N Scale Layout #6 - A Lifetime In Hope (2009-?)
The No Imagination Required RR, Part 16

12/29/18 - Propane tanks and other goodies

I decided to go a bit nuts with the detailing on my new propane tank (adding on various pipes and supports and whatnot). And although it was kind of a pain to get all that stuff glued together (and symmetrical and straight, etc), I think it was worth the effort. Better still, the graphics were nice and big (for a change), so the resultant decals turned out great -

I pretty much finished off the machine shop addition as well (just need to add a gas grill and an A/C unit over on the east side). I also took the opportunity to run some E-Z line from the nearest utility pole over to the machine shop. Not sure how I missed that when I first built it, but in any case it was easy enough to retrofit (what with it being connected to that vertical rust-colored brace thingy instead of directly to the wall).

How about that awesome little Model Tech studios dumpster? Dang, those guys sure do make some cool stuff. Now I just wish I had done a little better job cutting my window openings, grr.

Anyway, I think this all worked out really well (as far as eating up all that empty space goes). Now I just need to add a couple of intermodal container trucks driving through the area and it'll look nice and busy.

In other news, I finished up detailing the junk pile behind the warehouse. And yes, those awesome little heating oil tanks came from MTS as well (the rest of the tanks came from Walthers) -

OK, I did build and detail the fuel dispenser bunkers myself, so it's not all "modeling by credit card" over here

01/01/19 - Wishing my layout a happy 10th anniversary!

I think it's time to change the title of this blog from "A Season in Hope" to "A Lifetime in Hope". That's the way it's shaping up, anyway.

01/02/19 - Weeds, bushes, grass and another auger

SunRich evidently likes to keep their really big augers out in this weedy area west of the large bunker -

To replicate that scene, I started by putting random smatterings of turf here and there. Then I added a couple-three small bushes (clump foliage), some tufts of buffalo grass, and then a thin strip of brown static grass weeds along the bunker walls. And everything was coming along fine until I got to the static grass. Unfortunately, the brown stuff I used wound up looking more yellow/gold than brown after the glue dried. Making matters worse, my basing glue once again misbehaved by leaving a shiny blue/gray residue behind after it had dried. I did try using less of it this time, but evidently I still used too much (either that or it just plain sucks and I should try using something else).

In an attempt to salvage things, I tried spritzing the yellow grass with layering spray and then adding a layer of green grass on top of it. And although this did eliminate the yellow grass / glue residue problem, I also wound up with a bit more grass than I would have preferred. But still and all, I guess it turned out OK -

This is the second time I've tried building one of these plus-sized Shapeways augers and I've had the same problems with both of them - namely, that the tubes are too bent/warped to be useable. What I wound up doing with this one was slicing off the business ends of the stock auger and then gluing them to a similarly sized length of Evergreen plastic tubing. Then it was just a matter of painting it, applying a couple of custom "Farm King" decals, and then gluing the auger to the wheeled support structure (which fortunately had no problems) -

Meanwhile, intrigued by my success in salvaging the static grass on the west side, I decided to try putting some static grass down over on the east side using nothing but layering spray (IE no basing glue at all). And lo, this turned out great. No shine or blue/gray residue anywhere -

So, what up wit dat? I did only use light spritzes of the layering spray (mainly because I didn't want it to go everywhere), so it could just be a quantity issue. Either that or the two glues are chemically different. Well, whatever the case, I think I'll give the basing glue one last try (I hate to waste it), but this time using as little as possible. And if I still don't get the results I want, I'll just stick with the layering spray (or switch to some completely different brand of matte glue - I hear good things about Mod Podge).

Anyway, that pretty much does it for the scenery around the bunkers -

As for the area between the siding and the mainline, it's actually pretty marshy in the real world (reeds and small areas of visible water), so that seems like something fun to try modeling -

But before any of that happens, there's a pile of WS "Just Plug" vehicles sitting here impatiently waiting for me to get them glued down and wired up.

01/03/19 - One step forward, two steps back

As promised, I now have seven new "Just Plug" vehicles cruising up and down main street -

Cool, right? I guess the only annoyance is that they're all ancient prototypes, thus further muddying the waters as far as what era it is that I'm actually modeling.

I guess if worse comes to worse I can always tell the nitpickers that there's a classic car show going on in town and to stop pestering me.

I really should replace my cop car with a lit one (if I can actually find one, that is) -

As for the "two steps back" part, I finally decided that I was sick of dealing with that second double crossover on the (former) New Richland side of the layout, so I ripped it out and replaced it with some straight track -

I think the only reason it was there at all was to allow trains on the outer (DM&E) loop easy access to the New Richland siding. But since there isn't a New Richland siding anymore, I'm not sure why I bothered keeping the crossover at all (especially since I have a second crossover not six feet away). I guess it was probably something along the lines of "I already spent the money so I'm gonna use it, dammit".

The thing is, those crossover are total dirt magnets and require near constant cleaning (particularly in this era of finicky DCC-Sound locos). And after having to go rescue a stalled loco for the umpteenth time last night, I decided that enough was enough and ripped it out. Of course now I have to redo all that ballast, but so it goes. Making sure that the trains run reliably trumps all other concerns around here.

I also have a turnout (one of the ones on the inner main that provides access to the yard) that's become a bit wonky. I guess I must've gotten a little careless with the scenic cement when I was putting ballast down in that area because it just doesn't want to move anymore (not using the slider anyway). And not having its full range of movement, it appears to be causing the occasional derailent with stuff that has never derailed before. So, another "yuck" do-over to deal with

01/04/19 - Dodged a bullet

Whew! As it turns out, I was able to fix that sticky turnout without resorting to ripping it out and replacing it.

My first thought was to try 91% alcohol, but that didn't really get me anywhere. So, I upped the ante to mineral spirits, and... that didn't get me anywhere either (or so it seemed). Well, I went back and rechecked it after an hour and suddenly I had movement. So, I fiddled around with the rails and the slider for a bit and before long it was moving as good as new. So, that's good to know - mineral spirits takes care of wayward glue (and evidently doesn't hurt plastic while doing so). What a relief to get that taken care of so easily!

01/04/19 - Yes, it's that time of year

Is there anything more nervewracking than cleaning spiderwebs off your buildings? Oy, what a pain...

This one in particular, ugh. I get nervous just looking at it, let alone touching it.

Anyway, it's done now - and thankfully, it only happens once a year. Now, back to the modeling.

01/05/19 - More Ag equipment

I'm not quite sure from my pictures if SunRich actually has any plows tucked away amongst all that equipment parked behind the warehouse, but it didn't seem like too far of a stretch to add a couple anyway. These "N Scale Disc Harrows" came from Shapeways designer RAH-DESIGN. And although they're pretty cool looking, it would've been nice if at least some assembly was required. As delivered they're all one piece, so applying different colors of paint (particularly to the wheels) is pretty difficult (IE lots of painstaking handbrushing). What I wound up doing was spraying the whole thing black (really the only way to adequately paint the wheels), then handbrushing the discs silver and the main structure red. But I think I would've gotten better results if I could've sprayed the wheels separately, sprayed everything else red, and then attached the wheels to the main structure afterwards (thus limiting my handbrushing to the discs). Having the disc rows as separate parts would've been better still.

Anyway, it looks like things have filled up pretty nicely back here. At this point I think all I need is one more piece of equipment (a seeder) and I'll be done -

01/08/19 - Modeling with a short attention span

So, I've been kind of all over the place the last couple of days.... First off, I decided to go ahead and add some intermodal trucking action to the elevator (based on the never-ending stream of tractors and 20' container trailers I saw down there during this past harvest season) -

Kato makes the right kind of tractor for what I wanted, so I started by buying a few of those. However, the trailers that come with said tractors only work with longer containers (40-53'). As for 20' container trailers? Well, evidently N Scale Kits (UK) is the only game in town there, so I went ahead and ordered up a set of trailers from them. Unfortunately, the NSK trailers are white metal kits and the instructions contained therein turned out to be a bit confusing for this Amurrcan (bogie? what's a bogie?). But more importantly, the parts were a bit more flash-ridden than I wanted to deal with, so ultimately I decided to go back and take another look at those Kato trailers. And the good news there is that I was able to bash them into some passable 20' container trailers without too much difficulty -

The Kato trailers are actually length-adjustable (a two-piece plastic assembly that telescopes), so the first thing I did was separate the two pieces. Next, I removed the little bracket that holds the axles, wheels and mudflaps and re-mounted it as far back on the chassis as it would go (as delivered, it's only marginally glued to the rear chassis piece). Next, I took the forward part of the chassis and chopped off everything behind the landing gear. Then it was just a matter of gluing the front and rear chassis pieces together -

Next up, I heard that Bill Denton (Skytop Models) was going to be dialing his custom shell business back rather drastically. And since I've never been real happy with this MTL troop sleeper that I managled into a Rock Island baggage-express car back in 2010, I decided it was now or never if I was going to replace it with one of Bill's elegant castings.

So, I don't know what the deal is with me and these cars, but I seem to be cursed. The screwup this time was that I thought I'd ordered an "outside door" car (such as the Rock Island had). But no, evidently I ordered an "inside door" car by mistake (a car that The Rock did not have). And yeah, I probably should've just sent it back and got what I wanted, but that seemed like a lot of wasted money and effort. So, I instead just added my own foobie outside doors and called it a day (sorry Bill, I'm not worthy).

Lastly, I started in on the detailing around the hardware and antique stores. And surprisingly, the back and sides of the antique store just don't have a whole lot going on in the junk department (or at least they didn't the day I took my pictures). I guess all of the junk is on the inside, lol.

South side detailing basically boils down to another Coke sign, some generic wood debris, a chair, and a disused soda machine. And yes, I realize that's not a soda machine in the proto picture, but where else was I going to put that thing? It's just too cool not to use!

Out back we have a sponge mop, a couple of buckets, an LP tank, and more wood junk. And oh sure, some people might prefer to spend their hobby time modeling gorgeous custom locomotives and whatnot, but me? Nah, I'd much rather waste my time (and ruin my eyesite) fabricating magnificient little 1:160 mops!

Meanwhile, the hardware store is turning out to be a detailer's dream (or maybe nightmare, I haven't quite decided). Still a ways to go there, but so far I can tell you that a good way to build a portable grill the size of FDR's ear is to glue a satellite dish to a patio table

Anyway, now it's just a matter of waiting for Mr Postman to show up with the rest of the insane things I need.

01/09/19 - Don't you just hate it when....

....you buy something that's supposedly N scale and really isn't? Case in point, the Noch flower pots pictured below. I mean, give me a break, that poor guy looks like he's stumbled into The Little Shop of Horrors!

I can probably take a machete to the plants on a couple of the less gargantuan pots and use them as originally intended (in front of the hardware store), but I guess it's back to making my own for all the other places I need them (curse this danged plant-happy town).

01/10/19 - Finished with the machine shop detailing -

A Woodland Scenics gas grill, a Blair Line central A/C unit, and a couple of safety barrier posts on this side -

And then a couple of WS people and a snow plow blade on this side -

I must say, it took a lot of hunting around to find a suitable plow. If you want plows for locomotives or great big snow removal trucks you're in business, but smaller ones? Not so much. In fact, the only one I came across at all came attached to a weird little Wiking "Unimog" truck. Once in hand, I added a custom headlight bar and custom paint and then plunked it down on top of a couple of pallets (ala the prototype) -

So, that's that. Now I just need my seeder to show up from Shapeways and I'll be able to cross the warehouse off my to-do list as well.

01/10/19 - Built a shed for hardware store guy -

This is evidently a relatively new structure (it certainly wasn't around back in 2009 when I took my first set of photos), so I had to be careful not to make my model look too decrepit. Fortunately it's small and simple, so there weren't too many opportunities for screwups. I did play it a bit safe by going with thin doors and simply gluing them to the outsides of the walls (as opposed to cutting holes in the walls and installing them that way). Detailing includes a bike, a couple of planters, a handtruck and a watering jug (I still need to get an old-fashioned push mower and a wheelbarrow) -

I made the tarp by draping a piece of tissue paper over the top of a rectangular styrene block and then soaking it in WS Scenic Cement. Then, as the glue started to dry, I tweaked the positioning of the paper around the base of the block to get a more natural look. Once completely dry, I sprayed it with blue paint and then trimmed the paper down to size -

As pictured above, there's a helluva lot of building remodeling junk piled up out here. But I figured a stack of window frames, a garbage tub, and my single "tarp covered mystery" would suffice. I then finished things off with a sprig of WS fine leaf foliage -

And now, back to waiting for Mr Postman.

01/12/19 - Yet another piece of ag equipment

This seeder came from Shapeways (courtesy of designer "Baldylox"). It's basically all one piece (the only assembly was gluing on the towbar extension), so for paint I sprayed the whole thing green and then handbrushed the wheels and jack black -

It's quite a bit bigger than I was anticipating. But rather than chopping it into something smaller, I simpy rearranged things a bit to make room for it -

At this point I'm thinking I've achieved maximum equipment clutter as far as the machine shop, warehouse, fertilizer building, NH3 station and storage bunkers are concerned -

That said, I'd still like to get my hands on a couple of these things. I can definitely find spots for them over by the feed mill and north elevator sheds -

01/13/19 - Finished detailing the Hope Hardware and Hopefull Treasures storefronts

After a bit of pruning, those Noch "Land of the Giants" planters wound up looking OK. Unfortunately, they didn't leave much room for anything else (basically just the wagon wheels, an old-school push mower and a wooden pallet). And mighty happy am I that somebody (Woodland Scenics) actually makes a mower like that because I need a couple of them and my attempts at building one myself yielded a monstrousity so huge that it looked like something you'd use to smooth a road after laying tar

Apart from the Shapeways trash bin, sidewalk detailing here basically duplicates what's up on the porch (stuff from WS's "newsstand" set). Fortunately, I don't think the redundancy is anything you'd ever really notice (not without an electron microscope anyway).

That's quite the kerfuffle going on there between customer guy and owner guy. Evidently customer guy is a bit put out by the store being closed and owner guy is trying to explain to him that layout builder guy used a "Closed" sign when he built this place because he was too damned lazy to go find an "Open" sign.

01/14/19 - Planted some more trees

I've been getting a little tired of looking at that vast expanse of emptiness that is the residential section of my layout, so I picked up a few more WS pre-fab trees during my most recent trip to the LHS -

I even went so far as to acquire one of WS's so called "Premium" trees, which actually is pretty darned cool looking. But wow, $20 for one tree? I don't think I'll be getting many (or maybe even any) more of those -

At this point I really don't need all that many more trees to finish things up in town, so I'll probably just continue on with the pre-fabs and save my energies for scratchbuilding (you really do have to pick your battles when building a layout this big).

On an unrelated note, all of my fancy new lighting features really have me regretting not making my Schmidt Beer sign light up -

You'd think that in this day and age there'd be an easier way to accomplish that beyond simply building a box and sticking some sort of light inside, but so far I haven't found one. I guess I'll just keep it on the back burner for now and see what comes down the pike.

01/15/19 - Finished detailing the hardware store shed

A Woodland Scenics wheelbarrow (with buffalo grass added) and another WS manual mower -

Speaking of mowers, I sure do wish WS made a regular gas-powered push mower. I need a bunch of them, but the only one I've been able to find is a cast resin job from NuComp Miniatures (and I don't think they're even in business anymore, so getting more of them is going to be tough).

01/16/19 - Just call me "Two Sheds"

Yep, it's another shed - because what could be more exciting than a shed? This time around it's yon rundown old monstrousity behind the antique store -

As you can see, I made good use of those schoolhouse roof templates here. And thank goodness, because there's no way I'd be able to make a roof like this otherwise. Apart from that, not much else of note here - make styrene walls, punch holes for the doors and windows, glue everything together, paint, done.

The prototype has an LP tank and boat out back, so mine does as well. And my goodness is this town ever LP tank happy! I think I've gone through at least twenty of them so far.

Believe it or not, this area requires that I now build a third shed (over by that tree behind the bank). So, I guess you'll be able to call me "Three Sheds" here shortly.

01/18/19 - More hardware store detailing

Is there any doubt that hardware store guy put all this crazy stuff out here just to mess with me? I mean, come on, a shopping cart? Seriously?

Well, nice try, but somebody actually does make an N scale shopping cart (thank you, GMM). Additional details include my micro-grill, a NuComp lawn mower, a hose cart and hose (coiled wire), a WS lawnchair, a bench, and some miscellaneous wood scraps -

I gotta say, that NuComp mower is seriously lame and I don't think I'm going to bother trying to track down any more of them. So, why not just make them myself, you ask? Well, I guess the only tricky part there would be finding something that I can use to model tiny little wheels....

01/18/19 - Hold onto your hats...

...it's another shed!

Being a bit bored with sheds, I decided to skip a few details on this one (no exterior or interior lighting for starters). I did have a WS canoe sitting around doing nothing, so that got put into play (it being Minnesota, it seems that every shed in town has some sort of watercraft leaning up against it). I also added some tires and a couple of boxes -

So yay, it looks like I'm getting perilously close to finishing this area off -

Apart from planting various weeds and bushes, I think about all that's left to do is to add a couple of cargo trailers over by the shipping container. So, Shapeways here I come!

01/18/19 - More random detailing

Those crummy NuComp mowers actually came as part of a mixed lot eBay auction, so I did wind up with some other stuff that I didn't really want or need. However, at least two of the items (a cast resin 1940's pickup and a white metal outhouse) turned out to be natural inclusions at the abandoned farm. But hmmm, maybe I should've tilted the privvy to match the lean of the slanty shanty? Or not. I don't know, it's too early in the morning for such artistic decisions.

Meanwhile, it seems pretty likely that the folks over at Klecker's Garage might actually want to throw something away on occasion (y'know, rather than just tossing it up against the wall). Well, thanks to their new dumpster, now they can -

I also decided to go ahead and park the trailer that came with my speeder over next to the tool shed. And no, I have no idea why it took me so long to do so. I mean, where else was it going to go? I dunno, maybe I was worried about things getting too cluttered looking (bwahahahahaha, as if!)

01/19/19 - More trees

OK, everyone has at least one tree in their lot now, so I'm feeling much better about this end of town -

At this point things get a bit more complicated (what with all the sheds and giant gardens and whatnot behind these houses) -

To be honest I've about had my fill of sheds for a while, so I think I'll go find something else to work on.

01/20/19 - More static grass

Well, no more pussyfooting around here - for the strip of weeds along the front edge of the layout I went with the loooong green (6 mm summer grass). And yep, it's definitely wild and wooly -

I continued the grass along the curving outer main on the south end of town (between the track and what will eventually be a small field of soybeans) -

I used layering spray for the weeds along the edge of the layout, but here I went back to the basing glue. And once again I had issues (shiny blue/gray residue). And I tell you, I used that stuff in such sparing quantities that I was afraid the grass wasn't even going to stick. So, to heck with the WWS basing glue - gonna have to try something else for the areas where spraying isn't an option....

01/21/19 - How to make Unitrack look less like Unitrack?

The more scenery and detailing I add to my layout, the less happy I am with my Unitrack. To my eye, there's something just a bit "off" about the way the roadbed blends in (or more aptly, doesn't blend in) with its surroundings -

I think the problem is that the Unitrack roadbed is too narrow and drops off too sharply (and unnaturally) along its shoulders. In the real world, the ballast extends much further out from the ties and the incline down to grass level is much more gradual -

In light of that, I did try experimenting around with adding a thin strip of ballast along the bottom edges of the roadbed. And although a slight improvement, it still doesn't look quite right to me -

Nevertheless, it does feel like I'm probably on the right track here (boom-swish). Now I guess I just need to get a bit more aggressive with it.

01/21/19 - Thinking about soybeans (hey, who isn't?)

I've been spending some time wondering how I'm going to make all these future fields of soybeans (and not have them wind up looking like big boring oceans of green). And I think the first thing to do here is to have them look like they're in discernable rows (no, not particularly prototypical for my supposedly mid-summer layout, but what are you gonna do?) In aid of that, there was an article in Model Railroader magazine a few years back where the author described making rows of soybeans by gluing lengths of Forest Green chenille yarn to corrugated cardboard and then sprinkling on a light coating of green WS fine turf. And although I think I'd probably skip the cardboard part, the rest of it looks pretty darned good. Vis -

Next, I think that adding some large and complex lateral motion irrigation to the festivities would definitely liven things up. And the good news there is that Baldylox (Shapeways) already makes the basic guts of such a system, so most of the heavy lifting has already been done for me.

Lastly, I'm thinking that adding some slight changes in elevation would make things a bit more interesting (vis'a'vis adding a bit of a rolling affect to the fields).Although that might also wind up interfering with the irrigation, so maybe not. Anyway, all good food for thought.

01/22/19 - The dominoes fall

So, I picked up a couple of Baldylox/Shapeways cargo trailers for hardware store guy -

That led me to replace hardware store guy's twenty-foot container with a more correct forty-foot container, which then led me to move one of creamery guy's semi-trailers over to the other side of the building (in front of the garage). And at this point it all feels like "one thing too many", so I'm just going to leave it all free-floating for now and see if it's something I really want to live with. But indecisiveness aside, that about does it for the detailing around the hardware and antique stores.

01/23/19 - Success!

It definitely looks like the answer to improving the appearance of Unitrack roadbed is to hide those steep shoulders with additional ballast (thus making for a more gradual descent down to grass level). Unadulterated roadbed on the left, revised on the right -

My big concern was going too wide with the ballast (since it's kind of hard to control, especially in areas where scenery is already in place). But then it dawned on me that I could just retroactively use grass to cover up any ballast that wound up too far afield. So, ultimately no worries there. I guess sometimes it takes my brain a day or two to catch up with my modeling

There are still many hours of tedious work ahead of me as far as retro-fixing all my track goes. But I at least have a viable plan now, so that makes me happy.

01/27/19 - A visit to the Nevada State Railroad Museum in Boulder City

While enjoying a little winter getaway to Vegas I took an afternoon off from the craps tables to check out the Nevada Southern Railway -


The excursion train ride was a little pathetic, but the old locos were pretty cool

02/03/19 - A gazebo for the Shuler House

This nifty little gazebo came from Shapeways designer "Scale_Model_StructureS". It's all one piece, so all I had to do was paint it (and then somehow get all of the patio future and people inside in "ship in a bottle" fashion). This also seemed like a good place to use up a couple more of those giant potted plants, and so I did -

Said gazebo is probably more along the lines of what you'd find in a park (think bandstand), but it doesn't look too out of place as compared to the real thing. I decided to skip trying screen it in (figuring screens would block the already limited view of the inside). I also skipped the concrete apron (more out of laziness than anything else, lol).

Who puts a gazebo in their front yard anyway? I'd much rather have it out back where I could kick back and watch the trains roll by. But hey, that's just me

02/09/19 - This 'n' that

I finished adding ballast to another ten feet (or so) of track, so I guess I'm about 33% done. And yeah, it's a lot of a work, but I do like the results.

Before & After -

I also finished up the north side grade crossing and extended the swath of static grass along the outer lip up to the road -

I decided to give "Mod Podge" a try here and I'm happy to report that it worked out like gangbusters - the grass went down just fine and the glue completely vanished after it dried. So, adios and good riddence to the WWS basing glue.

The rest of the plan is to add static grass and trees to that triangular area between the mains (similar to what's going on at the abandoned farm) -

I was thinking I'd do the same for the outer lip (north of the road), but then I decided that that would be too much wasted land (in terms of farming). So (against my better judgement) I think I'm going to plant some more corn there instead. Oh hell, what's an extra $400 between friends?

Speaking of farming, I ordered up some of that chenille yarn, and.... um, no, I don't think it's going to work. First off, although it might be OK for HO scale, I just think it's too big for N scale soybeans. Also, the color isn't quite right (soybeans being more of a blue/gray green than a forest green). I do like the basic concept, but I'm thinking that string might work better than yarn (either that or "skinnier" yarn, if there's such a thing). In any case, I guess it's time to get off my ass and go see what Michael's has to offer.

02/11/19 - A more realistic Trackmobile for SunRich

I decided to replace that goofy looking "motorized trackmobile foobie" I built a decade ago with something a bit more prototypical (OK, a lot more prototypical) -

No, it's not technically a "Trackmobile" (which I thought was the generic term for such vehicles, but in reality is just a brand name). This one is actually a Rail King RK275 Rail Car Mover (made by Shapeways designer "Stony Smith Designs"). But Trackmobile or not, I painted and detailed it to look like SunRich's TM 4250 (additional detailing includes a rotary beacon, a couple of horns and some decals) -

This is one of the more impressive Shapeways vehicles I've come across, at least insofar as it has a lot of moving parts (despite the fact that no assembly is required). The axles actually turn and the big wheels can be positioned for either "on the ground" or "on the track" operations. It's really quite impressive (and it also makes painting the wheels a lot easier). The only real downside to the thing is that handrails are rather bloated and the cab isn't hollow, but beyond that it's pretty sweet.

02/17/19 - On second thought...

I decided that there was indeed too much going on over in the creamery's parking lot, so I got rid of the trailer in front of the garage, slid the container a little further east, and then moved hardware store guy's cargo trailers deeper into his lot. It doesn't really match my proto picture anymore, but it does seem to have better feng shui this way (if that's actually a thing in model railroading).

Meanwhile, over in the toy department.... my cop car finally has lights!

So, neatno. But now I definitely need to get serious about lighting up that Schmidt Beer sign....

03/09/19 - Taking a break

I managed to escape the snow covered hellscape that is Minnesota for a couple of weeks, so not much modeling to report. However, I did take a ride on the St Kitts Scenic Railway (last operating railroad in the West Indies) -

The bottomless rum drunks are a nice perk, just watch out for the jumbies!

Romanian motive power? Um, sure, why not.

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