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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.

Selling Kit... / Model RR video series, 21 DVD's for sale
« on: March 11, 2017, 11:21:24 AM »
I am offering the Model Railroader DVD series "Dream, Plan, Build" for sale. I subscribed to this series for several years and the set includes...
       -episodes 1-14
       -"Real Rails Edition..."Big Power"
      -"Real Rails Edition..."Horseshoe Curve"
       - Special Episode...:Layouts, Tips, and Prototypes"
       -Special Episode..."Painting Backdrops"
       -Special Episode..."DCC from Start to Finish"
       -Special Episode..."Realistic Layout Operations"
       -Great American Layouts Edition..."Doug Tasgold's D&RGW Silverton Branch"

21 DVD's in all, all in perfect condition in original packaging. For sale or trade (interests are HOn30, built up small structures or vehicles, details...make an offer  :)


Baggage Car - Daily Chat / Wednesday the 1st
« on: March 01, 2017, 06:02:51 AM »
Happy Hump Day! I've been a busy boy. Massively renovating our second home (layout room ;) ), working hard, training an intern, buying a smaller primary home, selling our too large primary home, juggling the finances to do all of the above at the same time :o ...My wife and I decided we should just jump in to the fire and have it all settle at the same time and (eventually) I'll be glad for it.

I saw those new Fos beginner kits....maybe they should call them "Icebreakers" for someone like me who can't even ponder starting a big, daunting project but maybe a small simpler one that will provide some instant gratification...I really like that station.

Have a good day All. Hope to see the SBG before too long.

Baggage Car - Daily Chat / Tuesday, the 24th day of the year
« on: January 24, 2017, 06:00:05 AM »
Nothing to report here. Just a lot of thinking about the next phase of my layout and, mostly, it's next home.

Have a great Tuesday and hope you're all healthy and happy.


Baggage Car - Daily Chat / Friday, New Year's Eve Eve
« on: December 30, 2016, 06:59:30 AM »
Another long weekend is close. I haven't yet posted anything, but I picked up a beautiful completed build from Reading Bob the other day.

Hope to do some work of my own this weekend.


Baggage Car - Daily Chat / Flooring for layout room
« on: October 09, 2016, 08:43:57 AM »
I am in the enviable position of building a layout room from the ground up in the renovation of my house by the coast. I like a comfortable, inviting layout room/office setting.

What experience and suggestions do you have for flooring? My preference, at this point, is some sort of tight woven carpet with a substantial pad. Easy on the feet when standing and working for a while.

Any thoughts?

Baggage Car - Daily Chat / Tuesday April 19
« on: April 19, 2016, 05:44:43 AM »
It's just too great an honor opening to pass up. ;D

I just responded to an email to visit a onewolf's layout this Saturday along with the SBG. I'm not sure if it'll workout, but I invited them to stop by as no one has seen my new shadowbox layout. There's not much to see yet and that's a TOUGH act to follow, but I hope it works out. I've been spending time on the Sierra West website, taking in techniques and it's very inspiring to me. I'll need to crack a kit box or start some new project involving stripwood, maybe tonight.

Have a great day!


Baggage Car - Daily Chat / Friday, the ...who cares as long as it's Friday
« on: February 19, 2016, 06:12:56 AM »
So glad it's Friday. I've had out of town visitors - one with Strep. Lots of action at work, etc....

Not much on today or this weekend. My track finally arrived from Caboose Hobbies, so I expect I'll finish the staging area trackage.

I've blasted in and out of the Forum lately without much input, but there are some inspiring threads...they have inspired me to never take apart an engine, try to build signals, etc...very impressive stuff. My favorite thing is the EXPO countdown!


Baggage Car - Daily Chat / Hump Day
« on: January 20, 2016, 06:42:45 AM »
Wednesday already...full day at work, but tonight I plan to prep my train room for the long awaited paint job it needs. My wife is scheduled for sushi dinner and then painting with me Friday night. It'll be a relief to put that unavoidable job behind me and full steam ahead on the layout. I plan to place a staging area/continuous loop on a narrow shelf on the wall behind the layout so finishing the room is a big step to removing obstacles. Tomorrow, I'm meeting my friend for lunch and picking up my backdrops. Installing them should be a huge step forward and will allow me to build some landforms. By the end of the weekend I expect to have some good things to show you all. ;D


Baggage Car - Daily Chat / Sunday, 17th day of the year
« on: January 17, 2016, 07:58:28 AM »
Sure, I'll open...

I got a bit done in the train room yesterday, mostly organizational. I'm meeting my friend on Thursday for the backdrops and I have a date with my wife to paint the room Friday night. I've got a list of 17 items to do before the EXPO...I figure if I get thru 12, it's a win! The way I've been going at would be a big win. Scottish Highlands Festival today - that's a lot of fun.

Have a great day...John

Baggage Car - Daily Chat / Monday Morning
« on: December 21, 2015, 07:37:24 AM »
It's Monday at 7:30, where is everyone? Here is a picture a friend posted on FB. It's the annual display at the New York Botanical Gardens (right next to the Bronx Zoo). It features scale models of NYC landmarks made entirely of natural materials. Incredible...


Baggage Car - Daily Chat / Wednesday, Hump Day
« on: December 09, 2015, 06:22:54 AM »
Sure, I'll open. No trains for me this week. Maybe a little more brainstorming, but not likely any hands-on work as things are very demanding at work. Our staff party is Saturday at a remote location, so all hands are on deck  prepping for that...probably 120 guests. Sunday will definitely be a day of rest.


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