Saturday, March 28, 2015

The ROCK 3.0: Closed for Business Today

Well, today was supposed to be my operating day.  Unfortunately, Wednesday night, I could feel the tightness in my throat.  By Friday, I had a full blown cold, body aches and all.  There was no way I would make it through a session.  So, yesterday, I called it around lunch time.  I didn't want to do it, but I didn't want to infect anyone plus the fact I need to get well before my surgery on the 7th.  So, rest was in order.

So, instead of the ROCK looking like this....

It looked like this...

It was the first time I had to cancel a session.  :-(

The operating session has been rescheduled for April 18th.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

The ROCK 3.0: More Scenery on the Layout

This evening, I received the Blair Line letters from my friend Larry in the mail.  I asked to borrow a few letters and he asks to borrow coal.  It worked out well.

I immediately lightly painted the letters and installed spacers on the back of the letters.  I glued them in place before dinner.  Not bad!  Thanks to Larry for expediting the letters up to me.

I like how the letters look.  They could probably be a tad bigger, but this will do.

After taking care of some errands, I worked on planting some more trees.  This was done in the area of Mill Street.  I wanted to go ahead and install the fence around the parking lot at Westclox.  I decided to fill in the are behind the parking lot with overgrowth of bushes.  I then took the plastic fence (I believe it came from the O.L. King and Sons Kit from the first layout), weathered it with a brown and red mud Doc o'Brien's powders.  I think it turned out pretty good.

Westclox parking lot looking kind of blah before.

Mill Street afterward with the new trees added.

Westclox Parking Lot afterward

This wood fence looks good after being weathered with powders

I need to add a guard shack or outbuilding to cover the grade crossing signal sensor by the ground throw.

Looking East on the mainline by Westclox' parking lot.

The back of the Westclox parking lot

Looking west down the access road to Belrose Silica.

Looking down the tree-lined access road to Belrose Silica

A school bus coming down the hill into Utica with a load of kids.

A few trucks backed up to the Westclox plant.

Looking west on the mainline at Mill Street in Utica.

Looking East on the mainline at Utica.  I think this looks very good compared to what I saw in person last summer.  

Looking west on the mainline - looking down the spur for Philadelphia Quartz (PQ).

The PQ Lead.


An overhead view of PQ.

Looking west at Utica Station.

Looking west from the roof of Utica Station.

The layout skirting is back up.  It must be time to operate again.

Peru/LaSalle/Utica - Peru Power, Westclox

Utica - Belrose Silica and PQ

Ottawa - Ottawa Yard

South Ottawa - Ottawa Silica

South Ottawa - Libbey-Owens-Ford (LOF) Glass Plant

Monday, March 23, 2015

The ROCK 3.0: Sidewalks

This evening, I installed sidewalks around the Peru Power building.  I use the Bar Mills #681 N Scale sidewalks.  Extremely easy to use and look great.

Peru Power before sidewalks.

Peru Power after sidewalks.

I also worked on cleaning track and test running locomotives.  I got 2/3rds of the layout rails cleaned.   Here are a few other random photos I took of the layout.

OTSW ready to go to work moving sand.

Lots of cars to classify at the yard.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

The ROCK 3.0: Happy Little Trees

Yesterday afternoon, I moved the operation outside since it was so comfortable.  I received in a new box of Scenic Express Super Trees.  I worked on trees for about an hour.

This morning, I continued the project outside.  I didn't think I had that many more trees, but I ended up working out there for about another hour.  I don't know for sure how many trees I made, but I feel comfortable in saying at least 250 or so.  It was a lot!

My method of making the trees.  By no means, a definitive way of creating them, but it works for me.
  1. Pull apart the Super Trees and shape into a good looking tree.
  2. Spray with an extra hold hairspray.
  3. Place flock (prefer Woodland Scenics) in a one quart container.
  4. Turn the container on its side and roll the tree gently in the flock until covered.
  5. Throw the tree in a collection box.
  6. Repeat.

It goes much faster when I have help from my daughters.  They helped some, but not near as much as I would have wanted on this batch.  Here are some photos of the progress.

I thought I was nearly done with trees, but found tons of little trees I could make.  This was only a quarter of what I ended up finding at the bottom of the box.

Super Tree

Spray the weed with the hairspray.

Normally, I wouldn't go with the expensive stuff, but we had an abundance of it from Triple Coupon day a while back.

Woodland Scenics flock in a one quart container (compliments of the local Chinese Restaurant).  I gently roll the weed in the container while on its side after spraying with hairspray.

A finished small tree.

Chuck the tree into the pile for planting later.

Leftover tree trunks from the box of Super Trees

This evening, I cleaned the layout room.  This week will be busy, so I doubt I will get much more done on the layout.  I will probably plant the trees created this weekend though.  Layout is staged.  I need to update the administrative paperwork with inbound car counts and such plus clean the track and test run the locos this week.