31 May 2010

More Turnouts

A couple of weeks ago I received my last order to Fast-Track for the frog-point filing jig for #8 turnouts and the frog building jig for #8, #10 and #12 turnouts. I also ordered few more quicksticks for #6 and #8 along with PCB ties and code #55 ME rails.
Now I've got all I need to build all turnouts for my layout plan. This morning I glued quicksticks to the turnouts I built some months ago and fixed a couple of frogs where wheels were bumping. I also built another #8 and a #6 turnouts.

I don't have the switch building jig for #8 but I found rather easy to build turnouts using paper templates if you have the frog-point filing jig and the building tool for soldering the frog points.

So far I've built a total of four left and four right #6 turnouts and one left and two right #8s. I still need to build seven left #8, three left #6 and one right #6 turnouts, staging included.

See you soon with some shots of these turnouts...

New Rolling Stock

Three weeks since last post now. Still not very much time for the hobby...

Last week I received my last order of rolling stock. I bought the new coil cars from Red Caboose, the whole set of nine cars. They looks very well done with fine details and lettering. Obviously I've got SP ones.
I bought two new Bachmann flat cars also. They are clearly not as good as the more expensive cars from ExactRails or BLMA. For example the brake wheel is clearly oversized and lettering is not very detailed. However, I think they show a good quality/price ratio. In addition they feature metal wheelsets.
Lastly I ordered a MicroTrain wheathered SP box car, very nicely detailed and with opening doors.

Overall I rather happy for my new rolling stock. Along with cars I also ordered a 100-pack of 33" metal wheelset from Fox Valley Models. This time those with a 0.54" axis length. This axis fits MicroTrains and McHenry trucks so works well on all Intermountain, Fox Valley and BluFord Shop cars. I replaced wheels on the new MicroTrain box car that came with large flange wheels (see the picture below for the difference between wheelsets). Now it' much better with metal low-profile wheelset. Next, I'll have to replace wheels on most of the cars I have.

Here are some photos of the new cars.

New Rolling Stock

See you soon...

10 May 2010

More on painting backdrop

Not very much work done this week. Just a couple of hours on Sunday morning.
I wanted to give the backdrop a little more realism so I tried to paint the lower side with a fading white-blue color to represent the haze and humidity present on the lower layer of the atmosphere. I poured a part of blue paint I used so fare for the sky color into some white paint left over from the painting of benchwork legs, braces etc. I got a whiter blue color I put on a scrap piece of backdrop using an almost dry brush.

I'm not very convinced of the result and I need to experiment more on how to obtain something better, however in photo it doesn't look too bad. By the way, if you have any suggestion... would be much appreciated.

Here's the shot I took on the sample backdrop

I also worked on some cars substituting the plastic wheel-set with Fox Valley Models CNC-machined metal wheel-set I purchased recently. I still need the ones with shorter axis since I've got the 0.553" that fit Atlas trucks but not Intermountain and MicroTrains ones.

See you soon...

01 May 2010

New Rolling Stock

Not much work done on the layout lately. A hectic period at work with no much time for anything else. However, I received my last order from Model Train Stuff. Few RailBox box cars and TTX flat cars from Intermountains.

I like them, they looks well done to me. I'm not totally satisfied this time, though. About one third of cars had some axis out of the trucks and two of the flat cars have one side beam bended down. Most likely a poor construction quality.
Overall I like these cars but given the price of Intermountain cars I would expect more quality controls in terms of construction and packaging.

Here are few photos of new cars as usual.

New Rolling Stock

See you soon...