Friday, September 14, 2012

Progress Report 09.14.12

This morning, I worked on a non-railroad project.  I mounted the LCD that formerly sat on my workbench to the wall.  I found wall mounts are cheap.  I use the LCD for other purposes, but during op sessions, I connect my laptop and use it as a fast clock.  The large screen mounted high makes it easy for all the operators to see.

This is the application I use that I found on the internet (freeware, but donations accepted) to use for a fast clock:

Here's a pic of the fast clock in action.

Unfortunately, this consumed all my time this morning.  The install was easy, but removing the cheap screws that secured the LCD to the base was another story.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Progress Report 09.13.12

This evening I worked on a couple various projects.  The first being a modification of the Westclox building.  My wife Carrie made mention the other night that it could be an issue reaching around the building to work Utica when the roof was in place.  I thought about that today and re-assessed the situation this evening.  She was correct.  The roofline would have been too high on the section that was four stories tall.  I cut off that section.  The building profile more closer fits the prototype now.  So, it served two purposes.  Thanks Carrie for bringing that to my attention.

The revised Westclox factory in LaSalle, IL

I then worked on sanding down the roads for painting.  I finally located my sanding block.  That greatly improved the process creating a nice flat surface for the roads.  Sanded and painted the final finish on a road in Ottawa, roads in Bureau Junction, and roads in Peoria.  I also worked on the first pass on the roads in LaSalle.

The Village of Bureau Junction

Downtown Bureau Junction

Peoria, Illinois

The Peoria Rocket sitting at the station in Peoria, IL

Train #90 Peoria to Chicago pulling by the station

My Aunt Carol's house in Peoria, IL

The view from Aunt Carol's house

The road leading to the station in Ottawa

Road up to the engine service tracks in Ottawa

Gathered up some dynamite and blasted out the quarry for Belrose Silica.

This photo looks like the sun is setting on the ROCK.

Updated and printed the train order registers for each station.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Progress Report 09.12.12 - Part Deux

I wasn't planning on working on the layout this evening, but felt so relaxed once started, that I kept working.  I originally set out just to install some additional throttle pockets and a few labels on the fascia.  I then surveyed the open space in LaSalle.  I installed a new foam board base.  Planted the former Peoria Journal Times building and created new roads.  Other than filling in the landscape behind the warehouse (former PJT), this area's base scenery will be complete.  Excellent!

Progress Report 09.12.12

This morning, crews raised the Westclox building.  There is a lot of work to be done yet on the structure, but it's massiveness has made its presence known in LaSalle.

As you can see, the Westclox plant is quite large as with the prototype.  This photo is looking west toward Bureau.

A picture of the prototype still in existence.  Not a perfect match, but I believe a reasonable attempt 

Looking from Utica on the backside of the plant.

Looking East at LaSalle. 

Also, I cut and installed the mini-backdrop behind the Westclox plant dividing LaSalle from Utica.  I'm sure the neighbors were wondering who was out cutting lumber at 6:30am.  That would be the crazy model railroader down the street.  

I couldn't make it to high otherwise you wouldn't be able to see to work Belrose Silica or Philadelphia Quartz in Utica.  I think it will work out well once scenery is in place.  The new sections of the layout are coming along nicely.  I'm quite pleased.

A view from the company helicopter looking over the plant at Utica.

The backdrop needs to be repainted as it was used previously and has some scenery remnants on it still.

Another view from Utica with the half backdrop in place.

Another view in front of the LaSalle station with the backdrop now in place.

An overview of the plant in LaSalle.

Rolling stock is already supplying some of the building materials to construct the plant.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Belrose Silica Sand Pit

This evening I was showing my wife Carrie my handy work with the bluff between LaSalle and Utica.  She stated it reminded her a lot of the bluff into Mount Sterling near her hometown in Illinois.  As mentioned in a previous post, the same area had inspired me to create this scene.  It was a steep grade between the two towns on the layout.  All I could imagine was a Rock Island freight rumbling up the grade as the diesels dug in.  It was great to receive confirmation of what I was trying to portray was seen on the layout.

Carrie, who has such a great mind, asked about the flat spot on top of the bluff.  I told her I wasn't sure what direction I was going to go with it, but most likely would round it off and plant trees along the top.  She stated the scene was screaming for a quarry there.  The thought had never crossed my mind.  The more we talked about it, the more I *loved* the idea!  Belrose Silica is right across the tracks.

So, off to Bing Maps to review the area once again.  Belrose Silica mined sand from a quarry about a mile north of the plant.  So, the quarry would be a perfect fit for the layout.  How exciting!  I was never expecting to model a quarry, but am now busting at the thought!

That's what I love about my wife.  She is my best friend, but best of all, we compliment each other well.   We make a great team.

Progress Report 09.11.12

Yesterday, I pondered the idea for a small coal fired power plant for Peru.  Unfortunately, N scale doesn't offer much in the way of older brick power plants that are readily available.  I really wish Design Preservation Models made the Powerhouse kit available in N.  That would be perfect.

I'm thinking of using the Walthers Machine Shop kit along with some Tomix manufacturing plant coolers.  I think this could pass for a small power plant that would receive a few loads of coal on a regular basis.  Maybe I can route some of the Charleston, Roanoke & Eastern (CR&E) hoppers up with some of that eastern coal.

This morning, I turned my focus toward the Westclox plant in LaSalle.  I am working at kitbashing the structure from Walthers George Roberts Printing kits.  It will be a large plant for sure.  So far, it seems to be coming together nicely as I glued most of the wall sections together.  I need to add some styrene joint pieces to make the structure stronger.

I'm hoping by the end of the week, I will have the basic structure up so the company photographer can snap a few photos.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Progress Report 09.10.12

Yesterday, I worked on cutting and shaping the styrofoam on the curve between LaSalle and Utica.  This morning before work, I lathered it up with drywall compound.  I still need to form the inside of the curve, but making progress.  I was short on time as I had to run another errand before work.

This evening, I worked on the inside curve some more as well as the road that goes down the bluff into LaSalle station.  There is a bluff that the railroad climbs up through after leaving LaSalle heading east toward Utica.  Bluffs like these are more common over near my wife's hometown (closer to the Mississippi River), but it's my world and I shall do as I please.

Pictures of the progress.

The bluff cut looking east toward Utica

Looking east toward Utica

The bluff cut looking west toward LaSalle

Looking west toward LaSalle

It's hard to see, but I'm so proud of my road coming down off the bluff, crossing the tracks to the station.

Another angle of my road

Looking east toward the bluff and Utica

An overall view of the area.