O scale 2 rail exhibition layout
After much head scratching due to some incorrect instructions in the build manual, I've managed to get my 3D printer built, set up and working. I've still got a LOT to learn about it, but after a couple of attempts at calibrating it by printing an N Scale coal car (none of those worked, and I had to take some of the printer apart and put it back together to get things working), I've managed to print out the cab from an EMD SW1500.

I've got the files for the rest of the locomotive, and I'm planning on trying to build a working switcher from it, as it has so far cost me pennies for the printing material. If I can successfully do so, I'll have instantly justified the expenditure on getting the 3D printer! Smile

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For the technologically inclined, I would most definitely recommend getting a 3D printer. I'm loving it already, and I've barely scratched the surface.

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As you can see, there are currently some quite pronounced printing lines on the model, and some places will need filling in where the filament didn't extrude correctly. On top of this, the tops of the windows aren't great, as the heated material didn't cool fast enough to keep a rigid shape before it set. This is a known issue with printing in PLA on some of the cheaper printers, but there's a pretty simple fix - fit a shroud around the extruder heatsink that directs the cold air from the cooling fan down and onto the extruder nozzle, which will cool the material faster as it leaves the heated nozzle.

I don't think you can buy these shrouds yet, however the great thing about the 3D printing community is that they tend to just 3D print their own solutions! Someone on one of the forums for my model of printer designed and uploaded the files to 3D print your own shroud, so that's next on my list of things to print! Big Grin

If I was excited about the possibilities of the printer BEFORE I got it, now I'm truly over the moon. Once I've got it figured out, I'm going to 3D print soooooo much stuff! Big Grin
Better watch out or you will be replacing your model railroad hobby with your 3D printing hobby! Eek

Sent from my pocket calculator using two tin cans and a string
No chance of that Mike, I only bought the 3D printer for railroad and airsoft uses. Smile

As I've been showing off the 3D printed loco cab, I thought I would show the motive power for Piedmont Blues, starting with Southern Railway #2132.

The only photographs I've found of the prototype locomotive are from AFTER it was repainted into Tuxedo Black. As such, I'll be using reference photos of other RS3's in the green scheme to weather this locomotive up to the wear and tear typical of the locos in the run up to the repaint program.

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I am going to try and find out as much as I can to turn the model into a Southern prototype, as I'm sure there are variations from the "standard" ALCO locomotive, as is usually the case. Smile
Not a lot of progress on PB recently, as I've been arranging for the sale of West Allen Street, and planning on a 10' N scale layout I need to build for the Derby NMRA meet in October.

That said, through bargains from Nick, Jason and Brian - as well as whatever I found on the trade stalls - at TVNAM this last Saturday, I came away with the following for the O scale fix...

Trucks, wheels and couplers - LOTS OF THEM! Big Grin

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Tank car parts:

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Hopper car parts:

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A brake wheel assembly:
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A free copy of O scale Trains magazine - thanks Jason!
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An Atlas signal tower:
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A free plug door boxcar, minus wheels and couplers - again, thanks Jason! Smile
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A Pecos River Southern double door boxcar:
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An Atlas Central of Georgia boxcar:
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An MTH 2-rail converted Great Northern Tank car:
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And finally, an Atlas high nose GP35:
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I now have enough spares to fit all my freight car kits and boneyard cars with trucks and couplers.

Lots to do! Big Grin
It's been a while since this was updated, but the layout was always going to be a slow burner, so I hope you'll forgive me. Smile

This last week I went to York for a day out, and found a model shop that sells Atlas O scale. It would have been rude not to buy anything, so I came away with this:

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With the O scale bug nibbling away at me once more, I decided to get the NYC boxcar out of it's box and carry on with the weathering. I've done some more on the car ends, roof, and the other side of the car which - up until now - had just had the green fade wash applied. It now looks like this:

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Finally, I decided to make a start on the trackwork, and - after printing out some Fast Tracks templates, I built a Number 4 turnout. It's a little messy, but it works perfectly.

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So... I actually got some progress made on the Southern gondola. So far it's had a real wood deck added to the interior - made from coffee stirrers, naturally - as well as a brown acrylic fading wash, and a wash of black watercolour to dirty it up. The great thing with watercolours is that if you don't like how it looks, take a wet paintbrush to it and just wash it off! Big Grin

After this was done, I went over the lettering and car number with a damp microbrush to remove the paint from the white and let it really pop again, as most of the time the lettering isn't too dirty in prototype photos.

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Thumbsup Cheers

Sent from my pocket calculator using two tin cans and a string
Cheers Mike! Big Grin

Further progress on the Southern gondola from last night, one side has had dings and scratches and rust patches added. I think I went a bit OTT with this, but I'm going to attempt to tone it down a little today. We shall see. Big Grin

Here's the prototype photograph I am working from - found on Southern Railfan (an amazing source of SOU images and information, and my Go-To place for references):

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Progress!! Big Grin

Baseboards are done, so I've been working on the track plan and getting the roadbed prepared, and about eleventy-billion wooden ties cut from coffee stirrers.

Photos of the layout mocked up so far:

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I've also been into the local model car shop and picked up some era suitable vehicles - these three should be more than enough for the whole layout. Smile
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Finally, here's a work in progress Kitwood Hill 'trackside shack' kit that I've started, mainly so I don't go insane from cutting all those ties. Big Grin

It's done mostly with pan pastels, with the only paint used being oil paint as a base for the rust on the corrugated metal sheeting, and watercolour black used as a basecoat for the tarpaper roof.
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Well, it's been a while, but swinging by the C&L Finescale stall at Warley exhibition allowed me to pick up a bag of PCB ties to allow me to progress with the tracklaying.

Unfortunately I underestimated how many I would need, so I'll need to grab another bag before I can finish preparing the roadbed.

I started ballasting the sections that I had enough PCB ties to get done, and here's the results (though it's very much still drying in the photographs).

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It's a slow process, but it's getting there. Smile
Well... it's been an interesting last couple of weeks after my father in law was taken into hospital, so there's been little progress recently. But after some free time yesterday, this is what PB currently looks like:

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Hopefully I can get the trackwork finished before I go back to work on Monday night.
As I'm on nights this week, I've been unable to work on the track any further, so instead I've been building a craftsman kit - Broach Supplies, by Kitwood Hill Models.

Verdict - it's a lovely kit, very interesting design, but it's been fiddly as all hell (even N scale craftsmen kits are easier than this!) and the instructions could do with a couple of improvements here and there. The functioning sash windows are definitely a highlight. Smile

I've also added some of Kitwood Hill's furniture items to the annex of the building, make it look a little more interesting. Smile

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Not much further to go on it before I can start painting it up. Smile
Well... it's been a while, but I've not been idle.

Trackwork is done done. I've soldered the power droppers to 2 of the boards, however Ford has taken the board that will house the sector plate away to build and fit that, and he's also working on building some servo-actuated switch machines for us. As such, the rest of the wiring will have to wait until the layout is back together.

I've also made a start on the scenics, and have used lightweight filler to build up the ground contours on one of the boards. One down, two to go.

Structures have been started and the majority of them are in a state of the basic walls being complete, I just need to get some wooden beams that I can use to brace the corners before I build them up, but I need to wait until payday for that.

I have, however, been working on one of the buildings that will hide the sector plate from view - a mixed media version of the Clevermodels music store. I wanted to ensure that - in O scale - any part of the kits that should be wood are made from actual wood. I figured this would add to the overall look of the layout.

So here's the version of the kit I built in HO scale:

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Whereas here is the progress so far on the O scale version:

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Oh my god, an update!

It's been a while, but with literally 2 weeks to go before the Mansfield show, I figured it best I actually get started on the scenery! Tongue

This is about 30 minutes work.

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Two of the three boards have been wired, myself and Ford just need to find some time to get together and get them all linked together.

More scenery work when I get home later this morning. Big Grin
One board, at least, will be completed scenically before Mansfield show. Smile

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Loads of time left! Big Grin

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