On Sheet – Quiet Time

On Sheet – Quiet Time

recently mentioned the comradery one can get from model railroading (and, specifically, operations). Well, the reverse can be true too.

The other night was club night. Got to the dinner joint at 5pm. Talked with the guys and our waitress (our favorite) for an hour or so. Of course, there would be a board meeting for the club after the meal and being secretary, I was there with my computer. Our president (of course, the last guy to show) came in at 6:30 or so. And we talked over our end-of-year financials and congratulated ourselves on our efforts. We brought the club out of a tailspin and made it a working success again.

At the club forty-five minutes later, I walked in and was ambushed by a guy who needed a back issue of Model Railroader. We’ve got loads of them in the back so I helped him look. Then there were two sets of track plans that needed assessing (I’m pleased to see that one guy is building a layout off Kato unitrack, based on my success with the Tusarora). We had guests that needed escorting. Then there was a mystery of a missing piece of equipment – I had to go back through the security video files and figure out who moved it where.

By now it was 10 pm. My last buddy hung out that long, measuring a brewery unloading shed he was going to add lights to for me (he’s good with layout lighting and the cut-away building is rather gloomy inside). And then he was gone and I was alone.,

Brought the car around to the front and got my own stuff out. The place was mine.

I’m still slowly working scenery on the Tuscarora and have been gathering materials for several ongoing projects. Tonight it was Lowry Brickworks, a down-the-front spur that I’d planned to make clear of its function in limited space. The ground cover was already in with a dirt patch where boxcars are unloaded. I’d just finished the ballast (downside of unitrack – the ballasting). The first thing was the chain link fence that surrounds the property – I had to drill holes precisely so the fenceline would be somewhat straight. Then I added the bumper (rusted up a month ago). No more rolling cars off the end of the spur. Where the chain link fence is open for the tracks, I added a kludged gate (made out of a length of fence), hinged open. After that dried, it was detail-time! I had a bunch of polystyrene bricks that I’d spray painted the other week (still attached to the painter tape loop) which I scattered and glued down. And then a couple of old pallets, tossed “randomly” about.

And now it’s all done – a nice little foreground scene, a brickyard where box cars can be shoved into and out of during a session, all in an area 2″ wide and 10″ long. And that’s about the nicest moment in model railroading, when you can stand there and look at a completed scene and it came out well.

A look at the clock – it was now 11:15pm or so. Late, but I had an experiment ongoing with joint compound and an asphalt paint I wanted to check on. Yes, the joint compound did crack, but I live on an asphalt street that has cracks just like this. Actually, I like the color and form – I’m going to get a white ink pen and see about making a centerline (I’ve got to find out if they used yellow or white in 1962).

Closed the gate (the club one, not the brickyard) at a quarter to twelve. Yes, it’s great to be up to your ears in friends, helping everyone and keeping the club running. But sometimes a little alone-time is good, too.


P.S. Sorry for the lack of pictures – I only have a stupid flip phone. I’ll get a photo next time I’m out. And centerlines are yellow so I needed a yellow ink pen too!