Milan Branch of the Iowa Interstate RR

Author: Scott (page 1 of 8)

Finally – let there be air!

After purchasing an airbrush booth over 10 years ago, I finally made a place for it in our utility room. Hallelujah!

I just need to install a separate vent and I’ll be good to go. This will be so much better than waiting for good weather to paint.

Progress on the Rock River bridge

I’ve started to paint the Rock River bridge components and base for the river. I painted the bridge decking and shoes a dark brown and will be applying rust via Pan Pastels. Below are some images of the progress.

Here is a closeup of the bridge shoes. I’m very happy with how the pastels recreate rust and dirt.
Here you can see the before-and-after between the brown base paint (on the right) and after applying pastel “rust” (on the left).
The abutments and pier will be scratch coated with spackle compound so that I can create chips and cracks. After the distressing, weathering will be applied to give them an aged concrete look. I’ll also be mapping out the river bed and start the painting process. I’ll be trying to achieve a brown/green look to the water in the foreground that will transition to reflective blue — just like one would see as they look off into the distance with the sky reflecting on the water. The blue transition will hopefully blend in well with the backdrop colors as well.
Another view of the same area.
I painted the bridge ties a medium gray. Once they are weathered they’ll look more realistic. You may notice that there are two different styles of bridge ties shown. The 4-spike ties were made by Micro Engineering and the 2-spike ties by Central Valley. I had them available to use, and even though they don’t match it will make for an interesting variation.

ISE fast clock

I spent an enjoyable evening installing my Iowa Scaled Engineering fast clock which includes two wireless slaves. 

The beauty of the ISE setup is its simplicity, ease of installation, and minimalistic look which fits my personal aesthetic perfectly. 

I started by measuring the printed circuit board footprints so that I could make accurate cuts in the layout fascia. This was critical because the faceplate screw holes are fairly close to the circuit board and I needed to make sure not to cut too much fascia away. I made paper templates from the measurements and taped them into position; scribed the outlines onto the fascia; and carefully removed the wood with my DeWALT oscillating multi-tool. 

The DeWALT oscillating tool makes quick work cutting through the fascia.

I have a separate 12 volt power supply that feeds several of my auxiliary features around the layout, so I ran the feeders to the main clock and I was up and running. 

I like the clean format that ISE has built into their system.

The two slaves are also powered by the 12 volt supply. They tie into the main clock via XBee receivers which work very well. Again, the slaves are clean and minimalistic which is a great look.  

I plan to run the time ratio where an eight hour work day is condensed into roughly two hours of operating time. 

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