I know, I have absolutely been beating the lack of PRR steam topic to death lately. I promise, this is the last time I'm going to kick this particular dead iron horse. The situation is definitely improving. Broadway Limited is releasing their long-anticipated M1 4-8-2 this December. And guess who per-ordered one. But it turns out there's another option for us. GHQ makes a nifty little kit to convert Kato's USRA Mikado into a PRR L1 2-8-2. A nice looking shell on top of Kato's legendary, rock-solid, bullet-proof Mikado mechanism? Who could ask for more.
Now, this kit is not for the faint of heart. It contains a lot of tiny detail parts, most of which require drilling to fit. Also, the mechanism and tender chasiss both require a good bit of modification for the shells to fit. CA glue is needed to fix all the parts together. I opted for Loctite gel super glue, which worked perfectly for this project. Normally I loath working with any type of CA, but this stuff seemed to get the job done.
The shell itself is made out of pewter and adds quite a bit of heft to the locomotive. This may significantly improve the locomotive's pulling power as a bonus.
The next step is to spray the locomotive with automotive primer before the final coat of paint. Then decals and weathering.
This was another quick project I took on today. I've accidentally left the layout power on a few times. So I decided to give myself a little reminder to turn it off before I leave the room. I bought this cheapie light fixture, mounted it to a cheapie junction box and ran some 12-guage lamp cord over to the master switch. I put a plug on the cord and plugged it into the main power strip. Now when the layout power is on, so is this light. Since I turn off all the other lights before leaving the room, this will be very noticeable.