Image above captured on the upper deck of the layout where scenery has progressed to some extent...
Shot with Olympus C-750

Welcome to the SP Oregon Division!

An N Scale RR depicting the good old days along "The Friendly".

Sunday, October 4, 2015

May / October Status Report

   I've been keeping up to date on all my Blogspot Follower's latest layout progress, and I appreciate you guys posting even if I dont respond very well....  It has been a good motivator to keep me pushing forward instead of sitting on the couch with a cold one in hand.   :(

   Been tough finding much spare time, but still have a bit of forward progress to report:
Art visited a few times to help work on the layout, and made more progress on the base foam layers for the peninsula scenery.  Thanks Art!

   Meanwhile Eugene Yard trackage has been painted / weathered (airbrushed) from both sides of the layout with good old Floquil Rail Brown and Railroad Tie Brown colors.  What a difference that makes.  I wanted to leave the opportunity to photograph the layout from any angle, so this needed to be done from both sides of the layout before I could install any of the lower deck skyboards.  Before I could start any weathering / painting, it was necessary to install mass quantities of Micro Engineering wood sleeper ties on all the yard turnouts, but once on a roll, I ended up pushing through to complete all the layout's missing sleeper ties in numerous locations.  A fairly large scale project (think - bags o' stained ties), but not too overwhelming since I could just work on it as I had small time slots to keep moving forward with.  Going from switch stands to ground throws was a last minute observation for Eugene Yard after photo study (not much available on the internet back when I started handlaying turnouts, and friendships with data have helped immensely), so converting them for proper tie placement has been stretching things a bit for me...

   Large sections of the layout's trackage had already received painting, so additional locations that received painting after sleeper tie installs, included virtually any trackage left that I could get access to, which did not have rolling stock stored on it....  Remaining track sections still needing to get painted will be done once I complete the current phase of the skyboard install project, as this will allow me to relocate rolling stock to the completed areas. 

   Lower deck skyboards have been put off extensively in hopes of being able to match detailing to the represented locations on an actual workbench, but I have finally given up on the idea, as it should not be too difficult to complete backdrops in place before pushing ahead too far with adjacent scenery.  I cut all sheets of masonite for the skyboards to approx dimensions ahead of time, and painted the lower level's blue shade before install.  All sections were furred out with 2x2s to hide upper deck shelf brackets:

    A different approach to mounting the backdrop sections:
   Overall it looks a lot better than the open benchwork and white drywall we have all looked at for so many years.  I lost count of how many times I tried to sand and patch the screw holes and joints.  I have been holding a light up at various angles against the patching to make it as seamless as possible, but has been an exercise in meeting my satisfaction levels...  A bit of touch up painting with the roller and things are looking pretty good.
Eugene Yard played nice for being able to utilize sweeping radius of the masonite for the backdrop corners:

   Springfield - disarray of structure placement due to backdrop project:

   That big hole on the last image gets a highway overpass to mask the opening.  Not sure what to stick in the corner to hide that 90 deg angle... but typically the layout is making use of dense clusters of Conifers to hide most of these backdrop joints.
   Once the remainder of trackage is painted, the remaining sections for lower deck skyboards (that have also been prefabbed), will go in at the entrances to Staging, the Return adjacent to Springfield, and Hampton.

   Upper deck skyboards have also received multiple attempts of patching screw holes and repainting since their first appearance, and have been rehung again sporting their same high altitude shade of blue.  I have styrene backdrop sheets pre-cut for mounting directly on the remaining two wall sections for the upper deck eventually, but they still need some degree of painting and detailing (due to pine trees already in place) before then.  Once I am ready to revisit for detailed painting on backdrops, I anticipate a production run effort to complete all similar sections in phases to the overall project.   yya...

   The layout endured some minor damage to the mainline at W. Natron during the backdrop install project, so repairs on that are nearly complete except for running a test train or two, and matching adjacent track weathering.

   If I dont lapse too bad, the layout has a chance of seeing some good scenery progress before the bi-annual SoCalOps meet here next June.

   Since we missed the last ops due to this ongoing skyboard project, I am anticipating we will be back on schedule for the Oct Ops Sess at the end of the month, but moving trains around have found a few minor repairs needed (a wire splice that never got soldered and is now intermittent at Irving, completion of the repairs at Natron, and another dead spot that needs to be looked into at Portland yard).  Unfortunately no time for further implementation of the revisions to the SP's CS-1306 and CS-1307 forms (conductors work / industry reports) paperwork, but that is on the priority list to get us closer to Espee style Ops...

   Cant sign off without a departing shot of the current state of E. Eugene Yard, sporting a string of the new Wheels O' Time Espee bulkhead flats!