Sunday, March 12, 2023

On My Bench: Red Car Killer

GMC bus in Pacific Electric livery, 1/87 or HO scale. Just a little weathering to introduce depth and grime. For you non-model railroading savages, the Pacific Electric was the ‘Red Car’, a symbol of old, pre-freeway Los Angeles, the demise of which was immortalized in the movie “Who Framed Roger Rabbit?”. Watch this space, more Pacific Electric coming soon.

Cross-posted from my other blog, Sprue Pie WIth Frets


Tuesday, January 17, 2023

What I’m Thinking: Big Models Of Swiss Narrow Gauge

Big models of metre-gauge Rhätische Bahn (RhB, or Rhaetian Railway) rolling stock have been on my mind of late. 

American and Swiss narrow gauge railways were built around the same time over a hundred years ago, for many of the same reasons. However, for a variety of interesting reasons, Swiss narrow gauge modernized and even electrified, while US narrow gauge mostly skipped dieselization and even forthright embrace of such modern niceties as steel underframes and signals. As a result, RhB and its connecting narrow gauge lines in the south and east of Switzerland not only are still running, but are distinctively modern and modelgenic subjects.

For an idea of what’s been particularly inspiring to me, have a look at this video of Rhätische Bahn‘s own Om (O scale metre gauge) museum layout:
Meanwhile, chunky models of RhB locomotives and cars might have been sighted on my workbench:

What’s not to like? Small electrics pulling short trains through scenery and curves that would make Malcolm Furlow say, “That looks fake.”

Let’s see where this adventure in big ol’ little Swiss trains takes us…

Sunday, July 4, 2021

Inspiration for My Next Layout Project?

 Still makes me think of Bob Hegge’s Crooked Mountain Lines, but in the 21st century. Photo by Richard Pryke

Saturday, May 29, 2021

And Then There Were None: Long Live Dunes Junction! Long Live Old Line Corridor!

Just like that, the Dunes Junction and the Old Line Corridor layouts are gone.

Our house is getting a new family, renters with young children from overseas who are coming to Washington for medical training for a year. We’ve spent the past few weekends decluttering and clearing out the place for our new guests. Among the personal junk that needed to go were the Dunes Junction and Old Line Corridor layouts. 

We knew the layouts would need to be disposed of back in March, so I started making inquiries among model railroad network, and you like likely read about it here on the blog. I sought the advice of a few of our old heads in the Washington DC modeling community, who to a man wished me luck and told me to prepare to take a bath recovering layout building expenses. 

One option was to transport the layouts to our new home in Delaware. Realistically, we could really only accommodate one of those layouts, but after much soul-searching, I decided that any model railroading I would do in Delaware would be a clean sheet, all new project. I’m already plotting a modular European prototype project either N scale or possibly HO narrow gauge. Look for a future post on this topic. 

Dunes Junction getting ready to ride to Michigan. It stood up well to man-handling off its shelf brackets and into Greg’s car.
The announcement to my network didn’t yield the quick sale I had hoped for. I formed a backup plan to donate the layouts to clubs that had expressed interest in accepting them. A module group had its eye on the Dunes Junction for incorporation into its collection of show modules. An N-focused group thought it might be able to use the Old Line Corridor as either an exhibition layout or as salvage for its trees, structures, and catenary poles.

Ebay did the trick to motivate some buyers who had been lurking in this blog and on the Facebook groups to which I had been posting.

Dunes Junction sold first, to Greg, a modeler from Michigan. He was very excited to receive the layout, and he did a two-day road trip to come pick it up. He drove straight back with it and sent me pictures of it temporarily set up in his train room, complete with some of his own South Shore equipment running on it!

Dunes Junction in its new home, complete
with South Shore rolling stock.

A week or so later, I sold the Old Line Corridor to Ryan Thoman, one of the owners of White Rose Hobbies in York, Pennsylvania. I was thrilled to learn that the OLC’s new home would be a public display at a hobby shop! A back-of-mind ambition for OLC had been exhibition, UK-style, and it pleases me immensely to know that kids and aspiring model railroaders will be able to enjoy and take inspiration from the layout. Ryan is a veteran of the Norfolk Southern on the Keystone and Northeast Corridors, and he looked forward to having an N scale re-creation of his former professional stomping grounds. 

The Old Line Corridor loaded up and ready for transport to White Rose Hobbies in York, PA.

York is a couple of hours away, and Ryan wasted no time in putting the OLC back to work. In less than 24 hours, NS and Amtrak trains were rolling through the OLC on White Rose Hobbies’ YouTube channel. It was truly a thrill to see the layout in action on line!

I expected to somewhat sadder about the departure of these two layouts than I actually was. I’m already thinking through the possibilities for my next model railroad project, which is likely to be N scale modules depicting European or possibly Northern Indiana prototypes. Watch this space…

Sunday, May 16, 2021

The Old Line Corridor is for Sale, and I Mean It (It’s On Ebay)

We’re getting down to the wire on moving the Old Line Corridor out of the house. Lots of interest, no takers. I succeeded in finding a buyer for Dunes Junction on Ebay, so I’m following suit with the Old Line Corridor.

Here’s the link:

Tell your friends! As some wag out in the social media universe remarked, the price is less than the cost of the catenary poles alone.

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

…And the Old Line Corridor Needs a New Home (For Sale)

A change in real estate circumstances has occasioned disposal of the ‘Old Line Corridor’, which is difficult in view of its recent feature in the May 2021 Railroad Model Craftsman

It’s 3x7, DCC-ready, does not include any rolling stock or vehicles, and is themed around the Northeast Corridor. It is transportable via a van, trailer, pickup, or large SUV and located in the Washington DC area. ‘

I’ve added some photos below, never before seen on this blog, to give a complete picture.

If you’re interested, please reach out via the comments or the Facebook Old Line Corridor page.


Dunes Junction Layout on EBay

 It’s up for sale here:

Saturday, April 24, 2021

Now It Can Be Told: Old Line Corridor in the Pages of Railroad Model Craftsman

Now it can be told: the Old Line Corridor is featured in the May 2021 issue of Railroad Model Craftsman! The article has been in production for most of the past year, and is a contributing factor to the inactivity here on Up Dunes Junction. It is a gratifying relief to finally see it in print.  Go buy a copy if you aren’t already subscribed, and let me know what you think!

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Dune Junction Layout Needs a New Home

Life throws curveballs, and the house where Dunes Junction layout lives will soon be the home of a new family.

After much soul-searching, I’ve opted to dispose of the Dunes Junction layout, instead of moving it to our new house. 

Its small size—1.5’ x 5’—and Freemo-ish track would make it versatile starting point for a South Shore layout or module, and easy to transport in a station wagon or small SUV. It’s DCC ready, and will not include DCC hardware, rolling stock, or vehicles. Track plan and pictures from earlier posts assembled here for viewing convenience.

All reasonable offers will be considered—feel free to reach out to discuss if you are interested.

Friday, April 16, 2021

Sunday, May 17, 2020

In Other News: Celebrity Model Kit Maker Closes Doors

Interrupting our usual coverage of big ol’ electric railroads and their models: interesting story about the recent demise of Wingnut Wings, beloved maker of 1/32 WWI airplane kits founded by Sir Peter Jackson of epic movie fame. The hobby business is tough and certainly not immune to the laws of business or the tragedy of human folly.

Also, any actual reporting on how the hobby business actually works is catnip to me.

Monday, January 6, 2020

Focus Stacking Experiments

These are my first tries at using focus stacking for photographing the Old Line Corridor. The foreground marsh is in as good focus as is the background. I've also got my new light set going here as well.

Another focus stacking experiment-again, everything appears to be in good focus throughout the image. I used the focus stacking feature built into Photoshop. There are other software solutions for focus stacking, such as Helicon Focus, but for this initial test I used what I had at hand, which was Photoshop.

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

New Year Old Line Corridor Video

Testing out a new light set, running trains, thought I would shoot some quick video on my smart phone.