Some progress has been made on the new portion of the layout. I did obtain that tub of drywall mud and the rail crossings have been installed. I have also installed most of the ground cover and painted the road surfaces that were created with the drywall mud. I did have a "holiday" from the layout for a number of days but I am back at it now. The last bit of ground cover will have to wait until I decide what will go in the corner to the outside of the railroad curve that brings the tracks onto this portion of the layout. Nontheless, the workis proceeding somewhat slowly, mainly to give me somehing to do while I "shelter in place" as the government (and my kids) have asked me to do. 

        I have finally received the correct color blend of ground foam from my supplier and as soon as I can get to it, scenicking will begin in earnest. Today it is Post Office, shopping, Dan Mobely playing at AMOB and probably getting my laundry done. All this too shall pass aqnd then I can get back to the railroad.

        Well, I went looking for 70% rubbing alcohol today (it is used as a wetting agent for ground cover on the layout) and discovered that the entire world has gone mad. Every store I tried was out of rubbing alcohol and out of those little alcohol soaked pads that I need to take my blood sugar. I was able to order a box of those from Amazon, but no rubbing alcohol to be had anywhere. What are these people doing, taking baths in rubbing alcohol. Simply mind boggling. I saw a statistic today that said about 5000 people worldwide have died of Coronavirus and the world goes nuts, last year heart disease killed over ten times that many and KFC sells donut chicken sandwiches. The world is NUTS.

       While the entire country seems to be turning into a nation of recluses, somewhat understandably, The progress on the newest portion of the layout continues. I am deliberately taking smaller steps so that the work will still be there, I have advanced the basic ground cover into the general area of the passenger station. I seem to have misplaced my little tub of spackling compound so I will have to buy some tomorrow to create at least two small roads, one to the station and the other to the small freight house on the only spur track on this portion of the benchwork. You can see the spur coming off to the right of the track in front of the station. On a side note, my first piece of passenger rolling stock, a combine car should arrive tomorrow. I will of course, convert it to KayDee couplers before it goes on the layout. I also plan on covering the sandpile next to the sand house with a layer of real sand. The work continues.

My Model Railroad, Page 10

       More scenic details have been added to the new portion of the layout. Bushes and trees have been placed around the engine terminal and the work continues towards the lift out bridge to the older portions of the layout.

       I have deliberately left the area in the jog-out corner only lightly scenicked because I am still planning to place a yard office in that corner behind the sand house. I also have not done anything yet with the area outside of the curve that brings the tracks onto this portion of the layout. I have plans to put some form of structure there but until I firm up those plans and actually build a structure to go there, I will leave that area bare.

Here is a shot of the new hand crank. The mechanism works just like the other turntable, the crank handle turns a worm gear which in turn rotates a large gear connected to the turntable bridge. Thus there is no way to turn the bridge via the "hand of god" method. That lesson was taught to me the hard way with the first turntable. I hope I have learned my lesson. Now I just have to be patient and wait for the rest of my scenery supplies to arrive. I really must give a big shout out to Joel Perlin who is a Meccano and Erector Set Purveyor out in California. I have sent him the diagram from the Peco Turntable instructions and he responded with everything I needed to make the kit work perfectly. 

The picture above shows that some progress has been made. The engine facility section of the new portion of the layout has now has it's ground cover in place. There will be more details to come, like bushes and weeds but at least four feet of the new portion no longer has it's plywood base exposed. The next 5 feet will be somewhat easier since the width of the benchwork slims down to 12 inches. Some major repairs are going to be required to make the turntable function properly, unfortunately. One missing part and a lot of re-adjustment of the gearing will be required. Hopefully, I can get some help with that soon. In the meantime, I will resort to  "the hand of God" to turn the locomotives. You may have noticed the multiple shades of green within the ground cover. I could not find the original color of ground foam that I used elsewhere. THen Amazon sent me a cannister of the wrong color. When I finally got the cannister that I wanted, it turned out to be yet a different color again. Once I get the volume of ground foam to the point where I can mix some of them together, I may redo the whole thing. This business of creating a model environment is a lot of fun, but at times it can be a bit frustrating.  

N1GY- The simple Approach to Ham Radio

       My son-in-law, Mike and my grandson Jake came over this morning to give me a hand by installing the crank mechanism for the second turntable on the layout. All went very well and so I now have both engine facilities completed. I do have to add some kind of protection around the hand crank to keep people (me) from catching on the crank and causing untold damage and misery, (just joking). 

     I did a very small amount of work on the layout today, just added crossbuck signs to the two grade crossings on the new portion of the layout. It is looking much better with shrubs, trees and the start of signage like the crossbucks. I also made myself a face mask from a bandana and a pair of coffee filters as suggested by several sites. It does seem to work quite well in terms of fit. Function, I have no idea but since my only trips outside will be to pick up my prescriptions it will have to do. 

The work continues albeit slowly. more ground cover has been applied but I need to decide where the road to the freight house should go before I put ground cover in the wrong place, I also have to get that little tub of spackle (also called drywall mud) so I can make the roads cross tracks as necessary.