March 23, 2013

Spikes, Staging and Cream Puffs!

We had a very productive work session today. First my mom finished the bunting sections as the last batch of fabric arrived. We put them up for a test of the final look, but we will remove them when scenery work begins.

Then  JB Weilepp, Joel Salmons and Paul Dolkos showed up.  Paul went to work on installing the rail on the ship yard warehouse siding extension, since it was his idea to extend that siding in the first place. I had previously installed the ties, so he just had to spike in the rail.

Fiddle yard in place
In the meantime, Joel was on spiking duty else where on the layout, filling in spikes as needed. Both Paul and Joel discovered that many spikes were bending upon insertion. I had the same problem earlier. I think the batch of carpenter's glue I used to secure the ties is too hard and it was causing the spikes to bend.

JB and I went to work on the staging/ fiddle yard. We built the front wall so that it is removable. It is framed around the perimeter with wood, to stiffen the wall and act as a ...well... frame.  We also added a lateral sky board to the right hand side of the bridge section. This sky board is removable too. Thus,  it can be removed and installed next to the depot section, if Gerry's bridge section is not available. This sky board will get a hole cut in it to allow the trains to pass, but we wont cut the hole until the spackeling I added along the bottom to fill in the gap dries. We inserted a piece of wax paper to prevent the spackling from sticking to the removable sky board.

The staging/fiddle section and side sky board really do a nice job of encapsulating the layout. They really pull the scene together.

JB then started work on converting the O Scale Lou's Cafe to the Post Office. This kit is a styrene building flat. JB removed the third story and added a new cornice. The new cornice uses a crown molding left over from when I built a doll house for my daughter, plus a new dentil trim that I laser cut. He also cut 1 inch wide clapboard walls to give the flat some depth. He promised to bring the completed model back next week.

Removable sky board with future hole for tracks. We have to wait for the spackling to dry. Wax paper prevents the
spackling from sticking to the removable sky board.

Some trees temporarily placed to show how the exit hole will be hidden

The fiddle yard

Joel and JB also volunteered to build flat cars. So both went home with flat car kits that I laser cut.

About half way through the session we stopped for a coffee and cream puff break. These were Italian style Profiterole di San Guiseppe, which are cream puffs stuffed with vanilla custard spiked with Vodka and Triple Sec (we did not have rum). My mom and I had made them on Thursday and we had about a dozen left to eat. They are like little bites of heaven. Yummy!

All in all a great session.


  1. The trees are beautiful. Are they homemade?

  2. The tree in the back is one of mine. It will stay on the portable layout. The two in the front were custom made by Sterling Models to my spec. They represent Loblolly Pine. They will not go on this layout. I put them there to visualize how the scene will look. The Sterling Pines will go on my home layout.