrail caboose, and started several other cars and locomotives.
  • Set up throttle panels

For 2018
  • Finish the Thermos Company structure and scenery.
  • Ballast Track
  • Install more DCC on locomotives
  • Finish more structures
  • Create photo backdrop
  • Start prepping the rest of the basement

I hope to be spending more time in the New Year working on the lay out so the blog should also be updated more often.