With the arrival of the RR-Track software I got busy learning to use it. It really is amazing what this program can do. In addition to learning to use the program, I have been having a lot of fun and will begin working up my current track schematic very shortly. Doing that, however, put me a little behind on a couple of other projects that are now nearing completion. First was the Maryville Station platform. I didn't want to call it complete until I was able to install some lamp poles on the platform, and fortunately for me, I learned about a fellow on the OGR Forum by the name of Andre Garcia (AG) who makes all kinds of O gauge railroad detail items out of brass. He had just come out not long ago with a lamp pole that I thought would be perfect, and AG did not disappoint. I really like the size of the lamp pole and the look of the frosted globe. He really does some excellent work. Here is a photo I took showing one of the lamp poles on the new station platform.
You can apply the mortar formula with a damp cloth, but I have had the best results using a small brush to apply the formula to the brickwork. It is important to mix the product very well and to occasionally stir it during use as the mortar material is suspended in a liquid solution. Once I've applied the formula to the brick work, I let it dry and then with a damp cloth (an old t-shirt works pretty well) begin wiping the brickwork down to remove the material from the surface of the bricks. I have found it works best to wipe the the brick work at an angle to avoid wiping the mortar from the mortar lines. If you want the brickwork to appear older, just leave some of the mortar material on the surface of the bricks. Should you feel like you've removed too much of the mortar formula from your brickwork, all you need to do is go back and reapply the material wherever needed. Frankly, I think it looks best when the brickwork does not look too uniform, and there is some variation in the application and removal of the formal from the brick surfaces. I think with very little practice you will find that you can easily achieve the desired effect that you are looking for. Here are a couple of photos of the completed engine house that has also been weathered now sitting on the layout.
Finally this week I spent some time working on trees and ballasting track.
If you want to learn how I go about ballasting my MTH Realtrax, you can checkout my You Tube video titled "Ballasting MTH Realtrax". You can find it on this website by clicking on "MORE" at the top of the page.
This next week I hope to plant a few trees, scenic around the engine house and begin making signs for the businesses in downtown Maryville. I will also let you know how the new ZW-l transformer has been working out.