After my last post, I made the decision to eliminate the really heavy piece of benchwork/module that I had built, and this week, cut up into three pieces, that section has departed to the dump. The scenery “mud” on that project has great promise, as does the Flexxbed that I chose to use for roadbed. However, the super heave, 3/4” plywood frame and decking just made it unwieldy to move and store. Having decided that it’s skill-building and project c completion time, that piece no longer fit into my plans, and thus, it has met it’s end.
In it’s place, I have started constructing a new “photo diorama” to be able to learn some skills with. It’s only 3’ long this time, and though the Fram is built from left-over 3/4” plywood benchwork pieces, the decking will be a simple piece of 2” insulation foam. I have, at this point, glued and screwed the plywood together for the frame, so I’ve made progress there that I’m pleased with. To use this as a display and photography diorama, I plan to make some functional adjustments to the legs from what I now call the “Heavy Module” and reuse them. The plan is to adjust the end plates on the legs to allow for the diorama to be bolted in place, not just floating. I’ll then adjust the length of lateral supports, and I’ll have legs that will bring things up to a height of about 50” which is comfortable for me for viewing and photography.
It’s not all layout items that have made progress either. I was fortunate to be able to correspond with several railroad history and modeling experts regarding the USRA gondola that I have planned to finish soon. My initial thought was to letter that model as an El Paso & Southwestern car, but after corresponding about the likelihood of any of the EP&SW cars remaining in EP&SW paint by 1928, the general feeling was that the Southern Pacific would have repainted the cars after their 1924 acquisition of the EP&SW, and it is hotly unlikely that there would be a car in original lettering by August of 1928. To adjust to that, I’ve repainted the gondola from black into a better base for SP lettering, and I’m looking forward to getting that finished soon.
Additionally on the freight car front, I have started the finishing process for the ATSF Bx2 boxcar that I detailed late last year and early this year. That car will be first up for finishing, and I’ve set a personal goal of finishing it in August.
The general finishing order for projects ahead currently stands at:
ATSF Bx2 Boxcar
SP USRA Gondola
UTLX Tank Car 1
UTLX Tank Car 2
PRR FM Flatcar
YV Caboose 15
Once I finish the projects above, I’ll pick new models from my stash and start working there.
On the skill-building front, I’ve decided to learn to hand-lay track in Proto48. The photo diorama will be my first go there. I’ve hand-laid track in HO before, but the detail level in Proto48 will be different. Right now I’m hunting for a way to get the number of 3 hole tie-plates that I will need to prototypically lay YV track, and I’ll be looking to acquire the materials soon. I will likely use the tie plate project as a way to get started with 3D printing parts as I have seen some other Proto48 modelers do.
I’m looking forward now to sharing more progress in detail on specific projects I have going on as I move them forward.