March 18, 2018

Op Session 7 is in the bag

We had another successful op session today. This was number 7 on Aquia and 16 for PoLA.  Marty McGuirk and his son Matt, Roger Sekera, Gene Nash, Tom Pierpoint, John Barry and Brad Trencamp showed up for duty.

Debut of Adams Express car
Brad ran PoLA solo, while the others ran 3 trains on Aquia using two-man crews.

We tried using longer trains for the southward direction and that was a success. We also ran an extra and that works, but because the room is small, two 2-man crews without an extra is probably a better fit.

Later in the day John King, Paul Dolkos, Ken Lehman, Mat Robertson, and Reg Mitchell stopped by to visit. Reg got recruited to run the General's special near the end of the session.

As usual mom and Alicia made some delicious snacks.

For a more complete summary see the video below.

March 15, 2018

Paper figures for building interiors

Brian Kammerer has been sending me artwork  to make paper figures to detail the interior of the warehouses.  Brian is a commercial artist that does story boards and animated films for advertising agencies. He has an amazing talent to capture emotion and feeling in his small figures.  He has a library of figures he has painted for his civil war artwork. I have used some of his art for camp scenes in my backdrop art.

Here is a sample of two of his  soldiers in a warehouse at Brooke. These are paper cutouts. Definitely potential here.

While I had his artwork, I experimented with doing some comic style images. These images start with  photos from the layout processed to look like a comic using poser edge and cutout filters in PS. Then I add his figures to the scene.  The top image shows several of Brian's figures inspecting the new passenger car.

The lower photo show soldiers and workers loading boxes and hay at Falmouth,  This could be a whole new hobby!

March 14, 2018

Blast from the Past - Bush Terminal

Lance Mindheim's new project N Scale Brooklyn layout reminded me of the Bush Terminal layout I built for a cover shoot for MRP in 2002. I shot slides for the cover, which now, I have no clue where they are. But I do have this scan of the cover. That's my hand in the image too!

My lead paragraph to this article was one of my favorites too as it reminds me of my dad,

"In the city known for some of the most famous skyscrapers in the world, the buildings that most fascinated me as a young boy were the warehouses and docks known as the Bush Terminal. As a child growing up in southern Brooklyn, NY during the 1950s and 60s, I had ample opportunity to observe the Bush Terminal, usually from the back seat of my father’s car as we drove past on the elevated Gowanus Expressway. From this lofty position looking over the plains of brownstone apartment roofs my gaze was fixed not on the glittering Manhattan skyscrapers visible in the distance, but on the stark white eight-story concrete warehouses boldly emblazoned with the Bush Terminal logo in high contrast black letters. The seemingly endless maze of identical block structures, connected by bridges and catwalks, with shadowy alleys, crisscrossed by railroad tracks and adjacent to long fingers of piers captured my attention. What went on there I wondered, sometimes with a touch of dread when my young imagination got the best of me."

A work in progress photo of the layout. The building on the left is
a paper cut out. The white buildings were scratchbuilt from styrene.
The layout for this article was the size of a  small 3-ft book case. Later, I did a room filling layout design of Bush Terminal for my first track plan book.

Last year, I visited Tom Fausser's HO scale switching layout in Tulsa. It's a large Brooklyn, NY theme layout that includes Bush Terminal. The photo at the right shows his work in progress as of 2017. It is a neat layout. I'd like to get a chance to operate it some day.

March 12, 2018

Sound Rail 2018

Grain elevator on Harbor Island
I just got back from Sound Rail 2018 where I had a wonderful time. The layout hosts and organizers put on a great event.  I arrived on Wednesday and did some rail fanning in downtown Seattle. I checked out the S Lander Street area near the Mariner's and Seahawk's stadiums since one of my friends is interested in modeling that area. Then I looked around the Harbor Island area. That would make a great core for a waterfront themed layout.

That evening Kirk Reddie had an open house for his N Scale Milwaukee Lines east layout. To say it is a huge undertaking is an complete understatement. I don't know the exact dimensions, but it fills the bottom level of his purpose built home which also acts as his business and warehouse. It is probably over 3,000 square feet and will include multiple decks. Whew! It might be the biggest home ever if he and his crew complete it.

Over the next three days I attended 4 operation sessions and 4 open houses. The video below summarizes the layouts I saw and operated.

Tracks 9 feet in the air pass around the perimeter of the  unfinished Tacoma
harbor area in Mike's Pacific Railway and Navigation Company
O scale layout.
I tell my wife that the model railroading hobby is a big tent. Going to events like this shows you that there are many ways to build and operate a layout.  Mike "Chooch" O'Connell's P48 O scale layout is a perfect example. It is a massive, multiple level, mushroom style layout (it's actually much more complicated than a mushroom design - tracks are stacked  6 levels high in some sections)   with theater style lighting. It felt like operating trains in a Disney exhibit.  While not complete, the novelty of the design and the finished scenery shows that it will be a spectacular achievement when further along.

March 4, 2018

Passenger Car Finished

John Barry stopped by on Saturday for  mini work session. He got to work adding glazing to windows for the warehouses on Aquia Landing. I had pre-painted them, so it was just a matter of  adding the glazing. There were about 80 windows that need glazing and John got most of them done.

In the meantime I did various tasks. First I added a car card box and shelf to the Burnside Wharf area. I have initially grouped the cards for Aquia Landing and Burnside's Wharf in one box. But after a few op sessions, it seems like a separate box at Burnside Wharf might make things easier for  my operators.

I also made a new car card box for Aquia Landing that fit the fascia better.

I then spent a good part of the rest of the weekend working on the passenger car. I decided to rebuild the roof. The first roof I made was warping because the joists were not glued to the roof decking. So I made new joists and purlins. I also cut a new roof deck from 1/32 basswood. I added scribed lines to create the look of planks, but to also to kerf the the wood roof to curve easier. The top surface of the roof is a piece of paper secured with spray glue.

The new roof fits tightly with no warp. It also looks cool when the roof is off.

I finished the rest room details and added the steps, railings and some other minor details.

The decals are from a set I had made several years ago.