Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Early September Update

The layout has been a flurry of activity this past month with my signal installation project. In addition to the detection circuits and signals, there have been a few other things happening on the layout,  so let's take a look.

A preview of items in this post... all of th right here. If you look closely you can see all four signal blocks displaying "Approach" after being powered up.

One side effect of this signal project is getting certain scenes scenic'd or "scene ready" while installing the signals. A project like this helps you solve those scenery road blocks quickly.

Mocking up the two backdrop sets before install. Love those toys in the picture.

Using SceniKing backdrops that I had amassed over the last year, I got off my butt and decided it was time to install them at Upper Huron prior to signals going in. Unfortunately SceniKing products are now out of production, but you can probably still find their kits or Rollouts online or at certain hobby shops.  Using scissors and a hole punch I cut out the sky and installed using a extra strength glue stick. The results speak for themselves, and once partnered with scenery the scenes will look even better!

Backdrop representing town of Upper Huron. A road crossing blending with foreground and backdrop will be located here.

Transition between town and soybean field to the right of the grade crossing scene. A few more overhead lights are needed here, not a big issue to add.

Grade crossing head on view. Backdrops really are a great scene multiplier.

The past month saw six Athearn cars get added to the overall fleet. 

30,000 gallon ethanol tank courtesy of R. Duncan Rail Corp. (RDLX)

Two 60' FMC DD Plate F boxcars stenciled for Coe Rail. We will see high cube 60s as modern fleets are trending this way. Got these in a buy/sell model railroad group on Facebook.

Three Trinity 5161 cubic hoppers lettered for US BORAX soon to be re-stenciled to Michigan Interstate marks. M.B. Kleins had a great Athearn sale recently, fleet management capitalized on that opportunity.

The new car additions help create better the modern era that I strive to model. Us modern era Modelers in my opinion are pretty fortunate with the products offered currently. For that matter the variety and types of equipment for all scales and eras seems to be a golden age for our hobby. I do need to get more on the "pre-order" band wagon, but sometimes it is the thrill of the chase finding equipment. Be sure to keep an eye out for them on the railroad.

Anyone familiar with my blog knows that video posts are very few and far between up until recently with demonstration videos of the signal system. I hope to begin changing that and add more consistent content quarterly via video on Facebook, blogger, and Youtube. 

MCIS 9901 - Engineering Survey railcar.

Recently a good friend let me borrow his GoPro Hero3 to test out taking video on the layout. From a clearance perspective the camera sits nicely on wellcar MCIS 9901 to provide a great shot as if the camera is mounted on the locomotive nose. A few more tests and I hope to publish a video tour from train perspective later this month.

Some time ago I found a HO scale Meijer grocery truck, but never had a chance to pick one up. Fast forward to a few weeks ago when there was large sale of Trucks N Stuff sets on a model railroad Facebook group. In short order it was on its way.

Meijer Freightliner Cascadia day cab pulling a 53' refrigerated trailer in current scheme.

Growing up in Michigan, Meijers was and still is a very prominent store. It is only fitting with Meijer stores around the area serviced by MCIS that we have one of their trucks on layout. The modern paint scheme and Freighliner Cascadia help further plant the timeline to current day. Take some time to find vehicles for your era and give it a whirl, you will be amazed how this detail sets the scene.

This past weekend we travelled to Walt Disney World for a long weekend trip. I would be wrong if I didn't share a few photos of locomotives that carry guests daily on a "Grand Circle Tour" of the Magic Kingdom.

WDWRR #4 Roy O. Disney leaving Fantasyland station. You could cut the Florida humidity with a knife!

WDWRR #3 Roger E. Broggie awaiting passengers at Fantasyland station as twilight sets in.

As you can see quite a few items here and there to help continue bringing the layout together. Remember layout progress comes in many forms, be sure to enjoy them all.... Even wiring.

Thanks for stopping by, have a safe month! Be sure to check back for signal project posts later this month.


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