Rails were laid and power applied at about 3:30 pm yesterday. Enjoy the short video I made of the trains tackling the 6" radius curves with no issues. On to the really fun stuff, structures, scenery, details, and more locomotives and rolling stock for the rails!
In North Central Pennsylvania, it ain't a Creek, it's a Crick...
Earlier this year, I had started on a display layout that was two levels, and just two simple loops of track. I wanted something to let trains do loops on, for the specific purpose of "spreading the gospel" of HOn30, by highlighting the ridiculously tight curves the small locomotives can handle, and to have a place to showcase some Marsh Creek designs and kits. I had dove right into the building of this thing, and I never really had a theme, or any solid ideas of what I wanted it to look like. There were some compromises made, and overall, I wasn't really happy with it. I stuck it up on a shelf, and it sat there for months. A few weeks ago, I dusted it off and cleaned the track, in order to run some locomotives that have sat idle since the early spring. Part of me wanted to finish it, and the other part wanted it to go into the round file, along with many of my other "failures".
I haven't round filed it yet. I say yet, because I want to give it some time, maybe I'll go back to it. Monkeys might also fly out of my butt....but I digress.
As the leaves are changing here in Pennsylvania, I got the itch again, to run trains, and this time with no compromises, so I went a' googling' and visited a site I haven't been to in a while for some inspiration. Laurie Green's website, www.lauriegreensweb.com is full of spectacular On30 designs, and I thought his Grizzly Flats Exhibition Layout would convert rather well to what I was looking to do in HOn30. I could have designed in a traverser, or some other type of hidden staging, but I was limited to the space I had available...a 16"x36" shelf. At 576 square inches, it qualifies for "Micro Layout" status, and I could shoehorn in the small dog bone that Mr. Green used for Grizzly Flats, squeeshed down to 1:87 scale, and a 6" minimum radius. Imitation may be a form of flattery, but in order to not be a copy cat, I decided to Mirror the plan, swapping the sides of where things lay. I can't possibly fit everything in my space the same way he did, so while the idea is blatantly stolen, it's certainly not the same.
Hey, I had a boss who used to say "I may not come up with many good ideas, but I know one when I see it.", and the running joke in Army staff circles is "plagiarism is policy". Thank you Laurie, for coming up with a good idea!
Construction started last weekend, and today I arrived home from work to a package from Fast Tracks with the remaining supplies I needed to get started laying track. Hopefully, I'll be able to run loops this weekend. While I was waiting for rail and ties, I downloaded the texture pack from Clever Models to build some snazzy mock up buildings. It could take a while for me to get all the structures built and detailed, so I'm adding the mock up step for this build. It's critical when working in cramped confines to have a really good plan of action for structures and scenery, and mock ups really help that along. Instead of plain versions, I wanted to have nice looking mock structures to really get a sense of how the scene is going to look, so the printed texture papers will help that a lot.
I'm going to leave it at this, because I have a drink calling my name, and I have to save my energy for the golden spike ceremony later this weekend!
Go Build Something Awesome!
The MDT project has sat idle for a couple of weeks, so today I decided to start the weathering and detailing process. I tend to avoid the over-use of weathering powders, and opt for paints when it comes to this type of work. So far, I have painted the interior "interior green", and it made a huge difference in the brightness of the model. Because Shapeways detail acrylics are semi translucent, and yellow paints are as well, the combination made for a pleasant change. Instead of a bright lemon yellow, the model is much more muted, and looks much more like the industrial yellow we're used to seeing.
Chipping has been started with Tamiya Red Brown, and I've got some more pin washes to apply, as well as painting the undersides of the louvers. Once the body is done, I'll move on to the chassis.
I'm expecting the "brick box" to arrive in a few days, so it's best to get caught up with this one, and I'll soon be ordering the test prints of the PUP, so I had best get back after it!
My good friend Katsumi Yamamoto is a collector of all small things HOn30, and took this video of a Japanese product from Imon Models which is a new replacement chassis kit for the old Joe Works/ Miniland HOn30 locomotives. As you can see, it's running with a Super Capacitor fitted, but that only affects the current going to the motor. The chassis appears to be a very smooth runner.
I ordered one of these from Toma Model Works in Japan to test out as an inexpensive chassis to build some dinkies on. At the moment, I'm fighting with worm placement, because a tenth of a millimeter is a big deal when getting gear trains running. So far, I have not had to use any special tools or skills to assemble the chassis, which at $60 shipped from Toma in Japan, is a pretty good deal.
Wouldn't it be something to see a return of something like a Joe Works Porter?
Go Build Something Awesome!