Man, that static grass looks great! Actually, a Photoshop effort combining a photo of the 442 on a grain train photographed on the new lower level with a landscape photo from the North-West gleaned from on-line. Not quite up to the Ray Pilgrim level, but getting closer. . .
I'd set the beginning of March as sort of a deadline to have the lower level benchwork and backdrop up, and last night, I finished painting the backdrop. It's been a month since I'd updated this blog; it's been a busy month on the railroad as I pushed to get as much done on it before my son's baseball season starts up.
I wanted to get the "unsexy" stuff out of the way: benchwork, backdrop, some of the roadbed. I was able to even put much of the lower-level mainline in place--albeit held down with track nails rather than anything permanent--as I explored track plan options.
There's no wiring on the tracks--I've run trains back and forth using a power pack and alligator clips. There's only the points at each end of the Edgeroi and Gurley loops, and I've got what seems like a kazillion #5 points to make to finish the yard at Narrabri West as well as the lower level points to access elevators and goods sidings. I did get the lower level lighting purchased and in place, and the benchwork, lighting valance, and roadbed for the branchline terminal at Wee Waa is in place and, in fact, connected with a section of track to the "rest" of the layout. the CVP Easy DCC is still in the box, awaiting installation.
But, now I don't feel so bad slacking off for the next couple of months while the kids play baseball, I get the taxes done, get a jump on yardwork (Spring has sprung: 85 degrees here yesterday!) and, oh, yeah, take a trip to Australia for a couple of weeks in April.
Now I've just got to dust the layout--cutting ceiling tiles creates a God-awful mess, even after wetting it down with a spray bottle--and put tools and other items away.
In the meantime, here's a couple of photos of the lower-level and a grain train: Jumbo 44203 moves along between Edgeroi and Gurley. I'll present both an "as photographed" view of the layout as it is now, with undulating, bobbing, wobbly temporary trackage, and after running through the Photoshop ringer (top of the entry). Oh yeah--that Jumbo is new to the railroad, too, as I took the feeding frenzy plunge and won one on e-bay; it'll be fun to detail and weather.
Next post will look at Edgeroi and Gurley, the prototype track arrangements and the compromises I made to fit them onto the layout while still retaining recognizable elements.
A bit more true to what the lower-level looks like at this point: 44203 pulls a train of grain empties out of the siding at Edgeroi. The cut-in chunk of fillwork under the locomotive will at some point become a small pile trestle.