Assembly of the rolling bridge and approaches is complete. Tomorrow I will focus on paint, weathering and details. This includes adding an operator's tower to the side. I'm off Monday for President's Day, so I hope to have the entire base painted and the bridge and track installed permanently by that afternoon. Ready to begin my first building!
I've added a new photo gallery for my latest project on the "Dioramas" page. This weekend I got 90% of the Sculptamold put down, so you can really get a feel for the topography of the base. I decided to replace Curry's Mercantile for a FOS Barlow's Smokehouse, because it was a better fit both physically and thematically. I also completed a timber retaining wall behind the Hunch Landing pier. Taping together several of the kit walls gave me a better visual indication of how the different sight lines would work together. So far, I'm pleased with the results. My latest purchase is a Frenchman River Model Works "34' Steam Launch Kit" that is very similar in style to the Jungle Cruise boats at the Disney parks. This will be docked at Bubba's Swamp Tours. Now I have to decide which structure I will begin first...the Tidewater Wharf boat house seems like a likely choice.
A lot of progress was made this weekend. The foam has been cut and glued in place and the major structures have been chosen and arranged. Roadways have been located and are temporarily denoted with some leftover Rix parts. After studying lots of Louisiana bayou photos, I noticed most piers and decks are very close to the water level. This signature element can easily be replicated by simply cutting down the height of the posts of the various kits. The next step will be contouring the edges of the foam and adding Sculptamold landforms.
It's official. I started on a new diorama this weekend that will become part of the layout expansion. I'm building it on an inexpensive 32"x 80" hollow core door. Because I don't have room in the train building for it, I'll be working on it in the house. I've spent the past two days choosing kits and arranging buildings to see what fits best. So far, it will include a severely kitbashed AHM "rolling bridge", FOS "Oyster Hill", Sierra West "Shelby's Marine", and Campbell Scale Models "Norm's Landing" (with all 3 structures). The diorama will represent a small bayou town south of Slidell, Louisiana. The challenge will be to give the kits with a New England identity an extreme Cajun makeover! I'm excited about getting back to the workbench after a 7-month hiatus!!
First of all, let me wish each of you a Happy New Year! It looks like 2015 is going to be an exciting year for the MA&G. I've decided to take the plunge and build an addition to the existing train building! At this point I'm still in the early planning stages, but I'm thinking of either extending the building another 24 feet (which would create a 14 x 56 footprint) or adding a 24 x 24 addition which would create an L-shaped footprint. Not only would I be able to expand the layout itself, but his would also allow room for a "crew lounge", a larger workbench with spray booth and possibly a small bathroom. However, my main motivation for embarking on this addition is the burning desire to build and incorporate my collection of 70 (and growing) unbuilt craftsman kits! This doesn't include the 2 x 3 diorama I've already completed (which has four additional structures). I'm looking at design options now which include a separate branch line, an interchange, or simply extending the existing line. If I go with the branch line concept, I'm considering building it as a single deck addition. As plans materialize, I'll be adding a new page tab to document the addition project. I'm super excited about getting back to benchwork construction, laying track and, above all, structure building!
In the meantime, here is a current list of the structures to be included. You'll notice that many of these are waterfront kits which would allow me to build a small inlet town and larger harbor city.
FSM: Fox Run Milling, Barangould Tannery, Jeffries Point Stave & Heading, Brownsville Depot
Master Creations: Muldoons Distillery
Sierra West: The Shipyard, Shelby's Marine Service
Sheepscot: Red Herring Packing
Laser Modeling 3: Adam Krist Wholesale Produce, AR Gilmore Grains & Feeds
KingMill: Boone Depot
Micro-Scale Models: Dyer's Hardware
Seaport Model Works: Stiff Leg Derrick Barge
Builders In Scale: Tidewater Wharf, The Waterfront
Rusty Stumps: Kelley's Boarding House
SRMW: Spencer Paper Box, Robinson's Electric & Mfg, Whitney & Bent Furniture, HW Myers & Son
JL Innovative: Bertani's Billiards, McSoreley's Old Ale House, O'Lary's Garage
Campbell: Ice House/Cafe, Boat Shop, Norm's Landing (3), Wharf (3), Produce Shed, Schrock's Meat
Laser Art: Roscoe Store
Sylvan Scale Models: Barge w/ Coal, Great Lakes Freighter w/ Extension
Bar Mills: Curry's Mercantile, Hunch Landing, Honest Joe's Pawn, Gibley's Furniture, Oakleaf Shipping,
Four-Fingered Tony's, Ragland Road, Gritty McDuff's, Star Corner, Dunphy's Hardgoods,
Industrial Water Tower, Popovich Pipes & Fittings
FOS Scale: Gardiner Tack & Ferrier, Hollis Pest Control, Oyster Hill, Moscone Bail Bond, Radio WKLO,
Red Hook Wharf (1 and 2), Del Giorno Fish, Rob's Lobster Rolls, Execution Rocks,
Barlow's Smokehouse, Hooper's Oysters, Rothman's Pawn Shop, Mud Flap Truck Stop,
Buckeye Ribbon & Carbon, Canal Street & Third, HT Gordon's Brassiere & Corset,
JJ Hollenders, Caravan Machine Tools, Jimmy Dee's Bar & Grill, Panzeri's Deli,
The Ludlow Building, Deckers Tar Soap.
Walthers: Bascule Bridge, Hulett Unloader (2)
AHM: Rolling Bridge
Today I began a project I've wanted to do for the past few years - install night lighting! I found some rolls of 100 blue LED's marked down 50% (now $11) in the Christmas department at Walmart. The "bulb" is actually just a screw on cover that can be removed so that the lights aren't visible from the aisles. This also creates a slightly brighter glow from the blue LED's. The beauty of this product, aside from price, is the fact that you can connect up to 22 of the 60-foot strings. I started with enough to do the lower level just as an experiment. I love the resulting effect! As it turns out, I even had enough left over to also light the area above the upper level waterfront. Here are a few shots of my progress thus far.
I finally completed and posted a new video. This one documents a run through the entire second level and combines the previous separate videos of Wharton, Hines Lumber Co., Kiln, and Edna. My next project will be to completely re-shoot and edit a new video of the New Orleans waterfront. The background buildings were added after the original video was produced. Hopefully I'll have it posted before the end of the year!
I'm excited to finally be updating my website! Actually, this is a complete overhaul with a new web builder and complete new look. I hope you like the changes and, in particular, find it easier to view on tablets and smart devices. You may notice that the captions are gone from the photos. This was because of the new slideshow format - the captions obstructed about a fifth of the photos. However, these are still available to view on my facebook page. Also gone are many of the "under construction" photos as I wanted to present a more final product presentation. However, these will be available to view through the provided links to the RR-line forums. In fact, there are many, many photos in those posts that were never shared on the MA&G website!
One of the long overdue changes can be found on my video gallery page. When Google took over youtube a few years ago, the majority of my videos were forcibly changed to widescreen orientation, which makes them now appear stretched out and distorted. To make matters worse, I can't access my account to make the necessary corrections (for the life of me I can't remember the correct combination of email address, username, and password) or deletions. Luckily, my two most recent videos survived the change, and you will find them posted here. During the Christmas holidays I will be posting a new video of the entire Mississippi level with all new footage. Look for it soon!
Wishing you and your family a very Merry Christmas,
I have been a model railroader for over 40 years. I received my first HO train set from Santa at the age of 10. I have built 5 layouts as an adult; 2 of which were in N-scale. My wife, Jennifer, and I have been married for 23 years and have three children. By profession, I am a lower school STEM instructor (science-technology-engineering-mathematics) which brings me more joy, excitement and enthusiasm than any other aspect of my life. My other interests include playing the piano and anything related to Walt Disney World which we visit at least once a year (March 2015 marked my 22nd visit).