Monday, October 17, 2011

Back to the workbench!

Well, it's been an uncomfortable two months where I didn't really get any time to spend on the layout - absolutely none! Crazy work pressure, new home (and problems that come with it as a package), festive season... it's never been worse since the time I stated building the layout. So, yes, I was absent... for a long time...

But that doesn't mean that nothing really happened in the past two months! :) I got a new loco (Bachmann SD45) which changed my perception toward Bachmann to a good extent. This $25 loco has unbelievable detailing - trust me you can buy it for 25 dollars even as a dummy! it runs pretty well too... initially the noise was a little concern, but, it became far far better just with half an hour of breaking session. But was there nothing in this that reminds you that it's a 'Bachmann?' indeed... there is... the headlights are WHITE LED... yes, you read it right - white... and I am still trying to figure out on what consideration Bachmann could ruin such a great loco by installing white LED. But hey, the rest of things are so good, I have started ignoring the LED within 24 hours.

Along with the loco I had some flat cars and a covered hopper, plus some other supplies to make street lights and signals - planning to start on those soon.

Coming to the layout itself, there is some serious upgradation there as well. I was planning to put the empty space below the layout to spme good use for a long time, and just before Durga Puja, I asked a professional carpentar to take my woden stands and make top open cupboards. As of now, it stands just with a coat of wood primer, but you can get a feel of it from the below photos.

Once painted, I am hoping, this will look really good...

Now coming to the actual modeling, today I took some light approach to get back to the workbench, and that is making the rock faces on the hills, while my wife paints the bridges.

As a material I used simple modeling clay on top of the paper mache hill and used a piece of wood to carve the clay when it's still soft. This is an air hardening material, so I took one section of the hill at a time, finish the carving and carry on to the next part:

By this time my wife finished coloring the small plate girder bridge:

And after that, the road was painted a first coat of glossy black...

Now trying with some different angles, with the street lamps on:

And now finally just with the street lights: 

All going well, I am expecting that the basic scenery on the hills will be done by next weekend - but you never know. I will be facing an ISO 9001: 2008 audit this week, so nothing is certain, leave alone working on the layout...

Oh! I forgot, coloring the rocks is my wife's job, right? :D :D :D

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