Y&MV Freight Car Box Labels Added
It has been a long time since I made custom box labels for my rolling stock. While running errands today at Costco I noticed that they had their own brand of Professional Glossy Inkjet Photo Paper. I forget the exact price, but a box of 150 sheets was under $20.00. I decided to grab a box and experiment with this paper to see if it would be suitable for box labels.
Particularly annoying to me is how small the reporting marks and numbers are on the ends of rolling stock boxes as produced by nearly every manufacturer. For me there is no bit of information more useful than that. To have to put my nose up to a shelf of boxes and read the tiny print should be unnecessary, but necessary it is.
My master PowerPoint file has separate pages with basic label templates sized to fit most of the different sized boxes in production. It is easy to size these labels for different boxes as needed.
The current need for me to create some labels is the cars I am custom painting now that the paint booth is in production mode. The Y&MV Thrall All-Door boxcars being the current project on the workbench put them at the front of the line for new labels.
The image above emphasizes the issue of font size that has steered me to design the labels as I have. Visible are stock boxes from Intermountain, PWRS, Athearn, Athearn Genesis, Walthers Proto, Walthers Platinum Line, and BLMA. From this distance you really cannot read the individual car identification on ANY of them. For contrast, some boxes that I have made labels for are mixed in. If you are holding NTO 880890 in your hand, you waste no time finding the right box to put it in if its layout time has come to an end.
One last addition to the label format is the manufacturer's stock number in very small font centered at the bottom of the label. One thing I noticed while cataloging my freight cars is that many manufacturers do not keep a history of car numbers/stock numbers out of production on line. I keep the stock number as part of my database. I spent considerable time researching the stock numbers for several cars that I had previously made labels for, obscuring that information. It is easy to just add that info to the label so I will make that a standard practice going forward.
The labels printed on the Kirkland photo paper just fine. I used a metal straight edge and an X-Acto Knife to cut the printed sheet into properly sized labels. In the past I have had adhesive labels fall off after the passage of some time. I have experimented with different glues since then and have settled on one that is perhaps a bit overkill, but it works and will likely last forever!
My adhesive of choice is Liquid Nails. I always have a 4 FL OZ tube of this stuff around the house so squeezing a bead of this product on the end of a freight car box is easy. Then I use my finger to smear the Liquid Nails evenly over the area that will be covered by the label. Next I gently press the label onto the adhesive and it is done! Any excess Liquid Nails that is pushed out by the label can easily be wiped away before it dries.
Welcome GM&O 85035 & Peco Switches - Y&MV Decals
Today was a busy day. An important shipment arrived and some decaling was completed. The first two pieces of track ordered specifically for my Vicksburg Terminal layout are now in the Man Cave! These are both switches which I primarily ordered to use as templates for the planning process. One is a Peco Insulfrog #7 right hand curved turnout and the other is a Peco Electrofrog #8 right hand turnout. Both are beautiful pieces of track!
In addition, a singe Tangent Scale Models 4180 Airslide covered hopper was also included. This car is my first GM&O purchase and I am glad to have it! GM&O 85035 is one of four GM&O offerings in their first release of the 4180 Airslide. This car has printed instructions on the side that state: "WHEN EMPTY RETURN VIA REVERSE ROUTE TO MP RR ATCHISON KS FLOUR LOADING ONLY". Very cool!
I have also decaled one side of the two All-Door Boxcars I painted earlier this week. Y&MV 2020 and Y&MV 2025 now have a face! The Y&MV 2025 is marked for shipment to Hank Stephens in appreciation for the time and skill he devoted to designing the artwork for these cars. The two previously painted cars Y&MV 2028 and Y&MV 2035, were on-hand to serve as guides for the decaling process. The fleet is growing!
Two More Y&MV All-Door Boxcars
Last Friday Greg McComas came over to deliver several of my locomotives. He also gave me a surplus Walthers Thrall All-Door boxcar that he did not need. I now had a second car to paint with my model of BENX 107 since I have decided to keep my model of RSP 20277 as is...thanks Greg! I prefer to paint these cars in pairs since a mixed bottle of paint covers two cars nicely. The car he gave me was USLX 50508, decorated green and white for the Chandler Corporation.
Today I prepped the cars and gave them their first coat of Y&MV brown paint which doubles as the primer coat. The USLX 50508 is from an older run and did not have the vertical grab iron at the left end of the car or the end walkway grab iron. I fabricated these grab irons from piano wire and installed them first thing.
I applied the shop trucks to the cars during the paint prep process. I noticed that one of the truck on the BENX 107 angled inward towards the center of the car. A closer look revealed that the bolster was sitting at an off angle. So I dismantled this car - separating the floor, underframe, weight and center sill components.
At first I though that a piece of flash at one end of the underframe was the culprit. I removed this excess plastic, however, it was not the cause of the problem. A little more hacking and experimenting ensued. I finally decided that the underframe bolster screw mounts were just a tad closer than the same mounts on the floor. This was made evident by putting the pieces together and pressing down on the side that was a bit wonky. This caused the other end of the floor to lift up off the table.
I decided to make a little reduction to the inner bolster screw sprue on the floor panel and then Crazy Glue the bolster ares of the floor and underframe together. This ensured that the bolsters would be parallel. Once dried this component was screwed to the metal weight and the bolsters lined up just fine. The car probably would have run just fine without this exercise, however, it just did not meet my standards.
Next I decided to spend some time on the car roofs. Walthers kindly left three roof panels with irregularities where the body molding was separated from three sprues. I masked the roof details around these panes and then used two grades of fine sandpaper to smooth the panels.
The masking tape lattice easily came off the first car so I was able to quickly apply the same masking to the second car and file the excess plastic off of that car.
Next was the reassembly of the cars.
Down to the kitchen for the next step. A bin was filled with warm water and a couple of drops of dish soap. The two cars were submerged for a few minutes to remove any oils and other debris. Under cold water the cars were scrubbed with an old tooth brush and then rinsed off.
A dish towel was used to gently blot the water on the cars and then they were set aside for some time to completely dry off. The shop trucks were removed to aid in the drying process.
Finally it was off to the paint booth to apply my fresh mix of Scalecote IC Orange and Tuscan Red. The paint booth worked just fine though the airbrush was being a bit finicky. I think it may be time to get a new one...
GACX 47354 Added to Fleet
Today I went to the Plano Train Show with my uncle, Joe Scorsone. It was good to see some friends there as well as the many layouts and vendors.
Of course the temptation was there to drop some serious coin, however, I was able to practice restraint and just purchased one car: Tangent 4180 Airslide GACX 47354. As expected this latest release from Tangent is moving quickly. Strangely enough, Tangent only saw fit to release two road numbers of this very popular and easily recognizable paint scheme.
Thank you Spring Creek Model Trains for traveling from Deshler, Nebraska to Texas making this car readily accessible. My regular on-line supplier is already sold out! The Spring Creek Model Trains banner above is linked to their website. Be sure to check them out if you are not already familiar with them.
One vendor in particular got my interest - a 3D printing company called Paper-to-Parts. They had a number of 3D printed items on hand, some of which were quite impresive. I see this technology as being the next "big thing" in our hobby with amazing potential. In short order I see the need for some IC/Y&MV specific structures and buildings on the horizon and 3D printing might just be the way to go. I have linked their logo in this post to the Paper-to-Parts website so I can easily find it when I am ready.
Another vendor of interest was Jane's Tools. This display belonging to a local Mesquite, TX company had many, many bins full of tools, all of which seemed like things I should have in my toolbox! Of course, when faced with that kind of overwhelming supply and no specific need, the best think to do is just back away! The Jane's Tools logo here is linked to their website for ease of reference when the time is right!
KCS, IC, MSRC, SP, Amtrak - Action Around Jackson!
My latest video upload to YouTube is a treasure-trove of footage from a time and location relevant to the Proto-Freelanced railroad this site is devoted to. On August 14, 1996 I made a trip to Jackson, MS with Bill Lang. I do not recall what the motivation was for the trip, however, the footage is excellent and I am pleased to have found this video after so many years!
The video starts of with a meet of two KCS locals on the Meridian Subdivision at Brandon, MS. Both engineers put on quite a show with their horn technique!
Next we see some IC action in Jackson, MS with train MOJA and then the Hazlehurst Turn arriving. The Hazlehurst Turn meets southbound Daniels Electric Generating Plant (DEGX) coal train with three SP AC4400CW's running elephant style. We chase this train southward on the IC Beaumont District for several excellent run-bys in the Mississippi forest.
Back to the KCS, we see train No. 30 arriving at High Oak Yard with six geeps. We observe the crew yard this train with many lumber related cars characteristic of the region.
Next we watch a couple of trains on the IC depart Southward from North Jackson Yard. The crew on the leading IC train realize that they are not next through the Switchtender Shack and the crew plugs the train as a KCS transfer with three MidSouth GP10s trundles past.
The action continues with Amtrak Train No. 58, the Northbound City of New Orleans followed by scenes of several more trains passing by the IC Switchtender Shack.
Enjoy this travel back in time to location and era that was fascinating to me!
Man Cave Progress - MP Hoppers Arrive Today
Welcome to 2016! Hopefully your holiday season has been a blessed time for you and your families. 2016 should be an exciting year for the Meridian Speedway and I look forward to sharing it with you.
The concept of my new home office/model railroad/man cave are coming together. When I was in my apartment in Lincoln, NE I had purchased some furniture from IKEA for my new second home. I was particularly fond of the "Expedit" line of bookshelves and desks which occupied my apartment office. Since I moved back to my home in Texas this furniture has been in use for my wife's home office space.
I decided that I wanted more of the same in my new room. IKEA's Expedit line has been replaced by the Kallax line which is very similar but with a thinner frame. It was interesting to see on-line that there is quite a passionate following for the Expedit line. There is even a German FaceBook page with over 20,000 followers dedicated to the topic!
Anyway, I have a new Kallax shelf unit with 25 compartments as well as a new desk assembled and now in service in the man cave so I am officially moved in! This is the first blog posting authored from my new workstation in this room....
Also added to the room are two bookshelves that I purchased when I moved to Fresno, CA in 2000 and have lugged across the country as I have moved around over the years. These were in the loft, but I have reclaimed them and they are positioned at the door creating an artificial "hallway" entrance into the man cave. Soon there will be another Kallax unit purchased for placement on the opposing wall to the one the current unit is on.
The design of the ceiling shelf railroad is still in the rough-draft concept phase. More on that to come in future blog posts.
The other news is a new freight car order received today, 1-5-2015. Nine ExactRail Bethlehem 3737 open hoppers in various Missouri Pacific schemes make up this order. These cars compliment one sister car, MP 582184, received on 5/4/2015 and will be mixed with the dozen Tangent Scale Models Union Pacific 3600 CuFt Quad Hoppers already in the Meridian Speedway Fleet to make up a unique coal train scripted into the Meridian Speedway Playbook. I have now added the Tangent Cars to the data base.
This coal train is an "exploder" which is loaded by the Union Pacific and handed off to my Natchez Trace and Orient at Monroe, LA. The NT&O operates this train to the joint Yazoo & Mississippi Valley/Mississippi Central yard in Vicksburg, MS. Here the train is cut up for forwarding to customers on both railroads. Cycle time is about a week for the empty cars to return to Vicksburg where the empty unit train is reassembled for movement back to the Union Pacific at Monroe.
Inspiration of the mix of older UP/MP equipment comes from the trains that pass through Fort Worth destined for Box, TX. Inspiration for the exploder coal train concept comes form the BNSF "Sugar Train" on the Powder River Division. The C-ATMNPG1-A1 trains are loaded at South Antelope mine with three blocks of coal that serve coal-powered sugar beet facilities at Laurel, Montana; Scottsbluff, Nebraska; and Fort Morgan, Colorado.
Here is a closer look at some of the MP family cars received today:
1 x Bethlehem 3737 Hopper - CEI 1973 "As Delivered"
4 x As Delivered Series 582000-582499 - 5/79 and 6/79
MP 582012, MP 582143, MP 582214, and MP 582252
1 x C&EI Style Buzzsaw MP Re-Stencil
2 x "As Delivered" 588710-589709 Series
MP 588749 and MP 588800
1 x Bethlehem 3737 Hopper - TP 1974 "As Delivered"
TP 588132 (With "Rambler" Moniker)
Below are some images of the Tangent Scale Models 3600 quad hoppers already on-hand the the new MP cars will be mixed with:
I look forward to seeing this unique coal train ply the rails of the Meridian Speedway in the future!