Friday, October 26, 2018

A bit more paint.

Decided I needed to make this the backdrop go a bit further and put on a second coat of Kilz before the blue.

Starting to think I need more light here

Thursday, October 25, 2018

North Doswell Cross Over

As Doswell has started (see post here for the track arrangement details) I needed some track down to anchor one end of my work so I would have datum point to build from.

At North Doswell, there is a cross over before the track makes the run to the next control point and on the layout, this is the same as there is over a 50' run to the next CP.

Finished product
Number 10s are nice and long but a zoom lens will squash them up a bit

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Track Progress to Doswell

The long runs have been spiked and the cross over at North Doswell is being test fit.

Next time, a 6" wide shelf is in order, as spiking flex track down next to the wall was a bit of a challenge - just not that much room for my 1:1 hands trying to pierce the ties on Atlas flex when the track is within an inch of the wall.

Try to remember that for next time...

Long way down

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Powered Rail Lament

After a while, soldering rail joints gets a bit old...

Friday, October 19, 2018

Roadbed for Hamilton Control Point

Working roadbed at Hamilton here lately so figured to share some in progress shots.

Hamilton has a single cross over on the main that allows access from the south to a industrial spur.

On the layout, this will be a #10 left X over into a #8 left turnout pair that will allow access to the spur via a tail track as this isn't a siding.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Finishing Upper Level Backdrops

Working through a couple of tasks to finish up some line items.

One of these was getting the upper level backdrop finished from a foundational paint perspective, but step 1 is to Kilz the wall so the blue can go on without any sort of bleed through from the default wall color.

Taping the line
As I needed to keep the edge consistent, out came the painter's tape again.

Finishing up with the brush in spots for the 1st coat

Monday, October 15, 2018

Scheduled November Sessions - Work Session and Open House

Work session has been set on the first Saturday of November, which is the 3rd.

The following Saturday, I will be hosting an open house after the NMRA JRD Meeting that day.

Updates after; more content will be published as there have been some additional work done.

Friday, October 12, 2018

Detecting Trains for Signaling

Something that I didn't have on version 1 was detection of any rolling stock; only the engines were detected.

As you can imagine, this caused turnouts to get thrown under moving trains somewhat frequently.

The fix for this is resistor wheelsets. I bought resistors and conductive paint years ago to get it going and never actually sat down and got it done.

I sat in a clinic by Stephen Priest at KC2018 and he mentioned where he had done his entire fleet of cars (700+ ish) in 2 half Saturdays of work. He did an axle per car and that's what I am going to aim for as well.

That inspired me to give it a try.

The conductive paint pen didn't really work, as it has a finite lifespan and it was well over it so I had to take the pen apart and use a microbrush to get the paint onto the wheelsets.

I decided to standardize on Intermountain wheelsets, and in a spot of great luck, my Dad had a bunch of them from a buy his club did a while back.

Process - use a pair of tweezer to glue the resistor onto the side of the axle joint that is insulated with gel CA and wait. Then dab your conductive paint onto each contact side of the resistor and wait to dry. Test with your multimeter. Easy!

I'm going to buy another silver pen shortly when I'm ready to do more of them.

January 2024 Update to this post:
You can source a partial reel of 1000 of these resistors, for ~$15, even at current 2024 prices from Digikey or Mouser. I use Yageo brand resistors, but any manufacturer is fine. Get 1% or better tolerance. 10K Ohm, 1/8 watt.

You want 1206 size, so they aren't so hard to deal with. You could go bigger, 2010 size, if you are in O scale, I'd bet.

Reminder - gel type CA. Trying to use the thin stuff will be an exercise in frustration.

Done so far
10K 1/8W 1206 size, if you are curious

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Kansas City - NMRA 2018 Contest Photos

Didn't really take much in the way of photos during the op sessions at KC, but did hit up the contest room.


I'm such a sucker for modern steam...

Somebody totally scratch built a N scale steam loco. When I say totally scratch built, I mean he soldered the driver spokes to the driver hub!

Check out the gallery on

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Doswell Begins

Step 1 of a model railroad is thinking and planning.

I printed out my track plan for Doswell 1:1 and am testing it against the benchwork that was built.

This will allow me to verify what I'm trying to do and also let me modify the plan if I need to tweak it before I glue down the first bit of cork and take a file to a piece of rail.

Looks like we should be good.

I think those broad curves are going to be a signature feature of the railroad.

The track layout is pretty darn close to the prototype; a fair amount of compression is required, but that's every layout ever made.

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Effective Resource Management

Model railroaders can be amazingly cheap about some things.

In a hobby where an model engine can easily cost $300, we will try and get every use possible out of $3 piece of lumber or a .10 cent foot of wire.

I'm not immune to these sorts of thoughts.

Yes, that is wired reclaimed from the old layout.

Yes, it has been cleaned up (suitcase connectors removed) and measured for length.

A great job for somebody who's 12.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Staging Status - First Switch Ladder In

As most know, I build my own turnouts and related trackwork.

This is the biggest piece I've built so far from a sheer size perspective - 9 turnouts total.

All number 6s. I used 3 sheets of cardstock under each turnout since putting ties under this many turnouts in a staging yard is a waste of resources, not the least of which is time.

The eagle eyed among my readers will note the turnout next to the inside aisle that will open up access to a small storage yard; probably will be 3 tracks.

Not a very difficult project, but an involved one.

Testing with some Amfleets
Didn't have enough light to get a big depth of field...

9 tracks, plus access to a small storage yard.