As before, this ballasting project is a slow mover thereby creating dead spots in my daily reporting schedule. Have no fear... progress is being made albeit slowly.
Before I give today's report, I want to give a shout out to the Cincinnati History Museum housed in the fabulously restored Art Deco masterpiece... the Cincinnati Union Terminal. This museum/Working Amtrak Station houses three museums; Science, History and Duke Energy Children's Museum. Plus there is an IMAX and the station structure itself. I've driven by this edifice many times in my trips to Cincy while working for Henkel and always wanted to see the insides. It exceeded my wife's and my expectations... by a lot. There's even a perfectly executed model of an NYC Niagara in 3/4" to foot scale; an oil-fired, live steam model. It was hidden in the lower-level elevator lobby. If we had chosen to take the stairs we would have missed it. The interactive model of the entire Cincy downtown is wonderful...sorry it's in HO. If it was O... well, they'd need a bigger station. Next, I want to get my grandkids there.
As of yesterday I've almost finished air brushing all of the exposed trackage. All that's left now is the main yard tracks. I'm continuing to ballast the rear portion of the layout working from right to left. I find everything works better if I give the acrylic track paint a full day to dry. When I rush it, the alcohol/water wetting agent tends to negatively affect the paint. I purchased another tub of roofing granules and may have to buy another. I also bought another two bottles of Woodland Scenics Scenery Cement and will definitely have to buy more of those too, I'm afraid. Lastly I added another shop light at the dark end of the layout and bought lumber to make some train shelves so I can get the remaining trains out of their boxes.
In order to do the entire back portion, I had to get all the trains and rolling stock to the front. This was facilitated by having cab control where I could move one train while keeping another quiet regardless of where they were on the layout. Here's a pile of rolling stock. I'm glad I put that intermediate passing siding in the front. This will help shunt trains past the passenger station that's going into this area.
Here's the extent of the track painting. As I noted in the last post, once I changed my bottle on the air brush from the one ounce to the two ounce with the siphon tube off the bottom I had no problems. I air brushed for a half hour without a single hiccup. It was actually fun!
I'm also spraying the light tan urethane Ross Bed switch bases so they're more hidden when the ballast goes on. Man! I really like those rusty rails! It also tones down the stark "fresh creosote" look of the Ross ties.
The ballast itself is about a quarter way across the back now. If I only could get those section gangs moving a little faster I could be building mountains now...
And finally, here's the new light fixture. There's still some darkness in that corner, but it's much better. It also provides much needed lighting to the chop saw. By mounting it a little beyond the layout edge, it helps illuminate the sides of the trains on the outer loop.
I spray-painted the rails on the tracks at the "future-bridges", but I'm not going to ballast them. Once tracks are ballasted, they really don't like being removed and these tracks are temporary. I also did not paint the tracks on the curves in the foreground in this picture since they are going to run under the city. You may see their edges or not. I'm not sure how I'm going to approach this.