lundi 19 février 2018

Some thoughts around a track plan

Most of the readers of this blog may think I'am primarily a rolling stock modeller as most of the posts recently showed this kind of stuff. And the dreamed layout is just a dream or words... In fact no!
I've drawn the basic track plan for this project around 2013/2014 and polished it ever since. It's not that easy to fit even such a small station into a 12 ' X 12 ' room adjacent to my office/workshop. At first, all the layout occupy only this room. But in 2015, modifying the track plan to include the San Jacinto wye and a staging yard led me to change my plan and the initial drawing. The track to the staging area and one tail of the wye then passed through the wall into my office/workshop. It was one of the wisest decision I've made for years (apart staying in S scale along all of these years!). It made things flowing...or something like that. I know that most of my north american readers may be horryfied by the small size of the room but at first it was planned for a 1/35 scale 2 feet logging layout. In an another life, I was very involved in narrow guage circles till the early 2000 even if I've gathered 1/64 models since 1995 and built some exhibition modules in this scale (see my earliest posts). I could have had larger when I've had my house built but now it's over. I've to cope with what I have and it's 12' x 12'!
At  a second glance, I'am quite happy having not a too big surface to occupy. I don't have that much time to spend in my own modelling and it forces me to be inventive.
Back at the track plan now, I've worked on it with some ATSF station plat obtained from the Santa Fe Historical & Modelling Society (Western Archives) from which I'am a member, one from the 1920's, the other from the late 50's. Add to this an insurance map, photos, books, etc...And here's my layout track plan!
The 1948-1952 track plan have some differences from the one below. The main is that the turnout at the end of the house track was removed probably during the 1948 station remodeling and a new curved storage track was added. Two things I've tried to mimic. The main compromise made was to have a curved turnout at the station entrance. Clearly, I'am not satisfied with this feature but I could no do without.
Another compromise made was to reverse the wye to fit in the available space.
Still too small my tiny station!? Not so, the 1942 Los Angeles Division System Employee Timetable listed only sixteen 40' cars capacity for the sidings at the San Jacinto station. I'am in...
As you could see in the photos below, the staging yard is alive. I've still to permanently lay the track and turnouts, wire the whole but I wish to clean my shelve of old projects and built a small fleet for two consist before. This is my first task at present.. But the benchwork in the layout room, the lighting, the fascia or part of it, etc....are done and just wait for the tracks. We'll talked later in some other posts about all of this...
See ya'

Station plat from 1916 (copy from Hanson and Jennings book, The San Jacinto Valley Railway-All right reserved)

The present trackplan with the third staging track omitted. D, the San Jacinto Packing Co is not drawn, I still have to determine the size of the warehouse.
The staging yard is located just above my workbench.

The storage space of my workshop where part of my paints, tools, waiting projects are located.

Storage space everywhere! The projects queue is partially here (I've since made some progress till then...).

A LED strip give light to the staging tracks.

Jump the cat, the track lifter!

dimanche 11 février 2018

Building a fleet-Part 8

Pennsy, at last! I could not make a consist or at least build a small fleet for my layout without having some Pennsylvania Railroad cars. In the late 40's and early 50's, this company have the largest fleet in the US, equal or nearly equal to the New York Central rival. The ATSF and SP were quite distant second. This said, it seems normal to have Pennsy freight cars everywhere in fair number even on my little So-Cal line. One photo of the 505/506 out of San Bernardino clearly show a Pennsy 50 ft round roof car. Difficult to say if it's an automobile box or not. I've this one on hand, a River Raisin X 33a, already painted when bought and that I wheathered in 2015/2016, so... Couplers and air hoses added, he's now ready for service and it fit the bill. I've two X 29 kit in stock and maybe I could search for a 40 ft X 31 round roof one day (alas the X 26 gons seems to be a tad too long), and my PRR fleet will be OK for me. Piece after piece, my little fleet is taking shape!
See ya'

mardi 6 février 2018

Building a fleet-Part 7

I'am still cleaning the shelves off of the many projects on hold sometimes for years. This Overland brass M 53 boxcar is one of them. It's the kind of box I must have for two reasons. First, it's a real signature boxcar that could be seen everywhere across United States, and due to the B & O sizeable freight car fleet I must have one or two cars of this road (not only a M 53). And second, I've photos of one in a San Jacinto district train. He's typical of a one evening wheathering project. I've bought it decorated, and I've just made the chipping paint and dusting from photos I've gathered on the web. The dusting was made with enamel wash from AK Interactive (one of their dust products. Sadly I don't remember which one...). The finishing done recently was just adding a pair of Sergent couplers, San Juan On3 brake hose, painting and wheathering them, cleaning this little boy a bit and said "good for service"!
See ya'

dimanche 4 février 2018

Scenery Trials

The scenery in the San Jacinto valley is quite different from many places in Southern California as it's mainly agricultural and much more greenier. But here and there along the route typical So-Cal semi-arid scenery take place. I know I've to combine all those elements into my layout. After some limited tests, I've found time this week to do some more trials on a larger scale and used the board with track already in place to do so. The dimensions are 65 x 25 centimeters but the scenery will take place only on the two strips along the track. One side will have general scenery, the other a potatoe field with different stage of crop. So far I've only done a part of the general scenery with not much consistency along this strip. I've tried to crammed much of the cases I could encounter (dried weeds, not so dried weeds, weeds along the tracks, in tracks, etc...).  But it helps as I better see now which way to use or not. Work is halted at present in this state for some times. See ya'

Here and above, some early steps with the basic soil.

A bit dryer

More weedy and greenier like near San Jacinto station (as seen in some photos).

Close up of dried bushes (a bit blurry sorry...)

Overal view