Sunday, October 19, 2014

Creature Comforts and a Corner Do-over

I think an important part of model railroading is making the layout room as enjoyable as possible. After all, one will spend a lot of time in this room.

To make my layout room more conducive to long work sessions,  a while ago I added a TV. This, in my humble opinion, is a must have. This is great for weekend afternoons ... all the sports can still be enjoyed while working on the layout.

One item that has been missing from my layout room (actually more of the furnace / storage room) has been computer / internet access. So, I added a small pull out shelf (I used a keyboard slide kit) to add a spot for a computer. This will be good for those "on the fly" internet searched. Now, no need to run to the main PC.

The shelf retracts under the layout when not in use, so it can stay out of the way. 

I've also never really been happy with what I call my "fuse box" curve. When I originally planned the layout, I never planned for this curve. But, as more track is always better, I did expand. So, knowing that nothing is sacred, I tore out some of the still in progress scenery and have started over.

I am adding a removable backdrop that will cover the fuse box. I'll probably use magnets to hold the panel in place. With this, I can pop the panel quickly off to access the fuse box. In addition, I've also added some sections of backdrop that hide the TV (yes, not the best backdrop but needed!) stand. I'll cover these with brick sheets for a better background.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Fall in Chicago ... a good time to pick up old projects

After taking a few months off, I have decided that I have to finish my L extension to at least where I can put down the track. I might not get the station done anytime soon, but I have to get this section done...its been almost a year since I started it.

So, finally, I started finishing the tower bent section. This really stiffens the structure, just like in real life.

The next section will be separate. Any longer and the whole structure gets too bulky to work with. I'll document that.

Also, took some pictures of life along and under the L.

Its nice to work when there is a good college football game on ... seems to boost productivity!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

A few months progress ... Pt 4

It seemed like all I was working on over the past few months was either repainting the MTH 6200's or the 3D modeling. 

So, a few weeks back, I decided I needed to start building some structures for the layout.

So, to the left of my Southport Station, I decided to begin construction of two apartment building backs.

First up is a rather large three and a half story building:

This is just a plain back to a typical court yard building.The walls are styrene covered in N Scale Architect brick sheets and the doors and windows are scratch built and cast from resin. Eventually there will be a three story porch where the doors are. That will be built from strip wood. This building is a bit large at almost 30 inches long.

To the right of this building is a small apartment building rear:

This is a rather narrow building, so I imagine that the apartments are studios rather than the more spacious two and three bedroom apartments next door. I have begun construction of the back porch for this building. Currently its about 50% complete and just set against the building (that accounts for the crookedness).

These buildings are designed as a "back drop" to the tracks so that photos of cars can pop more. Some test photos:

In addition to these background buildings, I'm still working on my new section of elevated track. On this structure, the girders are made from resin castings, for which the masters were made from styrene and rivets.The corner braces are 3D prints, which I made a mold and also made castings. The columns are various styrene shapes with rivet strips.

Even though I am still using resin castings for the girders, the time of construction has been very long. That's mostly due to the fact that I just haven't been working on it very much. I still need to add bracing in between the girders and some other details.