I’m running out of time to get my two S Scale Workshop modules prepped for the group’s next exhibition at a Montréal-area train show in October. The fact that I’m also documenting the process with Barry Silverthorn at TrainMasters TV, while a most enjoyable experience, also complicates the process: Either I can’t work too far ahead between recording sessions, or I have to create demonstration materials to illustrate what I’ve been doing on the modules.
Laying ties will be a mix of these two options. I’ll have to show some of the initial steps in laying ties in the studio, then move to the modules – with ties already in place – to demonstrate later steps like distressing, staining and weathering.
Yesterday, I realized I needed to set up a complete multi-section module in order to properly sand the tops of the ties to ensure there are no jarring bumps. For this, I needed a space big enough for the modules, with a floor that’s more level than the one in my basement – and since my wife is currently travelling, the kitchen came to the rescue.
The main feature on this module set is a level crossing. At one time, an interurban line ran along the side of the road, but by the 1950s era of the Workshop’s modules, this has been abandoned. I’ll include a strip of extensively distressed ties in the overgrown former Right-of-Way to demonstrate a full range of tie-finishing techniques. (Meanwhile, I’ve done a test stain of the ties on the still-active route through this crossing. These will represent relatively new ties, laid when the crossing was removed. They’ll make a lovely contrast.)
While I had the module on its legs, I posed a short freight on it to get an idea of what a train will look like on the very broad radius curve through this scene. The back-lighting in the photo below emphasizes the shape of the train, rather than the details, and I really like how it’s looking:
The ability to incorporate such broad radius curves – in this case, a radius between 33 and 34 feet – into modules is a huge advantage of Free-mo style standards. I’m very glad the S Scale Workshop adopted such a standard when they decided to build new modules.
With just over a month to go before the show, I’d better get more work one.