Monday, December 23, 2013

Tree from Norway at Union Station

There's lots of Christmas trees in the Washington DC area this time of year - they make walking around town fun. This one is a gift from the people of Norway, and it stands just outside the main entry doors to Union Station, so there's a railroad connection there. Besides, occasionally, a pack of roaming Vikings have appeared in my layout room!
The tree is beautiful. Can't say the same for the "Vikings," but our train friends from Norway are welcome back anytime!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Three years, 100,000 views, 175 posts

I started this blog with a very simple, and classic "Welcome to My Blog" on December 17, 2010. According to the analytics machine in the Google Blogspot engine, the blog has 100,000+ unique views - and a total of 175 posts. 

Thanks to all for following along. I have a feeling this next year is when much of the layout will begin to finally look finished, so here's to a great 2014 of model railroading on the Green Mountain Route. 


Thursday, December 12, 2013

Building Waterbury: Park Row Pavement

The grade crossing on Park Row in Waterbury. Still needs
 a final sanding and the track needs final ballasting.
Got the initial coat of pavement onto Park Row in Waterbury. After toying with various methods to make the streets, including sanded tile grout (a little too gritty for an HO scale paved road) and styrene, which is a great material for streets but seemed a little too perfect for a side street in Waterbury, I settled on using lightweight joint compound. Before troweling it onto the layout I pre-colored it by putting some light and dark gray Bragdon Weathering powders in the tub of joint compound and mixing it thoroughly.  According to the CV Engineering Plats for Waterbury the street was 24 feet wide, so I taped a couple of Plastruct 1/8" angles to the layout surface at 24 scale feet apart. Close up photos of the grade crossing in my era shows the grade crossing wasn't planked. Instead there were two boards on the outside of the rails and one board on the inside of each rail with the paving material filling the space between the tracks and between the rails.
I cut these "planks" from a GLC Laser laser-cut grade crossing. After securing the wood to the ties with CA, I stained them with Hunterline "Dark Brown" stain. I was careful to leave enough clearance between each rail and the wood for cars and locomotives to run through without the grade crossing lifting the wheels. Once I confirmed everything was working I added narrow strips of painter's blue tape (cut the width of the wood planks) to prevent filling the gaps between the rails and the wood.
Park Row after the initial coat of lightweight
 joint compound. Although this looks like
 a rough road, the prototype was never a
very smooth ride!
Then I carefully spread the lightweight joint compound between the Plastruct angle. Once the joint compound started to "set" (after an hour or so) I carefully peeled away the tape, exposing the wood planks. Although I tried to get the road as smooth as possible when applying the joint compound there were still lots of bumps. So, after the joint compound dried completely I sanded the road smooth with a fine-grit sanding block.
Park Row is now ready for traffic.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Building Waterbury: 4 - Sign or No?

The feedmill building that used to stand across the tracks from the Waterbury, Vt. station was - how to put this - rather plain.
I know there was nothing but a very small "cement" sign on the front of the building by the late 1940s - since a George Corey picture shows it clearly. However the building did have a neat sign on the front back in the 1920s (for a prototype picture see my earlier post).
Actually, there was also a neat "Gold Medal Flour" sign painted on the front of the building as well.
So, the question became, include the sign or not on the model? Even if it was slightly out of era for my layout. 
Virtually every one of the people I asked confirmed my instinct to include the sign - although it will be more faded and weathered than shown here (this is simply a paper print out propped on the front of the building). 

Besides, my modeler's license is fully paid through the next few years….

But I've already started thinking through the next few building for the Waterbury scene - the Demeritt Cannery. 

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Revised Everett sign

I got some critiques on my previous posting showing my "Welcome to Everett" billboard sign. Bill Gill was kind enough to revise the sign slightly to match the prototype Bellows Falls inspiration. Bill had the cover story in the November issue of Railroad Model Craftsman - an excellent piece on modeling vehicles.
Thanks for the work on the sign Bill!