Ongoing progress slow but steady

Not that much done but.

     Progress has been a little bit slow the past two weeks what with Christmas and all however I have done a bit to the Monarch Branch to keep the juices flowing.
    The control panel for Poncha Junction has been designed by good friend J.F. printed and fitted to the panel. All of the switches have been installed and most wired but you guessed it I ran out of wire and the store is shut for Christmas.
    I decided to scratch build an ash pit for Gunnison and add another track to/or from the turntable which required an additional L/H turnout to be built and added to the main line. I am pleased to say that those jobs have been ticked off the list.

I made the pit by using 3mm MDF. It scales out at 1 foot wide.

Assembly completed with some Polystyrene girders added to support the rail.
Installed waiting for some ash and details.

     I have also started to assemble a Durango Press D&RGW water tank which I am doing in the study today as it is planned to be 37C outside. I had previously stained all the timbers using a Liquitex Acrylic light oak wood stain that has come up really well. I have also stained the timber tank ready for a weathered spray of Floquil Depot Yellow kindly offered by good friend Bill.

   Two 8ft x 4ft sheets of MDF cut to about 11 inches wide have been sourced ready to begin adding some fascias to the layout. I like this part of the journey as it makes the layout look so much better.
colour of them is yet to be decided however I am heading towards using a colour called Domino.  
   So that's about it until I can take a few more in progress images to post.
   I have also been working an a new version of a DVD for Bills Sn3 layout ready for his clinic in the USA next April so that keeps me off the street so to speak.
   Until my next post I trust you all have had a very Merry Christmas and have a safe & Prosperous New Year in 2019.


More work completed

Lots more done.

     Over the past few weeks lots more progress has been made on the Monarch Branch. More track laid quite a few more hand laid turnouts fitted including a #6 wye and painting cross-ties and track in Gunnerson well underway. New turnout motors fitted in Poncha Junction by Big and Little John over the past two weeks.
    Some images to show progress follow.

A visitor from the Los Pinos & Toltec RR

A meet at Cimarron with the visiting Goose and C19 #41

Could only build this using a Fast Tracks paper template together with the frog & point tool.

     Next stage is to work on making the last 7 turnouts needed, finalize the industries I want for Poncha Junction so the panel can be printed, add the roundhouse tracks from the turntable and work on the plans of where to put the water tank, ash pit and coaling tower ( if I have room) at Gunnerson.
    Thanks for taking the time to check on my progress in my blog.


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.


Building update

Been a while

     Its been a few weeks since my last post as my wife and I did a big driving trip up as far as Mooloolaba in Queensland. Stopping at several towns on our way to and from take in the sights and stay with friends and family. Lots of interesting sights and sad to see a great deal of the country is in dire need of rain as in many places there is just nothing but dirt, no grass, no water for any of the animals and no feed. Some towns that we stopped at have had no rain since March of last year. We did over 3000klm and enjoyed every minute.
    Now that we are back I could not wait to get stuck into my layout and get the building sitting on the dining room table completed.
    Got stuck into the weathering of the roof and walls using oil paints, a quick spray of Dullcote and then a wash of Rust All rust and black washes.
   I used my Touch # 100 Walnut pen to colour the lower timbers before adding them along with my scratch built side and end doors.
   So one more building to add to the layout.
Here is a quick shot I took in the sun today.

    I am very happy the way this building has turned out.

On another note I have completed all of the timber construction including the two duck-unders. Once I have some decent pics of these I will post them here as usual.
 Thank you once again for taking the time to stop by.


Another building for the D&RG Monarch Branch

Started to scratch build a new building

     Well it's been really cold here in Bayswater this past week and really cold in the layout room so I thought I would tackle another scratch built building.
     This time I am using my tried and tested method of using styrene. I built many buildings for the SFRSD that turned out okay so I had some material on hand and away I went.
     This is going to be a nondescript warehouse that could be sited at any of the new towns on the RR so with a few hints from pictures of Peters LosPinos & Toltec RR off I went. I marked out the size of the walls on some Slaters 4 mm corrugated siding and cut them nice and square using my (handed down from the Boss) Carl cutter. This is usually used to cut card stock for scrap-booking and card making and did a fab job of scoring the line and with just a small amount of pressure I was able to snap a nice straight line.
    Construction is pretty basic as I just used what I had at hand to re-enforce the internal side of the walls to stop them from getting out of shape. I did use some 4" stock to make stumps around the perimeter so I can add some timber along the bottom of the corrugated iron.
    So after just a few hours this is where I left off on Thursday afternoon.

Well that's it for this post and as we will be traveling North for a few weeks probably my last post for a while.


Barry Davies Canadian National N Scale layout

Filmed in 2014.

     I filmed Barry's layout back in 2014 long before he decided to rip it out and start a new Layout in HOn3.
    Barry purchased the Thompson River Canyon from Vic and myself when we sold our display layout and incorporated many of the modules into his home layout.
    So alas another N Scale fallen flag Layout. At least it is recorded for history so sit back and admire Barry's Canadian National Edison Sub.

Thanks for stopping by once again.


Work in progress #5

Been working on a mine

     As it has been so cold this past week or more I decided to stay warm in the house and scratch build a mine for the RR.
    There are just so many mines in Colorado it is quite hard to decide just what will work so instead of purchasing a kit I decided that I would like something that no body else has along with what will fit in the area I want the mine to be placed.
     To get started I copied a plan of a J&J Pyrite mine of the web and then set about making changes as I drew up an elevation drawing that was to my liking.
     Once this was settled in my mind I started to stain all of the Basswood I purchased with MINWAX stains given to me by Bill. There is four different colours of stain and thirty lengths of strip wood each twenty four inches long. It didn't take that long to get them all stained and cut to a length of thirteen scale feet.
     The week before I purchased a sheet or two of 1000gsm black presentation board that I used to mock up the walls as a support for all the strip wood. Quarter inch balsa wood was used along the inside edges to help keep the walls straight and for each wall to attach to.
     It took all week to get the strip wood on and get the roof profile fitted. On Friday night I cut black craft paper (given to me by the boss) into strips four feet wide to use as tar paper for the roof area.
     Aileen's Tacky glue was used for all the surfaces and boy does it work well.

Well here is a few shots after completing the build today 


     The roof received a coat of Tamiya Flat Black followed by a dry brush of Grimy Black then a dusting of Raw Sienna while the walls received a dry brush of Green Earth powder that I have had for well over 30 years I think. I made the nail holes using a black 0.05 pen in a random fashion.
     All in all this has been a fun build.


Work in progress # 4

Sub roadbed almost done

    Well today is a very satisfying day as the major part of sub road bed construction was completed this afternoon.
    Had a few of the lads around yesterday afternoon to assist in construction as I appreciate their help and suggestions as we move along and I know that they enjoy sharing in the workload and experience of the build. All are well versed in all fazes of model railway construction, wiring, track laying and DCC programing so I welcome them here to assist in this new endeavor.
   I had asked Barry if he would like to assemble my new Kitthills Models Durango Turntable last Friday as he had already assembled two for his own RR. When he arrived yesterday lo and behold it was in a box ready to install. Talk about a fast worker. Barry has done a great and was even happy to fit into its position on the layout.
   he and I had discussed weathering this unit and both agree a little more needs to be done to get it the way we both would like to see it once installed and in operation.

And here it is
      Brendan provided a voltage step down unit so we can set the voltage to a range of 2 to 6 volts which the motor installed below the T/T can handle. You can just see it mounted above the PSX in the pic below.
     A PSX auto reverser was installed beneath the layout by Little John so we can hook that up to the T/T once wiring commences as too the unit on the opposite side of the layout which will control the Wye.

And here is where they have been installed up and away from any accidental damage area.

     The Circuit breaker (one for the whole layout) was installed under the layout next to where the new shelf has been added to hold the new NCE DCC system. (No pics sorry).

     And here are a few pics of the completed sub roadbed with all that remains is to build the two duck-under and there cork and track work can commence. Big John has been a huge help in this area.

Work underway for the Wye

Lots of timber consumed here trying to ensure it is rigid.

Finished, with the top on.
      I have been fortunate to have this amount of space in which to work and after suggestion by the Friday (three of whom model Narrow Gauge) group I have been able to use 24 inch radius for the two main corners and have settled on 22 inch rad for the Wye.
     Some prelim wiring has been done, mainly the bus wires under all three sides waiting for track to be installed and droppers added.
    Thanks to Big John, Little John and Barry for their help in getting me this far. And Brendan for the supply of turnout motors (more about those later) and several wall  worts to power various items.

Thanks for stopping by once again.