Thursday, May 31, 2012

NE RPM Meet this weekend

I'll be giving a hands on clinic on erasing and renumbering car numbers (lettering too) at this year's NE RPM meet in Collinsville CT. which takes place this weekend.  I also might have a clinic, discussion on helix construction if a spot needs to be filled in so if your planning on attending, or maybe in the area, stop by and say hi!

Here is a link for the meet:

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Extra days off.. Thanks Heat Miser!

Thanks to Mr. Heat Miser, we received a nice end of year present at work. Since we had a warm, mild winter here in the NYC Metro area, we did not use the two snow days built into the school year calender. So we were given two extra days off for the Memorial Day Weekend. We're off from Friday-Tuesday. 

The Hot Man himself. ;)
The two extra days are much appreciated especially since the end of the school year is the most hectic part of the year.  My students have competitions, competency testing (written and practical) to pass for graduation from my Baking/Pastry Arts Program, final exams, shop clean-up and general getting ready for the summer shutdown.. so in short, it's a very stressful time of year and I'm glad for the extra time off.  (I know, I hear all you wise asses out there playing your tiny violins playing cry me a river..  :p)

I have some extra time to relax and work on the layout.  Today I caulked down the rest of the track in the helix and started laying and caulking down track, and cutting in switches on the lower level.

Track and switches installed on part of the lower level.

I also finished gluing down the rest of the cork sheets in the York Yard sections.  Baring any spontaneous BBQ's tomorrow, I should be able to get more done.  We'll see. :)

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Progress.. no really, I did make progress..

Usually when I promise to make an update shortly after a blog post, I jinx myself and wind up not making another post again for an extended period.  That doesn't mean I haven't made some progress on the layout, it just means I'm slacking off on my updates to the blog.  Here is what's been happening lately with construction:

I lined up the helix and the two levels.  The helix entrance was 2 inches too low and needed to be raised up to meet the lower level at the right spot.

All the roadbed is in on this section of the lower level.  I used Dick Bradley's idea of using three strips of N-Scale cork for the sidings.
The roadbed is in on both bridge sections.  The lighter cork is from MRPO and it is their own brand of cork roadbed.  It was $10 cheaper per case than the Midwest cork but the jury is out on it right now.  It is a little higher in its profile compared to the Midwest cork, and the Midwest cork seams a little more flexible than the MRPO version.

Some turnouts need to be curved turnouts.  I'm experimenting with Central Valley turnout kits.  I'm building the components in my fast tracks jig, minus the pc ties, and then I will install them in place on the layout on top of the Central Valley turnout tie strips, like the one shown above.

I bought cork sheets from Target and laminated them down in the York Yard area.

Upper level progress.
The roadbed is laid to the end of upper level (two more sections need to be built to finish the upper level).  OK I'm just being obstinate about the sombrero now.  It will come down when the backdrop goes up.. Really.. it will..

This week I will be start laying flex-track and turnouts.  I'm confident I will be able to keep my schedule of having a shakedown session for the end of the summer. 

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Starting to look like a layout..

I thought I'd share a picture that shows the entire layout.  It's starting to shape up, and with the bridge sections in, it's really looking like a layout now.

An overall view of the layout.  Don't mind the mess. :)  The sombrero is still hanging in there.

I'm making progress and I promise, I'll have a more complete update later this week.