Sunday, October 28, 2012


We are home, and more importantly unloaded and unpacked from our weekend at Timonium with the Capitol Area Free-mo Group.   As usual, we both had a great time,  and it was nice to be back there and part of the modular set-up after a year, non-voluntary,  hiatus.   We had four modules there  (Jimmy's two blast furnace modules), our original Free-mo module - US Pipe, and Rancocas Junction, an odd shaped module with no sidings, but a single #8 turnout and a diverging main/branch on a 42" radius.   Rancocas Junction also features our operating Walther's Bascule Bridge - a model without a home in our basement.   Rancocas was also the module with the least amount of scenery when we pulled them out thursday night.  Unfortunately, lacking space and a real garage, we tend to pull these things out of storage in a shed in the week before Timonium.  This time it was the night before we left.   We quickly cobbled together some basic scenery for part of this module Thursday night - painted track, ballast, some greenery, and a small container terminal to display the paper crane (build described in some earlier posts)
Burning the midnight oil on Rancocas Junction
Early Friday morning was spent doing some patchwork to the scenery on our other modules.  Everything arrived wet to the show and is still probably not 100% dry.   Last minute as usual.  There is a single track for the container terminal that goes nowhere, but maybe, if we can find a larger method to transport our stuff, it would connect to a short module with an approach track.   We did also bring our new staging module.  This 12' long by 10" wide, built from scrap wood the night before module was a nice addition and enabled a brief operating session on saturday.   Track on this was laid with double sided tape as I took it off to reuse on our home layout.  Originally I had intended to have a full four tracks but we ended up with only two and a half due to the complete unavailability of  Code 83 Atlas Flex Track  at the show, thanks to the Chinese manufacturing debacle.
Rancocas Junction the next day - some green and the Container Terminal to the left - also Pizzaland on the curve
Besides running trains, bumping into model railroading and steel modeling friends at large,  stuffing our faces,  watching Predator, Predator II, and Predator vs Aliens, back to back,  with Jimmy at the hotel, while stuffing our faces and reading train books,  we also get to shop for train stuff all weekend.   Besides the fore-mentioned books - A book on Sparrows Point Shipyard, one on LTV Steel, and Narrow Gauge to No Mans Land (a book I've wanted to treat myself to for awhile)  - I picked up some resin detail parts, including another Plymouth Switcher load; 100 metal wheelsets (for the home layout, but Jimmy grabbed a bunch out of the box to upgrade a few cars on the module that were still running on plastic);  a Crow River crane bucket kit; and a TTX container well car and two containers for my new container facility.
Crane Bucket by Crow River - Built it tonight - Pretty straightforward but you will need a pin vise and some small drills to complete.  I will use this on the dock crane.  The kit does come with teeth you can apply but I don't think that was prototypical for unloading ore from ship holds
Usually at these shows, one thing catches my eye.  It's usually something that is hard to find or unique, and also is usually a bit pricy for my blood.  By that I don't mean hundreds of dollars, but rather, a bit more than I can justify spending on that item.   This show it was a GATX Pressure-Slide Hopper aka Whalebelly Cement Hopper resin kit by Q Connection Limited.  I've always liked the look of these cars, but the kit is $67 - more than I would feel good about spending on a resin car kit.  So I looked at it a few more times on Saturday and then sunday I looked again first thing in the morning, and then, near the end of the show, I decided to take one more look - partially hoping they had sold the two of them they had.  They, by the way, is the Atlantic Coastline, Seaboard Airline Railroad Historical Society. They were still there and I looked some more.  The nice fellow from the historical society recognized me from the day before and took pity - the box of one was a little damaged - he could take a bit off for that - upon inspection of the inside, the brass etched sheet was bent - how about $50 - Sold.   It will be a tough build and I will try to post in on here when I am calm enough to tackle this one.

Final Purchase

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