Expansion work today….

More expansion news today. With the high heat and terrible air quality here in our area by noon, almost all of my work has been in the early mornings before noon, before the heat and smog/smoke sets in. Recently, I worked Sculptamold under and around the two sidings that will lead into the baking company, so as to fill that area in between the shims that were installed to gradually “sink” the track to ground level. This has of course dried, and has created a little bit of a mound or hill which should add a little interest.

On the Dickinson yard side, half the yard has now been ballasted. I’m still awaiting some more yard mix ballast from Arizona Rock and Mineral to finish this side, as well as the left hand side of the expansion. The main coming through into the left hand side will be finished with extra NYC limestone ballast, the rest done with the yard mix. The yard btw was done with cinder ballast so graciously donated. This will be sprinkled with yard mix ballast when it arrives, as well as used in the Electro-Met sidings. I was asked why I was using cinder ballast 10+ years after steam ended. Well, I recall a NYC yard in Cincinnati that was covered in cinders until it’s demise after ConRail took over. The prototype Dickinson yard was covered or I should say buried in mud and cinders until the yard was rebuilt in the mid-sixties.

Today, I was able to airbrush all the new trackage, which took longer than I had expected, that, and to clean all the paint off the railhead. I forgot I guess from building the original layout just how much work is involved! As the saying goes however “Rome wasn’t built in a day”. I used roof brown paint from Micro-Mark, which is actually made by Vallejo, a paint that I now use exclusively when weathering. I also used this brown to paint the Sculptamold work I did previously. After cleaning all the rail off, I then test ran a locomotive through all the trackage again to insure good electrical contact.

Tomorrow will be an off day, with family activities going on all day into tomorrow night, so Monday I’ll resume work on ballasting the track. In the meantime, I’ll be painting and adding the Walther’s track bumpers and wheel stops I have coming. I should be receiving these items, as well as most of the other scenery items by the middle or end of next week, as well as two more building kits, so onward we go!

As this is the part of layout building I enjoy the most, to me this is getting exciting, so stay tuned for more! Photos below from today….

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