Friday, October 7, 2016

Ops Session at Mike McNamara's Northeast Kingdom Model Railroad

At the end of last month, I had the opportunity to operate on Mike McNamara's Northeast Kingdom railroad. Mike models many New England roads that converge on St. Johnsbury, Vt. He's posted pics of his ops session here. His railroad will also be open in November as part of the Model Railroad Open House schedules for the Mid-Atlantic.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Family Layout Build

Feeling in the groove as my health improves, summer winds down, and honestly just taking the time to enjoy time with kids, I started with my oldest daughter building out the Model Railroader Family Layout series. I bought her an Emily train set a few years ago when the Worlds Greatest Hobby On Tour came to the Oaks, Pa., expo center in 2014. The family layout is a quick, easy way to get something down that's more than the standard oval. Here are some shots of the point to getting the track down:

Woodland Scenics grass mat with adhesive applied.

Foam with mat adhesive applied to it

Grass mat on top of foam with some weighting

Base that the foam/mat will sit in. A few 1x2s glued to a hardboard base.

Caulked down and weighted. It took overnight to adhere fully.

The track laid out and the mat scraped away where the caulk on the track will be applied and set.

Weigh down all the track!
Looks like as of this morning, the caulk finally took to the track and there's a good bond between it and the exposed mat. Now it's up to my daughter to design roads and select buildings to put on the layout and we'll go from there.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

East Riverton IT - Roadbed Down

This afternoon I started putting down the cork for the roadbed. Now, in the book, Lance just puts his directly on the foam subroadbed. Since I'm trying some things out, I figured I'd put the track up off a little bit from the subroadbed. I had intended to use the "Camper Tape" from the couple of articles in Model Railroaders and "How To Build Realistic Reliable Track". The issue was I wanted 1" wide roadbed and the kind I bought was 1 1/4". The adhesive was so sticky that I couldn't really cut it. So instead, I'll go with one layer of cork under all track and one layer up on the main, tapering down to the sidings. Anyways, here's my step by step on how I did it.

First, I printed the plan into 1:1 and taped the sheets together

Then I put it down on the layout.

I used push pins to keep the plan in place. I then used a little hobby knife to cut slits in the plan on each side of the push pin. I then lifted the plan off the layout, leaving only the push pins.

Then I connected each push pin with a ruler and straight edge. This gives me my centerline to lay the cork later.

For cork, I think N scale cork roadbed is too wide. I reached back into my browsing archives and pulled up an article done by a modeler taken too soon from us, and followed it to produce 12 strips of cork, plenty in this case.

Glue, pin, glue pin, cut, repeat, etc. led to the first layer down:

A couple of quick thoughts. First, since I had sheet cork, I should've just traced the turnouts and cut out the roadbed for them. I definitely will for the second layer. Second, creating my own actually went quicker then I thought. Finally, I need more push pins or I over did it with them, but can never be too safe, right?

After about 2-3 hours of letting the cork and wood glue dry, I put on the second layer, using full sheet to cut out turnout and then patching together about 4-6 inches for the siding transitions. I'll end up sanding them down probably tomorrow night. Completed cork roadbed:

Thursday, August 18, 2016

East Riverton IT - Ready for Track!

I got the fascia finished and backdrop painted. Amazing what you can do between conference calls and waiting for code pushes. Anyway, here is the pick of the shelf all ready for track markings and then roadbed and track!

East Riverton IT - Painting Ground and Fascia

I went to an operating session last night but when I came home, I went down to the basement (eventually) and decided to paint the layout a base color of Nutmeg brown. I use an acrylic craft paint from Walmart. It's a little dark but I think it'll be ok for the base color for the layout:

Then this morning since it's a work from home day, I taped off the top and painted the fascia a Black Onyx Grab-n-Go, semi-gloss, from Walmart. I think it looks good but we'll see if I need another coat in an hour or so:

Who knows, maybe tonight I paint on the sky and we're ready to lay track tomorrow night!


Welcome to the my Conrail Model Railroad site. I will document the research, design, construction and operations of my N-scale model railroad based on Conrail's Ft. Wayne Line in Ohio.

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