Favourite Photos...

Favourite Photos...
Reading Lines GP35 #3647

Middletown, Pa

Monday, 19 April 2021

Road Bridge - Backdrop Transition

School holidays have finished, that means back into the layout again...

Today was spent working on installing the road bridge that will hide the backdrop to layout transition.

A few strategically placed prime movers with trailers and some distant building photo backdrops and we’ll be right...



Saturday, 10 April 2021

Next Locomotive Project - RDG GP35 - #3640...

Latest shipments arrived from the USA...

Next project will be converting this Undecorated - Kato GP35 - Phase 1b.

This will be RDG #3640, the only GP35 to be repainted in the Reading all green scheme.  RDG 3640 was the only GP35 to be re-painted into RDG's all green scheme before the Conrail merger in 76.

It will get a ESU - LokSound V5 - Direct Decoder, ESU - Power Pack Mini & will be converted to all LED lighting.

More soon...

Sunday, 4 April 2021

Hershey Chocolates - HERX 50' NAC Boxcar Decals...

I’ve been searching for some boxcars to convert into a Hershey Chocolate Fleet of HERX 50’ - Plug Door Boxcars, for my Hershey Pa, plant.

I've found that the Athearn 50' NAC Plug Door series was the perfect match...

I’ve managed to get a few shots of the cars through some great help from Tom Jacobs, and was looking to source some decals.


AS DELIVERED FROM NAC FOR HERSHEY


LATER VERSION OF THE NAC BOXCAR SERIES ABOVE

Jim from HighBall - Graphics has helped me with some custom decals for my RDG number boards & WM cab road numbers over past builds.

So I asked Jim if he could help out with the Hershey decals.  Well Jim, did come through.  And he’s decided to run the series on his website as a permanent run.

HighBall Graphics - Hershey Foods - 50' NAC Boxcar

Happy Days & Chocolate Smiles for HO & N Scale - Hershey Chocolate Plant operators...

Saturday, 3 April 2021

Bridges re-installed & more weathering...

Re-installed the bridges again today, some more weathering of the terrain on the south river bank.

I'll glue the bridge track down to the bridges tomorrow now that I have guard rails installed, and the bridge track is fully painted.

The bridges will then get weathered with some weathering powders...

Jason.


Tuesday, 30 March 2021

More Weathering of the Terrain...

Working on some more weathering today, added several more diluted washes of black to the ready rocks on the northern bank, then added another layer of zip texturing dirt.

Also started the brown base wash on the southern bank, followed by the first black wash on the ready rocks.

I’m pretty happy with the northern bank now, so once dry I’ll do a final check and call it done...

Jason...

Friday, 26 March 2021

Susquehanna River - Terrain/River Banks...

Today was a very productive & extremely messy day.

I installed the Ground Goop - Terrain on the Southside of the Susquehanna River (Harrisburg) and changed the North river bank (Carlisle Junction) too.



Overall I’m much happier with the results.  The addition of the Woodlands Scenics - Ready Rocks made all the difference.


I’ll let both banks completely dry over the next couple of days before coming back and adding the zip texture dirt.

I’ll also re-paint the river bed and add the shading to simulate depth.

And of course a fairly substantial clean up of the area is also required...

Tuesday, 23 March 2021

Bridge Track Work Alignment...

Today’s project was the realignment of the track work leading into both bridges, from both north & south that cross the Susquehanna River.

To facilitate the ballasting of the remaining track on the north side, I had to trim down the track work so that it finished flush with the bridge abutments and trim the bridge track too.

Now that this is completed I can finish off the terrain on the south side of the layout bridges (Harrisburg), paint the single truss bridge, paint the bridge track & CA the track to the bridges ready to be installed.

Harrisburg/South - Bridge Terrain...

Finishing off the night, I started installing the south side terrain for the Susquehanna River banks and Harrisburg bridge abutments.

To finish off the ballasting on the north side I need to have the bridges in place, and the track down & secured first.  Again it’s amazing how quickly you can get this in.

This uses cardboard strip method, hot glued to the plywood in a crisscross manner, and then covered with masking/painters tape.

Adding more details/weathering - Relay Cabinets...

Added a Alexander Scale Models - Relay Cabinet to the triple head mast at Carlisle Junction today, then weathered with Tamiya - Black Panel Line Accent.

And to finish off a little weathering of the Reading - Signal maintainers vehicle...

Also ran some Tamiya - Black, Panel Line Accent through all the gaps, and painted the rear taillights red. 

Have to be careful not to get bogged down in super detailing, but when trying to find inspiration, or figuring out the next bit of scenery, sometimes doing something helps, and it’s always moving the layout forward.

Thursday, 18 March 2021

Weathering the Interlocking Tower...

Weathered the Interlocking Tower today, a dusting of AIM - Dirty White weathering powder dulls down the fresh paint, and highlights the mortar lines too...


I've used this method on all my buildings, and to be honest, it still provides the best looking finish while still highlighting the mortar lines of the brick work.


I'll add some more brick detail at a later stage, next step is to add all the window frames & doors...

Wednesday, 17 March 2021

Painting Bridge Abutments & Ballasting...

Finished off today painting the concrete bridge abutments the base grey before weathering.

And some more ballast along the mainline on the Carlisle Junction scene...

This is again my homemade ballast, which is graded washed sand, and dyed a medium grey colour...


Airbrushing Bridges...

Airbrushing bridges today, gone is the shiny dark grey plastic. This is when having double (connected together) spray booths comes in very handy!

I used SMS Paints - Surfacer Black. Perfect coverage using a 0.5 needle, & nice flat finish. When done I’ll spray the entire bridge in flat clear to secure the weathering & dull the surface right down...

Next step, making them well worn & rusty...

Sunday, 14 March 2021

Started adding details to the scene...

Started adding some finer detail parts to the scene in between painting the bridges & interlocking tower.

Details West - US&S Switch Machine installed at the switch for the Locomotive Facility.  This was simply weathered with some Tamiya - Black Panel Line.

Jason.

Ballasting begins on the main layout...

Major milestone this week, ballasted the first section of the main layout.

It’s only taken me eight years to get here, the last time I ballasted track to a finished level was over four years ago.  This is also using my homemade ballast mix, it was fixed in place with Ballast Magic.

Once dry, I’ll fix up any ties that have paint missing, and then hit the track with some weathering powders.

Jason...

Tuesday, 9 March 2021

JMRI - Operations Pro...

Over the last couple of nights, and with the help from a fellow Operations Pro user, with some great knowledge.

To start I had to measure the length of my yard & classification tracks, as well as measure the individual spurs so that the program would run correctly.  Having colour-coded plans & a running sheet has helped explain how I'd like to switch the layout.


I’ve managed to get Ops Pro working to a point that I can generate train manifests from Rutherford Yard, doing set outs at both York Haven - Pulp & Paper Mill, and Hershey Chocolates.

I’ve also managed to create switcher services for both the Pulp & Paper Mill & Hershey that picks up set outs, from Classification Tracks attached to both industries, and delivers cars to set tracks within each industry.

The program has a very steep learning curve, a lot like learning Panel Pro for installing signals.  But once the basics are explained, and a few little tricks, it’s beginning to let a whole lot of light down deep in the Ops Pro - Rabbit hole.

Here are two sets of manifests created after the initial programming over the last few nights...

Jason.

Saturday, 6 March 2021

Weathering a Dirt Road...

Finishing off the week I added the weathering to the dirt road.  I used AIM weathering powders to achieve the tire tracks through the gravel, this is mainly “Off White” and was applied using a saw tooth/weathering brush, and blended into the WS - Fine Buff gravel.

I also added a slightly darker powder to the centre to add a small highlight.  I’ll eventually add some very fine grass flock to the centre to simulate some weeds growing along the centre, with a sprinkling of very fine gravel.

I was dreading doing this, it can really make or break the realism if you don’t get the road looking realistic.  So far, I'm happy with the results, and the way the scene is progressing.

Jason...

Thursday, 4 March 2021

Finishing off the Base Scenery...

Finishing off the base scenery today, last sections of Zip Texturing being applied, last of the washes to the bare Ground Goop, and fixing some patches on the dirt road that didn’t bond...

Once this is dry, if all is good, I’ll begin adding the fine gravel to the track ditches/washouts, and then move onto placing the ballast. 

Jason...

Wednesday, 3 March 2021

Gravel road installed...

Installed the gravel road to finish off today.  This is Woodlands Scenic - Fine Buff gravel, it also comes with a fine accent powder too, this gets spread along the centre & edges.

It was secured down with a really fine mist from a spray bottle with Ballast Bond.

Once dry I’ll weather with some powders to simulate the wheel tracks.

Jason...

Tuesday, 2 March 2021

Backdrop to layout transition...

This afternoon I started the transition from the helix & locomotive facility backdrop onto the main layout.

To hide the backdrop edge I’m using the Walthers - Urban Concrete Overpass kit (933-4560).  I’ll need another two kits to complete the section.

Really starting to get the feel for the scene now, once a couple of scenic elements are in place the rest seems to flow & come pretty quickly.  It’s certainly a enjoyable part of the hobby when it starts taking shape...

Jason...

Monday, 1 March 2021

Finished off the Ground Goop...

Finished up the remaining Ground Goop today at Carlisle Junction.  Wait over night for it to dry, and install the Zip Texturing/Dirt & some more details and I’m done for the base layers of scenery.

I have a overpass kit on the way that will blend the backdrop opening into the scene, so once that arrives, that will be my next project...


Jason...

Friday, 26 February 2021

Zip Texturing/Dirt layer added to Carlisle Junction...

Zip Texturing/Dirt layer added. I’m pretty happy with the way this section has turned out.

I’ve ordered static grass, ground cover, leaf litter/forest litter, weeds & bushes. I'll add some fine gravel & talas along the paths & ditches for details. The trees will go in last once the ballasting has been done and the scenes ready for operations.

So in three days we've gone from plywood to masking tape, masking tape to cardboard strips and masking tape skin, to real rock faces, Ground Goop, washes, and finally zip texturing / final dirt layer...