Sunday, June 19, 2016

Mid June Update

With the amount of items happening around the layout this month, the hardest part is finding time to sit down and write the posts. That said let's get take a look at what's been going on around the St. Clair Sub since eart June.

Q-GRPH passing M-BAPH at Grays Siding

In little less than a week the NMRA Lone Star Convention will be in Arlington, TX. During the event I will be hosting a guest operations session with individuals that signed up to operate on the layout. Getting the layout in a "show ready" state takes around five to six evenings to complete. Task such as track cleaning, train staging, paper organization all have their place in my ops session task list. This session will host 12 trains with an additional 18 railcars added to the main roster since January's session. 

New asphalt / bitumen service 23,500 gallon tank cars added this past week.

    Railcar blocking cards being sorted

 Railcars on main 1 and 2 at Bay Yard. Cars on M1 will be placed at Michigan Sugar, they had been removed during Valiance modification. M2 cars are the new adds which will be added to trains coming out of staging or online.

Beyond the standard tasks of layout prep for an ops session, I attempt to get a small section of layout further along in scenery for the operators to enjoy. Between January and now the main focus has been the corn / soybean fields scene at Grays between Grays Lake and Gerhard.

    Field access road between fields

      Highway overpass at Grays

           Into the curve at Grays

     Local setout / pickup track at Grays

The scene turned out very well, it should be a great place to catch photos during the ops session. Post session scenery work will continue east towards Gerhard.

While working on the field scenery, I realized that trees were a little sparse, especially for the highway embankment to field transition. Luckily a box of SuperTrees in the garage made quick work of needing trees. Following Tony Koester's 60 second tree article, I have had great luck with "quick" trees that hold up well.  

Laying out the material to size up trees properly and cut out the small leaves found on the stalk. After this its a shot of gray primer paint via spraycan and then a  spray of Rave Spray prior to adding leaves.

        Noch leaf flakes in three colors 

New Scenic Express products. The SuperLeaf adhere well and look great, the SuperTurf worked ok but would be much better for ground cover.

   Finished trees - dry, ready to plant!

White Rose Hobbies has released their injection molded AEI Readers. These are a necessary detail for the modern modeller, and having a AEI site close to the house I can agree they got this product right.

I picked up four to start out with - AEI readers are in pairs to read each side of the car, in case of defective tag on one side or other.

The grey color they come molded in is a good base, and with a few sharpie markers to color the components and a quick dusting of pencil graphite you are ready to place them on layout.

          Above - Facing tracks
          Below - facing away from track

AEI reader pair sitting at the "BAY" reader site. 

As you can see they sit across from each other using around 8' from track center. Once planted ballast will cover around and up to the top of the base. Additonally a signal bungalow with BLMA N scale radio tower will be added to complete the AEI site.

I post photos of operations to Facebook model railroad sites weekly, in case you are not apart of those groups I wanted to bring those photos here for you to enjoy.

      Crew climbing off 4035 at Grays.

 Y-BA04 going on duty with 3830 at Bay Industrial Spur.

As you can see quite a bit happening on the layout these past few weeks, and there will be plenty to come in the next two weeks. I hope everyone had a great Fathers Day and will have a great week ahead. The late month update will recap the LSR Operating Session and future adds to the railroad.

Thank you for stopping by!


1 comment:

  1. You been quite busy Greg! Your railroad is really coming together. It gonna be a hit on the convention tour!