Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Scenery - We Can Call It Started

I put down a little styrofoam today. The first part is coming out of the helix and up to the bridge at Acadia.

The second is the inside curve going up the hill into Searsport. I won't get to the actual scenery for awhile, but it covers up a few places where rolling stock could hit the ground.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


I wanted to cut up all of the hardboard I had, just to clear up space in the storage room. I was able to hang about 100' of backdrop and 50' of fascia.

I was able to get just about all of the backdrop ready for painting. The backdrop in some areas gave me trouble, so I'll have to work a little more to get it right. As soon as I can get some way to get more hardboard, this will have to do.
Rough guess says about 75% of the backrop is in and 90% of that is painted.

Some of the hardboard was prepainted blue. I used it as it got too narrow for backdrops. It looks kind of funny now since it matches the background color. The fascia will be painted green as time permits.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Wheel Jig

If I'm going to be making a lot of resistor wheels, I better find some help. I decided to make a jig to hold the wheels while I was working on them.
I found some scrap pieces of wood a glued them together. I cut small slits in the boards to hold the axle's about 3/4" apart. I probably could have narrowed it down to 1/2", but this gives me plenty of room.
I cut the board into two 12" sections and then whatever was left over was the length of the last one. The longer one will hold 14 wheels. This is probably enough for me at any given time. The smaller one will hold eight wheels. I figure that it needs to be an even number because you will want 2 wheels per car.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Success at resistor wheels

I finally had to get around to making some resistor wheels for my cabooses, since I added more trains to the layout. I had ordered the stuff months ago because I knew I would have to make about 600 before it was all over.
I opened up the resistor wheel and I couldn't believe how small the resistors were. All of the pictures I had seen made them look bigger than these. Look at the top picture on the left. See the small square dot in the middle of the upper axle, that is the resistor glued to the axle.
The lower axle is where I smeared on some conductive paint (and I mean smeared).

Here you can see two with paint and two more waiting. The paint becomes conductive in about 5 minutes.
It is a little difficult to use a paint pen on a small round object and keep the lines straight. Most of these didn't work right away, but it was usually just one leg from the resistor to the wheel needed a little more paint. It is easy to check which side needs more paint by measuring through the far side of the resistor to the opposite wheel. Then put more paint where it is needed.
I put them in the cabooses and then on the track to test and everything worked good. They ain't pretty, but they work. Hopefully I'll get better as I make 600 more.

Full Layout System in Place

It has been a while since my last post. I have been busy on the layout in between beach trips and visitors.
The upper return loop has been connected and powered up. I'm just missing detection on the upper return loop. This should be fixed soon, but if I don't get it right away, the dispatcher has that section above his head so he should be able to see it.
I have been printing and verifying all of the paperwork for the last few days. What a chore that has been. All of the 75% of Car Cards were reprinted due to Home Yard changes or notes that the operators hand wrote in. All of the waybills had to be changed out with all positions verified and colors verified so that all will be cool.
6 more trains and about 15 cars were added. Only 2 left to go, but I'll have to get some more cabooses first. I had to restage a lot of the layout to match the new waybills and car cards. I wouldn't want someone to wonder why a car was on a certain train when its from location didn't look right.
I made changes to the time table, engine cards and positional duties that all had to be printed for the next session. The train instruction card had the schedule placed into it to help the engineer.
Needless to say I have been busy making sure all remnants of the out of date paperwork was gone and all of the new was in place.