Modeling – The Present – Version 5, The Casper Layout
This page shows current construction on the layout. The most recent entry is at the top, and they get older as you scroll down. Every now and then, when the page gets too long, I'll move everything into the appropriate link just below. Enjoy!
22 March 2023
On 13 March I posted a short video:
Meanwhile, over on the Powder River stock pens on the 19th - After looking over the newly applied ground cover, it seemed obvious that the ground was just too rough to be able to install the pens, so I took a bit of a left turn. I picked up a sheet of foam core board and cut it to fit the stock pen area. I'll attach the pens to the foam core, then cut out the ground where this board will sit and install the entire thing as a unit. Using the foam core will solidify the entire set of stock pens, which otherwise would be a very fragile collection of sticks.
10 March 2023
On 3 March I posted the usual layout update video. This is number 40.
Yesterday I had an operating session. It went very well. A new guy, Kevin, came up from Harriman Wyoming, a small town west of Cheyenne, to see the layout and join the session. He and everyone else reported they had a good time. I was busy enough that I didn't have time to take any pictures.
Next session is planned for late June.
23 February 2023
With that I was off and running! A few days later I printed out a very decent tie strip for a #6 right hand Fast Tracks turnout. I printed three of these in quick succession. They're white because that's the only resin of that type I had on hand. They'll be painted along with the rest of the track, but future tie strips will be made from black resin.
Being able to print out tie strips, which cost all of about 20 cents for the resin vs. nearly $9 for the wood tie strips from Fast Tracks, will pay for the printer over time.
Walt flew home on the 19th. We had a great visit, and his help sure made building and installing all that benchwork easier!
Since new benchwork was going in, I continued working on the Lander benchwork, which is located just above Greybull. By the 22nd I had the first two sections installed. The 1X2 wood supporting the front edges is temporary. Threaded rods will hang down from the ceiling to provide support like in Riverton.
5 February 2023
That afternoon I started weathering the exterior of the hoppers. I start with a very light wash of black, which is Model Masters flat black thinned with a lot of alcohol.
What I didn't know was that alcohol reacts to flat clear coats, turning them white! To a greater or lesser extent, this is what most of the cars looked like.
On the 3rd I posted my latest Layout Update video:
On the 4th I was back to weathering the hoppers. On the second side I switched to using Vallejo black thinned with distilled water, and it didn't attack the flat finish on the decals. Then I began adding some rust along ribs, grab irons and such. Here's what that looked like on the sides where I applied the alcohol wash:
Today I began applying the chalks as the final step in weathering. Fortunately the chalks help subdue the edges of the decals, and the first two don't look too bad:
This is the same car I showed with the terrible whitening of the decal above. There still some whitening around the decal, but it looks more like natural effects of weather than anything else.
29 January 2023
22 January 2023
I also posted my latest video update on the 3rd:
On the 5th I had major surgery, so I was pretty much away from the trains for several days. By the 11th I was well into recovery, so I was able to resume simple work on the layout. On the 10th and 11th I installed ground throws on the mainline switches in Basin - one each day. Twenty minutes of work was about all I could manage.
I figured I could set at the workbench without too many issues, so on the 12th I renumbered an Accurail hopper. This was kinda midway through the process, and the decal sticks out like a sore thumb. It got better, but I stopped working on this because the Accurail renumber decals were braking up. I ordered some liquid decal film to coat the decals to stop the breaking up. It arrived yesterday.