Tuesday, May 8, 2012

031 The Utah Night Shift - Photography Software

Photography in this day in age is only half camera.  The rest is software.  Here are the software tools I plan to acquire and use this month:

Adobe Lightroom Version 3 - There is a version 4, but version 3 gives me everything I need for about $100 less.  This sofware will allow me to manipulate RAW format photographs and gives you incredible color control.

Adobe Photoshop Elements 9 - Again, stepping down from Elements 10.  Version 9 gives me more that what I'll every use. Elements is stepped down from the full Adobe Photoshop package and cost about 1/4 as much.  This software allows you to stitch photos for backdrops and add scenic affects such as smoke to a locomotive.

Helicon Focus - this digital imaging software allows incredible depth of field by stacking multi-focused photos.  It is now a much for model train close up photography.  One year license is $30, and there is a free trial.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

030 The Utah Night Shift - Photography - More Links!

Here are some more links for model railroad photography...

Chris Nevard – European Modeler
Submission Guides for Photographs – Model Railroader

Model Railroad Hobbyist submission guidelines

Shootin’ the Rails Basic Model Railroad Photography by Dan Lewis, MMR

Model Railroad Photography by David Latham

Layout Photography in the Digital Age

Mini-Clinic by Bob Beaudreu

Train Set or Tilt/Shift?

How to take great model railroad photos

Model Railroad Photography

Photographing County Gate

C. C. Crow on Photography

My Trains – WGH

029 The Utah Night Shift - The Shelf

The last bit of real construction that I needed to do we finished today.  I needed a shelf under the layout for the DCC system and for storage.

 I have a lot of 2x2 stock left, so I made a frame from them.  The shelf is one foot below the bottom of the table top.

 Using several levels I screwed it into the legs.

 I cut a piece of plywood to  40 1/4" x 17 1/2", and the cut out a small square about 6" long for power cables.

Using carpenter's glue, I glued the table top to the frame to prevent having to have screw heads showing.  It came out very level and looks great.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

028 The Utah Night Shift - The Turnout

My first AP Civil task on the construction side is to begin scratchbuilding a turnout.  To do that, we need to study the prototype.  Here are some photos that I took of a UTA Trax mainline turnout.


 I really love the welded section here with the predrilled holes!  We have to do that!

027 The Utah Night Shift - The Dollars are in the Details

The NMRA's Achievement Program does have a price tag.  Nobody ever talks about it, but there is a cost.

I was very happy to get a box in the mail from Proto:87 Stores...

 Here is the box that my turnout parts came in.  Let's take a look and see what is inside.

 For $34 I got most of the parts I'd need for building a very highly detailed turnout.  Granted I can't use the frog or get scratchbuilding points with this...but that was not my intent.  The purpose is to look at the parts, see what I can use to superdetail with, and I'll use the others as templates for scratchbuilding.

 Wow!  The box is empty!  All except for some very small bags...it is nothing but packing!

 There are several small plastic zip pouches, so let's dig them out.  All together they weigh a fraction of an ounce.

 The sheet gives a list of the parts, which is essentially a kit for building a turnout, and then a super detail kit and a points kit.  Here is the order:

1.  Turnout Super Super-Detail set SWDET2  $2.49 each
2.  Precision milled spikes 250 short SPK  $2.95
3.  Ulitmate HO #6 Turnout kit USKH6  $24.95

 This is 250 stainless steel scale spikes.  The whole set fits on my thumb.  Wow...they are tiny!

 Turnout details...

 Here's a close up of the spikes.  Not really sure how to get them off...

 Points for the turnout.

 More detail parts...

 Here is the frog assembly.

 Crossties of course.

And the rail!  Sometime here in the near future we'll give it a go!

LOL...if nothing else, it scared my buddy Bench Mark!  He sent me an email this morning that he'll be ready for Civil evaluation in 2 weeks...I told him that I was going to beat him to the punch!

Friday, May 4, 2012

026 The Utah Night Shift - Changes at the Cement Plant

After the switching test on the layout I decided that the cement plant needed some changes.  It doesn't really feel like it models modern practice, so let's tear up some track.

 Here's what it looked like when I started.  Notice that to switch it you have to interfere with the transloading facility.  The real railroad wouldn't (and didn't) do that.

In order to keep the siding long, we'll have a crossing.  This gives the plant its own isolated siding and even makes it a bit longer.

Probably some more tweaks to come, but we're close to done.