Monday, January 20, 2014

Work Session Report - 20 January 2014


The 1x 2 shows the approximate alignment of the revised mainline through what will now be known as "Randolph."
 Had a good time today making some changes to the layout. Thanks to Tom, Stic, Ben, and John Paganoni for their help. 
I'll prepare a follow-on post detailing the "whys," but I made two rather significant changes to the layout today. 
First, I decided to replace the freelanced paper mill scene with another CV prototype scene. Inspired by the paper mill on Paul Dolko's former B&M layout, the paper mill was interesting, but after a couple of years of playing around with different track arrangements,  buildings, etc… it never really came together. Main issue was such a large complex really didn't seem to fit with the theme of the CV in the 1950s in northern Vermont. 
So, instead I'm going to add my version of Randolph, Vt, another favorite CV town. 
To add Randolph we need to have a longer town scene than was available, which meant the Williams Creek bridge scene had to be removed. It will be reinstalled in another location on the layout - here it is after Tom and Stic got done with it -
Ben and I removed the track from the paper mill scene and removed a fair amount of the foam board sub roadbed and framework from the section. Then Ben turned his attention to some of the passenger cars. An ongoing project is getting the Ambassador consist off the "bad order" shelf….
Stic and I got the risers and crosspieces level in preparation for reinstalling the sub roadbed. By the end of the day, Randolph was down to the bare grid benchwork, but rebuilding will commence shortly. 
I also decided to move the end of the peninsula over about 20" or so, mostly to create a little more room to get around the relatively tight aisle between the back of the peninsula and north end staging. To do this we simply cut the peninsula at it's base - I should say Tom cut the peninsula using a very fancy saw that made truly straight square cuts, and all of muscled the peninsula into it's new position. Tom, John, and I then filled in the gap in the layout frame and backdrop. 
All in all a good day - thanks to all for the help. Next time I promise the work session will be a LOT more low key and not involve quite so many power tools!

11 comments:

  1. Great idea - Randolph is a neat place (I recall stopping at the station a couple of times on my way to the big train show in Springfield MA). And I love that you're tearing out a freelanced scene in favor of a prototype scene. Your layout is going to be the CV version of Jim Dufour's Boston and Maine - or perhaps his is the BM version of your Central Vermont? No matter - they'll both be awesome layouts to visit and run trains on.
    The "very fancy saw" is a Festool. And they're beyond fancy - they're awesome. I have one of these saws, plus a Festool cordless drill, and I'm hoping to upgrade all my power tools with examples from their line. They are lifetime tools - more expensive, but worth every penny IMHO.
    Cheers!

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    2. Hi Marty:
      John was indeed right. The prototype has solved so many of the problems for us that if we just follow what they did we're bound to get it right.
      I'll add that I'm not making a judgement on the worth of prototype vs freelance scenes. That's up to the individual. But given how beautifully you're rendering other scenes from the CV, it's nice to see that you're putting Randolph in here. You'll end up with a layout that looks and feels authentic - because it is!
      Cheers!

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    3. EDITED COMMENT - To fix a couple of "auto correct" miscues!

      Thanks Trevor. 
Jim's layout is one of my favorites - if I can capture the spirit of the CV half as well as he's nailed the B&M I'll consider this layout a success. 
I'm thrilled to have a chance to include another favorite prototype scene on the layout. As I said, the paper mill complex was added in an effort to increase operating possibilities, (i.e. provide a place for a mill job crew to work, a job I always enjoyed on Paul's B&M. But it didn't really belong in rural Vermont. This shouldn't be interpreted as some sort of judgment on my part whether prototype or freelanced scenes are "better" - but I have to say the prototype scene (with a couple of compromises) literally designed itself while the paper mill sat in place for almost three years and never really "gelled." Perhaps John Armstrong was right when he said it's harder to freelance than follow a prototype?

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  2. Well it was an enjoyable day. Everyone worked well together and we were able to come up with good solutions while problem solving. That's the sign of a good crew. You're welcome.

    Not picking up a crowbar or Sawzall was a good decision. Having the right power tool did make things go smoothly and methodically. Although a Sawzall can be fun, in my experience it can lead to some regrets. I've seen some people get a little drunk with that destructive power. Ultimately precision cuts allow easier reconstruction and recovery.

    Hail Festool!

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    1. Tom, It certainly was a lot of fun, even though it was a lot of work. What we got done in one day yesterday would have taken me weeks or even months to get done solo, and the results wouldn't have been as good. Thanks again for the help. And you, and your fancy tools, are welcome anytime!

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  3. The curse of the backdrop continues. The way to guarantee Marty will change his layout is to paint the back drop.

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    1. I didn't want to slice through the backdrop originally, but Tom and Stic thought it was unavoidable. Besides, it looked like fun....
      seriously, there's now a 22" section of sky blue "blank" ready to blended in. No real harm to the rest of the backdrop.

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  4. The Festtools track saws are great. They are like a hand held table saw.

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  5. They do about 75% of what a table saw can do. They also do everything a panel saw does. And a few things neither can do. It was extremely handy on this project. Almost all of my benchwork over the past seven years was cut with this saw.

    On this project it kept the repair down to a minimum. Also the existing backdrop painting worked well with the foreground so no reason to destroy the whole thing.

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