Current Projects

I’ve put together a section called ‘Current Projects’ where I keep a diary of the various projects within The Depot universe. Presently these include The Trestle and The Town. I’m currently putting together The Town diary but I’ve finished The Trestle up to the creekbed construction. I’ll add sections as the projects progress.

Coming up in that section will be the construction diary for the cassette system, the station building, and the weathering project. It is a similar section the blog but with the posts gathered in a single place for easy reading.

Trestle west side

I worked on the diorama this weekend. This is a very in-between view of where I’m at and even as I write I’ve made more progress. I worked on the west back corner. I used the same techniques from the east side to do the grass and the brambles. Things are looking a bit rough but over the next week or some I’ll fine tune the vegetation and it should start look more natural and vibrant (it’s a bit flat right now). My only thought right now is that things are looking very green and there is not much variation in color. I’ll fix that by adding plants and more colored vegetation.

In order to add layers of vegetation or rock or stone I have to set the diorama on it’s edge but it’s nice to be reminded that I have just one corner left to do.

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The Modoc Trip – Susanville and Westwood

Back after a three week European trip. Time to wrap up this trip diary and get back to some modeling!

After Wendel I headed west to Susanville and Westwood. By doing this I left the Modoc mainline and was now following the branch line. This branch line was originally built by the Southern Pacific to connect Fernley (and the SP mainline) with the logging areas of the Californian Sierra Nevada.

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The Modoc Trip – Wendel

Next stop on the trip was the settlement of Wendel, CA. I drove along the county road from Flanigan to Wendel which meant crossing the Nevada-California border. Until the border the road was gravel surfaced but it abruptly changed to a paved road as soon as I crossed back into California. As such I was able to drive fast between the two locations. The road pretty much follows the Modoc Line all the way to Wendel and I was able to spot it quite easily from the road.

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Third crossover finished – or is it?

Same process as the first two crossovers – using the Tim Warris notched rails method. The only mistake/customization I made was to make the outer guard rail further from its running rail due to the extreme curve of the track. But it looks interesting and works really well. The trucks run smoothly through the crossover without any issues.

First the running rails. I decided to do the curved rails first because the rails are hard to handle on the curve. It’s best to do the fiddly work with the other rails where there is less tension.

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Planting plants

I wanted to figure out a way to plant tiny plants. I find that the more plants I place the more realistic the scene looks. Although tiny plants and flowers can just be balanced on top a blob of glue the grass tends to get in the way and the plant sort of floats above the grass. I wanted to figure out how to plant plants so they they point straight up and are fixed solidly to the ground.

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The Modoc Trip – Flanigan

The next major destination on this trip was the ghost town of Flanigan. This location was the point that the Modoc crossed the Western Pacific mainline and continued north. In 1963 the Southern Pacific came to an arrangement with its rival to divert Modoc Line trains onto the WP and connect with the SP mainline at Weso (about 151 miles away). It allowed the SP to abandon the Flanigan to to Fernley section (the section I had just driven alongside) saving 58 miles of maintenance on a little-used line.

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The Modoc Trip – Pyramid Lake

The Modoc Line heads out of Wadsworth in a north-westerly direction towards Pyramid Lake – about 34 miles in distance. For much of the way the line is visible from highway 447 so I was able to find a few locations to take some photos of the abandoned roadbed. The roadbed itself has been partly paved so it is quite easy to drive on. However being alone and not sure of the tires of my 4 wheel drive I decided to not chance it for this trip and kept to the main road. Smaller roads would leave the main highway and cross the line at various points so I was able to get a good view of the roadbed from these crossing points.

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