Noodling around with some things on the layout:
I’m still experimenting with lumber stack analogues. I’ve mentioned that I need stacks of lumber for the mill loading dock, but don’t need detailed models for interior stacks. I bought some 3/8″ x 5/8″ basswood sticks because the cut dimensions were close to what I needed for the stacks; I just had to cut them to length.
A short time later I had a pile of cores:
I used white glue to make stacks of four, then applied the printed texture to the sides and top. A look at how things, um, stack up:
The loosely stacked foreground pieces are raw cores, while those behind have texture applied. It appears I only need detailed stacks for the first couple of rows; the rest can probably be raw wood. This particular pad will be covered, making detail even less important. Right now I’m looking at just cutting a slab of wood the right shape for the interior stacks.
Only one section of the layout remains to be detailed, and given that I need a destination for cars arriving from the Peninsula by ferry, the choices are limited to wood product industries. Fortunately no lack of those in 1948 Tacoma.
My concern was that I’d laid the siding on a curve, and it appeared likely the industry would be crane-served. I’m not really looking forward to building another crane, but may not have a choice. I decided to straighten the siding to accommodate a crane.
The original siding with a straightedge:
There’s some weed detail I hoped to preserve. After soaking a folded paper towel and laying it on the track until the towel was dry, I used a putty knife to pry up the ballast and track:
The track came up fairly easily with most of the ballast attached. I probably won’t bother re-ballasting in keeping with the industrial setting.
New Cars For the NPP
As I’ve operated the layout more, I’ve noticed a need for certain types of cars. Nearly every industry uses boxcars, and there’s a crying need for flatcars and gondolas. I really need flats and gons lettered for Northern Pacific, as I figure those cars would be in nearly captive service shuttling Peninsula logging to Tacoma customers.
I was in The Hobby Smith recently browsing their N-scale freight cars, and found some keepers.
The Northern Pacific gondola is from Trainworx, and a very nice model. Really nothing to do but weather it and put it in service. Even the trip pins are blackened. While I mentally knocked $4 off the price for the metal wheels, it’s a near-indulgence.
After coming to grips with buying the gon, the boxcars were easy. The C & O car is by MT and the CB & Q car is an Atlas product. An Eastern-road car wouldn’t be a common sight on the West Coast, but it makes a nice contrast to the heavily West/Northwest roster on the NPP. The more ‘foreign’ it feels, the better the job the NPP does representing the region.
Any modeler who’s been in the hobby long enough to need prototype information has heard of the fire insurance maps produced by the Sanborn Map Co. I found that the Multnomah County Library has digitized and uploaded the maps, so anyone with a County library card can access the downloadable maps online. I don’t live in Multnomah county, but I do live in a county with a reciprocal lending agreement. The maps don’t cover every part of the cities they serve, but for the parts that are mapped, they are original source material. If you have a modeling need in an area covered, they are invaluable.
The Portland State University has the maps on microfilm, and anyone can walk in and ask for them. When I got to the appropriate desk and asked for the film, they knew exactly what I wanted. The Sanborn maps are a fairly esoteric request for some random person to make, but it turned out an Urban Studies professor had required the maps as course material a few years ago.
Operating on the NPP
Switching the Cheney Lumber Co.