28 February 2011

New Rolling Stock

As promised in a previous post here are the new cars I received recently from my last two orders. Exact Rails ATSF covered hoppers and either COFC or TOFC from ConCor.

Click on a photo to see the whole Picasa album

Exact Rails' cars feature amazing details. As far as I can say they are the best cars I have. This set had few small construction defects, though. Some cars ha the roof not perfectly placed and loose so that it separated from the rest of the body. Fixing it back in place wasn't a great deal, however it's a little bit disappointing for such a great product. As you can see in the pictures above I tried to shot few close ups to show the nice details of these cars.

ConCor flat cars are all another story. Even though they aren't exactly cheap the overall quality is far from perfect, rather disappointing I'd say. In fact, painting is not very uniform and too 'thick' so that is masks cars details. Also, lettering doesn't look very crisp and accurate to me. Maybe I'm wrong but they show the worst quality/price ratio of all the cars and locos I have purchased so far.

Anyway, in the end of the day I'm happy to have few more cars for my Ninth Ave. Terminal Dock. By the way, I've also purchase a couple of Kato trucks with containers and two containers sets. Very nice stuff. Great details, much better than ConCor containers and Heiki truck I received few weeks ago.

Scenery Accessories

See you soon...

20 February 2011

Laying Extruded Foam

Yesterday I went to a quite big home improvement and DIY store and bought additional sheets of 3/4" extruded foam I planned to use on top of the plywood, as the base layer. Today I cut various pieces to fit the three layout sections and started gluing them on to the plywood. I used regular white glue for this and few bottles of water to keep the foam in place while the glue cures.

I also added a piece of fascia that was still missing on the left section and secured the fascia with screws in several points where the small spikes I used were not enough to keep it in place.

See you soon...

13 February 2011

Smudge Oil Depot Kit

Another small project this morning. With my last order to Model Train Stuff I purchased Micro Trains N Scale 'Smudge Oil Depot' kit. I thought it was a good starting point to play with structure building. So, I dived into this new area for me and tried to build it.

I don't know if I used the right glue (I used the one that came with Fast Track Quick Sticks to glue them to turnouts) or if I had to weather and paint the walls and all the rest before building it up. Anyway, I did it and I enjoyed a lot. Being the very first kit I'm rather proud of myself. No big errors and an acceptable result.

Maybe I was too much excited and thought to create a small scene with the kit, my new 70 Tonner a couple of tank cars and a tank truck from Heiky I bought with the last order as well.
Far from being a completed scenery but I liked the idea that my layout is slowly taking shape.

See you soon...

Testing NCE PowerCab USB Interface

Today I went for a completely different subject. No more backdrop, painting and the like. Instead, I wanted to try the USB interface I bought with my NCE PowerCab.

So, I took an older Mac laptop and following the JMRI instructions I installed the required drivers and JMRI Decoder Pro. Connected all the cables and... voilĂ : all worked like a charm. Simply great!

I had a lot of fun playing with my locomotive roster, reading all CVs into Decoder Pro and doing some programming. At least for the basic funcions it's very easy to use. For example, I copied the decoder settings from my Bachmann GE 44Ton to the new GE 70Ton and it worked perfectly.

This is a small video I took with my iPhone when Decoder Pro was reading all CVs from one of the two EMD NW2 from Kato with a Digitrax decoder.

I really encourage anyone to give JMRI a try, it's a great piece of software and is free!

By the way, here are two pics of my latest addition to the locomotive roster: SP GE 70Ton from Bachmann Spectrum

Photos of the rest of the rolling stock as soon as I get my camera battery working again :(

See you soon...

07 February 2011

A Quick One This Time

Very quick post on the progress on backdrop painting. I shot few photos and put all together with Hugin as a panorama. Sorry for the very bad attempt of painting small towns on the distant hills in the center of the picture. I think I have to do a much better job there. Mountains are not that bad anymore, though. At least for me...

See you soon...