Saturday, May 28, 2016

25 May Update

I realize it's been a couple of weeks since I've posted here - work has been crazy with another one of those "all hands on deck" proposal projects that have seen lots of weekend hours and late nights at the office. 
But I did take a little time off last weekend. Stic came by and we made some progress on the "transition" area between the layout and the new south end staging yard. I have the track centerlines marked, but haven't laid the track in this area yet since it seems to make more sense to get the background scenery completed before the track is in place. 
My task was assembling the bridge, abutments, and piers that will span yet another river. (The Southern New England Railway, like its prototype inspiration, seems to have more than its share of big bridges across rivers!). 
Since the new Walthers bridge kits became available a few weeks before starting this project I decided to use one of them. 
Verdict - the kits go together very easily, although the instructions are somewhat convoluted (a common problem with Walthers kits).  I'd say the result is a nice "layout quality" bridge - it's certainly not super-detailed but it does produce a pleasing result. In fact I was so pleased I ordered a second span (that arrived yesterday). 
Once I get the bridges painted and weathered I'll show them in a post. 
While I was building bridges, Stic worked on gluing up the cardboard web and adding the plaster cloth. Stic is an expert at plaster cloth...maybe it's his animal medical training?
While I usually use foam for the landform base in this case the final scene is going to be mostly grassy pastureland, not heavily forested hillsides, so using the foam would be much more expensive and offer little or no benefit. 
 On the docket for this weekend is a coat of paint and some initial scenic textures, and perhaps some additional work on the bridges. But Monday is a holiday I'll be spending at the office and I have plenty of other household chores that have been deferred by the weather and work. And I have to find some time to review my clinic for NERPM next week!

Sunday, May 8, 2016

New England Prototype Modelers Meet - June 3 & 4 2016

Work continues on the Demeritt Cannery and I hope to have some photos to share in the next day or two. 
I've also been getting my clinic ready for the New England Prototype Modelers Meet, which will be held in Enfield,  Connecticut June 3-4. 
This is one of my favorite model railroading events, and if you haven't gone I highly recommend it. 
You can see more details on the website -

What goes on at this meet? Well, there's the model display room. Think of it as the "town green" of the meet - where people hang out, get a chance to see some excellent models (hundreds of them!), talk with the builders, share techniques, and engage in a never ending series of bull sessions. One thing that will be nice this year is the chance to continue the bull sessions into the evening in the hotel bar/lounge!
Then there are the clinics. 
I'll be doing one clinic - my "Modeling the October Scene" clinic, an updated version of the presentation I gave at Portland NMRA last summer. 

But there are a LOT of excellent clinicians and clinics. 
One I'm looking forward to is Bill Gill's presentation (scheduled for 1:15 June 4th) on modeling specific, very common weeds found along right of ways across most of the country. Bill models in HO but says the methods are suitable across several scales. 

Here's an example of his ragweed (Three photos by Bill Gill):
He'll also cover making New England Asters (pale blue):
And common reeds:
Think I may need to take some allergy pills before sitting in on this one!

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Test-fitting Demeritt Cannery

 I've completed the basic buildings for the Demeritt Cannery in Waterbury. This is one of the key structures remaining to be finished in the "front door" scene - hence the reason for focusing on it. 
Entire building is Evergreen styrene - based on the two prototype photos I managed to turn up of the building. To fit the buildings I needed to adjust the hillside behind the structure and made a Gatorboard base for the building. Although the covered shed, which I assume is some sort of canopy over a dump pit, was on the right side of the gable end of the building, there was no way to fit it there with the track in place so I shifted the shed to the left side of the building. 
Although the pictures show the sections of the building loosely fit together, I plan to secure them to the Gatorboard base once they're painted and detailed. 
After I took these pictures I airbrushed the building with a base coat of Vallejo Pale Blue Gray.