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Sunday, January 01, 2012

2012 State of the Layout Address

Happy New Year Folks! 2012 is going to be a gang busters year I just know it! Yes sir! A gang busters year! I have some new projects ready to start as well as finishing up old projects, as I resolve this year to be my most productive year yet! So bring it on!

State of the Layout:
This is how things stand at this moment, January 1st 2012:

SD&SE Ry #107 Niles Car. During this holiday season I added the finishing details. This car is 98% DONE!  I'll post more about that in the coming weeks.

SDERy Birney #103 has been making regular runs on the Southern California Traction Clubs layout. The car with its BullAnt mechanism performs beautifully even through rough, intricate trackage. The car was declared 100% finished until Fred Gurzeler presented me with some beautiful, delicately built fenders for the underbody that I have yet to install. This car will be an important representative of 4 wheeled equipment when I start fine tuning the track and stringing overhead on my layout, hopefully soon this year. Yes sir! Hopefully soon this year!

SD&SE Ry #105 Niles Car is listing to one side! That's not good. Leaning like that causes the trolley pole to be off center and so has to reach over to the overhead. Which means the shoe is contacting the overhead at an angle. Which means dewirements are frequent.  I can't figure out why its listing but I do know how to fix it thanks again the invaluable Fred Gurzeler. He gave me some hardware that replaces the tiny Hollywood foundry screws that attach the trucks to the body. The listing isn't the fault of the Hollywood Foundry equipment but this swapping of hardware will probably fix the problem. When that's done, the car is ready for super-detailing.

Point Loma RR #109 / #402: I've been referring to this car as #109, but the prototype was later repainted and renumbered to #402. The paint scheme of #402 is the one I'm modeling so this car will be referred to as #402 from here on out. Progress has stalled on this car because this car requires some custom printed decals since the lettering and striping include silver. I don't have the funds for that right now and so concentrated funds on getting #105 and #107 done. They will represent big interurbans when I'm fine tuning the track and stringing overhead on my layout.

The Layout is in a state all right. A state of chaos!  The layout has suffered. From the destruction of its overhead by rambunctious kittens, to dust, to over a decade of storage, and the trial and errors of learning how to build a traction layout. So it was stripped down to just the track and streets and is ready to be rebuilt stronger, better. A canopy (what I was originally been referring to in this blog as a valence) designed to look like a streetcar deck roof, has been built to keep dust off the layout and to house the layouts lighting. It features faux stained glass clerestory windows and a brass conductors bell. I recently covered the wooden roof with a waterproof paper mache to simulate canvas covering. Sides will be installed to insulate the layout from the inhospitable world of dirt and varmints and anything else that could cause damage and grief! 

Then and only then can I start stringing the overhead again. This time tailored to a sample of each type of rolling stock that's going to be running on this layout. Which brings me to my next project...

San Diego Electric Railway Class 5, 400 series car. This project will be built from a 1970s brass import by Pacific Traction and feature the new Diablo mechanism from Hollywood Foundry.

Dandy Blog. As you can see, this blog is sporting a new 1920s look to it and features an art deco portrait of the man himself, ol' Sparky along with one of the 400 series cars. The new "Module Spotlight" feature has been met with happy comments and so will continue. Bloggin' along. Yes sir! Bloggin' along.

So that's where it all stands. As you can see I got my work cut out for me. One more car to go and then I can concentrate on getting the layout running. Yes sir! Concentrate on getting the layout running!



  1. Well done, Dan D Sparks! I've enjoyed following your progress and look forward to more postings in 2012!

  2. Thank you Trevor! I'll be following you now what with a nifty podcast and a blog going on. I've added your blog to my "Likable Linkables" on my sidebar. Now I'm off to listen to some of those podcasts. Thanks for riding!