2018-2019 11th Annual International Winter Layout Party

ppuinn Dec 15, 2018

  1. ppuinn

    ppuinn Staff Member

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    Thanks for dropping by the Party and posting, Geeky. Since they'll eventually be gracing a layout in the future, if you have been or will be working on any of those 55n30 cars during the 11 weeks of this Party, please feel free to post a progress report on your current project (and share pics, if you've got them).
     
  2. traingeekboy

    traingeekboy TrainBoard Member

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    Thanks Dave. I will keep posting then.

    I am doing some pretty loose modeling on my narrow gauge models. Nothing exactly matches any prototype. Yet considering that On30 is off by 6 inches all over, my models will at least be in a proper gauge.

    I want some kind of passenger rolling stock and that requires a bit of research. I feel like the models I have been making are in such a small range length wise that I want something smallish for my passenger stock. I was poking around the web and found this Prince Edward Island drawing. It comes for this web site here: https://princestreet.wordpress.com/

    This is a Prince Edward Island Railway (PEIR) baggage car #56. It is meant for a 3.5 gauge so it is a bit wide. The length is spot on for my interests. The other drawings I've found of passenger cars from that railway come in the 45' range. Way too long for my lil railway.

    As soon as I get done with the Gilpin Caboose crap build, I will be trying my hand out on this car here.

    [​IMG]

    This is a screen grab because I wanted to show the construction lines; the light blue lines intersecting the wheel centers. All the information I could find stated that this railway used a 4' 6" truck. Since this drawing has no length reference, I opted to use the truck centers as my reference point. Scaling the image was easy in photo shop. Now I have a drawing I can use for reference. I need to fiddle the scale, but I have the layered file so I can always change it. The main point is that I can print out both sides and then glue my wood right on the drawing to build up the car sides.

    I am not sure if I will make the car more narrow yet. It is meant for 3.5' gauge. I need to compare it to some DRGW, or CS passenger cars for width. This car comes in at 8' 10".

    Perhaps the greatest problem I have always had is the idea that one should model just one prototype. So I am not building layout, I'm just building things that I think are kind of cool. And no, there is no explanation why a 1890's era canadian island railway baggage car will be in the same train as a gilpin tramway caboose.
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2019
  3. Kevin Anderson

    Kevin Anderson TrainBoard Member

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    I totally forgot that this party goes on every year. I have had a busy fall and winter so far. I have gotten a lot done and more ideas keep coming.

    I pretty much finished an area on my layout called Uintah Junction . Just needs a few small detail things left to do like a fence, a few kids in the play ground, a piece of playground equipment, crossing signals, and some sound. Yes I’m adding background sounds all over the layout. I currently have 6 sounds and I’m going to order 6 more. Uintah junction took about 1 1/2 months. The water feature along took 4 weeks so that I did it right.

    I’ve added a winter scene which pretty much came up out of nowhere. It’s called Bridge Junction. It’s the swing bridge that crosses in front of the doorway to the train room. It has two lift out scenery sections. I am planning on continuing the theme along a mountain area. The Christmas scene will have sound too. Christmas music playing upon demand. And I need to add some deer. More sledders are coming but they are on backnorder. A light up Christmas tree will be added in about a week. (Oh joy, more electronics). This area took me the full three weeks leading up to Christmas from start to finish. I finished it on Dec 23.

    I’ve designed the last section for track work. It’s a lift out bridge section that goes from the swing bridge to my mobile staging yard. The scenery on that will be a small farm field with corn in it.

    I’m currently working on the last of the mountain section. It will be a logging camp scene for my logging trains to load up at. And yes it will have sounds. Chain saws a humming.

    I have a bunch of electronics to mess with. My worst area of expertise when it comes to model railroading. Crossing signals and sounds I hope to work on in the next couple of weeks or so.

    Earlier this fall I finished the Dorado area minus the sounds and crossing signals and telephone poles. I finally was able to add the museum where I am displaying my dads trains that I inherited when he passed away in 95’.

    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
     
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  4. vince p

    vince p TrainBoard Member

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    Looks great Kevin
     
  5. Kevin Anderson

    Kevin Anderson TrainBoard Member

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    Thanks
     
  6. ppuinn

    ppuinn Staff Member

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    Beautiful job with both winter and summer scenes, Kevin. And it's nice to see so many people out and about on your layout.
     
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  7. Kevin Anderson

    Kevin Anderson TrainBoard Member

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    Thanks, I always wanted a baseball scene so why not a friendly community game in the park? The campground scene I decided upon last spring. Turned out great bears and all. The Christmas scene came to me last month while driving home from my LHS. I had the Christmas fair I purchased several years ago and wasn’t sure what to do with it. A lift out scene came to me so it could be used seasonally . It graduated into a permanent scene that is lift out.
     
  8. traingeekboy

    traingeekboy TrainBoard Member

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    I suppose I should be posting my progress here--oops!

    Ok, repost...

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  9. traingeekboy

    traingeekboy TrainBoard Member

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    just more of my Crap Building project.

    underneath all of my models are Tyco chassis, wheels, and old style couplers. I have no plans to use anything but the old tyco couplers as they work very well. I did some test uncouples with a bamboo skewer and it was a lot easier than any fancy couplers.



    [​IMG]

    I put my wall braces across the middle of the walls. this model is small I figure if it's in the middle it'll be enough extra strength with one piece like so.

    [​IMG]


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    I learned about bending wood many moons ago while watching the wood wrights shop on PBS. Well, I am using tiny wood, but it's the same thing. This was my first time ever using steam to bend wood and it was amazingly easy to do with the steam from my stove top tea pot.

    [​IMG]

    The Caboose is nearly done now. I attached the roof a little while ago. It looks amazingly good and is actually proportionally a good fit for my home made 55n3 critter.
     
  10. nscalestation

    nscalestation TrainBoard Member

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    Back from my trip to Arizona which started January 2nd. It was cooler then expected there but back at home the coldest weather seems to be gone for now anyway. Today I was able to spend a pleasant afternoon in my garage train room with the room being in the low 60's using my electric space heater.

    At the beginning of this years party I had mentioned that I may work on an Ntrak module in addition to doing some things on home layout. We have a Great Train Show coming up near the end of February in San Jose and I want to bring a module to the layout that has not been out for awhile so I though I had better get started on that to have it ready in time.

    TBLP13Jan19a.jpg
    This is one of two Ntrak modules I have. They were started in the early 90's and were a pair for over 20 years being displayed in many layouts. In 2012 I rebuilt this one to be a stand alone module and in this configuration it has been in about 11 layouts. The concept is a scene near the edge of a city where fictitious US highway 47 enters town. I call this the Highway 47 module. When I finished the rebuild of the 2nd module in 2015 I liked that one so much that this one has not been out since. Some things on this module never got fully finished and a few things need repair so I want to bring it up to speed. Below are some of the things I want to accomplish.


    TBLP13Jan19b.jpg

    There is a spur track for a propane dealer on the mountain division line where I never really finished how I would control the turnout. I want to install a Caboose ground throw here and finish the scenery.

    TBLP13Jan19d.jpg
    I have a pair of DPM buildings to finish and install on either side of the highway behind the bridge. I also what to try to use some Acyrlic paints to do a better job with the sky board. The customers at the A&W have outdoor tables but no chairs and that's not right.


    TBLP13Jan19c.jpg
    It's not an on line industry but there is a large Budweiser distributor as a background building with one of those Miller Engineering signs. I had the sign connected to a power supply and all was well until a wire came loose at a show and trying to re-connect it I put it on the wrong terminal and burned the sign out. So I need to find a replacement and install it.
     
  11. Kevin Anderson

    Kevin Anderson TrainBoard Member

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    The flat look is pretty much gone in this area now. This is a future logging camp. Time to figure out the backdrop. I revisited the Christmas winter scene. The light up Christmas tree that I ordered last month finally came in. I added a few more people to the Christmas fair, a few deer have shown up and an anomaly is on its way in to Visit as well. Bigfoot ! The only thing left here is the sound card I got from ngineering that plays three Christmas carols and some sledders that are still on back order. On the other side of the winter scene a new tree has been placed and a curious deer is visiting as well. I am thinking that on the section that attaches to this spot I might add another small pond frozen over and place a canoe upside down next to the shack.

    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
     
  12. nscalestation

    nscalestation TrainBoard Member

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    Nice job on those winter scenes Kevin.
     
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  13. Kevin Anderson

    Kevin Anderson TrainBoard Member

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    Thanks
     
  14. vince p

    vince p TrainBoard Member

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    Agreed really nice looking scene's
     
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  15. nscalestation

    nscalestation TrainBoard Member

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    Removed the sky board to access the back side of the module. Ripped out the foundation for the little dummy building that was covering the slide switch and attached a small piece of 1/4 inch plywood to secure the ground throw to. Liquid Nails and white glue needs to set well before I attach it.

    TBLP14Jan19a.jpg


    I use several methods to attach buildings to modules. In the case of these two DPM buildings I am attaching a plastic base with liquid nails that has a 1 x 1 wood stick attached to it. The stick is just the right length to reach the underside of the roof of the building. I am also making some sidewalks for this area.

    TBLP14Jan19b.jpg


    When the building and the area around it are both finished the building can be attached with a small wood screw through the roof.

    TBLP14Jan19c.jpg
     
  16. ppuinn

    ppuinn Staff Member

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    Big change in Party goals...at our last NMRA division Board meeting, I agreed to host a potluck dinner for about 30 people on Feb 2 and to present a 3-hour make and take clinic on Vertical Background Tree Flats and Horizontal View Block Tree Flats with another division board member (who is one of our division's 3 NMRA Master Model Railroaders) on Feb 9.
    We have a 24'x42' garage/cottage on our property where my wife teaches weaving classes and where I have held martial arts classes and presented modeling clinics. My wife and I have hosted several of these potlucks in the past, so it will just be a matter of getting known/routine tasks done in a timely manner.
    On my layout, I have to address all the unfinished projects that have been "in progress" over the past year, and bring the Layout Party projects to a "good enough" status that I can get more "oohs and ahhs" than "ewws and What the *^&%$?". I had put some of the in-progress projects on my Layout Party to-do list, but the priorities on all the projects have been totally shuffled, because there are some new layout projects added and some of the old lower priority projects must now be finished by Feb 2 or Feb 9.

    I want to give a layout tour after the potluck and have two trains orbiting...one on the upper deck, and one on the lower deck. The layout party projects included changing trackwork in the ADM plant (done), and adding building and tank mock-ups to the ADM plant (partially done), but I still need to bring it to "good enough" by Feb 2. The tank mock-ups in the pic still need paint and the base needs to be trimmed and painted, but I'll probably just trim it for "good enough" this week, and paint it after Feb 9. The red cardstock building is "good enough", and the gray elevator (bought in an estate sale 20-some years ago and needing some minor repairs for about 2 years) is mostly "good enough" for now. The Cedar Street Bridge foamboard mock-up to the right of the tanks needs to be re-taped to be "good enough". In a space to the left of the red building, I don't plan to add the three other planned ADM cardstock mock-up buildings until after Feb 9. The ADM area is still a mess, and, to be "good enough", the locos and cars from the adjacent BN yard all need to be put back on the tracks.
    The Havana yard and backdrop tree flats were finished and entered in my last layout party progress report, the horizontal tree flats between the yard and rail-barge facility are mostly done and are "good enough", and the upgrading modifications to the (already "good enough") Havana Coal Rail-Barge facility have been postponed until after Feb 9.
    Two 18 inch2 overhead fluorescent light bulbs have been replaced and 2 overhead 4' light fixtures have been replaced this week. Two 24-inch light fixtures were added on the lower deck a couple of weeks ago (and I think mentioned in my last layout party progress report), so lighting everywhere in the basement and on the layout is definitely "good enough".
    Three foamboard building mock-ups in the steel mill need to be repaired before Feb 2, but the track changes in those buildings planned for during the layout party will be delayed until after Feb 9. The two cardboard mock-ups of the overhead cranes need to be repaired before Feb 2.
    Two of my op session crew come over weekly to help me maintain the layout. Last week, one rewired the ADM tracks which I had reconfigured/re-laid as one of my layout party goals, and the other repaired several of my scrap yard mock-ups (originally, one of my layout party goals), and this week, he fashioned a new shredded metal loader support and rail from parts found in my collection of spare parts, extra pieces, and miscellaneous odds and ends.
    This week--and probably next--they are both cleaning and bullet-proofing track on the layout, while I finish work on the ADM area and move on to the necessary repairs to the steel mill mock-ups.

    I've replaced the suspended ceiling tiles damaged by a minor leak during our recent bathroom remodeling, but I still have to put cars back on the yard tracks under where the leak was repaired.
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2019
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  17. nscalestation

    nscalestation TrainBoard Member

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    Have been continuing with the work at the rear of the Ntrak module. The bases for the two DPM building have been installed along with sidewalks made from Everygreen styrene.

    TBLP18Jan19c.jpg


    The Caboose ground throw has been installed, the terrain that had been ripped up has been smoothed out and I have started to add some scenery materials to the area.

    TBLP18Jan19b.jpg


    We have been having some damp weather lately and to get things to dry in a reasonable time frame I leave a small fan shown here running a gentle stream of air over the work area.

    TBLP18Jan19a.jpg
     
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  18. nscalestation

    nscalestation TrainBoard Member

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    Over the past few days I was able to airbrush a different base brick color on each of the two DPM buildings and have started to paint in some of the details. Anyone who has worked on one of these knows that can be quite tedious but I rather enjoy it and just take my time doing it little by little. One side of each of the buildings won't be seen but I will likely do the whole thing in case I want to reuse them somewhere else in the future. As I had recently been painting some of the sky boards on the home layout with brushed on acrylic paints I gave the module sky board on the module the same treatment. I tried to blend the top slightly darker than the bottom. I am still working on building my skills in this area but I am much happier with the way this looks now as compared to the flat medium blue that it had been.

    TBLP21Jan19b.jpg

    Since building the Walthers art deco bridge in 2012 I have been doing some weathering with acrylic washes and gave it the same treatment. Weathering really brings out some nice detail on this structure. The sidewalks around the bridge also got weathered the same way.

    TBLP21Jan19c.jpg


    To weather the concrete pavement around the A&W I removed the building by unscrewing the air conditioning unit on the roof. The interior of this building has some detail and is lighted so I had designed it this was in case ever needed to access it in the future. The tables that had been in front were also removed but will return and this time with some for customers to sit on.

    TBLP21Jan19d.jpg


    The sky board has been re-installed and I replaced the Digitrax UP5 panel that had given us some problems in the past with a new one. I also added some throttle holders that are bolted to a scrap of hard board then held to the back of the sky board with Velcro.

    TBLP21Jan19a.jpg
     
  19. nscalestation

    nscalestation TrainBoard Member

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    Well the colder weather has returned and I am running my little heater almost all the time to keep my train room warm enough to work on the little detail projects needed to bring the Ntrak module to a higher level of completion before the next show on Feb 23rd. Over the past couple of days I have been focusing on the scene around the A&W Root Beer stand and dug into a couple of kits that I have had for some time but had not done much with. The 3 little tables that were out in front of the stand came from this Preiser set. This set if full of nice little items for any restaurant scene.

    TBLP23Jan19e.jpg


    I picked out a total of 7 chairs and 2 umbrellas to add to the 3 tables already in use. Here is a sample of some of the items after a bit painting and assembly at the work bench.

    TBLP23Jan19f.jpg


    Another kit that I had purchased for this scene several years ago but had not gotten to assembling is this set of trash cans from Miller Engineering.

    TBLP23Jan19c.jpg



    The instructions on most brass kits say use ACC (superglue) to assemble but I prefer to solder them and then smooth out any lumps with a small file. There are 4 trash cans in the kit, this photo shows the parts and the one I have assembled.

    TBLP23Jan19d.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2019 at 10:33 PM
  20. ppuinn

    ppuinn Staff Member

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    This past week, I re-taped the mock-ups of the Keystone Steel and Wire Billet Storage area overhead cranes, trying to return them to what they looked like when I first made them several years ago. They look better than when they were in pieces in the storage bin, probably "good enough" if I run out of time before Feb 2; but, if I get the other higher priority items on my Feb 2 To-Do list done, then I'll revisit the Billet Storage cranes.
    I straightened up the Keystone Power Plant card stock mock-up, and made headway on the foamboard walls of the Keystone Steel and Wire Open Hearth Furnace, but still want to do some more work on the OHF smoke stacks. The EAF roof and lime silo need some work, as doe the Keystone Rod Mill roof. Also, the printed paper siding on one portion of the Rod Mill walls needs to be resecured.
    The Keystone Power Plant:

    This is a pic of the 1st Keystone Charging Yard mobile gantry crane mock-up. I think it is good enough for Feb 2, so this mock-up is temporarily in place in the charging yard, but not yet painted all gray and white. When I make the final model (all plastic, instead of plastic and cardboard), there will be more crane details and a ladder on one of the supports.

    This is an in-progress pic of the 2nd of 3 charging yard mobile gantry cranes.

    Most of the ADM mock-ups are done now. In the late 1970s, the prototype Hiram Walker Distillery in Peoria IL went out of business, so ADM bought it and converted it to ethanol production in the early 1980s. Many of the original (HW) buildings are still in use, but lots more tanks and miles of piping have been added during the last 4 decades. Like the prototype, my ADM plant is located between the Peoria and Pekin Union Railway Middle Yard and the (former) RI Beltline which ran along the banks of the Illinois River.
    But, unlike the prototype, which is a rectangle about 1/2 mile long and about 2 city blocks wide, my version is confined to a 7-foot long dogleg that is 6 inches (<100 scale feet) wide at the top (north end), 10 inches wide at the bend (133 scale ft), and 18 inches (a little over 200 scale feet) at the bottom (south). These space limitations have caused my modeler's license to have quite a severe workout, and my selective compression of the significant features of the area included eliminating half of the buildings, changing the orientation and juxtaposition of the remaining buildings, and selectively compressing height and width of buildings by eliminating half of the stories or half of the windows, and by making some of the already selectively compressed buildings in Z scale (or smaller), rather than in N scale.
    Overall view from the west side of the north end (top) of the ADM dogleg-shaped space:
    Overall view of the north end (top) of the ADM dogleg-shaped space from the east side:

    ADM Power Plant from the west, and ADM Power Plant and part of the ADM grain silos from the east.

    Tank loading Building #3 from west .
    Tank loading buildings 1 and 2, silver distillery columns and white/blue tanks for water and alcohol from west and east
    For mock-ups of the ADM production tanks, I've used a variety of sizes of medicine bottles, PVC Caps, and replacement plastic/rubber caps that fit on the bottom of metal folding chair legs. To mock-up the silver distillery columns, I experimented with medicine bottles, electrical conduit, and 1/2", 3/4", and 1" wooden dowels wrapped in duct tape, and used cardboard and Evergreen styrene strips, beams, and channel in a variety of combinations to suggest the stairs that spiral around the columns. I think my final columns will be made with 3/4" PVC pipe, the stairs will be 1/4" wide plastic with a wire or plastic handrail, the round cap on top (not represented in any of these mock-ups) will be turned from a plastic or wooden dowel, and the descending pipe coming out of the top (also, not seen in any of these pics) will probably be made with a 14 or 12 gauge wire (just under or just over a 1 scale foot diameter pipe). Ultimately, (but, probably NOT during this year's layout party) there will be dozens of pipes connecting the tanks and buildings.

    Yesterday morning, I worked on scenery on the layout of one of my operating crew members, Ken B. I put a mirror at the end of a dead end track in a valley, and hid the mirror behind trees, so it looks like the track disappears around a curve. These pics show the track from a distance and then closer. The mirror is an inch or so behind the two trees that sort of lean over the center of the track. In the closer pics, you may be able to see where the rock wall rises up from the left hand ditch. The back half of that 2 inches of rock face is a reflection. In some of the pics, you can see the reflection of the head of a track nail in the 2nd tie from the mirror. I'm not sure what made the mirror reflection so dark in the center...maybe because I was zooming in from about 4 feet away and my phone camera automatically adjusted for the closer trees, which were much more brightly lit than the trees deeper in the curve.

    Yesterday afternoon, Ken helped me put some insulating foam strips around a drafty sliding door in the back of my trainroom, and then we did some more track cleaning for Feb 2's Potluck Dinner/Layout Open House. Along the way, we also tweaked some bumpy turnouts, and tracked down and repaired a broken wire leading to a signal bridge LED. Ken also helped me re-route two 25-paired telephone cables which terminated near the drafty sliding door where my dispatcher's panel was located until about 3 or 4 years ago, to my current dispatcher's desk near the center of the room, where I plan to build a new panel (hopefully, Spring 2020).

    Over the next 10 days til the Feb 2 Potluck/Layout Open House, I have several goals:
    Some of the lichen trees throughout the layout have dried and shrunken slightly, so they'll need to be softened/spritzed with some glycerin and repositioned on their toothpicks.

    Mock-ups in several areas still need work.
    1. I want to retape the foamboard mock-up of the Cedar Street Bridge next to the ADM plant. I made this mock-up about 5 years ago and the tape has dried out.
    2. I want to refurbish/spruce up the BN North Alley Washington Street buildings that I worked on during last year's layout party. Some of the buildings were just plastic walls taped together, that I'll glue together this year, and others were cardstock structures that need re-taping. Also, the printed Google Maps Street View scenes I had taped up to the wall next to the scene have repeatedly fallen down, so those will be reprinted and mounted on foamboard or cardboard and attached more securely to the wall.

    The next four goals are currently "barely good enough", so, I'll get to them if I have time.
    3. A number of building mock-ups along the RI Keller Branch need some minor TLC, mostly re-taping dried up tape.
    4. I have a number of vehicles and figures I'd like to add to my 1960s era M&StL Peoria Bartlett Yard HO Switching Layout and two dozen cars and 6 trucks to add to my N-scale layout.
    5. The girders on the CNW overpass bridge over the CIM Track in Crescent needs a minor repair/re-gluing of the some parts.
    6. The Google Maps Street View pics used as backdrop pics behind the Galesburg Engine Facility received minor damage from a dishwasher leak a few years ago, and I've never gotten around to replacing them...until now.
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2019 at 11:45 PM

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