Working on several projects simultaneously is common for me, and the grain cars here are no exception. With significant changes at the house it made sense to use some of the time available to kick start Shelfie4. Going between Shelfie3 and 4 allows me to try different techniques or equipment back to back, which is partly why S4 has taken a leap forward.
One of the ideas of having a ‘foreign’ layout was to free up some modelling time by not being quite so focused on prototype issues. However I’ve found that not to be the case, and I quickly reverted to type, and whilst not rivet counting, it still has to gel in terms of era and equipment. It’s sometimes referred to as proto freelancing, an imaginary line/location built on prototype practices and equipment. That genre describes my approach perfectly regardless of the modelling I’m doing. The grain cars here are a case in point,
I have too many of these in ‘pretty’ colours for the proposed location, so some thinning out in the stock list is happening. At the same time, the mundane 40ft boxcars are on their way in. Up into the 80’s the boxcar was used as a bulk grain carrier, a relatively inefficient method of transport, but actually adding some operational interest.
So this week a batch of 40ft’ers arrived, and being shorter stock means I get an extra car per train, providing an optical illusion of longer trains. The liveries on these aren’t quite right for my era of around 1970 to 1980, and detail changes on roof walkways and end ladders will give them a more authentic feel in due course.
This Geep is the largest type of motive power to be used, the core of the movements will be SW1200 switchers. Shelfie4’s aim is to show grain car operations against a backdrop of silos in a waterside location as part of a larger off scene railhead. It’ll be my first pure DCC layout, the Genesis and Rapido motive power chosen for its quality, reliability and ease of use, NCE being chosen as the control system. I’m aiming to try Rapido point motors too, on Micro Engineering code 70 track.
The baseboard is shallow in depth using a new support system for a flying fiddleyard so some space will be at a premium, with a quayside type appearance, above board point motors aren’t going to be practical.
Shelfie3 and Shelfie4 are almost tied in their current development, and S4 is likely to be the faster completion. Some of the trial items I anticipate to find their way to S3 too, the point motors for example, if they are successful. The development also works the other way in the lighting from S3 is already included in the specification for S4. The next steps are fixing and wiring track for S4, hopefully, this coming week.