Thursday, July 14, 2011

Rainy Day Layout Shots

Here's something I've learned.

The people who have layouts that are featured in the model railroad press, are really, really good modelers. Every time I try taking a picture of my sorry excuse of a model railroad it just drives home how far I have to go to consider my meager offerings presentable.

But for some reason even that doesn't stop me. Model railroading is unusual for me in that even though I know what I'm doing is sub-par, I can't help but enjoy it. That's different than a lot of other activities I have tried, and maybe it's because this is so much fun even when you're not an expert.

That's quite a lead in for just a couple of photos, but here's the first:

Another lesson from this corner of the layout is how one thing leads to another. This all started, believe it or not, because of the fertilizer plant I cobbled up some time ago. It needed a home on the railroad, and just to the right of this corner seemed like the perfect spot. There was already a switch that could feed the fertilizer plant spur, but the benchwork would have to be extended a few inches to accomodate the track.

Since this extension would make it kind of tough to reach the rear of the layout, it seemed only proper to do some scenery while it was still relatively accessible. First, I installed and painted the backdrop (which turned out to be too short, as the photos clearly show). Then some landforms and ground cover, a road, and the grain elevator that was planned for the corner, where a siding had already been laid.

And the grain elevator project took on a life of its own. My poor fertilizer plant languishes on some blue foam as it waits patiently for a home to be established. The grain elevator project just goes on, and on. Last weekend I built the three silos and headhouse that increased the storage capacity just enough to justify rail service. Since this model is set in the present day, you can't load covered hoppers without some sort of fall protection for the guys opening and closing the lids, so that's under construction. There's a desparate need for some kind of spout to fill the cars from. And it's a sorry elevator that doesn't have some kind of high capacity grain dryer on site, so I have to figure out what style dryer this one will have, where it will sit, and how the wet grain is stored and fed into the dryer. Heck, I've got more ideas than I do space!

Here's another angle of the complex as it sits tonight.

With near hundred degree temps and high sun in the forecast, hopefully this weekend will allow some more progress on West Central Grain and Seed.

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