Thursday, August 21, 2014

Back on Track

Yesterday, we had our first club meeting since a month. Decision was taken to start laying track in Villeneuve (cement plant) and D’Estimauville (staging).

However, that means large part of the original benchwork will be rebuilt. Many parts are sagging. It was our first try at building a shelf layout more than 4 years ago and it now shows utterly its deficiencies. On the same occasion, benchwork near the Cement plant will be enlarged to better model the cement plant, which means it will now be 28 inches wide.

Finally, after a long time, it was decided the layout will be completely built in Peco Code 83 track as was planned. There was doubts some code 100 would survive but it probably won’t.

Also, I had the occasion to see my GP9s and RS18s with their sound decoder installed. Jérôme ran them for a few minutes and so far, so good! Nice sound and nice running performance. They now need their final coat of paint, some decals and weathering.

It is expected the layout should be fully operational by then end of autumn. Not a big deal, Villeneuve and D’Estimauville are pure flatland and the track plan is now very simplified.

If can only complete the 8 Warhammer tanks for a friend to get some more time to spend on my train models!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Return From Vacation

To those thinking I took a one way ticket for somewhere else, I'm still fine! And doing trains...

My vacations were an excellent occasion to build up my freight car rosters, including 12 new Accurail hopper, 6 Bowser hoppers, 1 50' P2K boxcar, 1 Walthers Airslide hopper and 4 Tichy tank cars.

Most had to be repainted or decalled. The job isn't completed, but only big part is now done. Future posts will cover the process of building this prototypical fleet.

I also had the occasion to discuss old CN wood chip roofless boxcar CN rostered until the early 80s in Eastern Canada with well-known author Richard Yaremko. He provided me with limited but valuable information on them and I feel like kitbashing them could be an interesting way of converting useless 40' boxcars I have and a stash of Microscale CN decals.

That saud, I bought 4 Intermountain CN Procor hoppers for cement service, an old Roundhouse Southern boxcar for cotton service at Dominion Textile and a Bachmann GE 45-Ton for Cement St. Lawrence.

Finally, I also received and tested my Rapido GMD1. Crisp details, out of this world slow speed control, realistic sound... and an annoying buzzing sound caused by Back EMF CV (it is the function that control the motor and make possible extremely precise slow speed operation). I contacted Dan from Rapido and he told me it was normal and they were working hard to reduce as much as possible this interference. If you run the loco without sound, it can be extremely annoying. If you run with sound, you almost don't hear it. On most videos on YouTube, you don't hear the buzz and nobody didn't write about in in review. I don't think we can call it a "defect" but it is still very annoying.

By the way, my GP9s and RS18s have their sound decoders installed and should arrive soon meaning I'll be able to finish painting and weathering them.

Lots of work for this fall as you can see. And I'm also in the process of painting 9 Warhammer 40000 tanks for a friend well into wargaming. I saw it as a good occasion to further improve my weathering and airbrushing skills.