The latest at NL&SC

This is for my friends who just want to see the most recent photos Latest progress no rantings or stories. Below
the links take you to photo bucket slide shows categorized by each site. They start out with the most recent progress and work backwards through the construction stages.
Shasta divisions 17th crossing of the Sacramento River
Shasta divisions 18th crossing of the Sacramento River Cantara
Riverside Citrus District in N scale

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas 2011

Hope all who read this are having or have had a Merry Christmas this year 2011.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Obnoxious dealer on my stink list

A while back I joined a model railroad chat group. Now it is my belief that the particular chat group I am talking about probably sells its members names to internet marketing companies. I say that because I noticed that shortly after I joined the group I started getting solicited by hobby dealers that I was unfamiliar with. Since I am a model railroad enthusiast the solicitations didn’t bother me. Then the solicitations began to increase. Now I am receiving several solicitations per day. One particular dealer sent three unique solicitations in one day. Now some of you are probably thinking just direct it to the spam filter. This I have done however the method they are using seems to be coded in such a way that they make it through. Anyway as a result of this obnoxious over the top “constant contact” I have come to dislike a particular dealer I have never met or dealt with. In forty years of enthusiasm for model trains and for hearing from those that deal in them I never thought the day would come when I would say enough is enough. Which brings me to this recollection, do you remember a while back when telemarketing reached its zenith in obnoxiousness. Anyway a guy named Tom Mabe took action and got justice that many of us benefited from if only vicariously. Never the less it felt good to hear Tom Mabe’s gotcha moment with one of those pesky telemarketers.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

What a mess

Work continues on the Shasta Division.  So far little to show other than this mess

Monday, November 14, 2011

After the weekend 11-12-2011

Although I have not been blogging much about the NL&SC lately a lot has been going on.
  • Improvements at 7th St. have been performed. 
  • The Santa Fe tower for service at the Pacific Electric crossing has been built. 
  • Some additional outfitting of Kelly's Feed has been installed. 
  • An additional layer of detail has been added to the Passenger Depot at Riverside. 
  • The Caterpillar company's building and off site construction has been started. 

Thursday, October 20, 2011

N scale fun, friends and swapmeets (BP and BS)

That's right BP Balboa Park and BS Belmont Shores. Well the last two weekends have been fun with model trains and swapping. It started at the Balboa park model railroad in San Diego 10-10-2011 with my friend Tom. Then on the next weekend 10-17-2011 we joined up with a few more friends Bill(the wheel man for this operation)and JJ. It was on now for the Gang of four, from here to the Belmont shores N scale swap meet.

Although its a little bit of a drive, the four of us friends carpooled down from the IE to San Pedro for this event. For this trip it meant getting up earlier than I normally do "4am". Then on to Rendezvous at Bill's at 5:30am. Unfortunately I was the late one(sorry guy's) I hope they'll still invite me again sometime. Anyway I hadn't participated in a lot of swap meets so I just grabbed the box from the previous weekend swap meet. All of this stuff I had been meaning to sell on Ebay but hadn't got around to it yet. Although the stuff I sold would have probably fetched more on Ebay the experience would have been void of getting out with friends and other like minded people who enjoy the hobby.

Upon arriving at the Belmont Shores compound one of the guys said "Oh No its that guy". Upon looking out the front windshield I look and see the Tomcat and he was in full form out on the prey. You'll find him bending the ear of many swapper or otherwise scooping up all the best deals at most every model railroad event in SoCal. Then upon driving further up we see Chuck and the table of Athearn (and a few other goodies) Across the way was more sellers, one of whom had some great deals one of which I could not pass up a LL SD9 detailed and painted SP BW. Bruce and his N scale multi-table sensory overload. It was great.

One of the special moments at the event happened at the end when Bill had a negotiation with a youngster. The young man made an offer to Bill of Five dollars on one of Bills items. Bill said no way that's way to much and then proceeded to negotiate his own item down to a buck. Of coarse the youngster was elated but so was Bill and so was I. All in all it was a great deal of fun. Thanks Bill for driving and thanks Tom and JJ for the camaraderie you're the coolest.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Riverside's Ice plant (A cool project for summer)

I have been gathering or trying to gather Photos and information for the past few years on the subject of ice in Riverside. That is the ice plant that used to exist in Riverside California's old railroad district. Particularly a photographic facing view from the Santa Fe tracks. The Ice plant I am referring to was named National Ice and Cold Storage then later and until it's final demise the United States Cold Storage. The Structure was kind of a Behemoth of a building for the Riverside area. Which makes it somewhat critical for the scene I am building. I have shared my desire to get photos and information from a group of my friends that gather on Yahoo groups to discuss citrus modeling, they have really been a supportive group and supplied contacts and information before. In the meantime as I wait hear from them I am going to go to the Riverside city library to see what I might find there. If anyone reading this has information that they want to share I would be grateful if you would contact me.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Oh Boy I've really done it this time, banned from an Nscale chat group

OK here I go again. This is the message I received after logging on to a N scale chat group I recently joined. "You have been banned for the following reason: Spammer/Date the ban will be lifted: Never"

So your wondering what did you do now. In case you hadn't read a previous post Saturday, June 18, 2011 My Apoligy Well I did it again this is how it went. The title of my post 'A girls best friend'. The content of the post regarding Diamonds. It was appropriately placed in the trackage forum. The subject was regarding setting up a code 55 crossing (often referred to as a diamond) and the potential for shorts. Now this is getting crazy, again I like to pun but apparently it is not acceptable in the slightest form within the community of model railroaders. At least not with the moderators. If I keep this up I am going to develop a bad reputation.

Thank goodness though there is still hope for me and my puns. I have been invited to another N scale forum by a member who read one of my puns, one that got banned on different N scale chat forum. So jimmy b jr. I am on my way hope they'll have me at the N scale limited group

Saturday, June 25, 2011

I recently added photos

I have been maintaining two photo accounts where I sort and organize my photos.  One account is with Photobucket the other is with Flickr.  I haven't decided what one I like best.  One problem I have anticipated is the fact that Apple Ipads are not able to view flash presentations.  This can be a problem with Flickr as I believe their slide show is setup with flash.  I think I would actually prefer Flickr if this were not the case.  Although the organization features are good in both programs I tend to like the Flickr better.  Now for some of you I know you did not come here to read about some technical aspect of computer photo files stuff and you want trains.  So here is a link to some recent photos.  Click on one of the photos and check it out.  I hope you enjoy.  
For those of you have thoughts or experience with the two aforementioned photo accounts please leave your comments.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Photos of recent work Block 8

In effort to try and maintain order in my Flikr photo account I have divided the photos into sets. For example my model of the Riverside Santa Fe railroad district I have broken the scenes up into the streets they occupy.  Thus Block 8 is the model scene in between 7th and 8th street.  Block 9 is the model scene between 8th and 9th streets and so on.   In this post I am linking to the photo set Block 8.  Block 8 is the scene that I have most recently worked on.  The progress that was made in this scene includes the brick herringbone paving in front of the Santa Fe passenger depot and the sidewalk and gutters all around the depot grounds and also the lawns were installed.  Since I occasionally get questions about the materials and or the methods I used to achieve effects I may start adding links to tutorials or a material list.  For now I am just trying to get the photo posting and linking set up.

Riverside's Santa Fe Passenger depot and grounds (Flickr Block 8)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Let there be light

Deciding the type of lighting system to use on the NL&SC was not easy. There was a lot of negative opinions about fluorescent lights but I wanted an even distribution of light across the scenes so fluorescent seemed like the best way to go.  The decision required the consideration of the type of bulbs, fixtures, distance from scene, mounting, and valance.  Each one of the considerations was discussed with an expert (Lighting technician at cooper lighting) and or tested before the final decisions were made.
Bulbs and fixtures
To achieve the right color light I was advised to use a 3900 K bulb (warm white).  I was originally planning to use T-8 bulbs and fixtures however I ended up using the T-4 under cabinet lighting.  So far I am pleased with them but I do have some concerns about the longevity of the bulb life and fixtures.   I really like the linking feature of the under cabinet lights. The fixture and bulbs come in many varying lengths from 9 inches to 48 inches.  Many of the fixtures have there very own on off switch so lighting the area where you are working rather than the whole layout can be achieved.

Spacing distance from the scene
I was  informed to space the bulb about 15 to 24 inches from the subject.  In this case the subject was the track.  To achieve this an overhead mount had to be created.  The overhead mount was created using a Stanley shelf bracket turned upside down then a connecting rail made out of a strip of 1x2 wood was mounted to the shelf brackets.  The lighting fixtures came with a spring steel snap in mount, they were attached to the 1x2 wood strip.  The lights were then snapped into place.

To block the light from glaring in my viewers face I installed a valance that blocks the light from coming outward.  Thus blocking the glare while allowing the light to reach the scene

Saturday, June 18, 2011

My Appoligies, I couldn't help the pun

Well after working on weathering a couple of referigarator cars I noticed when running the cars that they had a noticable wobble when they rolled.  Instead of just investigating the problem and solving it by myself.  I thought I would post it as a question on Trainboard in hopes of leaning on the expereince of some of the other board members expereince.   In a moment of poor judgement and not being in control my ocasional sinical nature I decided to post the question as a pun ( I rolled some reefers, am I hallucinating or). Now within the body of the post was a more direct question, 'How do you solve the wobbling problem of the N scale Intermountain reefers?'.  As can be expected some of the responses were return pun for fun, some were expereintial.  However apparently the pun exceeded the boundries of protocol of Trainboard so the moderator decided to deactivate the post.  At least that is what I guess. 
Now my response here is by no means sour grapes in fact after posting I have to admit feeling a little remorse.  It reminded me of my high school days and the testing of boundries there.   So to the Trainboard members and the staff I appoligize for the inappropriate post.  I applaude you for setting the standard so high.  I hope you will forgive me in a moment of foolishness.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

A little model work and a little operating 6-11-2011

Today was a minor day of operating on the NL&SC.  Since my last post not whole lot has been acompliushed.  Today I just tested some models across the line.  Tom C. stopped by and tested his Bachmann SantaFe northern.  He said it was the first time he used it.  Right from the get go there was trouble.  Apparently the factory that built the model did not check the wheel gauging. Problems on the grade crossing and the crossovers occured.  Further out on the line on a #7 switch the northen picked the points on the switch and was thrown off the track.  Tom took the model over to the bench and spent about 15 miuntes setting up the wheel gauge with a NMRA gauge.  After that the Loco performed much better however the #7 switch still caused it some trouble.  Since the Loco was properly gauged we made some adjustments on the switch.   That fixed it.  A few runbys with the diesels and some minor shuffling of cars in Riverside and then on to some weathering.
 I have weathered a few of my cars but I have always been aprehensive about taking a brand new model and try and make it look old and worn.  It just seems wrong but when its all done it really looks more realistic.  Tom C. has weathered several of his cars and shared some of his methods with me. Tom likes chalks.  My expereince with weathering was with quil brush application and a little airbrushing accents. Tom has really got the chalk method down he really helped me expand my horizon.  Tom also brought his Iwata Eclipse airbrush this was my first expereince with an Iwata.  The Iwata is definetly an impresive performer.  All in all the day yielded two complete Santa Fe reefers and alot of inspiration to weather and finish the rest of the reefer roster.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Street running "but with many advisers they succeed" Proverbs 15:22

Because of a reference to a scripture I made this past weekend my friend said he wasn't a religious man.  I don't know why he said that because I surely don't think of my self as a " religious man" .  I guess its just when the bible is mentioned it brings religion to mind and for some its a touchy subject . 
Anyway I have been trying to convince myself on what was the best way to inlay track for grade crossings, street running and other situations where the ties are buried and only the rail is exposed.  As simple as this may sound I have found that burying the track is not a simple thing to do.  When ever I have attempted to do this before I had performance complications that had to be over come.  Rather than trying to pickup from where I left off last time (without any council). I thought I would ask my friends on the trainboard what they were doing.  Anyway that is why I am referring to Proverbs 15:22 because it relates to council and that is why I am setting up the links at the bottom of this post.  I thought it was worth mentioning to those of you who have never thought about it before or were going to make an attempt at it your self.

Proverbs 15:22

Street running

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Progress 5-28-2011

Well today was a good day on the nlandsc. Tom C. brought over some of his nicely weathered Santa Fe equipment and set it out arond the Riverside plant. The photos show the progress made on the section between 8th and 9th St. Looking at photo titled 1 Progress it is easy to see some of the changes when compared to previous work. A couple more photos show off some of Tom C's.fine Santa Fe equipment.

2 Progress

3 Progress

Monday, May 23, 2011

Grade crossings and gauging

Well here it is late May and I finally have something to blog about. With some help from Tom C. I finished setting the Riverside irrigation canal. Along with that are two bridges that cross the irrigation canal and the Santa Fe grade. The grade crossing was built with styrene strip and sheet. I will post pictures later. The grade crossings can sometimes be a real head ache. In this case it went pretty easy. I am expecting to have to re-gauge some of the wheel sets on my freight cars.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

About blogging

I was very apprehensive about blogging. I was concerned that it would end up taking time away from my preffered past time (building the layout). So far it has actually been good. The blog in its nature is a diary. In this case an open diary that causes me to be more disaplined in my effort. As I work I am thinking about how I am going to record the work until the next blog. In turn when I am blogging I am thinking about what work I will be doing next. This context seems to be improving my performance.
Of coarse blogging is away to show others your work and through that there can be satisfaction and encouragement. Although according to my blogging stats I am not really getting that many visits nor have I got any followers yet. I still feel the process has helped. In example since the beggining of the year I have accomplished more tasks then last year in total. I am thinking my next blog will be about the task lists I am keeping at various parts of the layout. Anyway until the next post signing out Joe

Monday, April 18, 2011

McDermont Building

The last couple of work sessions have been dedicated to the McDermont building at Riverside.  The structure stands between 8th and 9th st. in Riverside and that is where it is located in my model scene.  It was a difficult decision whether or not to keep the scene as pure as possible or to embellish by turning the building 90 degrees so that the mission revival styled front entrance would face the tracks.  Since the model sits towards the back of the scene it was created as a low relief structure.  As a result its exposure is limited to one side.  I decided to go the pure route and modeled the block constructed rail access side.

The building really is a classic of the citrus packing structures of its time.  It has all the features that stand out amongst this particular type structure.  It has the Mission revival facade, four point saw tooth roof, block construction with some great wood and tin add on features and last but not least three rail access freight doors.    Although the scene is a secondary layer modeled in the low relief model technique I did add a few details that are intended to draw your eye away from the minimal depth  The details consist of two open doors in the center that expose some stacks of crates and a support of McDermont building

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Riverside irrigation canal (4-2-11)

Progress was made at the site of the irrigation districts canal next to the Santa Fe tracks at Riverside this past weekend.  I have not taken any pictures of the work performed on the irrigation canal yet.  However so far the concrete lining has been installed in between 7th and 12th St.. The highway and road crossings have been completed at 8th St. (Hwy60/395) and at 9th St.. Work at 7th St.has not been scheduled yet but will begin as soon as plans for the scenes transition from the Coastline route have been finalized.A view of the canal to the right of the tracks

Monday, March 21, 2011

Progress on the Santa Fe's Riverside Passenger Depot

This weekend (3-19-2011) infrustructure work around the depots. Grade crossing at 8th st. and 9th st. were installed. Grading and driveways were installed or improved to allow ingress and egress on both sides of 8th st. behind the Freight depot and passenger depot.
Since most of the Riverside scene is mounted on a flat piece of homasote elevation changes are minimal. This is fairly consistant with the prototype. Upcoming pictures will show the progress of the area between 8th and 9th st. The Structures that will be featured in this scene are the Santa Fe freight house and Kelly's feed. Most of the construction has been completed on these structures except for some minimal amount of out fiting of specialized equipment for Kelly's feed. Behind this scene in a low releif backdrop scene will be McDermont Fruit and the Lumber company. (example of low releif

Friday, March 4, 2011


After responding to a fellow member of the N scale trainboard regarding using Homasote, I decided that I might elaborate my comments and share it here on my Blog. Having built a few model railroads along the way I have developed some preferences. One of the preferences I have been holding to for the last three layouts is the use of Homasote. Prior to using homasote I used cork split roadbed over plywood. This method usually ended up with track not as precisely positioned as intended. I have come to prefer Homasote for my track foundation because it accepts spiking with minimal movement of the track in the process. That is I use rail spikes to set the position of the track not to hold the track down. In fact after all the ballast is glued and set the spikes could be removed. Along the way I tried some of the Homabed produced by Richard Jayne. In summary Richard produces a pre-cut Homasote product shaped much the same as the split cork road bed product commonly avaliable. A lot of people who have used his Homabed like it. I have tried and have had some success with it. My only gripe is the split directly in the middle. Since I am using the Homasote primarily because of its ability to set the track right where I want it I depend on the visual center line. Many times the track has a spike hole in the middle of the tie. The holes can be used to set the track on a center line thus providing excellent alignment. However a conflict that jeopardizes good alignment can happen with the the glue that seeps up in the joint of the Homabed. In some cases particularly with flex track (the kind that does not have spike holes) it can be overcome by simply placing the spikes in an offset position.

Spline Roadbed?

In the future I intend on experimenting with one of the alternative methods "Masonite spline". I am hoping to meet with someone who has expereince with this method and willing to share what they have learned. So far I have had the benefit of some illustrations I have found online. But I am looking forward to meeting someone with expereince with the method and watching the construction process.