The Roster

Friday, May 12, 2017

New to the layout - the MTH F3

I had the opportunity to acquire one of the new MTH F3 A-B powered locomotive sets and pair it with a dummy A unit. This is the first MTH locomotive I've purchased.  I have to say that so far I'm happy with it.

The detail and paint work is excellent.

Currently, I'm operating the engine in standard AC conventional mode using a 100w American Models transformer.  The locomotive responds well and I can trigger the horn and bell using the transformers built in control buttons.

To unlock the full range of features requires an MTH DCS system. I don't have one, but supposedly, a more affordable option is coming later this year.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

New camping addition for the layout scenery.

I had the opportunity to pick up some additional scenery details in the past week. Both are from Miniature Building Authority, a manufactuer of resin accessories for table top gaming.

One item is this excellent resin casting of a dome tent for outdoor camping.

A Greenlight VW camper van with the MBA dome tent front and center.  Picnic bench and figures are from ERTL products.

Here the tent is rotated about 45 degrees to show off the sides and conver. This tent will need to be painted to use. It's a solid resin casting. 

The other item from MBA are convienience store shelves. I have one set of these shelves, but an additional set will be used to fill the foreground in a Plasticville supermarket building to give a better sense of depth and detail on the layout.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

We want another shrubbery!

Added some additional trees to the layout. Assorted trees both deciduous and Aspens from Grand Central Gems. These were a great deal acquired at the National Train Show in Indianapolis. The savings made attending the show worth it for me.

Added a couple of the Aspen as accent trees behind the ranch houses. 

Used several more to fill in the river bank fronting the apartment building. A little low growth along the bank and this area will be done! 

Different angle looking across the river towards the waterworks. 

Might need to add a few additional trees.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

40' and 45' shipping containers

In a prior post I showed my progress painting the shipping containers. Progress on several is moving along. There was a set back with one model.

Decals on on of the 45' containers is almost done. Once applied, it will need a gloss top coat to seal the decals, then a flat coat to dull the shine.

In profile showing all the defects...

The decal went on fine, but this photo really shows off the grainy surface. I guess we'll call this one 'used'.

The ink ran while the decal was drying. I can fix most of it with over painting. But again...used.

Thought the door latches got cleaned up. But some of that gray paint remains.

The profile shot. What most people will see as it travels around the railroad.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Unboxing the new MTH TOFC with 48' trailer van

At the recent 2016 Spree, I purchased the new MTH TOFC flat car with 48' van. It's a nice car with a new van style that adds variety to the trailer offerings available in S Gauge. Here's a video of pulling it out of the box, followed by a few images and commentary.

So, that's the video overview. Here are a few pictures showing the car and trailer, with some comparisons to old SHS cars and trailer for contrast.

The flat cars are available in two road numbers.

That is one pretty van!  MTH did a nice job with these. I wonder if they will be available separately?

The MTH van on the right. You can see that the trailer hitch post on the MTH is maybe twice the diameter of the old SHS post. It makes for a very snug fit on the fifth wheel.

The overall flat black car is somewhat boring, but it does serve to place focus on the colorful trailer van.

MTH car and trailer on the left. Old SHS car and trailer on the right. The new 48' van really fills up the car nicely!

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Des Plaines Hobbies Container kits - status update

At the 2015 S Spree, I purchased several kits of intermodal containers - two 40 footers and two 45 footers to bring some diversity to my S Gauge intermodal train of Gunderson well-stack cars. While not quite done, I've gotten the kits assembled and at least a base coat applied to all four models.

The 45 footer on top is to be a Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) container. The 40 footer on the bottom is clearly from Hapag-Lloyd.

Decals were printed on clear decal paper using an HP inkjet printer and then sprayed with several light coats of gloss coat to seal the ink to the decal. It works okay.  This is one large decal from logo on the left to name on the right.

Painting the door latches and hinges was relatively easy. A coat of Vallejo light grey and silver grey to highlight the detail. The end text was built using Microsoft Excel and printed on clear decal paper. The labels were cut into several small pieces and added to the end of the model using Micro Set / Micro Sol to ensure the decal adhered to the model. 

One goal was to get a contrast in container colors to bring some diversity to the container load on the train.

Two shades of yellow paint were used to simulate a new container versus a container that had made several trips across the seas. Weathering will be done after the decals are applied.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Getting the control panel station in order

Finally got around to doing some long overdue work on the control panel station. It may not be much, but adding the siding to the table top will make me happier knowning that things (y'know - things like bottles of smoke fluid, pipettes, pencils, screw drivers, Legacy control units, etc.) cannot just roll off the edge of the table.

The plan is to add a shelf on the of the  2x4 boards. The shelf will house things like accessory transformers and give a bit more storage for odds and ends that seem to pile up on the top today. Once I get the shelf instsalled, it needs to be painted gray so it blends into the rest of the layout.