Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Half Year Assessment

I recently stumbled upon my “Goals for 2019” blog entry and decided to do a follow up to see if I strayed from my original objectives.

  • Install working grade crossing signals in Villeneuve
It didn’t happen. This is mainly because we are still debating about which detection system to implement. We are also unsure about which signal brand to use and Walthers 60s cantilevered signals were out of stock back then. I’d say this isn’t a priority right now.
  • Complete scenery in some area (more likely to be Brique Citadelle)
Far to be complete, but we did a decent job at adding scenery in Maizerets. Unfortunately, the early spring leafless trees concept didn’t work that well and photo backdrop in Maizerets is far to be exceeding our expectation. There’s talk about moving the season later in May when trees have leaves. Leaves are better at hiding seams and perspective problem than leafless ones. Also, avenue D’Estimauville backdrop isn’t easy to tackle. It’s hard to get a good road perspective.working when vegetation is scarce. I’ll have to rethink this area. By the way, no scenery work occurred at Brique Citadelle.
  • Build railcar drawers to store cars and enable us to stage trains
Louis-Marie did an outstanding job. The storage cabinet is first class and does a terrific job at storing and sorting cars and locomotives between operation sessions.
  • Paint and detail a set of kitbashed Atlas RS18 in CN scheme
Nothing really happened. Two Atlas locos are now DCC-equipped with sound. The main reason was that I couldn’t find intercooler grill parts. I tried casting them myself but it was an utter failure. Finally, I found out Chris Mears made 3D parts available on Shapeways. I ordered them so the project can go forward. Maybe I’ll build a third RS18, I have enough Atlas model to do so. Models will be painted in the old Wet Noodle scheme.
  • Kitbash several 40ft roofless boxcars into old CN woodchip gondolas
This is probably my most successful goal of the year. I kitbashed 10 boxcars, painted and weathered them. Earlier, I complained about the lack of information, but George Dutka came to the rescue with impressive pictures from the past to work with. It was a fun project that proved me it was possible to do many cars at once and get them done at a fast pace. They are now a staple during layout operation. Only my 3D printed woodchip gondola needs to be completed.
We also did unexpected stuff including enlarging the peninsula. Finally, a lot of kitbashing, painting and weathering brought many unexpected cars to the layout.
If there was a single goal to reach for 2015’s second half, it would be to move forward with Donohue and add some scenery there.

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