Thursday, 21 November 2013

Not much done this past few weeks

Just working on a few trucks

     The weather has been kinda iffy this past few weeks so haven't felt like doing that much on the SFRSD.
     Instead of doing nothing there was several Atlas LNT 9000 cab chassis on the RR that needed to be detailed. They were still in their out of the box appearance and needed to look like they were earning their keep. I set about painting the wheel rims using Italeri Acrylic Paint Metal Flat Steel. I used a very fine OKER brand fine tipped felt brush that I purchased from an air brush supply company. This proved to be a very useful piece and made the job quite easy. The next step was to spray the chassis with dull coat and then using my new PAN PASTEL neutral soft grey went over the tyres to take off the shine. That made a huge difference. A fine tipped black marker to blacken out the grill, the top of the exhaust pipe and the number plate and it made a huge difference. The same pad that was used on the tyres was also used on the cab after I highlighted the door handles roof lights and front bumper with the metal colour. About 6 trucks received this treatment.
     The next job on the list was a trailer that was given to me by Vic. This has an exquisite brass etched chassis and sub floor including a bulk head. Dual axles and etched mud flaps were included. Vic had added a sheet of very thin styrene to the deck and I wondered how I should tackle this.
     I started by using a scalpel to scribe horizontal lines across and a few along the deck to simulate weld lines where the deck plate steel was added and welded together. Vic had already painted this flat black so I set to and brush painted all of the below deck with Model Master Chrome Yellow. The deck received a brushed on coat of the Metal Flat Steel paint as a base to the next process. Once dry the whole trailer received a coat of Dull Coat. Then the weathering started. A thin wash of oil paint Vandyke Brown for all of the underframe and the deck which also received a dab or two of raw umber and burnt sienna to simulate rust and some wear and tear. The wheels and tyres received the same treatment as the trucks metal flat for the rims and Pan Pastel for the tyres. The mud flaps received some flat black and the job was done. Next came the timbers on the deck.
    
The timbers are from Northeastern Scale Lumber stained with a Walnut touch pen. They scale at 4"x 4" in HO

     I neglected to take any images of the completed trucks so here they are. Not spectacular but using the three foot rule they are a lot better than before.



Thanks for stopping by.
Rod.

Monday, 11 November 2013

New Locomotives hit the rails

FVM Santa Fe GP60M and B units

    For too many years I have yearned for some manufacturer to deliver to us Santa Fe modelers the GP60 M and B units that hit the Santa Fe in 1990. Many years ago I purchased a GP60 M and B unit in brass at I must admit too much money. When they first were put to work on the SFRSD they would not run across the new M E turnouts and in fact they had difficulty running at all. I said to myself, self this is dumb why keep these if you are not going to have the pleasure of seeing them operate. So in 2003 they were sold to a very happy customer and I started waiting.
     Suffice to say I was a very happy man when I heard that FVM were going to release them in the not too distant future.
     This still caused me some dilemma as my RR is set in 1986 four years before they were introduced to the Santa Fe in the Corwith Yard in Chicago. I thought well I will be firm and stick to my era.
     Time passed and still no GP60 M's from FVM until the past month when they hit the LHS, well the USA ones anyway. Boy did they look ok, the forums were raving about just how good they looked and ran. It didn't take long for the emails to be sent from yours truly to one of my favorite on line stores to place an order for one GP60 M and one GP60 B. When some of my friends and I were talking they said how are you going to turn the lead loco. Ok I had to order the second GP60 M oh and also two ESU plug in decoders along with one Loksound Micro sound decoder to get this lash-up humming.
     The first order of business was to mask up the bodies and paint out the grills with a diluted flat black with just a touch of rust added for good measure. I then gave them a very light spray along the top just to show that these puppies were meant to be working from the get go.    
      Once all three were painted the next job was to install the two plug-in decoders. They went in like a snap once my friend John worked out what I had done incorrectly and now run like a dream.
     The last job to tackle is the installation of the sound decoder. John has done one of his with a lot of machining of the frame and a good amount of filing of the inside of the body to give clearance for the decoder as they are just a tad too wide to fit.
     So armed with this my GP60 M is now stripped, the frame has gone to Vic for milling not only for the decoder but also for the two 13 mm speakers that will be inserted into the fuel tank portion of the frame. As I write this I heard back from Vic that the top milling went very well but have not heard from him since. Should I be concerned. I will let you know in the next post.
     Meanwhile here is a few images of the insides of the loco.



You can just see a small portion of the painted grills along with the top.
So that's about as far as we can go at the moment. More to follow when further progress is made.
Thanks for dropping by.
Rod.

Monday, 4 November 2013

The SFRSD gets full CTC

Last update to the dispatchers panels.

     Brendan kindly came over this morning to update the SFRSD dispatchers panels. We had previously been running under an ABS system knowing that as soon as Brendan had time to configure all of the software we would go to full CTC.
     There were a few things we needed to sort out about how the RR was to be controlled so after watching quite a few videos on the subject we were set in our minds about what we needed.
     On the 25th of September Brendan came over to set a few signal switches on the panel for testing. With the grateful assistance of John F and John C testing sorted out a few areas that needed to be tweaked. The signals at the Left hand end of Guthrie were playing up but that was about it.
     So the big day was today. Brendan arrived early this morning with his dad and proceeded to install all of the necessary software into the system.
     All worked very well and boy how cool to see the panel finished. It has taken just on thirteen months to get to this stage which is as planned.

This is the Left hand panel beginning with the town of Augusta. The signal switches along the bottom row are the new additions with Brendan having been able to have them operate in three positions which will give the dispatcher additional control
And the right hand panel with Flynn on the right.
And a full panel view.
       A huge thanks goes to Brendan for the countless hours he has spent putting this together. My close friends who have assisted in the wiring and testing plus a very huge thanks to the many folk who contribute to JMRI for without their dedication to this fantastic tool none of this would have ever happened.  
     Operating sessions will never be the same again.
Thanks for looking in.
Rod.

Weathered some more cars last week

Additional weathered cars hit the rails.

     I have long been a fan of making my rolling stock look the part. That said I do not add any details like a lot of modellers do rather I just weather them to take off the plastic look and make them look more the part of a working railroad which lets face it that is why the Santa Fe Railway Southern Division was built.
     I have done a lot of my older cars many years ago however after reading many post in various forums I decided to try using oil paints for a different look. Boy has this been a great choice. Much more control of how much and where the oil paint wash is applied. I am certainly no expert however I am happy with the results thus far.
     This is just a snap of a few completed this last week while the weather has been well lets say not the best.

This a very old Atlas car that I removed the roof walk, added MT 1030 trucks replaced the wheels with MT medium flange 33" wheels painted with Tamiya Red/brown. The couplers and pockets have been painted with Acrylic Raw Umber. The car was first airbrushed with a very diluted flat white followed by a spray of dullcote. Then several washes of Vandyke Brown oil paint, more dullcote and more washes. It hasn't turned out too bad.
An old Roundhouse car that received similar treatment to the car above.
again similar treatment, spray of diluted flat white, dull cote and oil washes. Same treatment to trucks and wheels sets.
That's it for a while. Thanks for stopping by.
Rod.