Friday, January 19, 2024

This time with a Train


Lots of snow this week. And lots of tree making. 

Flocked a bunch of Super Trees - most of them using a variation of one my favorite tree color blends:

These will be getting "planted" (hopefully) this weekend. 

Thursday, January 4, 2024

2023 Year in Review

 A quick review of 2023 on this blog. 

Total unique page views (all time) sit at 1,124,248. 

For 2023 there were 148,000 unique page views. 

There were 748 posts in 2023, and in case you're curious here are the top ten posts for last year in terms of total views:

As far as progress (or lack thereof!) on the layout. By far the most significant project last year was the still ongoing incorporation of the "northern SNE" section. I suppose it should be no surprise that posts about the whole process accounts for three of last year's top ten posts. 

The other major project (also still ongoing) was the structures and basic landforms for the Stafford Mills area of the layout. 

As a rule I don't make New Year's Resolutions since I rarely, if ever, keep them - but I didn't accomplish as much in the basement as I'd hoped in 2023 so I'm going to set a few broad goals so if I'm blessed enough to see the end of 2024 I'll at least feel like I've accomplished something

So what's ahead for 2024? 

Goal #1: Get the scenery completed on the main "loop" of the railroad - with the possible exception of the Enosburg Falls Main Street scene. I'm going to treat that as a separate project from the open country running that predominates on the rest of the layout. 

Goal #2: Finish integrating the Northern SNE section into the layout. 

As mentioned above, these two are ongoing and actually are being worked concurrently. 

Goal #3: Rough landscape (to include building mockups as appropriate) on both the paper mill and Richford yard peninsulas. 

Goal #4: Get the steam roster out of the boxes and operational. 

And I want to get the Autumn Scenery book complete, and be well on the way to getting the Rolling Stock book finished by the end of the year. 

There is another possible large project - reworking the shop area in the basement - that may come to fruition in 2024 - but that waits to be seen. 

Tuesday, January 2, 2024

Some New Scenery

After setting a record of not accomplishing anything on the layout for the last two months (holiday visitors, combined with a nasty head cold that I just couldn't shake for weeks...) I took some time between Christmas and New Years to get some additional scenery added to the layout. 

Actually, I started out intending to do some sorting of the scenery material bins - in the end it seemed to make more sense - and sounded a lot more fun - to actually use the stuff on the layout rather than simply sort it and store it. 

On a more pragmatic note, I also needed to get some step by step photos for my planned Autumn Scenery book. 

After making scads of trees, I concentrated my efforts on the open country running section between Berkshire and Stafford Mills. One thing I tried to create was the extreme overgrowth between a pasture or field and the railroad right-of-way. 

This scene still needs some refinement (I think the poles are a little taller than they need to be, and the clumps of Martin Welberg materials could be blended a little better, for example) but the scene is getting there. 

On disadvantage of modeling fall colors is the need for so many different colors, and textures, of materials. So the work area tends to spread out over adjacent areas of the layout, as you can see from this overall view of the layout section I'm working on -