Thursday, December 29, 2011

12/29/20011 Finally, another update!

I know, it's been forever and a day since my last entry. Well the holidays are what they are and I've been busy. That's not to say I haven't been doing anything train-related. Far from it. In fact I seem to have developed an inexplicable passion for custom-painting/decaling rolling stock. The first car I did was this cheapie Lima/PMI caboose I picked up from eBay for a few bucks.


I stripped off the factory paint and painted the whole thing Floquil Caboose Red accept for the steps which I did in Testors Chromate. I added window inserts and fogged them with Dulcote to hide the empty interior and whipped up some Southern decals.

Friday, November 18, 2011

11/18/2011 Take a Train to Work Day

I took part in World's Greatest Hobby's Take a Model Train to Work Day. By bringing the small N Scale Layout depicting the John Galt Line from  Atlas Shrugged to the South Carolina Welcom Center where I work. I provided some information about model railroading and railroad-related attractions in the state.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

10/20/2011 Finished New Rail Models A-Fram Cabin Kit

This was my first laser-cut wood ever. And oh my god! These things are really hard to put together. The pieces are all tiny and very fragile and therefor tough to glue. When you do get the prices glued together, the whole thing feels flimsy enough it'll fall apart if you look at it wrong.  Also, getting the pieces out of the sprues is a bit of a challenge. I accidentally snapped more than a few of them. That said, the building looks very realistic, much more so then my plastic "wood" buildings.I guess I'll by using more wood buildings on my next layout.
In other news, I repainted the mobile home. My initial attempt ended up looking a like a kindergartener's finger painting. I repainted the roof Testors "Silver Metallic" for the roof, Testors "Flat Blue" for the walls, Floquil "Rail Brown" for the deck and Testor's "Light Yellow" for the awnings. Next I hit the thing with a coat of weather wash followed by Dullcote, brown chalks to simulate rust and then a filan coat of Dullcote. I also added a Gold Medal Models TV Antenna.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

10/12/11 Added Some Relay Sheds

I picked these up off eBay (Seller "Savonart"). They're made of solid cast resin and came pre-painted. All I did was hit them with some weather wash and Dulcote then stick them on the layout.

10/11/11 Added New Bridge Abutments and Started Detailing the New Industrial Area

Unlike the last set of Bridge Abutments I installed, these were a real challenge. The curvature of the lower loop left me very limited clearances and no room to work. Rather than fart around with building abutments from scratch I decided to buy these Chooch Enterprises stone abutments. Unfortunately the close clearence situation required a bit of kit bashing. I had to cut cut the end of one of the walls, which happen to be made out of cast resin. This made a mess. I then turned the cut-off piece 90 degrees and glued it back on with CA, which also made a mess. The final step in installation was to cut out the scenery and risers to allow the abutment to fit, which made a huge mess. For the other end of the bridge, I cut my losses and simply installed the abutment on a angle. Filed in the gaps with plaster cloth, repaired the scenery. These abutments are a definite improvement. Much more realistic.

I also bought some Woodland Scenics figure packs and some Classic Metal Works trucks for the welding supplier and farm supply company. I also painted the loading platform in the photo Floquil Rail Brown.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

10/8/11 Upgraded the Lighting System

I dug this track light out of storage and mounted it above the layout. I did this for several reasons. First it lights the layout more evenly. Second I can use my GE Reveal light bulbs exclusively for layout lighting. These bulbs mimic natural daylight and show colors more accurately than normal bulbs. However they also use a lot more power and give off more heat than CFLs. Now I can covert the other lamps in the room to low-power CFLs and use the reveals only when it's time to run trains. Third, this also giver me a nice, permanent light source for photos.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

10/4/11 This 'n That

Well it looks like a celebrated too soon re: lower line electrical problems. Another dead spot cropped up. What's more is that said dead spot is actually a portion the track that was causing problems earlier! I spent a good bit of time farting around with the multimeter, crimping rail joiners and getting nowhere fast. But then all of the sudden the trains started running again. I don't know what I did but I'm not asking any questions. I must say this seasonal game of electrical wack-a-mole is getting a bit tiresome.

Speaking of wiring, a few weeks ago I decided to reconfigure the power leads for layout's lighting. All the light bulbs on this layout are wired to one of three barrier strips. Said strips are then wired to the power supply. Well I origionally took the leads from each strip, braided them and hooked them up. I finally decided I wanted something that was easier to deal with and allowed me more precise control. That's where this nifty little Atlas "connector box" comes in.

This bad boy takes a single set of leads from the power supply and divides it into three and gives me an on/off switch for each barrier strip. This is very useful for tracking down short circuits.

I did have one fun project and that was adding this sign to the AHM warehouse in the upper level industrial area.
The TruGrit Sandpaper Company is open for business. Their slogan "Famously Rough; Surprisingly Smooth" is a play of the slogan used by the Columbia, SC Convention & Visitor Bureau's slogan "Famously Hot Surprisingly Cool."

Saturday, October 1, 2011

10/1/11 More Emergency Track Repairs

Every autumn it seems that the lower line develops rampant electrical issues with the coming cool weather. The cool weather causes the track to contract and intermittent dead spots develop. This year was no exception. The same section of track that gave me problems the last two years started acting up again. In past years I simply crimped the rail joiners. This year I opted for a more permanent solution. I installed a new set of feeder wires right in the middle of said dead spot. And that was the ticket, I can now creep my trains through without the slightest hiccup.

9/26/11The NJI Crossing Signals are wired up

Wow, just a ton of work getting these things wired up. Getting them to activate and flash reuires TWO different pc boards, both available from Circuitron. The first is the DT-3 Grade Crossing detector. This little widget uses two little photo cells to detect a train. This was about $30 at the local hobby shop. However the hobby shop was out of the FL-2 flasher board. But I got lucky and scored two of them of eBay $10! (seller train-signal) These things sell new for $27. So there you have it, with the the mile or so of wiring involved, you have a $70 grade crossing.

All that work and money kind of makes me nostalgic about those old Lionel pressure switches I used to use for this purpose:

9/21/11 More new crossing gates

After removing the toy-like Bachmann crossing gates from the lower level, I decided the ones up top had to go too. But I didn't feel like spending another $70 for NJ Int'ls and the requisite activators. So I dug through my box of unused layout stuff and found these Cornerstone crossing signals.

These things came unpainted so I started out by spraying them Testors metallic silver. Next I painted the light housings black and added red for the lights. The gates I used Testors red and white. I applied white to the entire length of the gate then put on the masking tape. I then painted on another coat of white and let it dry completely to seal the masking before applying the red. I used grey for the counter weights.

For the crossbucks, I simply clipped the ones off the Bachmanns, filed them down and glued them on.

After the paint was done I applied a coat of weather wash followed up by Testors Dull Cote. So there you have it, a pair of crossing signals that literally took all day to paint and install. Was it worth it? Hell yeah! they look fantastic.

Friday, September 30, 2011

9/21/11 Finishsed Cornerstone's Jims Repair Shop kit

Walthers has discontinued this kit (as previously reported) but I was able to score one of eBay (seller my-esales). This kit is basially four walls and a roof. As such it goes together in about 30 seconds. The stock colors were pleasing to the eye but the finish was to plasticy looking for my taste. So I painted the steps Testors "Flat Light Aircraft Grey," the roof black and the walls Floquil "Depot Buff." Next I hit the building with a coat of weather wash, applied the decals and Dullcote. Since this building has light-colored walls, I painted the inside black to prevent the building from glowing.

9/19/11 Added new crossing signals

I decided I was getting tired of my toylike Bachmann crossing signals and I wanted more animation on the layout. So I added these NJ International crossing flashers. I haven't wired them up yet because I haven't yet received the required electrical do dad to make them flash. I have to say, they look much more realistic than their predecessors.

9/16/11 Added some neon lights

I went down to the local hobby shop in search of "something cool" to add to my  layout and found this Light Works USA neon sign. Since the layout needed a reputable supplier of welding supplies, I snapped it up. This thing looks awesome and adds some cool animation to the layout. On the down side I did have to stuff a battery pack, PC Board and a bit of ribbon cable into the building but it was well worth it.

9/15/11Finished Model Power's Railroad Hotel kit

I decided that my Model Power "Oscar Mayer" building really didn't fit in with the rest of my buildings. I was too big and tall to be in a small town so I sought out s suitable replacement. I found MP's "Railroad Hotel" kit. Out of the box this thing is pretty lame so I decided to fix it up a bit. First thing I did was slather grey tempera paint all over the walls and then wipe most of it off. This filled in the mortar lines between the bricks. Next I painted the wooden walkway and supports Floquil "Rail Brown" and the windows and doors Floquil "Southern Freight Car Brown." When that was finished I applied a coat of weather wash to add a layer of dirt and grime to the building's exterior. After that I attached a Gold Medal Model's TV Antenna to the roof. For the roof, I glued some Woodland Scenics buff colored ballast to it to simulate a gravel roof. I finished up by spraying the whole thing with Testors Dulcote

The Oscar Mayer building was so wide that I could easily fit a second smaller building. I was hoping for a Cornerstone Jim's Repair Shop but according to Walthers, it's been discontinued.

9/13/11 Started Painting the Rails

I finally girded my loins and stared painting the rails. I always dreaded this but you know what? It's not all that difficult, just tedious. The trick is to completely cover the rail and the clean the top with a paper towel. For paint I used Floqil "Rail Brown." The color is a spot-on match! If I'd know it would have been this easy I'd have done way back in 2009 when there was no ballast or scenery in the way.

As you can see I also weathered the track by brushing on a coat of really dark weather wash down the center of the two rails.

8/5/11 New Home

Well My girlfriend and I moved into a two-bedroom apartment. The second bedroom is now the train room. I have room for the layout, a small sofa and an honest-to-gosh work bench! This is living!

7/14/11 Blazing a new trail

Since hiking is another one of my hobbies, I decided to add a trail to the layout. I scrapped away the turf with flat blade screw driver and them sprinkled on some sifted dirt. I sprayed it down with scenic cement and called it done.

6/17/11 More Trees for Mt. Madness

When I first put trees on the mountain, I stuck to Woodland Scenics pine trees. Then it dawned on me that in South Carolina, even the tallest mountains have deciduous trees all the way to the top. So I bought a WS tree kit and went to work.

Now assembling these trees isn't easy. In fact it's kind of a big pain in the ass. It involves taking flat plastic armatures and bending them into something that more or less looks like a tree. The you slather on the glue and dip it in a bag of "clump foliage (ground-up nerf in varying shades of green)." Yes it's a long, tedious, messy slog. To save myself some effort and enhance realism I added a few armatures sans foliage to simulate dead trees.

Complaints aside, I think Mount Madness turned out pretty good. It looks more like South Carolina and less like Oregon.

6/17/11 Built Some Bridge Abutments

I've been revamping a few areas on my N Scale layout lately and one of my projects was redoing a pair of bridge abutments. When I was first doing the scenery I simply painted the end of the foam riser gray and called it done. I finally got tired of my half-assed effort and built these wooden ones out of some craft sticks and stripwood purchased from Michael's.

I glued everything together with Tightbond wood glue and stained it with Minwax "Special Walnut," which to me looks like creosote oil, the wood preservative used by railroads. I love how the stain really brings out the grain of the wood.

4/8/11 Custom Painted a Model Power Signal Bridge

Here's a Model Power signal bridge I custom painted. As delivered [link] the bridge was metallic silver from stem to stern. Now I don;t know what planet the good people at Model Power inhabit but down here in South Carolina most of the surviving signal bridges of this design are painted black with concrete bases.

To start off, I painted the bases Testor's "Flat Light Aircraft Gray," which makes a nice concrete color. The I painted the rest of the structure black and then weather washed the bases. I finished off with a coat of Testors Dullcote.

4/8/11 Added a new backdrop

I decided I was getting tired of my old layout backdrop (Some cardboard painted sky blue) and headed over to Micheal's to see if they didn't have something better. And boy did they ever! They had sky blue bulletin board paper with clouds printed on it. Well fait accompli! I snapped it up in heartbeat.

When I got some home I grabbed some black, green and brown tempera paints and mixed up to distinct earthy-green colors. I used these to paint several "layers" of distant mountains on the cloud paper.

I have to say I was doubting my ability to pull this off, but I really like the result. It really adds a sense of depth to the layout.

12/7/10 Aaarrgg!

Isn't it funny how little problems can snowball into catastrophes? Oh wait a minute, "funny" isn't the word I'm looking for I meant to say "infuriating." Case and point, I decided to run some trains whilst waiting for some laundry to dry and I noticed my Bachamnn 2-8-0 would stop dead at the same spot each and every lap, requiring a push forward for a few inches and then off it would go.

First I thought it was the engine. The 2-8-0 is probably the fussiest engine I own so I substituted an ultra-reliable Atlas GP40, hit the power and... nothing. Well WTF? Turns out a rail just plain got tired of conducting electricity. "No biggie," I thought. "I'll just crimp the rail joiner." So grabbed my needle nose pliers and had at it. I crimped that sucker on there good and... nothing. The section was still dead as Dillinger.

I now realized the only other options were either replace the joiner or solder the joint. Given the location of the joint all the scenery around it. I decided with the latter option and fired up my soldering gun. Bad idea. I managed to melt the plastic ties causing the rails to pop off and out of gauge. With the track ruined I now had to tear up and replace it. And as the late Billy Mays would say "But wait! There's more!"

The damaged track consisted of a pair of 19" radius curves, one of which ended in a plaster grade crossing. Not wanting to wreck said crossing I grabbed the Dremel and cut the offending section in two, tore out the bad track, custom fit a new piece and finally re-installed track. I still have to re-ballast though. Okay, maybe this was a bigger rant than it had to be but good lord all that for one lousy rail joiner. Kato Unitrack is starting to look better and better every day.

12/6/10 Track Work

I finally aquired one of those long steamers (A spectrum 2-8-0) that are recommended for finding all the trouble spots in your track work and boy did it do its job in a hurry! This thing would consistantly hop the rails on the same spot on the lower loop. When I first built it, I was kind of lazy and forced sectional track into places it didn't really want to go and ended up with a nasty kink. Said kink really limited what could be run down there. Well I finally decided I'd livid with it long enough and tore it out. Pictured is the piece of flex track I should have used the first time. Now I can run literally anything down there.

9/5/10 Finished the Extension

I accidentally lost the original photo so just ignore all that stuff you don't know about yet. I added the Valley Grower's Association, Stateline Farm Supply and Paragon heating to the layout. The ag buildings sit on a gravel parking lot and are served by a siding. Given the seasonal nature of grain elevators, I thought it would be a good idea to expand the scope of the business to include farm implements to allow for year-round use of the siding.

8/29/10 Finished Cornerstone's Valley Grower's Association Kit

This kit was blessedly simple to assemble. Basically each building is four walls and roof. I sprayed the two loading ramps on the elevator flat, light aircraft gray and everything else silver. I did run into an issue with the two decals on the elevator walls and damaged them a bit but from a great distance you really can't tell. For weathering, I coated all the buildings with light weatherwash and followed that up with chalks and dull coat.

8/28/10 De-grungeafied Stateline Farm Supply

As previously mentioned, I put way too dark a coat of weather wash on this building, leaving it almost black. So I got out my 600-grit automotive sandpaper and had at it. This took of most of the crud. The I wiped it down with 91% rubbing alcohol to finishes the job. I sprayed on a coat of Dull Coat and called it done. The building looks much better now. It's cleaner but still looks like it's seen better days.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

8/19/10 Finished Cornerstone's Stateline Farm Supply

Well okay I didn't really "finish" this building as I ran out of Dullcote and neglected to pick up another can. This kit started off easy enough, I glued the four walls to the base and the cooperated by staying in place. But that's where the easy part ended. The front facade has all these practically microscopic little toppers to be glued on. Of course I managed to get tons of glue shmootz all over the place. Next I sprayed the building with a coat of Testors' "Flat light aircraft gray," which makes for a nice concrete color. Unfortunately some of the paint bubbled up. I wet sanded the bubbled paint and applied two coats of thick weather wash. That turned out to be overkill as the building now looks almost black. I may wet sand it some more to clean it up a bit.

8/16/10 Finished Cornerstones Paragon Heating

I finished my first building, Cornerstone's Paragon Heating. I've been wanting to use this one on a layout since PR&Y. All I can say is wow, what a pain in the ass this thing was to assemble! This is one of Cornerstone's "Modular" kits that can be built a variety of ways. Both side walls required 22, yes 22 individual pieces and that's not counting the windows! It took me several days to get the walls assembled and painted. Off course all those pieces left ample chances to get glue all over everything and I sure took advantage of every one of them. Assembly difficulty aside, there's just no covering up the modular nature of the structure. You have all these odd seems that one wouldn't find on a real building.

Painting helped hide some of the glue shmootz but for the rest of it, it was bring on the weathering. I started by lightly sanding the paint with 600 grit automotive sandpaper, followed by two layers of really heavy weather wash and the chalks and Dulcote. This is supposed to be Appalachia so I think the extra grunginess works. At any rate the next building is going to require a lot less sweat.

5/17/10 Done!...Or so I thought anyway

Well that’s it! I took care of the last minor detail, getting the buildings and vehicles glued down. It’s been nearly a year since I started.

 Some Final Thoughts:
I can safely say this layout turned out far better than I’d ever hoped. Part of that is because I went the extra mile in the planning stages as opposed to making it up as I went along. I’m also glad I went out of the way to try new things such as chalk weathering, Realistic Water & Water Effects, WS Road System, casting rock formations and staining them. I’m also glad I spent the extra money on details, yes they cost a lot but they really enhanced the look of the layout.

Unlike PR&Y, which I was never really happy with, I don’t really have a whole laundry list of objections. In fact I think I pretty much nailed most of the items on my wish list. I can run three trains at a time, I have dramatic scenery with mountains and bridges and tunnels and waterfalls, a theme built upon industry and railroading and two mains-over-mains crossings. In fact this is the first time I've ever ended up with a layout I feel truly satisfied with and I may end up holding onto it for a while.
Regrets? Yeah, I have a few.

For starters, I was stupid to think only one set of feeder wires per main line would cut it. I ended up having to retrofit them after the fact, which is a huge pain in the ass. And while we’re on the subject of wiring, I really regret isolating the industrial sidings. This created a lot of extra work. And for what? I have yet to attempt any sort of switching maneuver. My idea of operating consists of letting the trains run around and around and around. The only thing I ever use the sidings for is to park a stray freight car or two. Next layout, I won’t bother with the extra wiring.

Also, I used foam-core board for my layout base despite the issues I had on PR&Y. It’s cheap and readily available at Hobby Lobby. And that’s about all it has going for it. It has the tensile strength of a graham cracker and warps at the very thought of painting it. True, the issues I had were very minor on the layout compared with PR&Y but after this layout, I swear off foam-core board forever.
And of course there's my ballast issues too.

Anyway I wrote the above a little over a year ago, think I was done. Boy was I ever wrong! I originally thought I would sell this layout and build a new one. But I kept finding new projects for this one. So yeah, far from done. The next thing I did was expand the lower level and add more industries.

4/17/10 Our great national nightmare is over, the industrial sidings are well and truly wired:

Boy am I ever glad to have this particular millstone removed from around my neck. Let me tell you about wiring in general. I don’t much care for it, in fact I kind of hate it. It’s tedious, boring and more often than not requires working in an uncomfortable position. The correct way to do this project would have been to install terminal joiners on the insulated rails for each siding. Unfortunately I didn’t do that. The two dead ends over by Red Wing Milling and Coverall paints were actauly pretty painless. All I did was solder a length of wire to a spare rail joiner and slide it onto the end of the insulated rail. The lower level siding by coverall literally took two seconds. The upper level was more of a challenge, requiring me to thread wires through two layers of foam board. To accomplish this, I punched a hole through each layer with a screwdriver. Then I took a longer and narrower screwdriver and taped the end of the wire to the tip of its blade. This allowed me to thread the wires rather easily.

I wired up both dead ends first and definitely saved the worst for last. The upper level passing siding required me to soldier a wire in situ. If it sounds like a total pain in the ass, that’s because it is! It was painful, but I got it done then wired all three siding to their respective toggle switches and ran screaming for the hills with my sanity barely intact.

 4/12/10 A new building and more details

 I decided that if the lower level industrial area was going to have a water tower then so should the upper. As luck would have it I came across one of those old Model Power ones with the blinky red light on top. I removed the base, weathered it and stuck on a decal from the Red Wing set to make it look like part of the flower mill.
I also installed my last Gold Medal Models kit, a fire escape for my DPM Corner Apothecary. As with all projects requiring CA, this one turned out to be another total pain in the ass but the results were well worth it.
Remember eight months ago when I though I had my ballast problem licked? Well it turns out I was wrong. I went to clean the track and discovered that none of the upper level ballast along the back of the layout was affixed. Now at the point of complete exasperation with this problem, I coughed up the money for some WS Scenic Cement, the stuff WS actually tells you to use on the stuff and it actually worked. Wow! But that's it for me and WS ballast; I'm never using it again. Not only was it a total pain to work with, it also just doesn't look too realistic. In fact it kind of looks like Bachmann EZ Track. It's too late to change now but next layout, I will most definitely find something more realistic.

3/14/10 installed a Security fence around Red Wing Milling

I ordered this etched brass chain-link fence kit from Gold Medal Models. It took two sets to enclose Red Wing milling. As supplied, the fence, the fence has little feet on each post. GMM also supplies a drilling jig to allow you too drill holes for said feet. I took one look at that and said “no way.” I bent each foot 90 degree, coated it with FTG and stuck the fence to the layout and called it done. It really enhances the scene.
While I was at it I also added some TV antennas from GMM to some of the town buildings.

2/28/10 Finished detailing the Depot

Bingo! My town has a name o! The town is now known as River Falls. I got the name of an adopt-a-highway sign I saw during the course of my daily driving. Now for what I actually did: First I thought the station platform was too wide. So I scored and snapped it in half. Next I added the water column from the corner stone kit. I weathered the building lightly as well. I think it looks quite a bit better. As you can see I picked up another coal burner for my fleet, a Model Power 4-4-0. I have to say the quality top-notch. Not what I’d expect from MP, that’s for sure. I also painted up some old-timey coaches for it to pull.

2/5/10 New structures and more detailing

With an impending snow storm threatening to keep me inside for a while, I ran down to the local hobby shop and bought a few things to keep me busy.

First up, it was Cornerstone’s “Shady Junction Structures. In this package you get a crossing shanty, a water tower and water column and a small shed. I decided to leave them in their stock colors and weather them heavily. First I slathered on the weather wash, followed by dullcote, then chalks and then one last sealer coat of dullcote. 

 I put the crossing shanty over by Red Wing Milling in the upper level industrial area. A small yard area like this would probably have some small structure for a switchman to reside in. I had to trim the base a bit in order for the thing to fit properly. First I tried the old “score and snap” trick with an exacto knife. My penitence for this method quickly waned so I grabbed my dremmel and had at it. I glued the building down with FTG and called it done.

I put the water tower and column down in the lower level industrial area since the lower loop in the only one of the three that my lone steam engine will run on. The shed also went on the lower level.
That’s about it for the shady junction structures but to quote Billy Mayes, “I’m not done yet.”
 I also picked up the Cornerstone Modular “Storage Tanks” kit. What you get is a set of six storage tanks that you can use to compliment your industrial buildings. I painted mine with Testors white and weathered them heavily. I put a few at each industry.

 I put one fence around the empty space over by red wing milling, which makes the town look a lot more credible. I covered the concrete with left-over ballast. Unfortunately Hobby Lobby didn’t have any details in N Scale so I decided to peak over the fence and see what HO had to offer. What I got was a pair of LP Gas tanks that add to the look of the scene. The streetlight in the photo is from Model Power, it’s one of three I put in. I put the other fence around the back yard behind the Oscar Meyer building to give the people barbequing some privacy. You can almost here “Them from a Summer Place” playing in the background.

1/6/10 replaced some ugly switch machines and added more detailing

 After seven months of looking at those butt-ugly Atlas switch machines I decided to replace a few of them with Caboose Industries ground throws. These look a lot more prototypical than the stock machines but they are grossly out of scale. Also I could only use them on the switches on the front of the layout where they wouldn’t be located between the tracks. Anyway the three switches on the back of the layout are largely out of view so I’m not going to sweat it too much.

                                                                      Ah Wilderness:
While I was at it, I added this Woodland Scenics figure pack. It looks like these folks have camped themselves out right above one of my tunnels

12/31/09 New Power At Long Last

With some extra Christmas money at my disposal, I decided to pick up a new engine. The local hobby shop actually had an Atlas H16-44 on hand so I picked it. Lo and behold, it had the same problem as the last one. Well that’s too big of a coincidence to be a coincidence. So I returned it and got this GE U23B instead. I know it’s an odd choice given the era this layout seems to be headed toward (1940-1960) but I already have on CSX engine on hand so I guess it’s not too out of place. This one runs like a charm too.

12/23/09 Added a New Building and Reconfigured the Town

I decided I didn't really like the way the town looked with the one street pretty much empty. I needed a long, narrow building and DPM's Corner Apothecary fit the bill perfectly. However it need some modification to fit the area. Namely I had to shorten it. That required slicing a quarter of an inch off one end with my Dremel. Not the most fun in the world but survivable. The same could be said of assembly. However, I think the only way the instructions could be more useless is to print them in Wingdings. and I've already complained about how hard painting these things is so I'll spare you that rant.

At any rate I think the town looks a bit more complete now.