Friday, March 20, 2015

The ROCK 3.0: Peru Power Construction Project

Late this evening, I worked on the Peru Power Plant.  It is coming together nicely so far.  I have the two side walls and front wall complete.  There is a lot more to add on top after the main structure is complete.

Here are photos of my progress.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

The ROCK 3.0: Kitbashing Structures

Over the weekend, I received numerous kits I purchased off a friend getting out of N Scale.  Last night, I briefly sat down and started reviewing the available parts and began formulating how I can use them to construct the few buildings on the layout.  I was very excited to find I can use most everything from these kits.  In particular I was extremely excited about the Peru Power possibilities.

Peru Power
The Peru Power building has been torn  down, but it's images still live on in Bing Maps (for the time being).  I took numerous screen shots to save for future use.

Bing Maps image

Random Photo from the Illinois River I found a long time ago.

My rendition of how to construct the plant including details on what components will be used.
A crude 3D stick drawing of the outline of the future Peru Power Plant along Water St.
The building will be about 15" long and narrow (much more so than the prototype), but I will fit it in the space I have provided by the layout.

I will use the long window to fit under the "PERU" sign in the center of the building.

Again, not exact, but I believe it will provide a good representation of the structure.  I will use Bar Mills sidewalks around the side and front of the plant.  I can't wait to start construction!!!

Belrose Silica 
This project is a little easier.  It is simply styrene sheets plus a few windows from the Walthers George Roberts building kit.  I plan on modeling the main processing building and blue shop building as my foot print is pretty narrow on the layout.  

Photos from Bing Maps.  I noticed when reviewing my photos from my summer trip last year that this sight has changed dramatically.  I couldn't see well due to the trees blocking, but now there are three very large structures compared to the one in this aerial view.  It will be interesting to see after the maps are updated on Bing.

Quick drawing of the basic structures at Belrose Silica.  The buildings are up higher on the hill than the sand loading area below.

A crude 3D stick drawing of the structures to be modeled at Belrose Silica.  I would think you would be able to see the other large building behind the shop building.  I'm thinking a photo or something similar would work as a backdrop, but unsure how to obtain or draw it.

I'm thinking about using the roof sections for the covered unloading area from the Vulcan Manufacturing kit for the cover over the loading area at Belrose Silica.

Ottawa Silica
You have already seen one of the drawings of the Ground Sand Plant.  Here is an overall view of the complex including the long conveyor that goes up to the sorting mill building as well as the background building and storage silo flats that I plan to utilize.

Looking east at the plant from the center of the room.

Looking north at the Ottawa Silica Plant

The main (tall) sorting building will remain.  The loading building on the left was always meant to be temporary.  It needs to be taller.  A conveyor will be added between the loader and sorting building.  Another mid-size structure fits between the small building on the right and the tall sorting building.

The structure with an X was from v1.0 and on the layout temporarily.  I forgot to move it this morning when I took the photo.  My bad.

I'm going to use the double windows from the Walthers Vulcan Manufacturing Plant on the loading structure at Ottawa Silica.

I added a smokestack to LOF that I obtained from my recent kit acquisition.  

Sunday, March 15, 2015

The ROCK 3.0: Post #800!

Whoa!  800 posts since day one of the ROCK nearly five years ago.  Let's take a trip down memory lane to see how the ROCK Layout came about, changed, was dismantled and rebuilt into what it is today.  There are a few photos and lots of links to old posts.  If you are interested in reading about the operations, you will find some good info below.

Memorial Day Weekend 2010 - The Layout Construction begins.

The first construction on Memorial Day Weekend 2010

The old Ovalix to connect levels one and two.

The center peninsula - lower level.

The first train to ever run on the layout albeit a short distance.

The future Davenport (Damnit Port as some called it) yard.

Train making the first mainline run by the yard.

Still heavy under construction - early stages of the first layout.

November 2010 - The ROCK came alive for the first op session a mere six months after construction began on November 22nd, 2010.
My good friend Larry ran the first train on the ROCK layout.

February 2011 - Operated for the second time.  

March 2011 - The Tale of the Wyzas Sisters - They hated each other so much they rode separate trains from Bureau Junction to Chicago every day.

March 2011 - Backdrops are added to the layout dramatically improving the overall appearance. 

April 2011 - The first scenery of the layout.

April 2011 - Street Running Comes to Blue Island 

April 2011 - Railfanning the BI Street Running on the Rock -

April 2011 - More Street Views 

May 2011 - A Photo Tribute to the Layout on the 1st Anniversary -

August 2011 - The layout expands to Peoria (after a trip to the real Peoria)

September 2011 - Carrie Ave Shops Rebuilt to be Functional

September 2011 - The Winds of Change - Change up of Freight Schedule - Imagine that?  My layout was in a constant state of change, but that is what happens when you build it first and research second I suppose.

A Day on the Rock Photo Series (November 2011):
I operated the layout myself taking tons of photos of the entire process.  Here's the series of posts:

In December 2011 post op session, I had a new vision for Blue Island.  I drew this out.  Blue Island will be completely revised into "Devil's Island" as one crew member called it.

In January 2012, I scratchbuilt my first structure, a barn for Franklin Farms.  This was not a large project by any means, but a big moral boost to me as I had never attempted such a task before.  I was really pleased with my little barn.  It resides on the layout today at Franklin Farms. 

February 2012 - the First reportable accident on the layout.  I believe I cut the inside of my hand.  There was a lot of blood on that one if I recall correctly.  I thought I would require stitches.  I counted.  There was a total of five reportable accidents on the layout plus one OSHA write-up by our Dallas Division office.
February 2012 - I installed my first fascia board.  This was a very exciting point for me as I have never constructed a layout with a fascia.  It had always been a basic 4x8 sheet of plywood with no elevation change, no scenery, no fascia.  This was huge!  I loved it and was inspired to keep pushing forward testing my abilities.

March 2012 - The layout is coming together as the fascia had been installed and painted as shown in this photo update.

Look at all that traffic staged in the Chicago staging yard!

April 1st, 2012 - The ROCK comes alive once again.  Here is the full Op Session Report.

May 22, 2012 - An important day in ROCK history (at least on my layout).  The day I discovered Bing Maps and began railfanning via the bird's eye view remnants of the former Rock Island Lines.  I found this key picture which may have been the seed for the idea of the present layout.  As said many times before, the winds of change is present on the ROCK again!

June 2012 - The winds of change were very strong.  The catch phrase was heard on the layout "Ovalix to Nolix".  Drawings were made and destruction was imminent.  

Post op session, the ovalix came down with a swiftness and the construction began to extend the layout to model more of the sand operations.  

By July 31st, 2012, the mainline was whole once again.  Construction was swift on the ROCK.

August 2012 - Sand becomes king on the layout!  

At the same time, LED lighting was introduced to the layout.  This was greatly needed with a double deck layout as much of the layout was in the shadows.

In September 2012 - There was a major push for more scenery on the layout.

September 2012 - With the expansion of the layout, there was now room to construct the first Westclox plant.

October 2012 - An overview of the layout.  At this point, the layout was coming together pretty nicely.

September 29th, 2012 - The layout comes to life once again.  Here is the operating session report.

December 2012 - Operated for the ninth time.  This was my best write-up for an operating session.

January 2013 - I was rolling weed with my good friend Marcus making our first Scenic Express Super Trees.  The results were amazing.

March 1st, 2013 - The ROCK is on video.  Ben Earp created a video on the layout and posted to YouTube.

March 2013 - We operated for the 10th time.  Here is the full op session report.

April 3rd, 2013 - Enter Sandman - Ottawa Dreams.  The vision of the present layout was formed.  I had built the layout first, researched second.  It was a good run with the first rendition of the layout, but the new vision had taken hold.  It was only a matter of time before the layout would come down.

April 25th, 2013 - The ROCK's CEO meets with the corporate therapist (i.e. wife) regarding these crazy silica dreams.

April 25th, 2013 - Post #500 - I purchased the out of print book "The Silica Sands of Ottawa".  It was on now!  The dreams of sand were alive!

May 2nd, 2013 - Extra Sand East.  I ran a long sand extra gathering all my sand hoppers pushing them east to Ottawa.

May 5th, 2013 - The Final Op Session on v1.0.

June 2nd, 2013 - Was it May 31st 2013 or May 31st, 1980?

June 3rd, 2013 - The ROCK is Dead, but ALIVE at the same time!  Read the full news report.

Demolition took place immediately.  By, July 9th, 2013, it was all gone!

September 11th, 2013 - A new Vision of the Silica Dreams layout.  Slightly revised from the original plan, but designed to make better use of the room for all the family, but still operate the layout.

October 3rd, the final plan was created for Ottawa Silica.

By September 22nd, 2013 - The base benchwork was complete for the new layout.

October 23rd, 2013 - Blue Lights were implemented on the layout.

Ten month after the ROCK demolition began, the ROCK was BACK!

The first op session report.

Various progress has been made since, but that is the story of how the present layout has come to life.  I hope you enjoyed going down memory lane with me.  

In other news, I created more GTW tabs today.  I also updated the rules for crews.  See below.