Friday, September 30, 2016

Thises and Thats

I've been piddling a away on a few little odds and ends as of late. First and foremost, I took my son up to Day Out with Thomas at the North Carolina Transportation Museum in Spencer last weekend. Anytime I go up to Spencer, I stop in at the Little Choo Choo shop. I spied the Conerstone Municipal Water Tower on the shelf and picked it up. The stock colors were spot on perfect so all I did was use some Woodland Scenics dry transfers to add "Gallitzin" to the side of the tank. Now, rather than apply the letter directly, I applied them to some clear decal paper and then put the lettering on just like a regular decal. I then added the "Welcomes You" decal that came with the tower, did some weathering and called it done.

Next on my list was this small farm scene located between  Gallitzin and Cassandra. The Farmhouse and Barn are American Model Builders structures. I built these years ago and honestly don't remember the colors I used. The windmill is a Conerstone Van Dyke Farms Windmill. The uprights are painted Floquil "Rust" and the blades are Testors white.

I also went ahead I put in a gravel driveway, turf and some details. All that remains for this area is trees, both background and foreground and ballast. 

The last thing I took care of is a project I've been dragging my feet on for a while and that's putting a new decoder into my L1 Mike. Originally I'd used a Digitrax DZ123. It did the job but cause the shell to sit too high. This looked really stupid. After living with it for a while, I pulled the decoder out and stuck it in my Model Power mogul. While in Spencer, I went ahead and picked up a DZ126T. This is the same practically microscopic decoder I used in my Minitrix B6. This decoder is a perfect fit. All that remains is to use some fiber optic to get the headlight working. 

The Digitrax DZ126T is a much better fit

Monday, September 12, 2016

Here Come the Trees!

This past week, I planted just a ton of foreground trees in Gallitzin. The effect was immediate.  The deciduous trees quickly transported the layout from high plains Colorado back to Pennsylvania. With the exception of a select few, the trees are all Woodland Scenics. Some were salvaged from my previous layout and some were even salvaged from my old PR&Y layout (link). 

Now, as you know, over by Horseshoe Curve, I chose to use trees made from goldenrod to save money. Well, I think the Woodland Scenics trees look a ton better, so I decided to just cough up the extra saw buck and go with them. Another downside of these trees is the require assembly, messy, tedious assembly. The prescribed meathod is to take the plastic armautres, bend them into the shape of a tree and slather them with Hobby Tack (yet another expensive Woodland Scenics product). Once that's done you dip the armature into the bag of "clump foliage," give it a hake and presto! You have a tree! Or so Woodland Scenics says anyway. More often than not, I pull the tree out of the bag and about 90% of the folliage falls right off.

Anyway, after assembling about three trees using the aforementioned method, I chucked the Hobby Tack and grabbed my can of Elmer's spray adhesive. This was the ticket!  I was able to crank out enough trees to finish Gallitzin in no time at all. Now, all that remains is staining some rocks, adding the power lines and some detailing.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Finished with the ballast and turf at Gallitzin

The title of this post really says it all, doesn't it? As you can see from the photos I also started planting some trees and added an underpass to the eastbound tracks. Said underpass was constructed using part of the base from a Model Power house kit, the girders from an Atlas code 80 through girder bridge, some Plastruct styrene and some Floquil "Grimy Black" paint. The abutments are from Chooch.

Now, all that remains is planting some trees, adding the remaining power lines and some detailing. Hopefully, Gallitzin should be done by week's end. With that, about half the layout will be seniced.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Earthworks Finished at Gallitzin

The terrain at Gallitzin is well and truly finished. Now all that remains is to do the roads and the plaster work is done. After that, I have to paint the terrain, turf it, plan some trees and ballast the eastbound tracks. When that's done, it's on to Cassandra!