Monday, September 14, 2020
Saturday, August 29, 2020
The model came with a 70-R-? tender that I am rebuilding. As an alternative I found a Bachmann switcher Vanderbilt tender that may be a close stand-in to a 70-C tender. The 70-R-? tender rebuild may wait for an Owl Mountain 3 D printed oil bunker for 90-R-7 tender conversions. Also that grossly oversize headlight on the locomotive will have to go and the boiler front rebuilt. This engine will only get a temporary non-sound DCC decoder as it will probably be the test bed for the LocoFi steam WiFi receiver when it becomes available. I may re-motor the other IHC Mogul that is in pieces before it joins my plastic SP steam stud.
Sunday, July 26, 2020
Sunday, July 19, 2020
I have managed to assemble the components and try this on a short test track. As the majority of the trackage on my little layout is sidings and yards. The top of the ties are level with the surrounding ground area. To simulate this, the track is first glued to Woodland Scenics HO roadbed foam sheet. In the past, when I was using Code 100 track, I could use the N scale version of the roadbed foam to bring the surrounding ground level up to the top of the ties. However, this is Peco Code 83 flex track and the ties are only 2 mm high. I found a 2 mm thick foam sheet product Creatology at a Michael's Craft store. It neatly comes up to the tie level and even comes in a tan color shown above on the left and takes acrylic craft paint shown on the right. The Woodland Scenics Foam Glue was used to attach the scenic foam to the roadbed layer.
I found the Ballast Bond works okay. I am not ecstatic yet. It takes some manicuring after it dries to get stray ballast under control (I am using WS nutshell N scale ballast and the tan matches closely the Creatology tan foam sheet.) The Proses/Bachmann ballast spreader may work okay for mainlines and was fine for the initial layer of ballast but I found it flimsy and difficult to control as the lever is only good for on/off not volume of ballast control.
I couldn't find a clear squeeze bottle like Joe used around the house so I mixed small amounts of the Ballast Bond with 91% IPA in the small white container (from a TSA pack at Target). For application I tried the three tools to the right. The middle tool was good for the initial flooding of the glue/IPA solution. I used the Monoject tool at the bottom for follow up and a second application of ballast after the first had dried to level up and fill in to the Creatology foam. I did find some cratering if I used any tiny amount of force to expel the glue/IPA mixture onto the ballast. The tiny glue applicator required too much force expelling the glue/IPA mixture causing it to go where I didn't want it.
For adding additional ballast to bring the level to match the ground foam, I used the small TSA container with black top. It allowed me to just add a few grains to fill in.
The small plastic tray under the experiment was used to catch loose ballast after a 2 hour drying period.
he ground area of the yard area I model looks more like the grayed yellowish acrylic paint to the right in a bright California sun. I live in and model a sunburnt land where lighter bright colors contrast with the dark green of coastal oaks. The ballast should be that color too. Ties in the yard trackage need to be weathered to a light silvered gray as well.
Your mileage may vary (YMMV) but this has been my initial experience with the zip ballasting. I am looking forward to Joe's article on a cheap method of making scale ballast with the right colors.
FYI: the Creatology foam sheet is 12" X 18" for 99 cents a piece at Michael's. It is flexible so will adapt to terrain if needed.
Monday, July 13, 2020
Fine tuning of the track locations has recently become more pressing as I need to get the track finalized. The major plan is not changing, just moving track a few millimetres here and there.