Tuesday, January 17, 2023

Modeling the October Scene - Now on Video

Progress proceeds slowly (very slowly!) on the  Missisiquoi River bridge project. I'm rapidly growing to loath the Central Valley bridge kit - but at least I'm making steady, if somewhat frustrating, progress. 

In the meantime, you may have noticed I've been on a bit of video kick lately - my offering today is a recording of my "Modeling the October Scene" clinic. I recorded it at my desk over the weekend and uploaded it to my YouTube channel. You can find the video by clicking on the link HERE

Ultimately I'd like to do a video step-by-step showing how I make scenery but that's currently beyond my technical abilities. 

Saturday, January 14, 2023

Central Valley Bridge Assembly Tips


I want to get the scenery completed across the "front side" of the layout - that means I need to tackle two big projects on either side of the support pillar. One of these is Main Street, the second are the bridges crossing the Missisiquoi River immediately to the right of the Junction scene. I'm using Central Valley bridges for the river crossing - I put together a short video sharing some tips on assembling these somewhat finicky kits:

Available on my YouTube channel:

Friday, December 30, 2022

Video Update #12

 I recorded and posted a quick video update - and then got distracted by the holidays and forgot to provide a link to the video here! 

At this point I'm sure most everyone who's interested has found this thing, but in case you missed it, here's a link to the video on You Tube:


Apparently you can also get directly to my YouTube channel by searching for @cvsne678. 

Enjoy, and Happy New Year! 

Tuesday, December 20, 2022

12th Anniversary of this Blog!

December 17th marked the 12th anniversary of this blog. In keeping with what has become a blog anniversary tradition, here are a few numbers, going back to December 2012*, first month I actually took notice of these statistics! For some reason I didn't do a post last year, so there's no 11th anniversary stats! 

I started this blog to create a diary of sorts that would document the building, rebuilding and operating my home layout. As of today, there's a total of 975,845 unique page views! That's an increase of 163,365 since the 10th anniversary post - roughly 81,700 a year for 2021 and 2022. 

As I noted two years ago, that's not as many new views per year as prior years, but while blog traffic isn't increasing much, it's remained fairly stable. 

Here are the top ten  posts from the past 12 months (you can find these by entering the post title in the search box to the right of your screen):

That's enough looking back - looking forward what do I plan for the coming year? 

First of all, I'm really going to make a concerted effort to upload videos to my YouTube channel on a regular basis. Two things have gotten in the way of video uploads in the past year - first of all I was really focused on getting several aspects of the layout complete. I also wanted to avoid a string of videos (and blog updates for that matter) that featured benchwork shots and nothing else! Secondly, and more importantly, I needed to work through the mechanics of doing decent videos. While my videography is far from perfect, I think have it at a point where it's at least watchable! So look for more videos in the coming year. 

And you can find my channel by searching YouTube for "CVSNE" or simply clicking the link HERE

What's the plan for the layout itself in 2023? 

I'd like to get some additional "open country" scenery completed - that includes finishing the river crossing area. Work is already well along with literally dozens of pieces of Central Valley girders covering my modeling desk! 

The other big planned project for 2023 is to upgrade/update, and complete a myriad of locomotive projects. So look for blog posts (and perhaps videos!) on getting some of those key players out of their boxes and onto the track! 

I'm continually surprised, thrilled, and more than a little humbled at how many people follow (and I hope enjoy!)  my various corners of the model railroad internet. 

In the meantime please accept Christine's and my wishes for a Merry Christmas and Happy and Healthy New Year! 

Monday, November 28, 2022

A quick update

I haven't really posted much on the blog the last five or six weeks - but that doesn't mean things haven't been busy in my model railroading world! 

Three (!!!) open houses from early October until now. 

Before the first open house I managed to get a fair amount of "open country" scenery "completed." Of course, there's always the chance to go back and add more "texture" - but I did convert a fair percentage of the layout from "plywood pacific" to something looking more like rural New England. 

About a week before the first open house I put the brakes on layout work and did nothing but clean off the layout, clean the track, and make sure things looked ship shape. It was really hard not to dive back into messy layout work before the other open houses. It took all my will power but I managed to keep the layout and the layout room looking presentable.

That doesn't mean there was a complete lack of progress. For example, I got the paper mill peninsula track and wiring completed before the second open house.  

Obviously, this building, and/or the benchwork, needs some adjustment!

I even managed to meet with Bernie Kempinski and get the "old mill building" for the paper mill complex cut on his laser. Somehow, we ended up with a structure that's too large to fit the space for it. the main culprit is the single story "wing" on one end of the building. I have a couple of ideas to fix that issue. 

The open houses provided a chance to run trains over the layout for an extended period of time. I'm thrilled to report for the most part everything works well - and we've only got a couple of minor trouble spots that could use some tweaking. 

Completing the rework of the paper mill peninsula means trackwork is basically finished and the next step is to complete ballasting of the track. I didn't want to mess with ballasting between the open houses but I hope to get that done over the course of the holidays. (Ballasting is one of those tasks that's best done in short frequent work sessions - ideal for this time of year!) 

In the next few months I'd also like to (at long last!) get the through truss bridges installed.