Wow, four years since a group of friends helped launch the construction of Liberty Village. I had no idea when I started construction, how it would go. It turns out, its been a varied four years since I started work, two years where I had help from friends that got me to the point that the benchwork was done, and track laid, then two years on my own where I’ve plugged away at scenery and buildings. I can’t wait to have my friends back to see the layout again and run trains, but for now, this is just a thanks to show how far I have come, how far I still have to go, and appreciate the process. Still plenty of building to go, but certainly lots been done in the past 4 years. Here’s to four more years of progress getting me to a point where its largely complete!
Panning Outside Woodstock. CP 8830 leads Train 528 (Formerly 650), the Ethanol Express to Albany New York. On the tail is something I expect we will see a lot more of in 2023, a Kansas City Southern unit 4163 as distributed power pushing on the rear of the train.
For the second time in 2022, I am writing about another Optimus Prime in my collection, this time, the LEGO Version released in June. I had been saving it for a rainy day when I didn’t feel like working on trains, but instead, I built it yesterday on a Hot and Humid Toronto Summer Sunday, where it was over 30 plus Humidity for feeling like over 40. To be fair, I did some trains too working on paperwork for operations and preparing car waybills, but most of my day was spent enjoying the Air Conditioning watching Soccer, car racing and baseball, and building LEGO!! My previous Optimus Prime builds are here and here. Not a lot to say honestly, its LEGO, I love LEGO, I find building it really soothing, no mucking about, you never ever are missing a part when you open them up. It’s just good times for a big kid at heart!
Unboxing and working my way through the ten steps (each individually bagged) of building Lego Optimus Prime.
Optimus Prime Family Galleries, in truck mode and robot mode (the left and right most cabs don’t transform, so some non-transforming robots are in the 3rd shot. My Generation One original 1984 Optimus Prime has been through the battles of being played with. I think I have the hands and gun somewhere, couldn’t figure out where for pictures.
LEGO and Transformers Shelves in my cabinet.
One of the National Steel Car GE shop switchers Number 11 edges out onto the road. The units are used for switching cars being constructed around the factory in Hamilton to be picked up by Canadian National and Canadian Pacific for delivery to the purchasers.
A nice update for me, as a small fleet of seven resin boxcar kits I have been working on the past few months are really starting to look the part. Over the past week I have gotten the decals onto all seven cars. They all need clear coating, weathering and brake hoses added, but they now look done, even if they will still be getting worked on for a bit. This is one of those things where seeing things go from bare resin to painted and detailed really helps to motivate me to get a go on with projects big and small, including the work to finish these.
Beginning of July above, end of July below, good progress. Just sealing the decals, weathering and rubber brake hoses to finish them.
Saturday morning of a long weekend, seemed like a good time to do a couple of quick workbench projects, both related to lighting in different ways.
First up, reclaiming my GorillaPod Tripod that has been holding my ring light over where I now work so I have light when I am in online meetings and sitting at my work computer. This peripherally relates to the layout, as the way the GorillaPod was mounted blocked the staging slider for the CN end of my layout from working properly. I could move the ring light, but it wasn’t easy. I also, more importantly, was finally sick and tired of not having my mini-tripod available to me when I go out taking pictures.
The replacement, is a ball head from a cheap little desk tripod, that I think actually came with the ring light, mounted to a block of wood which is attached to the benchwork framing. This little ballhead makes it a bit easier to move the ring light out of the way, and gives me back my tripod, a win win!
Showing the previous mounting blocking the staging traverser, the simple wood block and ball head, and the new mounting. A nice quick upgrade to both office, and the layout for operations.
The second little light project was more layout/workbench related. I have never been happy with the lighting on my workbench, far too often I can’t get light where I want it. In full disclosure, I am 100% taking this idea from an article I saw in the September 2022 issue of Model Railroader magazine, using LED strip lighting to create a ground level light bar for your workbench. I did my own thing in terms of how I built it, but the idea is absolutely not mine!
I used some of my go to cheap project pine that I have around for all kinds of projects, and a metal bracket I had laying around. I may rebuild this if I like it, but as a generation 1, I now have a removable barrier for the edge of my workbench that will hopefully cast more light. The issue isn’t so much in the daytime, but the room gets dark at night, and I find working in the evenings during the winter can sometimes be a challenge. If this doesn’t work, it has cost me about an hour of my life to build. If it works, I can revisit it and build a better version, and probably use new LED’s rather than ones I recovered from another project that were laying around.
My new workbench front edge light bar. Hopefully this gets some light into my projects where I have been struggling to get enough light.
With these little side workbench projects done, time to get back to working on some actual models!