Monday, April 17, 2017

NTS&B Water feature almost finished

I had painted the bay area in October of last year, and now am finally getting around to pouring the simulated water.  I had heard good things about a product called  'Quick Water for Silks" which is used for fake flower arrangements.  I bought 4 kits at Michaels at 1/2 off, so thought I had enough to finish it.  I poured the first 2 kits on the first layer.  According to the directions, it was to harden in 4 to 8 hours.  After about 3 days, it was still extremely tacky.  After doing some research on line, I found an entry that it took this person 4 or 5 days for it the surface to harden fully, and the 'water' was the result was like a

'super ball'.  It also recommended adding a couple drops of paint for a more realistic look.  I mixed the next 2 kits with a couple drops of blue, and wished I hadn't.  The blue made the water more cloudy than I liked, so you couldn't see all of the detail I had painted on the bottom.   It also recommended that it be covered with cardboard while drying, to keep dust and stuff from sticking to it.  After day two, I put a piece of cardboard on it, which sagged and touched, and instantly boded itself to the surface.  I had to literally dig the cardboard out of the water, which made it a mess.   So then I waited, and waited, and waited, and waited for about a week, and the tackiness never did go away.  So then I decided I had to come up with plan B.  I went back to Michaels and bought a kit of Enviro Tex Life Pour-On High Gloss Finish.  This finally hardened to the touch after about 8 hours. The next day, it was totally cured.  All told, I have about $46 in water products. Below are pictures of a sample of both products, and the steps along the way to create the bay.

Item on left is Quick Water with a couple drops of blue paint in it.  It is still somewhat tacky after about three weeks.  The one on the right is the EnviroTex from the bottom of the mixing cup. Unfortunately I had thrown a tissue in the cup, which is now encased in the EnviroTex.

I started out by painting the plywood a mix of blue and black paint to simulate shallow and deep water. 

Quick Water and EnviroTex water poured.  The couple drops of blue in the Quick Water made it cloudy, so a lot of detail in the painted plywood was lost.

Finished (almost) scene with boats and people.  I also bought some Woodland Scenes Water Effect a long time ago, that I want use to try to make waves around the boats.  Maybe in a few weeks.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

NTS&B Debug power ammeter added

I have had multiple problems with transformer breakers dropping out at too low of a current.  I therefore decided to add a 10 amp ammeter to the layout.  I also purchased a 15 amp one in case 10 amps was not high enough.  I didn't want to add a meter to every track, so I decided it to add it to the debug track instead.  That way I could switch in the debug track, and know exactly how much current a curtain train was pulling.   I wanted it easily visible, so I mounted it with the mainline control panel. Here is what the mounted meter looks like.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

NTS&B Mainline turnout and yard power finished

Now that I have all of the mainline yard track positions finalized,  I can finish up the power to the new end of the yard, as well as the switch track motors and panel control buttons.  I have all of the switch tracks installed, except for 1, which I still need to purchase.  Here is a picture of the new controls. The buttons on the left control the switch tracks on the left (shop) end of the yard, and the ones on the right control the right (by outside door) end of the yard.  The green switches in the middle control the track power to each siding in the yard.

Friday, March 24, 2017

NTS&B De plane Boss, De plane

I finally got around to hanging my fleet of aircraft.  It is a small collection of 2 C130s I got while at Lockheed, a Space Shuttle from Kennedy Space Center, and a couple others.   I cut circles out some clear plastic from something we bought, and painted them to match the propellers.  Here are a couple pictures.

LM_C130J_USMC_Harvest Hawk followed by C130J Weather Bird

US Coast Guard C130

Space Shuttle

K-Line Army Air Corps P40

Saturday, March 18, 2017

NTS&B Rearranged shelves on end of room

I am getting a number of Lionel 4x4x0 Americans (Lionel calls them Generals) engines,l which were not fitting well on the way I had the shelves positioned.   I spent a couple days and moved the longer, wider shelf from the left side of the room to the right side, and rearranged most of the contents on the shelves. I now have room for a few more Generals.   Here are a couple pictures.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

NTS&B New home for Roadrunner Shack

I didn’t have room at the end of the mainline for the Roadrunner Shack, and had this unused area underneath the mainline by the bay that I couldn't figure out what to do with.  I decided to move the 'Shack' there, and tried my hand at painting a typical cartoon type Roadrunner Scene where the Coyote paints a road and tunnel in the side of a mountain and the Roadrunner runs through it, but Wile W Coyote cant . As you can tell, I'm definitely not an artist, but I think it works OK.

Monday, March 13, 2017

NTS&B More work on mainline scenery

Now that I have the mainline tracks finalized, as much as they will ever be, I can resume work on some of the scenery items.  I had to move the Roadrunner Shack to a different area, and move the church to the opposite side of the road to have enough clearance for the big engines.  I was also finally to lay in the horse fence on the shop end of the layout since I had the big engines to check clearance with. Here are the pictures.


Tuesday, February 28, 2017

NTS&B Adding clearance on the mainlines for big steam

Bob P. brought over a Williams N&W #1218 2x6x6x4 which showed many clearance issues on the mainline.  It took much whittling of supports and platforms in the yard to pick up about 1/8 to 1/4 inch clearance between each siding.  I also had to create additional space on all of the curves so it would clear some 21 inch cars Bob also brought.  This involved stretching track joints to the max in some cases.  After all this work, he brought over a MTH 4x6x6x4 UP challenger, which was even bigger and created more problems.  It also had a extra piece on one side that stuck out an additional 1/4 inch, which made it even more (excuse the pun) challenging for clearance.  I then had to extend the approach to the 2 bridges so the engines would have a straighter entry.  I finally had to decide that there were limitations when running this engine (and others like it), that the other mainline could only run cars that are 15 inch maximum, and an adjacent track may have to be cleared in the yard.  The N&W engine, and all of my engines, had enough clearance to run 21 inch passenger cars on the adjacent track.  Here are some pictures of the engines and layout mods.

 N&W 1218.  Notice the overhang in the fron of the engine which tends to hit long cars on the adjacent tracks when the engine is on the inside curve. 

 The UP #3985 was bigger and had more overhang, plus an piece on the back of the engine that stuck out and additional 1/4 inch.

Took about 3/8 inches off the support columns for the upper level, and added an extra 1x2 on the outside to help support Bigville.   Also took about 1/2 inch off the passenger platform between the tracks. Since there are 7 tracks in the yard, all of the trimming netted only about 1/8 inch extra clearance between the tracks.

Along with trimming the other supports. the supports for the winter loop had to be trimmed also.  I ended up having to remover 1 complete support, but it didn't seem to effect the upper level.

The challenger took out part of my tunnel portal, so I trimmed it up the best I could.

Friday, January 20, 2017

NTS&B Dad made street lights added

When I was a kid, my dad made street light poles out of copper tubing and copper sheeting.  He used sockets from a string of series Christmas lights (Remember them?  They had smaller bulbs, and when one went out, they all went out).   For bulbs, he used NE45 110V Neon light bulbs, which at the time were commonly used in night lights. Here is what they look like.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

NTS&B Mainline bridges replaced

During the Pilgrimage,  some helpers brought over very large stuff to run.  I discovered that the bridges were not tall enough for some modern scale rolling stock.  I decided to swap out the front bridge with a modern MTH bridge, and moved the Lionel silver one that Anthony gave me to the back.  I also added a blinking LED to the Lionel Bridge.  The MTH bridge was longer, which needed 1 less support, so it freed up some area for boats in the inlet.