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About benjy14

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  1. So some mixed results this weekend... I have been wondering what to do with the second helix and, after considering a couple of ideas, I have decided the best plan is to scenic it along the same lines as the first helix. I enjoyed the rock face construction so much that I am going to have another go but on a grander scale. My intention at the moment is to have a crack at somewhere like Weber or Echo Canyon; obviously not a part of Sherman Hill but an interesting project. I therefore purchased some more 4mm plywood and 2x1 for framing, and set about trying to install a backscene as
  2. H Keith. Thank you Interesting about wig-wags because as you say, they would need power. Sherman Hill became fully CTC in 1953 when Track 3 was opened, so power must have been made available along the route... Fair comment about the cars, although of course with the length of the trains, if you did get caught, you would be there a while! I will try to get some more videos shot as I do like them as well but I am taking an intentional rest from the layout apart from running the odd train. That said, I have worked out that I think I do have enough telegraph p
  3. Today. I've constructed a pair of crossbucks for the grade crossing and moved the wig-wags to the other side of the road, as shown below: I've also put a couple of cars in place but they're going to need drivers! I don't know if this is now overkill, especially for a crossing in the middle of nowhere... I'm wondering if wig-wags were only where there was a sidewalk? In the longer term, I would like to get an animated crossing here, if it's correct for the period I model. Also, I've put together a short video showing Challengers heading through Dale Junct
  4. Ah, thanks! So I guess then that means there should be a crossbuck or similar on the right side of the road?
  5. I spent the past week concentrating on getting the layout ready for an online presentation to a group of friends on Saturday evening. The effort paid off and for more than an hour, it ran almost faultlessly and at one time, there were five trains on the move simultaneously. The two faults that did occur where an uncoupling and a derailment. I have tweaked the couplers on the miscreant wagons, although there did not appear to be an awful lot wrong with them. The derailment I'll come to later. I did also progress the scenry on the middle level in preparation for the evening, which me
  6. Thanks Jack I have been enjoying seeing the progress on your layout as well. This weekend, I have been getting the layout ready for a virtual demonstration. I have resolved a number of small issues, including a derailment problem in one of the helixes that seemed to come out of nowhere(!) and continuing the programme of ensuring the wagons towards the front of each train are properly weighted, and (touch wood), it seems to be running well. I have also been doing some "research" by watching the superb "Big Boy Collection" by Pentrex, which features a program covering al
  7. Today I have been doing more work on the rockface behind Dale Junction. I was not happy with it but after looking at for a while, I realised what was wrong... Not enough rocks! It was neither a hillside nor a rockface, and nothing like the actual location. The only resolution was to add more rocks... So I cast about two dozen new rocks from Lightweight Hydracol using Woodland Scenics moulds and set about filling in the gaps. Below shows the first stage of fitting the new casts, which I secured in place using more Hydracol: I then set about colour washing the rocks to
  8. Work has been progressing on applying ground cover on the middle level. This evening, I got most of the way to the junction itself, so decided to reinstate the signals. The photo below was taken with the layout lights in night time mode and shows the signals to good effect, together with the progress on the scenery. I had started to bed the signals in but I've realised that I've been premature in the reinstating the signals because I still have a lot of work to do on the level above and, given how fragile they are, I cannot risk doing that work with them in situ. So I'
  9. No, although I can see why it may look like that!
  10. Work over the past couple of weeks has focussed on the scenery on the middle level (Dale Junction), as the following sequence of photos hopefully show... Above and below shows 4-8-2 Mountain #7028 hauling a westbound mixed local train through Dale Junction, heading off Track 1 and onto Track 2. There is very little evidence that such trains actually ran on Sherman Hill but there was a timestabled service that ran south from Cheyenne. I am therefore supposing that this train is running as an extra and is calling at all stations across the Hill.
  11. Some photos of heavy steam at Dale Junction... BLI Challenger #3942 has been running-in on a light consist. Above sees #3942 heading eastbound on Track 3 and below, a bit further along Track 3. Below shows Challenger #3954 leading Big Boy #4020 on a westbound manifest freight. Immediately behind the locomotives are three hopper cars loaded with ballast from Granite, the UP's ballast pit. This idea was inspired by a photo in Kalmbach's recent book about the Big Boys. I had wanted to model the cars empty as pe
  12. Work has been progressing on Dale Junction over the past couple of weeks, concentrating on two areas. The first is painting the fascias, which are finished on all levels, and the backseces, which are finished on the middle level. The photo below is an overview of the layout. It really is starting to look like a proper model railway, rather than an ocean of wood, and it's looking exactly had how I had anticipated The other thing I have been working on is improving the running qualities of the stock, which has been something that's been discussed over the pr
  13. Over the last few days of the Christmas holidays, I have been concentrating on progressing the scenery and have accomplished a fair amount: Ballasting completed on the middle level and the track weathered. There is a bit of tidying up to do and I may try to add further shading using an airbrush, but it's sufficient for now. Formed the land contours around the front sections of the middle level using polystyrene and coated with plaster to form a hard shell. I then painted the shell using home-made textured paint made by mixing cheap, tan-coloured paint with sand I dried in the coo
  14. Thanks for the advice Paul. Now that I've added the superelevation, it seems pointless to remove it, so it'll stay for the time being. That being said, I only had one locomotive that was causing an issue and it is being returned to the manufacturer for a warranty repair. I was thinking the same thing myself about the weight distribution in the fixed rakes. One of the things I wish to model, based on a photo I've seen in the Kalmbach's book about the Big Boys, is to marshall some empty hoppers at the head end of a consist that are being returned to Granite. I have a coup
  15. Thank you for the advice John. I know precisely the device you mean, so I might well order one the next time I see the advert. I do think I've turned the corner in terms of running reliability, which will improve as I sort out the weighting of my freight cars and continue the programme of installing Kadee couplers on all stock. The work for the past few days has focussed on progressing the scenery and I hope to have an update to share in the next couple of days. There is also a new addition to the locomotive fleet to report on... This is a seco
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