First train on the D&RGW Monarch Branch

Just a quick video of the first train

     Lots done since the last post with thanks to good friends John F and John C.
This is RGS C19 #41 as she tests track and turnouts and the trestle on the line between Cimmeron and Gunnison.


Further progress

Lots done this past week

     Quite a lot of work has been completed on the Monarch Branch this past week. Additional track has been laid, droppers installed along with turnout motors in the town of Gunnison.
     Last weekend I got to cut all of the droppers for the back rail (blue wire) and get the ends soldered and bent to 90 degrees so I could insert these under the rail out of sight. There is a lot of them, one for each length of rail and one on every turnout. Once these were completed my electrical engineering team arrived at 10 am Tuesday morning to get the remaining turnout motors installed.      
    The first two were installed the week before and helped sort out a few issues before the rest were started. Throw bar size along with the appropriate wire diam was very important along with which hole to use in these new motors.
    As you will see in the following images I have chosen to use MP1 motors. I purchased these from Brendan who brings them into the country along with MP5's the newer version. Both Johns and Brendan are installing signals on their new layouts so the three of them have gone with the MP5 version as they have additional contacts for signals. So after a few hours, morning tea and lunch all of Gunnison and the two mine turnouts had the MP1s installed.
   Whilst the lads worked at one end of the layout I was busily soldering track feeders to the blue bus wire. Once these were done along came all the black feeders.
Two of the MP1's in place and lots of track feeders too.

The controller for the T/table waiting to be wired in.

       I have also made the panel for the UTP getting ready to hook up the new NCE DCC system

Panel layout with thanks to Big John.

    And the main line track has been installed in the town Cimmeron.

    More turnout motors and track feeders to install this coming week and we might just get a train running for Friday when the lads arrive.

Thanks for dropping by.


Trackwork begins

Thought I would start the track-work

     Whilst the weather hasn't been conclusive to spray painting I though I should make a start on getting some track down.
    Some months back I started adding my pre stained wooden ties to Fast Tracks paper turnout templates so they would be ready for when I got the bench work completed.
    I wanted to start laying out the town of Gunnison where I had already laid the 3mm cork sub roadbed. I made this by stripping a sheet of cork approximately into 25mm strips and then stuck then down one on each side of the track centre line using No More Gaps using a colour not too dissimilar to the cork.
    So off I went slowly at first as it is a long time between drinks for me and I needed to get myself in the right mood.
   So this is where I am after a time at the layout for parts of the past few days.

     Having the turnouts pre made by Big John and the templates completed has saved a ton of work.
Still a way to go however pleased to get underway.

Thanks again.


A different water tank

 Saw this tank in a publication

     Whilst paging through a couple of books on loan from a good friend I saw where the  Durango & Silverton Loco was taking on water at Tank Creek.

      This sparked my interest so at a recent train show I purchased a second hand HO tank car to start work on one for my Monarch Branch.
     The HO version was way too long so after seeing where cuts were needed out came the trusty Razor saw and my smallish mitre box.
     This is how she looked after all the trucks, under-frame and ladders were removed and sliced into five pieces.

     Cutting into five allowed me to keep the center section and remove enough so I would finish up with a car measuring a scale 27 feet.

    Then using copious amounts of plastic cement I was able to join all three into a nice square piece aided by the strong under-frame that I had previously cut to length.
    Next job find my old stash of Squadron putty that must be 30 years old to fill any gaps in the rejoining process. Lots of sanding to remove cast on funny looking weld lines and seams and after a light spray of Tamiya Surface primer she's looking okay

     I know, there is a screw sticking out the bottom of the tank. A bloke has got to hold it somehow.

    Whilst wrestling with a bit of a bug I also made the small trestle to traverse the creek that feeds this tank.

     I made the abutments by using balsa and once the size and shape was set I flooded them with super glue to toughen them up. A quick coat of concrete paint and a bit of weathering and they were done.  
     I am looking forward to getting these new scenery items on the RR when the time comes.

Thanks for popping by.


Two trestles done

Finished two Trestles over the past few weeks

    Need to catch up a bit on stuff I have been working on in the study as it has been freezing outside here in Bayswater. Yesterday it was -2 degrees at 6.15am.
    I am very happy with the progress of these two trestles. Lots of work assembling all the cross-ties as shown in a previous post then over 100 NBW's added to the longest bridge.
   For all the main timbers instead of soaking them in the alcohol/india ink solution I have stained them using a bottle of Walnut stain I picked up years ago from a scrap book store along with a Walnut Copic Brand marker pen. I used this colour as the bridges I have seen in pics of the D&RGW are coated in creosote. The Walnut gives a nice brownish look almost like creosote.
   Here are some pics of the two in progress and then in situ waiting for scenery before being set in place.

Code 70 track laid and over 100 NBW's added

Guard rail added outside as per prototype along with the 9 bents waiting to be added.

A couple of abutments

One of four bents for the second trestle.

This trestle is a scale 130 feet long.
Number two complete

In situ not too far from the town of Gunnison.

   More work is underway on a small trestle and a water tank but that will come a bit later.
Thanks all for stopping by.


Bills beautiful SN3 layout

This is some model RR

     Finally had a few moments to go back and do a bit of editing of video I took on Bills SN3 layout back in May 2015. There is a lot more to see than what is on this however time has got in the way and I need to get back and re-shoot the new sections.
    Anyway here is the 2015 version of Bills Animos Lobato & Southern RR in Sn3.

Thanks for coming by.


A new build project

Time to build my first trestle for the new RR

     Now that the major construction has completed (images to follow on a later post) and I have started to lay 3 mm cork for my roadbed it was time to start construction of my longest trestle.
     This trestle will be 130 scale feet in length however it will only be about 10 feet above the river (shallows) that will flow beneath.
     It will be located between duck-under number 2 near the stairs and the town of Ponca Junction. The plan is to have a series of low rapids with a few shallow water falls as I have seen in a pic of the D&RGW which the bridge will traverse.
    I began construction by cutting a bunch of Fast Track turnout ties to a scale 9 feet. These had previously been stained using the alcohol and India ink stain mixed together with some sepia for some variation. I made a jig to keep all of the ties in line after seeing the idea on therailwire. To do this I used some 1000gsm presentation board with two strips of styrene glued to it with the correct spacing.
    You can see a portion of the jig below.

   Having this jig has saved many hours as it allowed me to just keep adding ties whilst making sure they were at right angles. Once several scale feet had been set in place I added scale 14 feet timbers to each side and held these in place using Aleene's tacky glue. This stuff is amazing as it holds as soon as contact is made whilst allowing time to set them in place.
   So after a few days of adding ties and side timbers it was time to add the supports below. For these I used Walnut stained 12" x 12" timbers and glued 2 pieces side by side to strengthen the trestle. Next when they arrive will be two 12" x 18" timbers down the outside on each side.

    Once these beams had set I touched up any spots that had not seen any stain and then today set about adding nut, bolt washers to the side beams.
    I was pleasantly surprised just how fast I got this job completed. I drilled down one side with my pin vice all 52 holes then decided to give my new Dremel a whirl to do the other side. By 3pm after not starting until 11.30 am all 103 nut bolt washers were installed after first receiving a coat of Tucson Oxide Red to make them look a little rusty.
   So here is the deck almost complete just waiting for more timbers, rail and check rail to be added.

   The look is much better in person as the ties are a lot darker which is more to my liking. As I glance at more and more images of the D&RGW I notice that most of the timbers look like they are treated in creosote. I am trying to emulate that look with my Distressed Walnut Stain and I think it is working somewhat.