Thursday, December 31, 2020

 Today is the last day of 2020 and am will be happy to see it go. Much progress has been made as a family, but it's been overcast by COVID and all of the associated issues. I'm in the progress of having the bridge piers of the Big Blue River bridge 3D printed. If it works out, I'm going to have the cement grain elevators of Blue Rapids and Waterville printed. 


I've been busy assisting with future model production at a number of model manufacturers plus I've been purchasing slides and have started to receive photos and other slides to scan for archive purposes. I enjoy that portion of the hobby, but I need to get back to finish the modeling projects I started. Oh, we put a down payment on a pool and hot tub so that'll consume some of my time, but I think as a family we'll enjoy it. 

Here's to a better next year and hopefully more modeling. Happy New Year!

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Getting ready to head home

My time is nearly complete here in Poland. Unfortunately the detail parts I ordered for my UP GATC Box car model were shipped to my home address and progress stopped on the model. I plan to pick it up when I get back next month. Lots of events and turmoil in my life, but it'll work out in the end. I look forward to getting back to my family and continuing my projects.


Sunday, April 21, 2019

I've finally gotten back into doing a little modeling. I'm working on a Cannon & CO kit for the Union Pacific GATC 50'1" box car. It's been going together well. Finished the underframe for the most part - not 100% accurate, but it looks pretty close. Used a Moloco underbody and various parts plus some scratchbuilt parts. It's been interesting as I packaged this model plus the tools/etc that I thought I would need while I'm over in Poland. Looks like I'm short a couple pieces of styrene for the plug door so I placed an order with a company in Germany and we'll see how long it takes for the parts to arrive. Shipping from the States takes up to four weeks. Ugh. I placed the air reservoir in the wrong location on the underframe. Wasn't satisfied after viewing and studying the relatively few prototype photos that I could find and went back and changed it to be located in the center of the car like the prototype. One thing is for certain, trying to glue a piece of .010 x .010 styrene strip straight using ad hoc tools and techniques is a challenge.

I'll work on the stirrups next while I wait on the parts.

Monday, December 31, 2018

Another year post

It's been another year and no updates for my modeling blog. I've been busy, but not posting. I need to start posting more. Plan is to start building several Cannon & CO freight car kits while I'm deployed next year. I've been busy, but not modeling specific and not posting what I have been doing. I worked with Rapido for the Mopac FPA-2, FA-2, and FB-2 locomotives. I worked with Cannon & CO on their two phosphate box car kits - which was a fun project. I worked with Athearn on the Genesis Mopac GP7 models that were recently announced. I learned several interesting things about the Mopac lettering changes that occurred on the GP7/9/18 locomotives during the 60s and early 70s which I wouldn't have known if I didn't study the great collection of items in the Missouri Pacific Historical Society collection. I plan to work with Rapido on their upcoming SW1200 model and their B-boat series of locomotives.

I purchased Brian Banna's outstanding model of Mopac GP15-1 1555. It's currently the pride of my locomotive fleet. I have been able to locate photos of it on my line. I downsized my locomotive roster to 11 Mopac locomotives - with a possibility of one additional if Rapido does the early B23-7. I have two non-Mopac locomotives on my roster - a UP GP30 because the GP30 is a unique and cool looking locomotive and I feel I can justify it as a horsepower agreement. I also have a MILW SDL39 locomotive which I either plan to build from parts or purchase one of the new Lines West Products models. Lines West Products is a new company with production in the US. I am going to wait until they release their model and I can see reviews and a-real-life-model before I purchase. I don't fully trust new fly-by-night startups so I'll wait and see what, if anything they release. Hopefully they don't turn in to Railflyer or the craptastic Value Trains USA. Why a SDL39? Why not. Again, I will use it for horsepower hours. I would say UP GP30s ran on my line - especially after the merger, but the SDL39 probably never.

Here's wishing everyone a Happy New Years and more blog posts and ACTUAL modeling from me.

Take Care!


Monday, December 18, 2017

Another year nearly gone

Where has the time gone? I've spent 4 months out of country this year and only did a little modeling this past weekend. Next year won't be much better, but one of my resolves is to make time to model even if it's 15 minutes a week. Something is better than nothing. My work continues on the Pratt Truss bridge since I've received the bridge eye bars. To next year. May it be better.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Lance Mindheim's layouts

Visited Lance Mindheim house and viewed his outstanding layouts this past Sunday. Very inspirational. 

Caught a CSX coal train at Silver Spring, MD, on 11 December 2016.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

The old adage of measure twice cut once got me. I glued the stringers too close together. Ugh. Luckily the parts were still slightly pliable and I was able to pull them apart with only having to replace one cross member. I had to sand everything down, but that was a small price to pay. Now it looks correct. Time to find the right creosote color to paint the bridge parts.

I continue my work on the Mill Creek bridge. I'm needing/waiting on the measurements for the eyebars for a pin connected truss bridge so I can have them laser cut out of styrene so I've moved on to building the two Panel Pile Trestle (PPT) bridges that are on each side of the truss bridge. I built a jig out of styrene which speeds up the process tremendously and also ensures uniformity of the PPTs. I've ordered Central Valley bridge tie sections and also Detail Associates nut/washers to complete the detail and roadbed of the bridges which I should get this week. Time to paint the PPTs which makes me a little nervous as it's fully exposed so I need to ensure the colors match a bridge that is moderately fresh, but not too weathered. It's nice working with the MOW standard diagrams as it shows the blueprints for building all of the parts. 

Central Valley truss bridge with the scratch built cement backwalls in the foreground.

Initial coat of paint

My Mopac 6 pile bend jig

Completed bends and assembled PPT sections - minus bridge ties and rail.

Testing the PPT out using my 1-2-3 blocks to stabilize it.

Visited a few museums up in Washington DC. While waiting on the Metro I did a little railfanning with a CSX train and (my first I've photographed) Amtrak train passing through Alexandria, VA.