Monday, November 17, 2014

T-Trak Module Set

This past weekend, our club put both our N-TRAK and T-TRAK layouts on display:
My Conrail #7883 GP-38 taking a bridge crossing on the NTRAK layout.

And... a few videos...

quick short!

Monday, September 22, 2014

More T-TRAK Modules

Nothing like a train show on the schedule to get your ass in gear, and build! Had a whirlwind week of building and scenicing 4 modules for our club's T-TRAK debut. I built 3 doubles and 1 single.

Yes, there is still MUCH MUCH more work/tweaking to be done on these modules, and I will in short order! But for now, I'm happy how they turned out. 

Scenery - drying time outside

I call this "East" or the "A" module

In the layout (our N-TRAK setup in the background.

"Neighbors" module

Thursday, September 4, 2014

T-Trak Modules

Back after a "non-train" summer of lawn mowing, home repairs and improvements, and other things...

Last year, members in my N-TRAK club starting talking about T-TRAK. I was curious, and a few of us started to plan modules. Well, I've put my first module together. No scenery yet, but it's coming along. Quick construction photos:



Yes, it's half-inch foam core.

Built a couple more "doubles" today:

All three modules - track laid, but not secure

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Amherst Railway Society Railroad Hobby Show

Had a fantastic time at this years' railroad hobby show in West Springfield, MA.

I was an exhibiter, being part of the Winterfest N-TRAK convention organized by Northeast N-TRAK. Basically, this is a mini-convention within the greater show.
Setup on Friday took about 5 hours from load-in to running a train. Many new modules made their debut, and there was some outstanding modeling.

Friday night had a few interesting clinics at the hotel. The one that got my attention was applying graffiti pictures to cars using regular paper and white glue.

Words cannot adequately describe the overall hobby show. There are four buildings totaling almost 800,000 square feet of model railroad heaven. Vendors, societies, and layouts of all scales coming together. Attendance for both days totaled over 21,000 people. That doesn't include vendors and exhibitors! If you can't find it here, then it probably doesn't exist.

Met some new friends this year, and hope to meet up with them soon.

Both nautre and bored teens have taken over at this abandoned roundhouse and turntable

Chris Oliva's highway overpass and catenary

Valley ntrak module with an actual subway mounted underneath.

Toshiyuki Abe's outstanding marina module, with lots of animation, wins Best in Show and animation award.
and finally, a video of my New Jersey Transit F40PH in pushing a few Comet II cars.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Sketchup / Shapeways

Over the last few weeks, I decided to learn how to use Sketchup. I like to learn new things, and this was a challenge! Also, there had been a post going around on about modifying a Kato F40PH to it's "rebuilt" model.

The original poster wanted his VIA engines to have the correct look, and I wanted my NJT F40's to have their correct look. Basically, during the rebuild, the F40's rear nose was chopped and moved all the way aft about 3-4 feet and new body constructed to cover the new CAT HEP generator. There are variations between how VIA did it, and what the NJT models look like.

Of course, rather than start with something "simple" to learn Sketchup, I dove right in to try my hand at creating the "addition" to the F40. Yeah... compound angles, fans, headlamps, doors... I bit off more than I could chew.

Complexity has it's merits, however, and following the excellent SketchUp tutorial videos actually accelerated my learning. In the end, I came up with a decent looking part, IMHO.

2014-JAN-12 EDIT:My Shapeways order came in, and the parts were off by 6 scale inches. Not bad for my first attempt. I know what I did wrong - an error in scaling from feet/inches to final n-scale in millimeters!

New parts have been ordered and they are in production. I'm even happy with how the "wrong" parts came out.

Here's a screen-cap of my part at Shapeways.