Dec 31, 2011
Very nice! Looking like new is good for some rolling stock.
Yes on the bridges, the Deck is ME and Truss is Central Valley.
The bridge piers and abutments were made from MDF.
I cut them and sanded to shape, then painted and weathered them myself.
Here's a link of how I made them on my blog.
Just an update.
I have not given up on the layout, I'm still in that huge rabbit hole called JMRI Ops.
I started working with JMRI back in November 2022 and it's now been close to 6 months.
I think I'm nearing the end and I'm seeing a faint glow of light.
I ran a test session last weekend which was kind of bumpy, but things worked for the most part.
One train wasn't wanting to run which was caused an interchange track to plug up.
To make matters worse on that interchange track, there were a couple cars that was sitting there that wasn't being picked up.
I think both issues have been resolved with a couple of minor settings that was not set correctly.
Now things seem to be flowing much better and I plan to run another test session this weekend.
If all goes well, I'm calling things good.
Then I can get back to the layout and start on more scenery...
Ops can get a little tricky, but with a little persistence you push through. After a bit it becomes a lot easier.
That's funny, that's the same thing the friend who got me started with this told me...
I had the inkling to start on the next batch of locos, my GP7's, but I have a huge amount of them planned for my roster and I just couldn't bring myself to start down that rabbit hole yet.
So I chose another smaller project. Some Rock Island Cupola cabooses. I've never had any of this style in my roster and decided I needed a couple after watching those old Rock Island films of the Montezuma Branch that were posted on YouTube recently.
So I started out with a couple of Micro Trains Standard cabooses.
I hope to to turn them into a decent replica of these.
(neither photo is mine, just using for reference)
Instead of using putty, I plan to you the stems that held the walkways in place and then jamb some styrene into the other holes.
I got them carved off pretty well, but need a bit of sanding yet, then hopefully I can cover more of my sins up with paint and weathering?
Then I started on the second one.
This should give me enough of a distraction until we get JMRI Ops running smoothly?
Made some good progress on my crummies this weekend.
Red sides and end rails painted
Looking good so far!
Very nice Allen looks like the paint flowed on nice and smooth
Yes Vince it did, it's kind of hard to see though.
It's TCP (Tru Color), it's all I use now since Floquil went away.
Even though they claim you can shoot straight from the bottle, I still like to thin it a bit.
The only thing I don't like about TCP is the glossy finish which I'll have to shoot dullcote over before I can decal.
But it sure dries fast and smooth!
The glossy finish actually helps hide decal film. The dullcoat after decals seals it all up.
Allen I'm the same way only break out the scalecoat or floquil if that's the only way to get that color
Otherwise it's TCP
This is the way I learned it, way back. I continue to follow the concept, as it does work.
I don’t mean to distract (or detract!) from the thread, but I had to share that I found myself with an excess MTL cupola caboose, and decided my Michigan freelanced railroad bought one of these after Rock Island’s bankruptcy! Minus the roof mods you did. I also noted that aside from the roof and the cupola, it struck me as very familiar to when I painted a couple Ann Arbor cabooses…
I think I'm going to stick a fork in these before I take them too far...
First, here's a MoPac airslide hopper I threw into the batch while finishing the two cabooses.
It started out life as a MTL Union Pacific airslide. I removed the UP lettering and applied the MoPac decals.
Then I finished up the cabooses.
I picked up some K4 decals for the cabooses hoping the lettering would be a bit smaller than the ones Micro Scale offered on the freight car set, but that wasn't case. While the Block lettering fit nicely, the Speed lettering was a tad too big, plus I painted the roof edge according to the proto photos I found. If I had not painted them black, I do believe they would have fit better?
Overall the decals were nice. The white was bright and solid and fairly crisp for N scale. It's really hard to see, but the "Watch your step" on the caboose steps is barely legible. The thickness was not bad, but they are a tad thicker than Micro Scale, although it's hard to see in these images. If I'd zoom in on them you could clearly see the film.
The worst thing about them, it seemed very hard to get to them to start to slide off the paper. I had to let then soak for 5-10 minutes. But once they started to move, they did slide off. If you notice on the Block lettering, some of the bottom edges of the letters did kind of fracture, that came from trying to prod them to start sliding.
But I'd use them again.
While surfing the Tube I found this.
That's about the time I'd like to model. About the time of my birth.
It's been awhile since my last update.
Talk about a rabbit hole! Actually JMRI Ops is more than just a rabbit hole, it's a huge time suck in the space and time continuum.
I started working with JMRI last November as the request and suggestion of a buddy who's been using it for 20+ years.
He offered to help me as he likes this kind of work and puzzles. So off we started down the yellow brick road.
Most of the time we Zoomed together for a few hours a night.
Getting things set up and running wasn't too difficult. I picked up on the basics pretty quickly but he kept throwing me for a loop as he could see into the future and knew what was coming as he made changes and suggestions.
With everything ready to start building the trains and get the cars moving, we had decent luck but a lot of changes and tweaks were needed.
Finally around March of this year, we found the path we'd been looking for.
The biggest issue we were having is getting the software to deal with the huge amount of cars that I've acquired over time. The software kept stumbling over itself while choosing the cars for the two trains. Too many cars total for the small amount of cars needed for each session.
My yard is nothing more than a glorified two track staging yard with an small engine facility. As I'm not a huge fan of yard work, but I did want to get a feel of some yard work. I keep the entire rolling stock fleet in six 9 drawer storage cabinets that I built years ago.
What we came up with for the solution is to have multiple digital trains and only four physical trains during the session.
For the Southbound train, there is a SB select train that chooses the cars needed from the Drawer Yard (what we called my storage drawers) and runs them to a temporary yard (a digital yard), from there a temp train brings them to the NB Departure track in the actual yard. At that point these are just a list of cars that I can 0-5-0 from the drawers to the arrival track and pre stage the train. This is done for both the SB and NB locals (the two main trains that run).
There is also a similar setup for an ICG train that the locals interchange with during the session.
Once the session is over, each train has a Store train that does the same as the Select train but they take the cars back to the drawer yard.
So far this is working very well. I've ran about 4 or 5 sessions with only minor tweaks needed.
I have run a couple of full sessions with a couple of different crews now and have another planned for Aug 19th.
I still need to make a few minor tweaks to keep the cars from jamming up in one location, but Dave said it will take awhile before I can get all the kinks ironed out.
Before the the first full session with a crew I ran a solo op and while I was doing that I tried to video each train as they went about their duties across the layout. Did this mainly so Dave could see how his effort worked out since he lives a few states away.
I made playlist of all 15 videos from start to finish, each video lasts between 2 to 9 minutes long. They are not going win any Oscars, but it tells the story.
Be sure to watch for the disappearing car...
I also decided to do a little trackwork recently to remove a small siding that doesn't serve a purpose with the new Ops that I'm running. Here's a quick video of that work as well.
What kind of silo models did you add on to the Elevator?
Very nice work with the sound effects!