A Division of the Northeastern Region (NER) of the National Model Railroad Association (NMRA)

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Great Train Extravaganza - December 3rd 2023

Here are some of the modeling activities that our members are working on during our Division activity hiatus. Click on the members name to go to their page to see what they have been working on

John Valachovic

John has been working on a couple different projects on the Raquette Lake Railway during the Covid 19 situation.

I feel it is important to make the layout room as nice as possible, this is especially important when you are building a layout for operations. My layout room used to be an old wood shed built off the back of my old farmhouse, I have put a lot of time and effort into making it as finished of a space as possible. One of my projects was finishing the base under Carter Station. This base has my DCC components in it and now a finished bookshelf. I also added a timer to control the layout and some additional outlets. I used an olive drab paint over Masonite for this and my fascia. I also blatantly ripped off the use of finish washers and drywall screws to mimic rivets from Doug Dederick. When painted olive drab it approximates the appearance of a heavyweight passenger car. I also built custom car card boxes and fold down shelves to use for sorting cards. As a finishing touch, I added foldaway drink holders.

On the scenery side I have been working from Uncas Station on the Raquette Lake Railway into the entrance of Raquette Lake Village and also Rondaxe Logging Company Camp 53. The culvert along the old Uncas Road is done with the exception of adding more trees plus the beaver pond on the cinder fill coming into Raquette Lake is just about there. I have been using plastic air fern and chopsticks to build large spruce trees. The rock work below the logging camp is progressing and is ready for some flocking. There will not be many trees in this area so they do not get broken by operators working the logging camp. I maintain a Facebook Page for the layout "Raquette Lake Railway in N-Scale", feel free to follow along on my progress.

John has been working on a couple different projects on the Raquette Lake Railway during the Covid 19 situation.

Scenery has been progressing on the Raquette Lake Railway. The outlet of the beaver dam got some more treatment, some brush may be added next to fill it out a bit. I used Woodland Scenic’s Realistic Water and their Water Effects for all of my water work. The base is the Realistic Water and then I stipple on the Water Effects. I’m very happy with it as it looks great and doesn’t have a lot of odor. I also added the second stage of ground cover and details in the recently logged area around Camp 53. I like to use all different materials in a layered effect. You will also note, I use way more of the Golden Blend then Green Blend for my initial layers. Most of my scenery is in the woods and my season is early Fall so I am pushing the visual of recently dropped leaves and forest floor clutter. I used Woodland Scenic cast metal stumps in the cut area. I also have been adding saplings and trees along the Raquette Lake Railway where it goes through the wall and up the mountain towards the logging road going into Camp 53. I am a fan of forcing sightlines to direct the viewer’s gaze. I do not have the room to model the whole line, so I am concentrating on specific areas for the viewer to observe. The hillside above the Raquette Lake Railway will be more heavily wooded than along the Rondaxe Logging Line heading into Camp 53 due to active logging activity. I placed a Lombard Steam Tractor on the upper skid road returning to Camp 53 to get a feel for the scene. A good example of how I tackle the layering of scenery is the area I’m working on near Camp 53 on the rock cuts. In the background I’m using about 75% Golden Blend and 25% Green Blend, in the foreground, I used Scenic Express forest floor which has some static grass mixed in. There will be mostly stumps in the foreground and any vegetation will be carefully placed so it doesn’t get knocked around by operators. I have the rock work come up enough to mask the slide switch ground throws when taking ../Photos on the Raquette Lake Railway ROW below. The background will be a mix of fresh cut and old cut areas leading up the new haul road leaving camp. I’m leaving room for a Blacksmith Shop, Mess Hall/Dormitory, stables and unloading ramps for supplies and equipment in the Camp also.

Now that summer is finally here, I have way less time to work on the layout than I do in the winter but I’m plugging away. I’m hoping to start working back west towards Eagle Bay during the summer with the goal of having at least basic layers of scenery done from Camp 53 to Eagle Bay. I also have been applying gold vinyl letters to my fascia and car card boxes so visitors and operators have a better idea of where they are. A fresh shipment of letters just came so I can finish that up. Also I will be hopefully working on my custom car cards and waybills and getting away from the generic quickie cards I have now. I’m anticipating out of town work this summer, should be a great time to do car cards! I already have a digital database of almost all my rollingstock in general and all of my rollingstock that is on the layout for operating so I am part of the way there.

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