Summer Evening and the ML401

Summer Evening and the ML401
Conrail ML401 rolls west through Central New York farm country in Onondaga County, September 1994.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Seeing the Light


Recently, a few regular operators referred to the area west of CP282 as a 'tunnel.'  I started to think about that a while back, and have long planned to make some changes there to better illuminate the area to suggest the main line curves into the woods.  This image shows the issue - trains disappear into a dark cavern even with the lights fully lit.

This is a challenge given that there are no tunnels anywhere near Syracuse on the Conrail main line.  New York Central called this the Water Level Route, and the only tunnels on the main line are east of Albany!



Based on a few ideas I'd read in Model Railroader in articles written by well-known author Paul Dolkos, the right combination of scenery and lighting behind the backdrop can effectively trick the eye so that it hardly notices the backdrop at all.  The main line looks to continue out of view, but on the far side of the backdrop.   The trick for me was to do that with some sort of dimmable light that was evenly spread through the visible area behind the backdrop, allowing this lighting to compliment the room lighting for my overnight operations.

The Internet revealed a number of dimmable LED light strips - a perfect solution.  Some even came with a kit for quick installation, and remote control operation.   I settled on one commonly available at Home Depot.  After installing a tree canopy on the far wall, and installing the LED lighting in a back-and-forth manner to increase the lumens in an even manner, I turned on the remote and the results really were remarkable.


It is hard to imagine I did without this for so long!

~RGDave


Thursday, March 23, 2017

Finalized Fascia

A few images for you of the final fascia installation, now painted, and awaiting scenery construction.  The railroad has come a long way in the last few months and it's exciting to see it come together! Completing the facia is a dramatic upgrade.

First, an overview of the areas near Iroquois Paper, and across the aisle to the open running areas between Onondaga and Fayetteville:



Now an image showing the Blue Circle Cement plant and Fayetteville up behind:


Next up, a closer view at Iroquois, showing the steps immediately following fascia installation.  I use hot glue to secure a web of cardboard strips, which will form the rough support for the terrain above.


Once the strips are secured, I use plaster-soaked gauze and newspaper laid across the webbing to represent the ground surface.  A second layer firms this up and once dry, can be painted a dark earthy color before installation of static grass or other scenery.



Now that all the plaster is in, the next step is paint and some base scenery - which will be part of another post!  :-)


What a wild and crazy month it has been.  It's a good thing to see that the layout construction has continued despite the many changes that have come lately!  I'm hopeful that I will fit a few more good improvements in before the yardwork season starts.

~RGDave

Thursday, March 16, 2017

A New Addition!

I'm excited again to report some wonderful news - a new baby boy has joined the Abeles ranks, as Peter Auden Abeles was born on February 26!   Mom and baby are doing very well!


As we had hoped, Lil' Pete was quickly adopted by his sister and brother, both of whom are thrilled.  It is a busy, busy time, but we have lots of love and support.


Susie and Teddy both spend a lot of time helping with the new little one, and it's adorable, although Pete could sometimes maybe use a bit of space.


In all seriousness, Susie is a great helper and loves her little-little baby brother!


Darker news, poorly timed, is that I need disc replacement surgery.  I have an acute herniation of the C5/C6 disc which had been causing significant back and shoulder pain on my right side, and recently led to weakness in my hand and numbness in my right thumb.  Scary stuff.  Surgery was urgently scheduled for 3/9, and I am so thankful for the fact that it could not have gone better.  I feel much better already!

More OC progress coming soon!
~RGDave