Tool roundup – Part one

Hi all.

A bit of a long break but now just getting back to normal. I took a couple of days off and drove around the northwestern part of Nevada tracing some of the route of the abandoned Modoc railroad. I have a post coming up about that trip. I also got a little sick and have been out of modeling action for a couple of weeks and only now am I getting back to normal.

In the meantime wanted to post something about tools. I like to make tools and I like to collect tools. Some tools get plenty of use while others not so much. Some tools are purchased and then sit in their boxes for years before I can find a use for them.

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French railway magazines

So I’ve recently been getting model railway magazines sent to me from France. It started a couple of months ago when by chance I accidentally set my eBay ‘item location’ settings to ‘worldwide’. Shortly after a lot of “Loco Review” – a French model railway magazine popped up, both cheap to buy and cheap to mail to California. I snapped up about 8 random back issues from years: 2002 and 2003 for around $20 in total – not bad considering just one copy can cost around $16 to mail to the USA under normal circumstances.

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Back to tracklaying

Just three more turnouts and one crossover to do. The remaining track lives on three sections. Here’s the first one. It has two turnouts. I’ve set up my other desk to work on it away from the main table. It’s laborious but fun. I just put some music on in the background and work on it late at night. My rivets have not yet arrived from the UK so I’m just continuing on with the PCB ties. I’ll have the ties laid by the weekend and will build the turnouts next week.

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Scene composition

I keep staring at this scene of the east bank of the trestle I and keep coming to the conclusion that I’m not happy with it. The hardest part is that don’t know why. It should work. It ticks all the boxes: it has a mix of textures, materials, and colors; it avoids too great contrasts; I think it does a good job of reflecting the real world, while avoiding impressionism; and it tells a little bit of the story of the construction of the trestle. Yet I keep looking at the scene and finding it really boring.

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Trestle east side done

Hi everyone. Here’s an quick update on this project.

I’ve done the first pass over the east end (right hand side) of the diorama and added as much as I thought I needed in order to create a realistic scene. I’m happy with it so far. There are still more items to put into place but I’m going to take a two week break from the diorama to get back to the tracklaying on The Town. The last week has been an solid learning experience and I feel I’ve advanced as a modeler.

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