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Topics - cuse

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Baggage Car - Daily Chat / NNGC officially cancelled
« on: May 26, 2020, 02:55:28 PM »
 :-[  I wasn't holding my breath or even laying down my dollars yet...but I was hoping. My carpool buddies John and Jaime will be missed along with quite a few others from this Forum that I've had the pleasure of meeting and hanging time guys.


Baggage Car - Daily Chat / How can it be the 26th already?
« on: April 26, 2020, 07:10:12 AM »
Good Morning All...time flies when your days mostly look the same. I hope this isn't what retirement feels like...or, I just need to get a little more order in my free time.

Yesterday, I finalized the landform support and took a portion of my hillside to the garage for adding a rock face and landscaping but I ran out of Goop. I also found that I am out of paint to make another batch. I'm heading to Home Depot in a bit and hope it's empty but I'm not holding my breath (or maybe I am).

If I get anything meaningful done, I'll post some pics later.

Have a good day.


Baggage Car - Daily Chat / Monday, Oct 14th
« on: October 14, 2019, 06:27:20 AM »
Morning All,

Everybody is sleeping in for Columbus Day...I did some scenery work on the base for Execution Rocks last night. Nothing really photo-worthy yet but, hopefully, I will take the next step tonight. I'm going to try out the AK acrylic "Concrete" product to coat the styrofoam structure I built...We'll see how it goes.

Busy morning, but I'm hoping to have the time, energy, and attitude to jump back into the layout tonight. Have a good day!


Baggage Car - Daily Chat / Monday, Oct 7
« on: October 07, 2019, 06:25:11 AM »
yesterday, I planted the brewery with a bit of scenery. Felt good to see some progress again. Have a good day!


Baggage Car - Daily Chat / FRIDAY, August 23
« on: August 23, 2019, 06:01:17 AM »
I haven't posted much lately but, for some reason, I can't resist opening :o

My name is John and I am a habitual excuse-maker. I claim to love modeling yet rarely sit down at the workbench. I come to you for support and to be held accountable.

Let's see if that helps. You are all now my support group.

Have a great day-especially if you're one of us young'uns who still love Friday


Baggage Car - Daily Chat / Tuesday the 13th
« on: August 13, 2019, 05:28:45 AM »
Morning All,

It's been a busy summer and I haven't done much more than check in. I'm heading back to NY Thursday to help get my Mom situated at home and to celebrate her 88th birthday...she's leaving the Rehab facility after having been in the hospital for 4 weeks with Lyme Encephalitis. Scary stuff...infections in old folks create very dramatic results. This is a completely independent, healthy person and suddenly she didn't know who or where she was or recognize family members!!! Like Scott Adams says-we are just "moist computers". She's doing better but still has a ways to go. When we tried to illustrate how robust she is (not a typical 87) by saying to the doc, "just two weeks ago she was driving herself up to Cape Cod" which he replied, "Cape Cod? Everyone on Cape Cod has Lyme disease this year" :o ...anyway, my modest train goals have been even more modest with Mom, work, and a summer vacation BUT I WILL at least dry bush the strip wood for the siding on my SWSM Woodcutter's Shack (which is now just a well organized unboxing with some stained strip wood). I'm trying to work on my patience in model building but I'm getting a little too good at it ;D


Baggage Car - Daily Chat / Monday July 22nd
« on: July 22, 2019, 06:17:46 AM »
Morning All,

I woke up at 4 with my mind spinning with responsibility- so I didn't fight it, I just went to the gym and got my busy week started.

This is my last week before heading down to the Keys for a week of RnR, so I've got a lot to do...Last night I finally broke ground on my SWSM Woodcutter's Shack. I inventoried the contents, read and re-read the instructions and stained the strip wood. I may do another coat of greenish stain on some of the siding pieces to add a little variety before moving to the next step. I'm excited to begin this kit. I've built plenty of Fos and Bar Mills level kits but this will be my first board by board style and I want to force myself to slow down and give great attention to every step.

I'm sure you're all laughing at me "slowing down" as I sometimes go months without any progress but you know what I mean.  ::)


Baggage Car - Daily Chat / Monday, rise and shine
« on: March 25, 2019, 06:30:06 AM »
I'll's Monday but I've been blessed with some good energy this morning  8)

We had a surprise visit from my brother-in-law this weekend, which stuffed some of my train plans but did make for a fun day - frisbee golf, fished off the dock, kayaking, boating, a nice dinner on the water...he's a guy who makes things happen, so I'm grateful. I had been lamenting how little I'd done in the 5 straight days off until he came and knocked off some activities on the checklist.

I do have a little significant train work to show for my time off. I bit the bullet and fixed something in the infrastructure category that was bothering me. I ripped out all of the masonite fascia (top and bottom) and replaced it with larger, stiffer, and more exactly installed thin plywood. I also ripped out the SuperBoard riverbed (like Gatorboard) that was clearly too narrow and replaced it with similar plywood. It's scary to take power tools to a layout with some serious scenery already done but, after some careful cutting and cleaning -things are looking good. I still haven't replaced the upper fascia, but that will be easier as there's no cutting to match contours. Next (or sometime), I'll patch nail holes, sand the cuts, and eventually paint it all. I feel a lot better having that unglamorous but necessary violent work behind me. :)

Univ. of Central FL was THIS close to upsetting mighty #1 Duke yesterday! Exciting time in Orlando sports for their football and basketball programs.


Baggage Car - Daily Chat / Wed, Jan 2...Let's go!
« on: January 02, 2019, 06:55:26 AM »
Morning all and Happy New Year,

Ready to start the year with enthusiasm. We had visitors, including my niece's little man - who was obsessed with the choo choo. Amazingly, it ran flawlessly! I assumed the rails and wheels would need a good scrubbing after months of neglect.

My big plans for the layout are to jump into some mountain building with the Bragdon system that I purchased at NNGC. Maybe I'll even jump into the build challenge.

Have a great day and keep up the inspiring work!


Baggage Car - Daily Chat / Sunday, Oct 14
« on: October 14, 2018, 08:06:14 AM »
its 8am, I feel obligated to open. At the layout house. We have decided to relocate here full-time within a few months. That’ll take some work and deprive my layout in the short-term but waking up and sleeping in the same structure as my trains has GOT to accelerate my efforts in the longer term :)

Bob and Tom, that book looks interesting. My dad was Army Air Corps WWII. I’m sure I’d enjoy anything related.

Have a great day!

Baggage Car - Daily Chat / Miniature table saw?
« on: February 21, 2018, 04:45:54 PM »
Hello my experienced friends,

I am contemplating purchasing a mini table saw and would like your input as many of you may already have this tool (or the one I should get). I am going to be building a lot of wharf decking and pilings and similar stuff and my Chopper is not quite up to the volume and speed and clean cuts I crave...I'm sure other uses will occur to me over time, but cutting stripwood and small dowels in consistent lengths with clean cuts is my objective...My first stop was Micro-Mark. Their MicroLux 50304 looks like about what I need (maybe more than I need)...I am not opposed to paying a little more for quality, safety and reliability. I see Harbor Freight versions, but have read bad reviews. However, the users may have been asking more of the tool than I would...Thoughts?

*I'm also willing to consider that I'm completely barking up the wrong tree. Mini miter saws look interesting but they lack the gate and flat surface for knocking out repeated pieces without measuring each.

Baggage Car - Daily Chat / Tools for castings
« on: December 23, 2017, 02:28:55 PM »
Hey Guys,

I'm finding it difficult to get in meaningful layout time and I've come up with a mobile, small-steps project I could squeeze in to my busy schedule. I'd like to make a regular effort to prepare, paint, and weather detail castings. Even if I don't get a mountain built or a structure completed...I'll have trays of beautiful, filthy, weathered castings ready to place all over the layout (when I get to that point). Anyway, I've got loads of tools over at the layout house but I'd like to create (from zero) a tool box specifically with what I need to prep, paint and weather detail castings (metal and resin). Once I get a clear picture, I'll order what I need from Micro-Mark (or Hobby Lobby, etc).

Here's what I've come up with so far...

X-acto knife with extra blades
single edge razor blades
coarse sandpaper (mostly for flattening bottoms of casting)
files to clean up castings (any specific favorites? same ones for resin & metal?)
toothbrush to clean prior to priming (soapy water? same for resin & metal?)
large popsicle sticks, double sided tape, toothpicks, pin vise w/bit (for holding castings while painting)
grey auto primer, matte tan, matte black spray paints, blacken it
various small brushes, paint mixing cups (?) and craft paints
Bragdon assorted weathering chalks
rubbing alcohol (I want to learn the Sierra West-promoted techniques for painting on chalk)
tupperware container for the whole mess (maybe a tackle box)

I'd like to think I've got plenty here but, as always, I look to my tribe for their time-tested favorites...chime in!


Baggage Car - Daily Chat / Looking for DC throttle system
« on: September 09, 2017, 01:46:57 PM »
Figured I'd post here first. Since switching to HOn30, I'm happily running DC (not DCC). My 20+ year old Tech II appears to have crapped out. What I'd really like to find is one of those old tethered throttle systems (Hogger, MRC?).  There was a black one with a tethered throttle (not sure who made it)...I thought one of you might have one in your closet. I'd be willing to swap something or just purchase from a member of the "Forum Family" before I dive into the deep dark internet.

Along the related lines, I have a nice Digitrax setup that I could probably part with...two wireless throttles, etc

Any inventory or ideas, I'm all ears.


Scenery: Vegetation & Trees / Trees and stumps from Nature
« on: July 07, 2017, 10:44:25 AM »
The backside of my layout is shaping up in my mind. I'd like to do a backwoods, little trains big trees thing to really take advantage of the shadowbox framing. Some of the great Aussie layouts of Geoff Nott and company, as well as the Hangman Creek display layout (and others) illustrate this well. Big trees extending right up under the valance ( to infinity)...I'm thinking no better way to simulate the detail of bark, moss, etc like the real thing. I'll find small (fake or floral supply) branches to insert into the natural trunks as I research the right stuff for Maine lumbering. Same goes for stumps, pulpwood, logs, etc....Here's my question:

Can I spray some kind of clear mat fixative to stabilize rotting wood or will be rotting wood?

Do I need to nuke or bake it to make sure I don't invite termites or smaller organisms into my layout?

Any other thoughts or suggestions?


Baggage Car - Daily Chat / NMRA Convention
« on: July 07, 2017, 07:17:16 AM »
The NMRA Convention is coming to Orlando (where I basically live). I've only been to crappy little local swap meets and amazing Craftsman Structure Shows/Expos and a couple of super-amazing Narrow Gauge Conventions. I model HOn30 and I love little narrow gauge stuff of any type. Every vendor at the EXPO or NNGC interests me. Walters, for example, does not. I can certainly appreciate and enjoy modern mainline modeling, but it's the opposite end of my modeling spectrum. I'm curious about what to expect from the NMRA and whether I should attend and what to priorities would be

1)Layout tours-to see great modeling and meet other locals that may share my interests.

2)Vendor room - to smell, touch, and BUY scenery stuff, detail parts, etc and see what's out there

3)I probably wouldn't go out of my way to attend many clinics...I know Tom and Bob and they are walking clinics  ;)

What should I expect at a giant NMRA convention vs. say, the EXPO? Are the tours packed and overly organized (buses?). Is it basically summed up as Model Railroader vs. The Gazette?

Any thoughts would be much appreciated and factor in my decision.

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