Sunday, December 16, 2012

Year end wrap-up

This’ll be the last post of the year. Looking back, I’m rather surprised at this year’s projects and posts. I start each year with big plans to do certain things hobby-wise, but as the months roll on, many of those get abandoned and replaced by new ones that I hadn’t thought of earlier and seem more interesting than my previous plans. Same thing again this year. I have lots of ideas for new projects, but how things will roll-out is anyone’s guess :-)

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! 
 Purple haze
 Night at the Bookery
 Stella's stop
 Long walk
 Waiting at the library
 if (FORTRAN) then Stop
 "Just chill"
1 am at Grille's
"Baby it's you"
Sounds good from the parking lot
Next year I'm gettin' a power-mower
Sunny day
Day at the beach
Midday freight train
Planning for next year

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Reassembled layout

I rather like the above view of the layout after all the buildings and scenery have been re-installed. This view emphasizes that the layout is completely flat - that was done on purpose to maximize the possibilities for installing buildings.
Below is a video of a test run of the Bachmann Birney. It runs quite well since it went through the cleaning and adjustment earlier in the year.
I was fiddling with lighting and saw these interesting shadows. I had to snap a picture. I'm not completely happy with the final image, but it seems to suggest other pictures that could be taken.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Pictures from a weeknight and day

 Homeward bound
 Waiting at the library
 Just in time
 Late night at Archie's
 Coming to an arrangement
 Day at the beach
 Picking up
Dropping off

Saturday, December 8, 2012

More photos from around town

 Down the street.
 Testing the waters.
Home after a long day.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Omnivagant layout design

[Section of the Decatur, Jackson & Newton trackplan, Model Railroader, May 1940]

I’ve been fiddling with my copy of Model Railroader’s 75th collection to try and evaluate its search capabilities.I got a little sidetracked when I came across the May 1940 Layout of the Month feature about the Decatur, Jackson & Newton, an interurban and street railroad designed by Mr. Linn Westcott. I was struck by the word ‘omnivagant’ in Mr. Westcott’s description of the 4‘x8’ layout he had designed, “Provision is made for point-to-point, once-around, triple loop, omnivagant (wandering anywhere and everywhere), and switching operations.”  I’d never heard of the word omnivagant before, but I liked the concept he described. 

Mr. Westcott declares that “model interurban and street railroads have it all over regular model railroads when it comes to getting a lot of operation in a small layout without cramping.”  About the same time I came across the Decatur, Jackson & Newton I also stumbled across this slot-car video - shown below - on youTube. It struck me as very omnivagant. I don’t know if the Decatur, Jackson & Newton could actually be built; regardless, omnivagant is a concept that seems worth exploring.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Downstairs comes upstairs

 The layout board came upstairs from the basement last night.
That's the support stand. Diagonal cross-pieces have been added on all four sides and concrete blocks were used to give it some weight. A dark brown sheet was draped over the frame to hide it a bit.
When I was carrying the board upstairs the only part that got broken were the crossing-gates when I accidentally wacked them against the car - don't ask :-(  Some trees that weren't glued down too well wobbled a bit, but didn't fall out.
And there it is. In the living room. Safe and sound waiting for the scenery to be reinstalled.

Monday, December 3, 2012

spacing, Noir, and a display stand

I was Christmas shopping on the weekend and saw the above pictured issue of spacing magazine (fall 2012) at a local bookstore. It’s a magazine about urban life, design, architecture, art, and planning in Canadian cities written for – I think – non-specialists who have an interest in those areas. I’ve only purchased just one issue a long time ago as I didn’t think it was aimed at the likes of me. This issue was another story. The cover photo caught my eye as it more or less said to me ‘streetcar noir’ with its blue-tinged, gritty cover photo. I bought it just based on the strength of the cover. I was pleasantly surprised to see it had several items on streetcars in Canada – mainly Toronto - and overall I found it quite interesting. I’ll have to take more note of future issues.

Also on the weekend I started to assemble the temporary stand I’ll use for the layout when it comes upstairs. That’s it in the photo below before I’ve attached the diagonal braces. It’s just an Ikea shelf unit we had left over from a re-arrangement of basement shelving. It’s 4 feet tall, so it’ll provide a rather interesting viewing perspective on layout operations that I haven’t yet seen.