I swung into Scale Model Supplies today to pick up some misc parts for the steam engine re-motor I’m working on, and while I was there I perused the rolling stock they had. (Always a mistake.)
They had a selection of inexpensive models by Red Caboose that looked pretty highly detailed for the cost, so I picked up a couple of them. One of the models was a USRA 42′ flat car with fish belly sills painted for Great Northern. I’ll have to see if the GN actually had any of these, but I’m not to worried about it.
The last update showed turnouts that had been completed and painted. Last week I installed six of them and some more straight sections of track. I’m pretty much done with laying track until I can get the bridges sorted out for crossing Lutgens Creek, and I don’t really want to build and install bridges until after I put up the new backdrops that I still need to order.
Another copy over from my other blog. This is the first laser kit I built.
I’ve started building some laser cut buildings for my model railroad. I figured that I could get a head start buy assembling some buildings in the winter, before I can start building the actual layout itself.
Since I’ve never built one of these before I thought I’d start out with something small and simple. Earl’s Oil by Bar Mills seemed to fit the bill. It’s a smaller building with some other parts to make a diorama of an oil dealer.
I bought it because it’s visually interesting, and it has an amusing name. If you are unaware of where the name comes from, you need to go watch Young Frankenstein. Interestingly enough, the word “Blucher” is not German for “glue” as is commonly thought. The horse whinny was just added because the producers thought it was funny.
Exciting! Yesterday I finished building the benchwork and installed it! I built the benchwork out of 3/4″ sheathing plywood. It’s all hidden so it doesn’t need to be pretty. I ripped 3″ and 2″ strips and used L-girder construction – mostly.
Of course the first step was to figure out how high I wanted the layout. The common wisdom is to put it higher than you might expect, because then you get a more eye-level view when running the trains. I thought this made sense, so I went with a 50″ height. The one concern is that you don’t go so high that you can’t reach the back of the layout but at 50″ high and 24″ deep I can reach the back without too much trouble, and I can always get a step-stool if needed. Actually I’m pretty sure I’ll need a stool to lay track and add scenery, but that’s okay.
My current track plan has about 12 turnouts (switches) in it. The quality code 83 Shinohara (no longer manufactured) and Walthers (coming soon) turnouts cost about $25-$30 each, even on eBay. That’s a lot of cheddar for turnouts. (About $300 if you do the math.)
I’d never considered hand-laying track before, but I thought I’d give it a try. The components are actually pretty reasonable. Central Valley Model Works makes molded plastic tie sets for building turnouts and they are $9.95 for two.