I am stealing this idea from another forum. They have a thread started where folks post what they worked on over the weekend. So I thought I would share what I did and hope others will follow.
This weekend I finally had a chance to paint pallets for my REA modules. The pallets are rapid prototypes form Walt Smith.. via Shapeways. I choose to paint them in three colors, gray (for that weathered look), tan and brown. Then all were lightly sprayed with black to weather them. A total of 80 pallets come int the piece. I pained up 27 of them.
I really like how they came out. I can't wait to add them to the module!
Yesterday while rebuilding my old computer desk into my new Workbench I came across a kit i forgot i had and since it was open i figured maybe i better build it before i lost any of the parts. Any excuse to get out of work is a good excuse right? Besides i needed a brake from all the saw dust in the basement.
Anyway I started on this last night then finished it up this morning. I'll add proper interior lighting later once my workbench is finished.
Not much progress to report here. I has a chance to go to Home Depot and pick up a sheet of 2’ x 4’ 1/4” plywood to use as a track base for a new layout. Also bought some 1”x0.5” wood strips to cut risers with.
My Shapeways The Z Maker Alco S2 shell showed up so I did a little work on extra polishing of the brass shell.
Do the days before the 'weekend' or, days between the 'weekend' count? I'm now retired since the end of last year so every day is a 'weekend'. In the prior townhouse, the Z-Bend Track modules were stacked on top of each other. Then all the show tubs where stack on that so a nightmare to get a module or parts bin out ! Now, in the new house, we use the 3rd car garage just for the trains. Mickie's late N husband was custom N painter and she's in the crafts (and N train scenery) so there was a LOT (and still is of her N stuff). But now, I have my early heavy Z-Bend Track modules on end for easy extraction and the lighter modules hanging from the 10' ceiling. The tubs that where stacked on top of the modules are now individually stored on the wall shelf for easy individual access.
After next month's show, I'll have the entire summer/fall to work on sorting out her stuff so that I can begin the workbench and paint booth.
I scratchbuilt chimnies for my roundhouse, and applied to the roof, and I laid down some plaster cloth obehind my Rokuhan turntable mod. I also finished wiring in the Rokuhan controller through the module, and powered it with a buck converter off the 12v accessory bus.
If you see it, get it, for tomorrow it will be gone!
Well, while not as photo-ready as the projects here, I spent considerable time investigating how to get to St Louis for the NMRA convention and NTS. Got pretty much worked out the the long distance trains, riding the the CZ east and SW Chief and Coast Starlight west afterwards. What I haven't decided on is the local details for getting to St. Louis. Do I jump off the CZ and use thruway connections and Texas Eagle and arrive at night? Or go to Chicago and take Lincoln Service and arrive late at night? Or spend the night in Chicago and take an early Lincoln Service the next day?
Life was so much easier when I could have taken the City of St Louis all the way!
Post by modelwarships on Mar 3, 2020 14:27:44 GMT -5
I spent the weekend replacing turnouts, wiring, and fine tuning the layout. I found the cheap terminal blocks were too hard to access and the wiring needs to be able to be disconnected. This is the bottom side of the drawer with wiring taped up to allow the drawer to slide in and out without snagging the wires. A thin panel will be added to enclose it completely. RJ45 sockets connect the turnouts to the control panel in the bottom drawer of the coffee table.
New double crossovers were added and some of my other turnouts were replaced due to them sticking from the landscaping process.
Made a bit more progress on my Lester module today. I put base scenery and static grass behind the turntable, and glued it in permanent. Then after testing electrical operation good, and installed my track templates with mini C clamps, and glued down the cork roadbed.
I test placed my Lester depot and took an update picture. You can see the circle of LED's to indicate the turntable bridge position, and the small 3mm buttons to index and jog the turntable. Also, the Rokuhan controller's circle was about 2.2" diameret, and i made mine 1.5" diameter to better fit the front facia of the module. The original Rokuhan controller used all green LED's, but I used green for the tracks present, and made all the other ones blue. They are 2mm lightpipe LED's
I'll be starting out in Sacramento. My criteria have been that I do not want to overnight in one of the terminal cities, I don't want to do buses and I don't want to be wandering around St. Louis at midnight or later. Amtrak makes that challenging.
The SW Chief & River Runner works well for my return trip, arriving in LA in time for the northbound Coast Starlight. However in the reverse direction I need to spend the night in LA or take multiple buses and a regional commute train to make connections. I can do the Sunset Limited/Texas Eagle to St. Louis, if I pick the right day of the week to travel.
CZ or SW Chief get into Chicago so late, I either have to spend the night or take a train to St. Louis with arrival times of 11PM or 3AM.
My current plan looks like:
CZ: Sacramento to Galesberg Bus: Galesberg to Springfield IL Texas Eagle: Springfield to St. Louis
Return Trip River Runner: ST. Louis to KC SW Chief: KC to LA Coast Starlight: LA to Sacramento
I'm not that frequent a rider of Amtrak, so I'm open to suggestions.
One thing to keep in mind....anticipate trains running late. I've been *pretty lucky* riding Amtrak, but have been as late as 3-4 hours a couple of times, and there were parts of trips (mostly Texas Eagle) where the train was pushing 5-6 hours late but eventually made up some of the time overnight.
If it were me, I would stick to the train all the way to Chicago on the way out and just deal with the timing issues there, where you have amenities. (versus, say, Galesberg and Springfield Amshacks) It may cost some money and some time, but trip quality will be better, methinks. Of course it's your call on those tradeoffs. And I wouldn't sweat a late night arrival in St Louis...it should be an inexpensive Uber ride to wherever you're going there. EDIT: Have you considered hopping off at KC and getting a rental car and driving to St Louis and back? Yes, a bit of a drive, but certainly very flexible.
And I would wait at least a little bit to book your travel...this COVID-19 business is likely gonna get worse before it gets better, and you'll probably see deep discounts for those willing to brave public transportation in that July timeframe. (honestly, by then it may not matter as there won't be any place you can go without being exposed to someone...just eat your veggies and wash your hands good)
Then the other question is...will the NTS happen? (another good reason to hold off booking, although Amtrak does have reasonable cancellation policies for the most part...I would definitely purchase trip insurance if it is offered, although I imagine they'll stop offering that at some point.)