Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Southern New England RS-3

As I mentioned in the previous post, I've been working on three different projects over the last few weeks as time, interest, and available materials dictate. 
One of these is to at long last get some of the "orphan" locomotives (I have engines on the layout painted for everything from Reading to B&O to Erie, to Western Pacific…) into more appropriate colors. 
I apply the same rule to the diesel fleet that I do to the steam locomotive roster. 
Locomotives that match a CV prototype get painted and lettered for their prototype (brass steamers, for example, like the 450 in the blog header art). 
But if it's a Bachmann 2-8-0 fleet engine it will get some minor detail enhancements and get painted and lettered Southern New England. 
That's the case with a quartet of Atlas RS-3s that I'm working on. 
Yes, the CV had RS-3s, but they were Phase 3 RS-3s. The Atlas model isn't. 
At this point the engines have had some "CV family" details added - primarily a new horn and bracket, a steam generator stack, lift rings, and a winterization hatch. 
(Unfortunately I ran out of winterization hatches, so I need to find some more or scratch build the things for two of the engines.) 
My hope is I can get these into the paint booth and onto the rails in time for the next scheduled op session. 

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

More commentary on photo vs. painted backdrops

In my Getting Real column in the current issue of the online magazine "Model Railroad Hobbyist" I presented a review of how I used a photo to extend the foreground scenery into my painted backdrop. The point I was trying to make was photos can be used in combination with painted backdrops to address things that are harder to paint - roads, buildings, rivers and the like. 
The comment section has become an interesting series of comments on the relative merits of photo or painted backdrops. Kind of like the discussion we had in this post back in December. 

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Operating the Virginia Midland

Yesterday had a great time operating Steve King's Virginia Midland in Germantown, Md. 
For many years we've gently kidded Steve for the …uh, "lack" of VM painted locomotives. In fact he ran the railroad for many years with a fleet of undecorated locos, which he jokingly refers to as the "Appalachian Stealth" scheme. 
There is one VM-painted Appalachian Lines locomotive on the roster, shown here. 
Over the last few months Steve has gotten 46 locomotives painted in the VM's own olive green scheme. 
There's even a little bit of scenery on the railroad. 
I was too busy having a great time running trains to do a lot of photo, but I did manage to get a photo in one of the staging yards showing the original VM "paint scheme" (on the left), the Appalachian Lines unit, and the two VM units in the original VM second generation scheme. 
Steve operates the railroad using Timetable & Train Order, which he is an expert at. 
A great time with good friends.