Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Track Layout

Trying to keep a layout build to plan can be a bit of a challenge.

One of the tools I use to help me is track templates. On version 1, I cut out a cardboard template in a couple of common radii that I used.

On version 2, that doesn't really work since I've got a couple of turns way bigger than I can make out of a poster board.

I went with the sweep sticks from Fast Tracks and ordered multiple sets for radii that are used often and a single set for a radius that might be used once.

Laying out the curves inside the two peninsulas
Doing good work with the self timer.
Additional pictures on the main site gallery: richmond-terminal.org

Friday, February 16, 2018

Another day, another delay and another change

My track laying methodology has been:

  • Mark center lines or other roadbed path marks
  • Lay cork roadbed via gluing down
  • Sand any cork ramps down
  • Sand top of cork to ensure good transitions
  • Install track

Most folks probably remember the access hole I cut in the drywall to get track to the north end staging yard.



As seen here

I tried to layout the track so I could start laying out the roadbed and staging yard ladder. I figured that starting on the ladder would allow me to rehone my turn out building skills in a spot where it doesn't have to be pretty, just functional.

Step 1 was getting the track arrangement through the way right.

I printed out the track plan in 1 to 1 scale and got it taped together.


The planned 33" radius curve didn't fit. A 30" radius curve wouldn't fit either.

Queue the head scratching and out comes the tape measure. Turns out I had mis-measured during benchwork and hole building so I didn't have the clearances I needed.

Out came the drywall saw for a fix.

Note the 110V cable
After some additional trial track placements, I had something that worked.

 I put the cut drywall piece back in and proceeded to get it mudded.

NMRA Gauge to help provide scale


Ready for a bit of paint.

 More pictures inside the website gallery: richmond-terminal.org

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Updated the theme colors a bit

Decided that I didn't like the orange anymore.

More content coming soon.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Roadbed and Track Layout

I picked a place between the Milford and North Doswell CPs to begin laying out my center lines and putting down cork.

I did this since it was a fairly simple area, from a track layout perspective, and it was also where I could lay track quickly since the crossovers and turnouts in this area were covered by what was recovered from version 1.

Note the split cork used here.

Not great quality - should have bumped the ISO and used the tripod, but these were quick snaps anyway..
I've hit some of this with a 120 grit belt in the belt sander (Santa brought me one for Christmas) so I get a nice working surface for track work that hopefully won't have any big time vertical bumps that cause problems later.

Probably hard to tell, but here's the delineation between sanded and not.

Do note the sanded ramp down to homasote level for the industrial spot here.

First industry track. Once the cork goes down, I come back and quickly hit it with the belt sander to make it smooth for flex.
Down and around.

Note the work area for track way back there.



Monday, February 12, 2018

Staging Prep - Getting Ready for Track

Got homasote put down onto the staging yard late December and needed to get it more finished than just plain gray.

Painting the surface would hopefully provide a better background to rail cars against, as well as find parts that might have fallen off.

I was just going to go for the standard dirt brown color but then thought better about it, so plain Kilz white it went.

Self Timers are great when you mostly work solo


Wet Paint!
Used the remainder of the can I had opened so I'll have to get my hands on another can before I start painting the backdrops for the main level, but that is a task for another day.

More photos are in the gallery on richmond-terminal.org.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

The Brass Bug, Part IV, the Surprise and a Throwback


As posted before on the blog here, back in November,  I found that OMI had produced a Amtrak Viewliner in HO scale.

This model is enough of a rare bird that the brass printed brass guide doesn't list it, and the only online listing is a set of 5 cars which is the only reference to it that I've found.

The OMI number is 3345.1 as a reference point for everybody else. Ajin in Korea produced the model and it appears as though multiple road numbers were produced.

I hope that we will see an additional run of these made, as well as the Viewliner II cars which will be baggage and diners as I understand it.

On a similar subject, I added a Union Terminal Imports (website) Amtrak Dome Coach Car to the roster. It is in Phase I paint, which is a bit older than my modeled era, but the production on these cars was very small so I felt it was best to get my hands on one now.

When I was a teenager, my family took a trip on Amtrak to visit family in the midwest for Christmas one year as Dad was deployed, I believe this was during the run up to Desert Storm. We rode the pre-Superliner Capitol Limited which included dome cars in its consist so I've always wanted one as a model.

Frequently, you see the full length dome cars that were used out west as models, (I believe those are ex MILW) but the eastern domes do not seem to be as well represented.

This particular model is superb. The detailing is exhaustive and the quality is extremely high.

 A couple of shots from this morning; thankfully I had some morning light in the basement and didn't have to resort to the flash.

A nice overview of the car. You can make out the interior through the glass.

Note all the detail on the end of the car. Amazing.

You can just make out "2 of 4". The beveled box edges are a great touch as well.
I hope to see UTI produce more Amtrak offerings in the future and I'll be keeping a look out for what shows up on eBay.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

The Brass Bug, Part III, A Pictorial

In our last episode, I mentioned the bug bit way hard this past summer.

I felt that I should take a couple of shots to show the state of the fleet at that point last summer.

The first piece - the Overland P42:

Ah, golden sunset light..
An absolutely stunning rendition. The Kato in Plastic is great, but this is superb.
P40 Number 818. Note the chip in the blue stripe.
P40 Number 820. Paint is in much better shape. I think that stripe might be a decal..
F40PH. Nothing screams Amtrak in my mind louder than these units.