Archive for January, 2019

Sci-Fi model train landscape

Workers venture out on the dangerous landscape of the Mines of Xenon science fiction model railroad

The year seemed to be dominated by larger time consuming projects. January saw me complete my Mad Max style science fiction locomotive kitbash, which I didn’t think turned out to be half bad for my first attempt.

Science fiction kitbashed locomotive for the Mines of Xenon layout

April was the 40th anniversary of the famous lunar model railroad which was a major inspiration in my starting this layout. I marked the occasion by writing a layout tour article giving an overview of The Mines of Xenon and the state of layout construction at that time.

Mining mountain and radio active slime pit scenery progress

During the summer, work progressed mainly on the scenery while the mountain forms and radio active sludge pond were created. Work seemed to come together pretty quickly as I had had some good practice on the diorama.

Kitbashing science fiction ore cars

Next up during the fall was my attempt to scratch building some rolling stock and flying stock. I wanted a custom ore-type car to run around the layout as well as a vessel for a crashed spaceship scene. I cobbled something together for the ore cars that don’t really work, but may be able to be used as scenery props around the layout.

Scratch building a spaceship

Also the results on the spacecraft were not really what I wanted. After watching lots of online videos, I put something together that didn’t really fly. I might find a place for the craft on the layout, but ultimately decided on an obscure Star Trek kit. This ship will be the center of a crashed spacecraft scene. It is a nice size and has some good texture to fit the current setting.

Crashed spaceship scene – first look

I finished the year with some more good progress on the scenery while I tackled the end the layout under the mountain. Some wire screening by the passenger track and lights made a big difference.

Futuristic turbo train pulls into mining passenger station deep below the surface

Another project not directly related to the Mines of Xenon layout was prepping the room for the next big thing. I basically have two rooms available in my basement and worked toward finishing one room. That stalled after the fist stage, but de-cluttering and re-arranging was able to continue. This was more effort that I had planned for and seemed to drag down progress whenever I would look at my actual layouts.

I revisited my radio controlled power on board Athearn blue box SW1500, and redesigned the wiring. While I was working I burned out the receiver board and killed two batteries, so this project didn’t get finished by the end of the year.

St. Mary’s Railroad MD15-AC

And let’s not forget the nice surprise gift from my wife to drive an actual locomotive in October! Behind the throttle of St. Mary’s Railroad MD15-AC also gave me some good ideas for a railroad-you-can-model article or possibly a diorama. Surprisingly, the railroad had a SW1500 that looked very similar to the one I have running on the Southside Industrial District, which I painted about 35 years ago!

The next year is ripe with anticipation of big things. Here is what is on my docket:

Mines of Xenon
– Finish motive power
– Structures – main mine and gun turret
– Village ?
– Detailing
– Write it all up and put it in a bookazine

Southside Industrial District
– Finish detailing some buildings
– Formalize an operating scheme
– Write it all up and put it in a bookazine

Morden Diorama
– Redo Morden station
– Finish platform scene

New Layout
– Make staging modules

Here’s hoping this coming year is great one for you. Keep modelling and don’t forget to have fun!

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