June 29, 2009

Three Trees

At last work can resume on the layout. The Steel Mill modeling book is done and submitted to the publisher. You can find some sneak peek photos by clicking here.




I tried playing with some trees tonight. The photo shows three different construction techniques. All three have hand carved balsa trucks. The left tree uses denuded baby's breath (gypsophila), the middle tree is supposed to be an oak that has not shed all its leaves. It uses wire armatures and Silfor fall leaf netting. Looks like the trunk needs some lightening. The right hand tree uses denuded Caspia branches. These are deciduous trees. I plan to try a loblolly pine next.

I was pleased that even just three trees have "presence."

One other thing to note, this is the tightest curve on the layout. Things run pretty well around it, though pushing cars with the extending link on the front of the loco can cause problems. We'll have to address that issue in the timetable special instructions.

June 9, 2009

New DCC system


This weekend marked the delivery of a new DCC system for the model railroad. Several local modelers decided to join forces and make a bulk purchase of the CVP Easy DCC system. I got a wireless starter package plus two addtional radio throttles, for a total of 3. I haven't had a chance to try it out yet as I am still working on the steel mill modeling book, but I am itching to give it a spin. I have used Easy DCC in the past at other layouts and it is, well - easy! This is especially true compared to my current 14 year old Digitrax system with its arcane buttom mashing. I know, the newer Digitrax systems are simpler, but after trying several systems out, I liked the Easy DCC best. Since there are now three other layouts in our area with Easy DCC, we can use our throttles at each other's layout.

Next step is to install some sound decoders in the locomotives.