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Version 5 of The CB&Q in Wyoming

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Posted by hon30critter on Sunday, January 3, 2021 4:37 PM

Hi Mark,

Well I can certainly say that I had a more enjoyable Christmas Eve than you did! I'm glad that you were able to recover the round house, and your wits!

I have always used Tamiya's Extra Thin Cement and I have never had it fail. In fact, separating a joint once the glue has dried is nearly impossible. I find that it goes a long way so the cost is not an issue.

Cheers!!

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

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Posted by Pruitt on Sunday, January 3, 2021 3:14 PM

Thanks, Rich.

I just posted my latest video update:

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Posted by richhotrain on Saturday, January 2, 2021 4:59 PM

It looks good, Mark.  Yes

Rich

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Posted by NorthBrit on Saturday, January 2, 2021 5:33 AM

A good job done, Mark.  Well done.

I hope there was nothing in the oven whilst you were cooking?   Chef  Laugh

 

David

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Posted by Pruitt on Friday, January 1, 2021 11:32 PM

1 January 2021

And now, the first update of the year.

I haven't taken any recent photos of it, but the roundhouse reassembly is proceeding pretty well. It's almost done - should be finished in a couple days. Selector, you're prescient!

A few days ago I finally got the ballast I'd been waiting for from Arizona Rock and Mineral. "Pink Lady," it's called, and it's apparently what the Chicago & NorthWestern used all over their system.

 

So a couple days ago I went out into the back yard to dig up some dirt to mix with the ballast for my barely-maintained Lander branch. I didn't want it to look like a Class I mainline!

I cooked the dirt in the oven for awhile to dry it and kill any seeds and bug eggs, and when it came out it looked like this.

Come to think of it, that's pretty much how it looked going in, too.

After it cooled, I took it down to the train room, where I ran it through a couple of different sized sifters. After that was done, I had two different sizes of dirt, what I call "fine," on the right (just a bit smaller than the ballast), and "dust."

I mixed the ballast with some of the fine dirt, and a bit more of the dust. Now, it was time to ballast. Oh boy! I haven't attempted to ballast track for years - almost since high school in about 1972!

But yesterday evening I jumped in with both feet (what did you do with your New Year's Eve?). After a bit of time passed, I had the ballast laid down for about three feet of track. It looked like this.

I was rather pleased - that almost exactly how I wanted it to look! The only thing left to do was glue it down.

I used the more-or-less standard approach of wetting the ballast with alcohol (70%, since I had that at hand), the applying diluted white glue as the fixative. I wasn't at all sure I hadn't just created a godawful mess - now it looked like this.

I've watched videos on ballasting on MRVP and on YouTube, so I held my despair in check for the evening and headed back up where the normal people hang out.

This morning I went back downstairs to see how bad it looked, and I was greeted with this.

I was both relieved and very happy! That seemed to work out just fine! The ballast with the glue is still a bit damp, which I think is why it's darker than the stuff I haven't glued down yet. It will probably lighten up as it fully dries. But even if it doesn't, it's still okay.

So that was my first foray into ballasting in close to 50 years. Now it's back to the roundhouse, I guess.

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Posted by Pruitt on Friday, January 1, 2021 11:10 PM

richhotrain
In my case, it is relaying sections of track that I have already laid and thought to be bullet proof, only to find out that I was wrong. But, I gotta do it.

Rich.

Many years ago (mid-1980's), I ran diesels. They seldom derailed - I thought my trakwork was pretty good, with it's 24" radius curves. Then I got my first brass loco. 

I'd dreamed of owning one for years, and finally I did. It was a PFM Great Northern H-6 Pacific. I've still got it. It's beautiful!

It derailed on curves all over that layout! The minimum radius was 24 inches, and they really meant it! I thought my curves were pretty smooth, and my mostly-Athearn fleet handled them fine. But many curves apparently had tight spots where the radius dipped just a bit below 24". The Pacific happily jumped off the rails at each one.

I spent many hours re-laying those curves. When I was done the Pacific stuck to the rails as well as the diesels, but I learned a lesson about quality of trackwork that has stuck with me through all those years - close isn't good enough! It has to be right, or somehow, someday, some tiny little variation will bite you in the backside.

So I feel for what you're going through now, Rich. And I understand what Crandell went through in the past as well. But in the end, the work it takes to fix the problems will be well worth it.

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Posted by richhotrain on Monday, December 28, 2020 5:57 PM

deleted

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Posted by richhotrain on Monday, December 28, 2020 4:26 PM

selector

I did precisely that, Rich.  On my most-imaged layout from back in 2006-2012, I had one section that wouldn't work for a new BLI Hybrid TTT-6 UP 2-10-2. All other locomotives were good on it, but not this one new locomotive.  I was careful to eliminate the locomotive, perhaps the obvious choice for the real problem, so that left the tracks.  I kept lifting the outer rail on a curve until the locomotive ran through it without derailing.  By then, the ballast was a mess.  So, I took up the rail after softening and scraping away the ballast, rejigged the roadbed at the bad spot to keep the outer rail at the correct height, and then reballasted.  No more problems, thankfully the other locomotives didn't start acting up due to the changes. 

My sentiments exactly, Crandell. And, as you say, thankfully the other locomotives didn't start acting up due to the changes. Amen to that!

Rich

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Posted by selector on Monday, December 28, 2020 12:52 PM

I did precisely that, Rich.  On my most-imaged layout from back in 2006-2012, I had one section that wouldn't work for a new BLI Hybrid TTT-6 UP 2-10-2. All other locomotives were good on it, but not this one new locomotive.  I was careful to eliminate the locomotive, perhaps the obvious choice for the real problem, so that left the tracks.  I kept lifting the outer rail on a curve until the locomotive ran through it without derailing.  By then, the ballast was a mess.  So, I took up the rail after softening and scraping away the ballast, rejigged the roadbed at the bad spot to keep the outer rail at the correct height, and then reballasted.  No more problems, thankfully the other locomotives didn't start acting up due to the changes.

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Posted by richhotrain on Monday, December 28, 2020 1:12 AM

It's funny how we resist re-doing what we have already done, but we have to do it. 

In my case, it is relaying sections of track that I have already laid and thought to be bullet proof, only to find out that I was wrong. But, I gotta do it.

Rich.

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Posted by selector on Monday, December 28, 2020 12:31 AM

I know it was a complete shock, but by the 5th of next month it will all be a bad memory. I'm happy you are resilient, Mark.  Anybody who could walk away from that fantastic helix and go in a new direction has my admiration. Cool

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Posted by richhotrain on Sunday, December 27, 2020 10:26 PM

Well, that is certainly good news, Mark. Good luck in reassembling the roundhouse.

Rich

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Posted by Pruitt on Sunday, December 27, 2020 8:04 PM

27 December 2020

Everyone, thanks for the encouragement and empathy. It helped.

Mel, thanks for the compliments! My turntable is the older (pre-DCC-programmable) Walthers 90-footer, and the roundhouse is their matching three-stall kit with add-on stalls (actually two three-stall kits plus add-ons. I could build a whole 'nuther one-stall roundhouse with the parts I have left over).

Reconstruction has begun, and it's actually going better (and easier) than I thought it would. Current state:

One thing I discovered as I examined the parts is that the liquid glue I used to put the structure together only grabbed in one or two spots along the length of the seams between parts (those seams were not painted), where they actually touched firmly. Everywhere else the parts weren't close enough for the glue to soften the plastic and bond them together. That's why the structure was so weak, but at the same time is why it all just came apart without destroying the parts themselves.

This time I'm using Testors gooey cement to reassemble the structural pieces. No more easy "disassembly" for this structure!

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Posted by selector on Saturday, December 26, 2020 1:27 AM

Mark, my first three layouts were all operational, if not complete, within six months.  The one I'm currently building is now 5+ years, and I still don't have a yard or a single structure placed.  This build is just a different fish, in a new home, new, more interesting, garden, and I don't seem to have that overwhelming urge to complete the layout any more.  I do two months, then six go by.

I think I understand your pent-up desire to get this beast whipped and purring with running trains.  You have had a huge setback in having to move.  I think it would have taken the mojo out of me for quite a while, and it really is why I have taken over five years on this one; we moved. 

Now, you have what seems like a catastrophe, but really...it's not.  You have stubbed your toe, and you're making the paint peal as you hop around in a loud voice.  Who hasn't had something unexpected make us take three steps back?  But as you admit, and now understand, your structure was a wreck...a pretty wreck, but it was a wreck all along.  You're gonna rebuild it, and you'll never have to face this again. Stick out tongue

You're doing really well, maybe a bit stretched thin after so many days hard at it.  You're going to put a nice kit together for a break, and you can still do other stuff for the diversion if offers.  It's all good, Mark.

Deep breaths.  Better glue.  More determination.  And wiser now. Headphones

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Posted by "JaBear" on Friday, December 25, 2020 10:33 PM

DARN!!!
seems a rather inadequate response!!!

"One difference between pessimists and optimists is that while pessimists are more often right, optimists have far more fun."

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Posted by richhotrain on Friday, December 25, 2020 8:01 PM

Pruitt

Rich again, I haven't felt like dumping everything into the trash for a long time. With this kind of setback, I'm really questioning if I will get to where I have an operational layout with at least some scenery complete. 

Yep, I often ask myself the same question. I have been working on the construction of my new layout and track testing for almost 3 years now. I start to wonder if I will ever get to the point of operating it instead of dealing with problems. I think that a big part of my frustration is due to the sheer size of the layout and the number of locomotives and rolling stock that require testing and maintenance.

Rich

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Posted by richhotrain on Friday, December 25, 2020 7:54 PM

Pruitt

Rich, I do plan on using the roundhouse extensively, but not all stalls will be filled because several steamers will be out on the road at any given time, most notably in staging with trains ready to enter the layout during an operating session. In fact, counting switchers, I already have more steamers than my roundhouse will hold.

Part of my operating sessions will include "hostling" the locomotives, moving just-arrived losos through the service track and into the roundhouse, while at the same time assigning a fresh loco to the train if it's a through job, or assigning locos to originating trains.  ALL trains will switch out motive power in Casper (that's all assuming I have enough operators to do that).

Thanks, Mark, for posting that info on how you plan to operate the turntable and rounhouse.

Rich

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Posted by RR_Mel on Friday, December 25, 2020 7:44 PM

Mark

Since my early teens I have always wanted a turntable and roundhouse on my layouts.  I model HO, my first and second layouts were 4’ x 8’ and both had a small turntable and roundhouse (John Allen’s G&D).

My current and last layout (still small) has a CMR 135’ turntable and a Korber kitbashed roundhouse to accommodate my Cab Forwards.  Your Roundhouse and turntable look like the same as mine.  I’m very glad to hear your going to keep it, the night pictures of it with the lights on are fabulous!!!!

You are very talented and it would be a shame to scrap such a beautiful structure.

I have a short fuse too and know where you’re coming from.  I want to see more pictures of your rebuilt roundhouse.

This is my five stall Korber and 135’ CMR on my 10’ x 14’ layout.


 
 

Mel



 
My Model Railroad   
http://melvineperry.blogspot.com/
 
Bakersfield, California
 
I'm beginning to realize that aging is not for wimps.

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Posted by Pruitt on Friday, December 25, 2020 5:52 PM

Rich, I do plan on using the roundhouse extensively, but not all stalls will be filled because several steamers will be out on the road at any given time, most notably in staging with trains ready to enter the layout during an operating session. In fact, counting switchers, I already have more steamers than my roundhouse will hold.

Part of my operating sessions will include "hostling" the locomotives, moving just-arrived losos through the service track and into the roundhouse, while at the same time assigning a fresh loco to the train if it's a through job, or assigning locos to originating trains.  ALL trains will switch out motive power in Casper (that's all assuming I have enough operators to do that).

If your roundhouse and turntable won't get much use, it may be better to eliminate the facility (as you know, they're very space consuming). Steam facilities are very impressive, but so is a large-scale model of the Titanic. If I were you I'd probably use the space for something else.

David, I have learned my lesson. Maybe Bondene does work fine through some specific paint chemistries, but clearly not all.

Rich again, I haven't felt like dumping everything into the trash for a long time. With this kind of setback, I'm really questioning if I will get to where I have an operational layout with at least some scenery complete.

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Posted by richhotrain on Friday, December 25, 2020 5:15 PM

Pruitt

Well, I finished the windows last evening, and as I stepped down off a step stool, I lightly bumped the table. Several windows fell out again! In frustration, I banged the table with my fist, pretty hard. A whole bunch of windows fell back out, and a few other glue joints in the structure sprang apart as well! Now I was pissed, and unfortunately I had a roof section in my hand. I threw it down on the roundhouse, and what you see in the pictures is the result.

The entire roundhouse was about as robust as an eggshell! It didn't take much force (that roof is not very heavy) to break the glue bonds!

Most of the roundhouse just came apart! Turns out, despite what the "experts" say, that Bondene does not glue through paint, unless you consider a light tack to be "glued."

Granted, I should not have gotten angry, but it's just as well, because the roundhouse would have slowly fallen apart over time anyway.

I briefly considered just dumping every bit of model railroading materials, track, locos, cars and all of it, into the trash. This was a major blow.

Geez, I just re-read this post, Mark. I had not read through the entire post the first time around, since I was concentrating on asking you a question about the roundhouse.

OMG, who among us has not experienced a layout calamity and wanted to do the same thing that you thought about, that is, just dumping every bit of model railroading materials, track, locos, cars and all of it, into the trash? Take heart, better days are ahead.

Rich

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Posted by richhotrain on Friday, December 25, 2020 3:00 PM

NorthBrit

Rich.   It appears you are not happy with having a roundhouse and turntable.  If that is the case then keeping it will be a 'thorn in your side'.   Changing the freight yard to visible staging area seems a good idea.  Go for it!

I was in a similar position on my layout and 'struggled long enough'.  Now having altered things I am much happier with the layout.

David, thanks for your supportive words. I do like my turntable and roundhouse a lot. They look great at the far end of the layout, but they can be an annoyance when operating the layout. It just seems so mechanical and time consuming to bring a steam engine out onto the layout. That's why I am curious how Mark plans to operate his turntable and roundhouse.

Rich

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Posted by NorthBrit on Friday, December 25, 2020 1:53 PM

Mark.  My wife, Dawn taught me not to trust on one 'expert'.  Get  confirmation from others as well.

 

Rich.   It appears you are not happy with having a roundhouse and turntable.  If that is the case then keeping it will be a 'thorn in your side'.   Changing the freight yard to visible staging area seems a good idea.  Go for it!

I was in a similar position on my layout and 'struggled long enough'.  Now having altered things I am much happier with the layout.

 

David

 

 

To the world you are someone.    To someone you are the world

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Posted by richhotrain on Friday, December 25, 2020 1:00 PM

Mark, I was about to ask you a question about your roundhouse, only to read about the Great Roundhouse Collapse, or RUD (Rapid Unscheduled Disassembly) as you call it. Sorry to learn this bad news.

Anyhow, here is my question. It looks like you have an 11-stall roundhouse. Do you expect to keep all 11 stalls filled all of the time?

I ask because I have a 9-stall roundhouse, and I also have 9 steam engines. But, I am considering reducing my steam roster by as many as 4 steamers, leaving only 5 on my layout.

While my 130' turntable and 9-stall roundhouse look great, I find them cumbersome and time consuming to operate. I have toyed with the idea of using one of my freight yards as a visible staging area and just running my steam engines in and out of the yard. If I did that, I would scrap my roundhouse and sell the turntable on eBay.

Tell me about your plans for your roundhouse.

Rich

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Posted by Pruitt on Friday, December 25, 2020 12:46 PM

25 December 2020

(Sorry for the verbosity of this post, but...)

Well, what a Christmas Eve I had! About 9 pm my roundhouse suffered a RUD (Rapid Unscheduled Disassembly).

When I first started building the roundhouse in late 2018 in New Jersey, I saw a discussion about plastic cements on Model Railroader Video Plus. The presenter (I'm not completely sure who it was, so I won't mention a name) spoke very knowledgeably about the characteristics of the various cements, and one thing in particular stuck in my mind - Plastruct Bondene had the unique property that it would bond parts together right through paint! WOW! Since I had a bottle on hand, that meant I wouldn't have to clean the paint off contact surfaces before cementing them. What a great timesaver!

So I proceeded to assemble the entire roundhouse in just that way. Big mistake!

Through the ensuing move to Casper and the subsequent shifting around of the engine facility section of the layout while finishing the train room, quite a few windows popped loose. None were lost, so I didn't think it was a big deal. Plus I have a lot of spare windows from the kits. So I would just take a couple hours and reinstall them.

I've talked about doing that, plus working on the roof, in the last few posts. Well, I finished the windows last evening, and as I stepped down off a step stool, I lightly bumped the table. Several windows fell out again! In frustration, I banged the table with my fist, pretty hard. A whole bunch of windows fell back out, and a few other glue joints in the structure sprang apart as well! Now I was pissed, and unfortunately I had a roof section in my hand. I threw it down on the roundhouse, and what you see in the pictures is the result.

The entire roundhouse was about as robust as an eggshell! It didn't take much force (that roof is not very heavy) to break the glue bonds!

Most of the roundhouse just came apart! Turns out, despite what the "experts" say, that Bondene does not glue through paint, unless you consider a light tack to be "glued."

Granted, I should not have gotten angry, but it's just as well, because the roundhouse would have slowly fallen apart over time anyway.

I briefly considered just dumping every bit of model railroading materials, track, locos, cars and all of it, into the trash. This was a major blow.

Instead, after a very bad night's sleep. I got up at 5:00 this morning and went down to the train room to assess the damage and start rebuilding the roundhouse.

Turns out very few if any parts are broken. The glue joints simply separated. So I picked up the mess and started straightening things out. The LEDs and interior supporting framework are all okay, except a few broken pins where a couple of the legs attached to the floor. Most of them had simply lifted away, though. I quickly had this:

I started by cleaning up some of the back wall sections and laid out a couple where I would start reinstalling windows.

Then I laid out the windowsto prepare them for reinstallation. Here you can see the crazed paint where the Bondene was supposed to (but did not) penetrate to make the bond with the wall (where you can also see some crazing around the window holes).

So I sanded the edges of the window frames to remove the paint and provide a clean surface for gluing.

So I installed the windows using Tamiya liquid cement (since I'm pretty much out of Bondene anyway). After it cured, I tried to pop the windows back out again. They are very firmly attached this time.

Now to reassemble the rest of the roundhouse. That will take weeks, as I work on the rest of the Casper area at the same time.

Moral of the story: Don't just take someone's word that a technique will work. Even the "experts" can lead you astray. Try it out and see for yourself.

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Posted by Pruitt on Wednesday, December 23, 2020 7:15 PM

23 December 2020

I got my wire from Digikey a couple days ago, and now all the sidings are powered in Casper. I still need to install the second turntable access track and coal supply / ash dump removal track and the engine facility trackwork will be complete. In fact, that will complete all track in Casper.

But with completion of the industrial sidings, I got the urge to focus a bit on the roundhouse again. During all the jostling from the move to Casper and all the moving around while finishing the train room, quite a few windows were knocked loose (amazingly, I didn't lose any). I spent a couple hours re-glung most of them in place, then started chasing the light leaks I saw when I first built the roundhouse in early 2019.

I started with the main roof sections, adding a strip of scale 6X12 sturene to the underside front and rear of the roof sections. The one on the right in the photo below shows them installed, and the one on the left is after the strips are painted.

I had enough strips to do all the main roof sections except the far left side one, which was sitting on the opposite side of the roundhouse from where I was working and so got missed. I did about a third of the small forward roof sections the same way before I ran out of styrene strips. I'll have to order another pack to finish.

But here's how it looks right now:

Obviously there's still work to do. Some of the "leaks" on the main roof are actually light through the clerestory windows reflecting off the underside of the roof overhangs (those are the "leaks" to right and center of the structure). Those will be eliminated by painting the underside of the overhangs flat black.

Just for comparison, here's roughly the same shot right after the roundhouse was "completed" in 2019. 

Looks like I'm making some progress, anyway.

Until I get more materials, I'm switching my focus to building the two Walthers oil loading racks I have on hand. I'll need eight more to finish the racks, but at least I have something to start with.

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Posted by Pruitt on Sunday, December 20, 2020 12:09 PM

20 December 2020

Tank car loading rack tracks are in place for the Standard Oil Co. refinery. They're not powered yet, though - I'm waiting for a shipment of wire from Digikey.

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Posted by richhotrain on Thursday, December 17, 2020 11:38 PM

Pruitt

Now that cars are distributed at the industries, the rolling stock is looking pretty sparse. It will be a lot worse once the Standard Oil tank car loading racks are in place in the left foreground. I need to assemble a lot more rolling stock! 

Mark, I feel your pain. When I distributed LCL box cars among the 13 freight houses at Dearborn Station, my freight yard looked bare.

Rich

Alton Junction

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Posted by Pruitt on Thursday, December 17, 2020 10:23 PM

17 December 2020

I finished putting the first layer of "dirt" on the ground along the CNW line (hard to even tell it's there from this perspective, isn't it?), and removed the tape on the track in preparation for ballasting. Now I'm just waiting for the ballast to arrive in the mail. The wax paper will come off the backdrop when the ballsting is done.

I've been building the new turnouts I need to finish Casper. The first one is in, along with the spur to Wyoming Concrete Producers. Here's an overall view of Casper (except for the engine terminal) with the new concrete plant and spur in the foreground.

Now that cars are distributed at the industries, the rolling stock is looking pretty sparse. It will be a lot worse once the Standard Oil tank car loading racks are in place in the left foreground. I need to assemble a lot more rolling stock!

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Posted by Pruitt on Wednesday, December 9, 2020 10:43 PM

Thanks Dave. I tend to lose interest in a video after about ten minutes or so, so I use that as a rule to limit the length of my own videos.

Bear, jeez, I'm blushing! I guess my videos would be a great way start the day, though - after that you know the day can only get better!

Rich, thank you.

You know, it's kinda funny - my hats seem to be getting smaller... Wink

9 December 2020

The last week or so I've been focused on two (layout) things. I've been laying out and installing tracks for the west end industries in Casper, and adding "dirt" to the CNW shelf over Casper.

Here's the current state of Casper's west end:

The tan building with the green doors is a stand-in structure for Schultz Walter Grocer's Warehouse. Beyond that you can see Wyoming Concrete Producers facility (at least the part of it's that built. Beyond that will be the spur for Natrona County Lumber (and maybe the remote ice house, if there's room), and if you look close you can just make out the track centerlines for the Standard Oil Company tank car loading racks. If I go with the Walthers kit for those, I'll need about 11 more kits (I have two already).

Here's the current state of the CNW scenery:

"Dirt" (tempera paint powders mixed with plaster of paris) is down about 2/3 of the way along the laid-down Celluclay. The farthest bit is very dark because it's still wet. Next up here is ballasting the track (probably will work best if I take the tape off the track first). One of the last things I'll do, after all the oversprays are finished, is remove the wax paper covering the backdrop.

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Posted by richhotrain on Sunday, December 6, 2020 6:30 AM

Mark, you have a great voice for narrating videos. Nice job!

Rich

Alton Junction

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