Sunday, May 16, 2010

Friday night work session at Bob's - Click on pictures for larger views

Layout work session on ONR Ramore Sub - May 14, 2010

Another great group night on the Ramore Sub with thanks to Rick, Steve, Ken and Paul.
Prior to heading to the layout room the guys critiqued the six model and prototype photos I will be submitting at next weekend’s SER Convention photo contest in Bessemer. I appreciated the feedback from the guys highlighting some things that I did not even notice. These will help me improve my photo learning skills. One of the color model photos is of Rick’s L&N over his scratch built trestle with his beautifully sceniqued mountains in the background. Wouldn’t it be nice if it placed in the contest?

We then headed upstairs to the layout room. Steve migrated to Englehart yard and hand laid the frog assembly and points assembly to complete another turnout in the yard. With his fine tuning it ran very well! Good work Steve!
Paul also took to hand laying rail in another ladder of Englehart yard. His work was very precise because the roller gauges ran by themselves on the straight section.

Steve and Paul hand laying track in Englehart yard

Paul also soldered some of the gap joints of nickel silver rail and brass screws solder assemblies for my future layout dismantling feature.
So Paul, are you going to hand lay some track on your layout now? How about doing a turnout next time? I have 5 more turnouts to go and I am all done with track laying.

Steve’s #6 turnout completed

Scenery continues to progress, but it seems only when I have my NCI night. Thanks NCI!
My problem is deciding what scenery materials to use to obtain a desired affect and secondly learning the application techniques. Rick is very good at this and got us immediately on the right track.

We focused on continuing to add some detail along the SWA Junction main line & passing track. With Rick and Ken’s input and examining prototype site photos we were able to determine what to do.

First was grass using Rick’s home made “Grass-O-Matic Turbo 5000” static grass applicator. We used both the standard 2mm long Woodland Scenics static grass that I had and some of Rick’s Scenic Express 6 mm long wild static grass. The 6mm long grass makes such a difference combined with the short. I will get some.

Rick charging the grass with his home made Grass-0-Matic Turbo 5000.

Close-up of Rick’s Grass-0-Matic Turbo in action. The nail is the electrical ground.

After the grass was installed we made a variety small bushes with black polyester fiber fill, white glue and a mix of 3 parts medium green coarse turf and 1 part blended turf earth blend.

Sticky fingers Rick making the small bushes. Note the variety of colors.

Ken & Rick installing a low variety of bushes along the SWA Junction passing track

Here is the outcome of long and short grass and the variety of bushes. Nice!
Bob then got the scenery bug and with Ken’s help and ideas installed some rock outcroppings so we can finish the scenery up to the fascia.
Wow, a big bottle of glue and small rocks. That is happiness!

Ken and I then went to the Boston Creek mine site where the abandoned mine will be installed. Ken had a great perception as to where the road should be located and reminded me of the abandoned and partially buried track could be located. We drew this out and glued the mine pad and road extension in place.
Site of the abandoned Boston Creek mine and the ballast stock pile just behind it..

Here is a photo of the abandoned Boston Creek mine shaft that is still a “box of sticks kit”.

We missed Scott last night who was hoping to take some time to come over but when I opened my emails after everyone had left realized why he did not come. He completed an excellent 5 part Power Point presentation with voice, for next weekend’s SER convention in Bessemer.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Friday Night Work Session at Wade's Layout

This past Friday night was a special night as we were at Wade's home to work on his layout.
In attendance were:

Coalfinger Ken
Glue Bob
Band Camp Mark
Packrat Paul
Concrete Keith
Popsicle Rick

Wade's work goals for the night included: running buss wires, putting down cork roadbed, and installing track.

Keith & Mark are installing turnouts and track while Wade is deciding on track location.

Ken, Paul & Wade are discussing all of the fine points of layout design.

Bob was a little out of his element (glue) as both the cork and track are being installed using track nails - no glue! Here he's figuring the radius on the curves, which had to be reduced from the desired 30" to 29" to fit the layout.

Steve couldn't figure out why he was having trouble drilling holes for the buss wiring until we told he that the sharp drill bit thingy was to go against the wood! ;-) Both Steve and Rick made short work of drilling two seperate holes ( one for buss, one for control) through each of the 2" x 4" boards and then stringing the buss wire.

And now let us pray............. acutally, Mark is thinking about the cork in a turnout area.

The Wade Brothers are confiring with Ken on some serious matter of some kind.

Paul took a turn with the rest of us in the VERY comfortable Crew Lounge enjoying refreshments and watching some interesting railroad videos. Comfortable settings, cookies, drinks & trains - now that's living!

It was wonderful being at Wades and seeing his layout & room. He's making great progress and perhaps will be the location for a near future operating session!