Summertime tends to be a slow time for most modelers due to family vacations, summer out door activities. Usually for me I have more free time during the summer months due to the fact that I teach and am off during the summer. Any longtime follower of the blog knows Amy and I usually do our big traveling in the summer and we've been blessed to travel to quite few places in the world! This year we will head to Bermuda for an easy trip and then I head off to Portland for my first NMRA Convention in a long while since going to the one in Milwaukee a few years back. Another distraction that has come up this summer was the purchase of a vintage Honda motorcycle that I've been cleaning up and putting back to original condition, and also riding. I've been riding since the age of 18 and the past 6 years have been the first time in my life since getting my license where I've not had a bike in my garage. As much as I love our hobby of Model Railroading, motorcycles have been a main passion for me since my teen years.
With the Honda being a distraction to a point, I've also been working on projects here on the layout. One project that has been getting attention on and off has been the two Gas Electrics, #61 and #62. 61 has garnered the most attention being a kitbash and it's progressed up to the point you'll see in the following picture:
Detail work continues and all the mechanical items are sorted out. 61 runs great! 62 has gotten a speaker upgrade to a iPhone 5 speaker. After seeing and hearing what my friend Kaylee Zheng was doing with the small iPhone 4s and 5 speakers in her modern Conrail diesels, I knew this was the way to go. You can get these speakers on eBay for $4-$5 a piece and they sound as good or better than any Sountraxx speaker at half the size. I'm currently working on a sound install on an older Bachmann Ma & Pa #27 4-6-0 and I'm using a 5s speaker in that engine.
I've also worked on some scenery shell, and some more playing around with paper buildings flats. I'm tweaking two houses to be photo flats in Yoe and have installed a King Mills building flat to stand in for Red Lion Table Co.
I also got ambitious and mixed up some Ground Goup last night (that concoction Lou Sassie introduced to the model railroad world) and spread it out over some reworked sections on the helix. Some also went into the Mitzel Coal and Lumber scene in the yard at York. I have to thank Garden State Div. of the NMRA President Bruce De Young for reintroducing ground goup to me when he gave a clinic on using it at one of the GSD meets. It's inexpensive to mix up and use and I like using it a lot better than Sculptimold.
One thing about the scene in Yoe that has bothered me was the fact I didn't pay attention to the photos I had on hand and messed up. When I installed the fascia I cut away too low and the scene wound up having the ground sloping down and away from the team track. Photos show that the ground actually rises uphill from the team track.
|This photo shows the up slope away from the team track just beyond the depot. Photo by Art Kuperstein, all rights reserved.|
My buddy Dave Ramos suggested I add a fascia extension which is what I did. I then built up the scenery base to the extension and gouped it up.
I guess you can see I've gotten some things accomplished despite the distractions of summer.
BTW, Dick Bradley gave the answer to the last Where is it Wednesday and you'll find it in the comments. Maybe I'll have a good photo and we'll post it for next Wednesday.