December 30, 2009
Here Gabriella and I are discussing the optimum height for a valance. We concluded that there is no such thing because people come in different heights.
Gerard remarked that his students at the first class were dismayed to learn that the history they were going to learn will start before the invention of the internet. To put things in perspective, the students in college today have no memory of Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev as political leaders. Steam power? Industrial revolution? That's ancient history, buddy where's the nearest WiFi? Since I had several reject sections of the lattice truss left over from the bridge project, I gave them to Gerard to use in his class. I also donated the prototype HO model of Crozet tunnel to the cause. Hopefully it will help his students better understand the evolution of technology.
Gerard is a HO modeler building a layout of a freelanced branch of the C&O near Richmond. He is associate editor of the Seaboard-Coast Line Modeler at http://s-clmodeler.aclsal.org/index.htm He has written for the LDSIG Journal and lectured at numerous NMRA shows. They have a home in Delaware, where the layout resides.
December 29, 2009
There are a few manufactures that make civilians appropriate for this era and I have a bunch on order, mostly from the UK. Woodland scenics makes a line of O figures that are good, especially their railroad crew. But, they will need to be converted to 1860's attire. The Sash and Saber figures have separate heads, so swaping heads with the Woodland Scenics figures will be easy. (They are shown at the lower right of the photo). Since I am modeling winter, adding frock coats will not be hard. The Woodland Scenics figures need to be repainted, as their existing paint jobs are too cartoonish.
Another problem I encountered is that what constitutes an O scale figure varies from manufacturer to manufacturer. Compare the figures in the prototype photo of the locomotive Haupt to the model figures. For reference, the locomotive has 60 inch drivers.
As can be expected, the Tamiya figures are probably closest to scale. This Tamiya figure is a German soldier from their WWII line. They do not currently offer a ACW era figure. Being styrene, it should be easy to modify.
The trick is to mix and match the figures while remaining aware of the size differences. I enjoy figure modeling, so this will just add more play/build value to the layout.
December 27, 2009
Mr. D. Emery, a noted New England RR executive, visited the USMRR A&F today. Here Mr. Emery is discussing installation of a new switch stand with General Haupt. Mr. Emery is a British 1/48th scale figure based on Mr. George Stevenson, the developer of the first practical steam locomotive, the Rocket. He was painted by Dave Emery and given to me as a Christmas present. He used a combination of acrylic and oils. It is well done. Thanks Dave.
In the meantime, work continues on the roadbed. My brother Marco took a crack at it, but was having trouble getting the spline to flow evenly without kinks. I was able to get some nice flowing splines using my 30 inch radius track template. The trick is to let the splines take their natural curve. He was trying to force easements and was having trouble with cracking and kinks.
Note the holes in the wall to allow the track to arc through the closet before returning to main room. The track will be hidden under a hill side as it traverses toward the harbor in the workshop.
The fascia here needs to be replaced as it needs to be higher at the back to allow for a sloped hill. The hill will help hide the view of Falmouth when standing in the aisle near Brooke, hopefully making the layout seem larger.
The plywood table is a remnant of an earlier N Scale layout. The radius of the inside curve is too tight for the O Scale track plan so I will need to pull it out.
The bottom photo shows the roadbed on the north side of Potomac Creek. The bridge is not yet done, so I won't be able to lay the track here until it is.
December 26, 2009
December 21, 2009
Here is the nearly finished bridge place temporarily in position. The stringers and ties will bring the rail height to the proper level. Then I will adjust the abutments underneath. This is reverse on how an actual bridge is built, but should work out here.
December 16, 2009
A confederate version for the Richmond and Danville will also be available.
The holidays have slowed progress on the layout, but I have been able to get some work done on the Potomac Creek Bridge. Here the bridge is resting on the 1x2 lumber temporary roadbed. Once the bridge is ready, that road bed piece will be taken out and the bridge will drop down to take its place. Note the holes cut in the embankments for the abutments.
December 8, 2009
I spent the weekend working on a new design for wooden rigid beam trucks for my freight cars.