Tuesday, August 24, 2010
I got back to working on this complex as it is looking like one of the few things I could actually complete for the Steel Mill Modeler's Meet that is about a week away - can't wait. Basically, this structure has been sitting for awhile because we had hit another complex piping spot - piping in all the intakes - 4 main 3/4" intake pipes with 8 secondary 1/2" connecting elbows (segmented of course.) I also had to assemble another four, my last, of the Alkem Goggle Valve Kits. I built the goggle valves on this side of the precipitators basically the same way and in the same sequence, however, I compressed the whole assembly a little and used a single sleeve/filler. This single sleeve allowed me some wiggle room in positioning the intake pipes. Glues used - white and ACC for valve assemblies, ACC for connecting valves to piping, and Plastruct and Testors tube glue for piping. The 1/2" elbows at the bottom of the pipes took some trial and error - the segments needed to be exactly the right size for everything to fit well - I have a pile of four oversized elbows. I still have a lot of railing, platform, and stair work - but it's mostly just that with a few details and painting.
Friday, August 13, 2010
It's been a slow August concerning trains - I was planing on a big push to get some projects done for the 2010 Steel Mill Modelers Meet coming in a few weeks. The prospects for this were good as if you remember, last August I managed to scratchbuild the US Pipe Complex and module in just a month. Unfortunately, economics have caught me at a bad time - I've had a flood of side-work opportunities which I have been trying to complete in the time I usually use for model railroading - nights and weekends. This sacrifice is needed thanks to a number of things, including my daughter's college that doesn't seem to flinch increasing tuition by $3000 a year during a recession that as either unemployed or at least financially affected most folks. Scaling back plans for the SMMM I am focusing on finishing the pig caster for once and all so I can display that, and pulling out the module, cleaning it up, and making a few improvements where needed. I also need to finish getting together my presentation for the event. Overall, if I can unbury myself from side work by then, this fall should be interesting. Besides the SMMM I am signed up for a tour of the old US Steel Carrie Furnaces complex in Pittsburgh in October. Hopefully I will be able to parlay the trip out there into a more comprehensive tour of the Mon Valley, and throw in Johnstown, Altoona, and East Broad Top RR while I'm at it.
An interesting aside - My daytime job with Cipriani Builders has taken me across the Delaware to the Main Line area just north of Philadelphia to manage a project. The long daily commute takes me through the city and some prime industrial archeology sites. A by product of this commute is that I finally have been able to figure out the geography of the the old Pennsy, Reading, and B&O lines through the city. For years this was a gray area for me, although an hour drive with a map would have cleared things up. In the digital age I shoot photos of anything I see while driving - some areas I will go back sometime in the future, hopefully with someone else driving and actually get out of the car and take some shots. In the future I have plans for dabbling in larger scale (1/32 or 1/24) scratchbuilt models of urban environments, so I have been shooting interesting street scenes and buildings also. For those of us living in the "light rail" age, we tend to forget the original light rail - the trolley. I'm not sure how many cities still operate their original trolley lines, but Philadelphia still has at least one running on Girard Avenue. When I was little the trolleys were one of the things I looked forward to visiting Philadelphia from my home in New York, so it's nice to still see a remanent of this system and even nicer with my son. Jimmy has been working with me this summer and it was neat to see his reaction to seeing a real trolley for the first time outside a museum. When we have some time down the road, we plan on actually riding the trolley.