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.