It's been a few months since I've had enough time to work on the layout. I've actually had enough stuff to keep me away from it since the last post in let's see........Wow almost two months!
No wonder Steven has been after me to get something written for the blog! LOL
Around the time of the last post I had just finished weathering up about 14 cars that I took to our local train show in Feb. I've been selling some of them on eBay to raise a few funds, get some more practice and try to thin the herd a bit.
Along with the weathering I've also been doing some repair for a couple of guys, as well as trying to get decal work done for another friend. That has been a challenge as the decals are not cooperating very well. They first were crumbling as they came off the sheet, so I tried giving them a coat of Micro Scale Liquid Decal Film, but even that didn't help. So we bought some new decal sets and while those are not crumbling, I'm having a hell of a time trying to get them to come off the paper! It's like they're glued to the paper.
After the show in February, several of us decided to head down a road that I'm not sure where it will lead us. Several of us got our heads together and decided to get some N scale Free-moN modules under construction and see if we could draw some interest in getting a group started up. While we had a great time with our Bend Track System for years, we decided to take a break and never really got back into the swing of things with the Bend Track modules. After that life kind of changed for several of the members and the modules kind of just faded away and then later I got started with the layout.
I've built four modules that will make up a 14' siding, Quin is planning to build at least one maybe two, and Mark, well Mark is well ahead of the game! He had about 6 modules built already and is planning several more. One of which is an End Loop, which is think is about done. LOL I just got a text from him saying it's done! What timing Mark.
One of the main reasons for getting some Free-moN mods built was
1) Mark has been wanting to start a group up here locally.
2) Quin and I have talked about building a smaller portable layout that we could take to the shows, much like Nscaleaddict has done with his Orin lines and Maria's Pass layouts. Quin was kind of a late comer to our group when we were playing with the modules and he never got around to getting one built.
3) There also needs to be a much better N scale display at the local train if that club wants to be able to draw in more N Scalers to not only their club, but N Scalers into the scale and the hobby itself. What they have for a modular setup is well, let's just say...... there could be a little more effort involved from a couple of their members.
Around December my friend Steven [the one who owns The Rock Island Ottawa Sands in N scale] asked me about renumbering some of his huge fleet of 2 bay sand hoppers. I told him I could help with that as I've made a few decals and that it shouldn't be too hard. Not really knowing what he had in mind I told him to send me over a list of numbers that he wanted and I would see what I could do for a fellow Rock Island Modeler.
Well the list arrived in a few day and WOW! he only wanted 75 sets of numbers! I was thinking maybe twenty or so, but he must have his heart set on renumbering his entire fleet! But it's not a big deal, with the right software and knowing how to use it made it a snap. I actually got a proof sheet made up and shot over to him last night.
So on top of the above listed things I'm doing that's keeping me from the layout, I'm now making a few decals for Steven. This morning we got talking about track plans and operations again, both on his layout and mine. We chatted about changing a few tracks on his layout and then I seen a video for a very simple interchange and thought it might work on mine. In doing so Steven told me that if I went through the small change that it would be a good thing to add to my blog, and that it would nice to see an update again since it's been so long.
Earlier this week he mentioned about the lack of updates to my blog and then he wants me to take time and make him decals! If that don't beat all? But it's all good, I'm glad to help. I just thought I would rib him a little. LOL!
As Steven would say "Speaking of Donuts" I mentioned a bit ago about some changes that I might make to the layout. It's nothing major, just a slight change in the tracks at Ruston, LA. Right now I have two sidings for the interchange. While this makes it easy to drop off and pick up cars, I watched a video that DJ made about Simple Interchanges. I got to thinking how this could add some interest to the interchange between the Rock Island and ICG crews at Ruston.
Right now the way I work it is at the beginning of a session I have a crew bring out the cars from the ICG, set them off on one of the two sidings for the Winnfield local and take back what has been set out from the last session. Then when the Winnfield local makes it's run, it stops by and drops off any cars that are needed and picks up what's there. Simple enough. But after watching his video I thought how cool it would be to have the two crews work together to swap out the cars! Probably not the most efficient way of doing it but might add some head scratching and interest. See what you think. [Posted with permission]
I have another session scheduled for the 26th of April and I think I will give this a try. Instead of ripping up the track I might put a couple of thumb tacks on each end of one siding so as to make it inoperable for that session and see how it works out.
Then I have a few more things to get off the work bench, but after that I want to get back after the new building for Olin-Chlor.
In the mean time, Steven is about ready to have his inaugural run of his layout on Saturday March 29th! He got an itch to tear it up last summer and try something different and has been working on it feverishly all winter getting it rebuilt.
Take a moment and check it out his blog. It all started with this post.
Let's wish him luck!
Go Steven, High Greens.
One last note, some of you may have seen a new gadget on the top of the right hand column. I'm going to try and set up a "For Sale" page so I can list a bunch of my extra stuff as well as items from a huge estate collection from a good friend who passed away a few years ago. I hope to get it set up and ready in the next few months, unless Steven needs some more decals. ;-)
....and I even gave his blog a free plug.
....and I even gave his blog a free plug.