Monday, January 28, 2019

Taking a Break

I started this blog at the very end of 2010 - and over the last eight years have enjoyed sharing my hobby activities. 
I'm particularly gratified (and not just a little surprised!) at the ~640,000 page views this thing has generated over that time. 
But scrapping the layout in our former home about 18 months ago took the wind out of my sails for the hobby and for blogging. Frankly this lack of effort shows if you review the blog postings, both subject and frequency, over the last year or so.  
So I've decided to be honest with myself, and all of you, and officially take a break from this blog. 
I do enjoy blogging, and hope to return to blogging again - perhaps with a blog that's not limited to one railroad or layout. When I do that I will be certain to put a link to that blog HERE. 
In the meantime, although I might offer an occasional thought or update it's time to take a break. 
Thanks to all who've read and commented on my scribbles. 


Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Sanborn Maps - Richford Feed Mill and CV Yard

Most of the last month has been taken up with travel to visit family and friends, but I have gotten started on roadbed and track. One reference I'm using to lay out not only the track, but the various scenic elements such as roads, waterways, buildings, and the like are Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps. 
The Library of Congress has been making considerable progress posting scans of the full color original maps and posting them on the LOC website (www.loc.gov). 

Here are the maps showing the Richford, Vt. feedmill (top) and the Central Vermont Railway yard. (Click the links or images below to go to the map on the LOC web site).  



Monday, November 5, 2018

Finescale Expo 2018 Trip Report

Our "dinner club" at the FineScale Expo. 
Rolled back into town late last night (but still in time to see the second half of the Pats vs. Packers) after spending an enjoyable weekend in Albany NY and environs attending the Fine Scale Expo. 
Stic Harris and I have attended several of these. We departed early - very early - Friday morning and as has become a tradition the weather for the drive to the Expo was miserable. Stic wasn't familiar with model railroad podcasts so we listened to a couple of episodes of Todd and Brett Wiley's "Benchtime" podcast on the way up to Albany. 
The weekend was fairly low key, with an agenda familiar to anyone who's ever attended any model railroad related event. This event is always a little different since the emphasis is most assuredly NOT on "trains" - but instead on structures, scenery, and details. There's a vendor room, clinics (both hands-on extra fare clinics, and "standard" clinics). Those run Thursday through Saturday. Sunday is devoted to self-drive layout tours. 
We didn't attend the hands on clinics, but did attend several regular clinics - including  one on LED lighting and another where we learned it was important to think like a tree when planning a scene. 
A quick side trip to Lake George prior
to visiting Kip Grant. 
I managed to spend some money in the vendor room - including getting some interesting AK Interactive finishing products for making asphalt and concrete that I want to try since the results on the sample dioramas looked pretty impressive. 
Saturday afternoon was bright and sunny so after getting a recommendation from Kip Grant (the closest thing we had to a "local") on the best hobby shops in the area we hit two of them Saturday afternoon. Both were well stocked, but one of them was like a trip to hobby shops of the past, with the shelves stacked high with a variety of new, old, and somewhat shelf worn merchandise and the owners and the local gang solving all the world's problems (model railroad-related and otherwise!) behind the counter. 
My plan had been to take pictures of the fall foliage on this trip. The foliage looked great through the rain on Friday. Saturday it also looked great - but most of it was on the ground or swirling around in 40-50 mph wind gusts. Better luck next year. 
Sunday morning we left the hotel bright and early and headed north to visit Kip Grant's D&H railroad - which has long been one of my favorites. 

Kip (foreground) shows Stic his recessed turnout toggles. This view shows perhaps 2/3rds of Kip's wonderful D&H 
branch. Goes to show you 
don't need a massive railroad to end up with a great model railroad!

Check out the windows in the elementary school! 





 On the way south we stopped in and visited the NEB&W in Troy - and then started back towards Virginia. Although the sheer size and scope of this railroad is impressive, frankly it's looking tired and ragged in sections and in need of a good cleaning. But we still enjoyed our visit there. 

All in all, a great weekend with good friends. 








Wednesday, October 31, 2018