Saturday, September 8, 2012

Progress Report 09.08.12

I was busy most of the day with other family related tasks.  Late this afternoon before dinner though, I managed to get some time in the layout room.

I repaired the roads in East Ottawa (the original section) that was damaged during the destruction, continued working on the hillsides at Caldwell Rd bridge in Ottawa.  I then moved down to the village of Bureau Junction.  I started channeling Bob Ross.  Do you remember watching his shows as a kid?  He was awesome!  Probably high as a kite, but awesome!  Hmm...I think I'll put a happy little hill here, add a drainage ditch here.  The next thing I know, I had completely filled in the scenery between the station and down to the Hennepin Canal bridge.  I stepped back to take a look at my handwork!  Holy smokes!  That looks freaking awesome!

After dinner, I went back to work briefly cutting and shaping the styrofoam for the east bank of Hennepin Canal and the power plant.

Here are some photos of recent progress.  Keep in mind, much of this is rough scenery as I haven't had time to go back to clean up everything yet.

Hennepin Canal

Hennepin Canal

Hennepin Canal (looking back toward Bureau Junction)

Hennepin Canal (looking back toward Bureau Junction)

The residential district in Bureau Junction
Aunt Maude's house isn't looking too shabby

Bureau Junction Station
(Temporary until I can scratchbuild a replica of the prototype)

Looking toward town from the station.
(Main and siding in the distance / Peoria branch in the foreground)

Bureau Junction - Looking east
Siding / Main / Peoria Branch

Looking down the neighborhood road toward Hennepin Canal

Bureau Junction
Bureau Junction Storage Track / Peoria Branch / Mainline / Siding

Bureau Junction

The low income side of Bureau Junction

Bureau Junction looking east

Ottawa - Caldwell Rd bridge

Engine Track at Ottawa

A BN local rolling into town at Ottawa

Ottawa Yard looking east - Caldwell Rd bridge

BN Local at the Ottawa Station

Progress Report 09.07.12

This morning, I was short on time, but began the process of cutting and sculpting the hillside for the Caldwell Rd bridge over Ottawa Yard.  The bridge is named after my wife's cousins.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Progress Report 09.05.12

Last night, I got the urge to start ballasting.  I had only ballasted a short section through a tunnel down by McGee Creek.  The experience turned out well, but it was a short section.

So, the ballast train arrived at Rock Island on the layout late yesterday evening.  Preparation began by painting the rails a rust brown.  Note to self: find a different non-oil based paint.  The scalecoat paint I used created quite the fume cloud that took a while to ventilate.  I will pick up some acrylic based paint for future painting.

After the rails dried and tops were cleaned, I spread out the ballast.

This morning, I came back with my 50/50 water/glue solution.  I tried two methods.  One using dish soap in the 50/50 solution and one using alcohol.  Both worked just as well.  I think I will go with the dish soap method in the future as that cuts down on the smell with the alcohol.

Two issues:

1) I don't like the way the ballast is darker after being glued;
2) Although I try to be careful applying the glue/water mix, the ballast seems to be a little lumpy.  Not much but definitely not as smooth and manicured as I would like.  I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong to cause this.

Here are pics of the ballasted area.

My newly set goals before the next op session is to hit the scenery hard planting trees and grass as well as constructing the Westclox plant in LaSalle.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Progress Report 09.02.12

Carrie Ave Shops has been busy working on the locomotive fleet.  Late this afternoon, they completed the last locomotive.  Clearing inspection, the locomotives were consisted and assigned a train for service.

A parking lot and road was created for the station at LaSalle, a new road crossing was added at Peoria, city streets and a neighborhood road were added at Bureau, and a small trailer park community was added at Bureau Junction.

Later in the evening, I went back and added some hillside in Peoria, Bureau Junction and Ottawa.  I also added an access road to the station and engine service facility at Ottawa.

Pre-Session Project update
1) Install slide switches
2) Re-stage the layout
3) Repair identified rolling stock that doesn't meet code 
(This is complete other than a few random cars that will be need more than a basic fix.  Those have been sent to the car shop for long term repairs).
4) Repair identified motive power that doesn't meet code
5) Construct Hennepin Canal bridge
6) Install LED Lights
7) Test all new trackage