mardi 20 mars 2018

Proto 64?

We've talked yesterday with a friend about Proto-Modelling. He's involved, here in France, in a beautiful layout made in Proto 87 and he's also one of the few remaining S scalers in France, specializing in Rio Grande. And we chatted about the subject of Proto 64. I was tempted some years ago by the challenge and bought some wheels from NWSL. This resurfaced some time ago. While interesting the idea proved to be too challenging, at least for me and my limited capacities. This is not the rolling stock, track or turnouts that made an unsolvable equation. Even diesel engines are not too much of a problem, but I love steam engines. And it's another affair! You can easily guess the work involved in modifying the few existing steam engines or sourcing wheels to do specific models, not speaking of three point suspension... And no supplier support the Proto 64 in any way as opposed to P 48. That said it's not an unreachable goal as our english colleagues of the S Scale Model Railway Society proved regularly. But we reached the conclusion with my friend that it's too much for me and my friend agreed, too much for him also!
And in fact, it's not the width of the wheel tread that bother me or the height of the flange, but the profile and appearance of the wheels.
I 'am not satisfy with the look of the SHS and American Models  wheels. The solution?  I've changed all of them with SSLS (sadly no longer available) or NWSL ones. Their appearance is much more satisfying and I finally forgot the P 64 way.  And it's better! The present NASG standards are finally  good enough for me and much better than the equivalent RP 25 for HO. No more wandering, I must stay stick on my goal...
See ya'

dimanche 4 mars 2018

What's on the workbench this week?

This past two weeks were a bit quiet on the modeling front (at least for my own modeling). I've finished installing Sergent couplers on the steam engine, coach/caboose, and boxcars that needed replacement. What's could have been an easy task take some hours due to the need to paint, assemble, and install the couplers. It's one of the last things we do on a model, and it's sometime a pain. Broken parts, some paint touch up on a model you do years ago and the color doesn't not match, and so on. And some are still on the workbench needing some milling to fit (Cryer Gray Foundry war emergency gondola and River Raisin Models 44 tonner as example). Gone are Kadee 5's, 802's  and Accurail couplers I've formerly used on my rolling stock!
Apart form this I've two boxcars one Reading Xmu (Southwind Models) and ATSF Bx-27 waiting for some detailling and wheathering. But it's the fun part of the job. See ya'

lundi 19 février 2018

Some thoughts around a track plan

Most of the readers of this blog may think I'am primarily a rolling stock modeller as most of the posts recently showed this kind of stuff. And the dreamed layout is just a dream or words... In fact no!
I've drawn the basic track plan for this project around 2013/2014 and polished it ever since. It's not that easy to fit even such a small station into a 12 ' X 12 ' room adjacent to my office/workshop. At first, all the layout occupy only this room. But in 2015, modifying the track plan to include the San Jacinto wye and a staging yard led me to change my plan and the initial drawing. The track to the staging area and one tail of the wye then passed through the wall into my office/workshop. It was one of the wisest decision I've made for years (apart staying in S scale along all of these years!). It made things flowing...or something like that. I know that most of my north american readers may be horryfied by the small size of the room but at first it was planned for a 1/35 scale 2 feet logging layout. In an another life, I was very involved in narrow guage circles till the early 2000 even if I've gathered 1/64 models since 1995 and built some exhibition modules in this scale (see my earliest posts). I could have had larger when I've had my house built but now it's over. I've to cope with what I have and it's 12' x 12'!
At  a second glance, I'am quite happy having not a too big surface to occupy. I don't have that much time to spend in my own modelling and it forces me to be inventive.
Back at the track plan now, I've worked on it with some ATSF station plat obtained from the Santa Fe Historical & Modelling Society (Western Archives) from which I'am a member, one from the 1920's, the other from the late 50's. Add to this an insurance map, photos, books, etc...And here's my layout track plan!
The 1948-1952 track plan have some differences from the one below. The main is that the turnout at the end of the house track was removed probably during the 1948 station remodeling and a new curved storage track was added. Two things I've tried to mimic. The main compromise made was to have a curved turnout at the station entrance. Clearly, I'am not satisfied with this feature but I could no do without.
Another compromise made was to reverse the wye to fit in the available space.
Still too small my tiny station!? Not so, the 1942 Los Angeles Division System Employee Timetable listed only sixteen 40' cars capacity for the sidings at the San Jacinto station. I'am in...
As you could see in the photos below, the staging yard is alive. I've still to permanently lay the track and turnouts, wire the whole but I wish to clean my shelve of old projects and built a small fleet for two consist before. This is my first task at present.. But the benchwork in the layout room, the lighting, the fascia or part of it, etc....are done and just wait for the tracks. We'll talked later in some other posts about all of this...
See ya'

Station plat from 1916 (copy from Hanson and Jennings book, The San Jacinto Valley Railway-All right reserved)

The present trackplan with the third staging track omitted. D, the San Jacinto Packing Co is not drawn, I still have to determine the size of the warehouse.
The staging yard is located just above my workbench.

The storage space of my workshop where part of my paints, tools, waiting projects are located.

Storage space everywhere! The projects queue is partially here (I've since made some progress till then...).

A LED strip give light to the staging tracks.

Jump the cat, the track lifter!