TTFH: Mostly Operative!

I am starting to get a little out of order with my updates… Mostly, I have a couple of REALLY HUGE ones to do (like the Texas trip!) that are sort of intimidating me, so I’m procrastinating about doing them, and instead of just skipping ahead, I’m avoiding posting at all.

So, to break the cycle, I’ve got some more train table ‘fluff’ to share!

I’ve been working away in what Lance has dubbed a “serious” manner at building scenery on the Blue Line, building up the models I have, improving the usability of the TTFH, and teaching the kids how to respect the models. “Models are not toys. Look, do not touch. They are fragile. Don’t touch the engines or cars unless they derail. Use the controls to move the engine. Get your toys off the train table. Evie, don’t touch that!” Repeat.

IMG_1792This fun picture shows how the TTFN is actually starting to look like something! Now, granted, I sort of stuck all the model buildings I’ve done on there to give you something to look at, but with the different engines, cars, containers and sheds in the switching yard, it looks almost legit! I was thinking about doing some painting on the base board. (I don’t think I’m going to do any ‘ground goop’ on the TTFH. It will be an urban scene, so man-made look is just fine. Plus, the ground goop was a big mess and a PITA on the Blue Line. I sort of wish I hadn’t done it, but it’s too late now.)



The blue engine shed that our poor, abused Northern engine is hiding in, I just finished gluing tonight. I’m not sure whether I’ll black-wash that or not, so I haven’t done any ‘light box’ pictures or a review with it yet. The green warehouse (in front of the engine shed in the top picture, nearly hidden in this one), I’m waiting for a dull coat before I do lightbox pictures, and I wasn’t going to do that until I figured out how to scratchbuild a sign for it… Which I haven’t done, because I’ve been doing 6000 other things!

The beautiful CP Rail loco, container cars and containers were an incredible Christmas present from our friends Jay and Maddie, from Model Railroad Forums. Olin nearly takes flight with his excited ‘flapping’ every time we put it on the tracks, because it makes noise, and couples up, and for some reason he is extremely fascinated by making it go around the tracks very, very, very, very slowly. I have to tell him, “Give it a little more power, Olin, it’s going to get stuck!” His enthusiasm is cute, though.

Evie calls the CP loco “The Candy Train!” Olin gets mad at her for calling it that, but then insists that the containers hold chocolate. Whatever, as long as they’re enjoying it!


This is the other little ‘diorama’ I have sort of set up, at the moment. Tim says it’s a memorial to our poor, abused steamie. I suppose it is! I imagine it’s a passenger station/railroad museum that has a busted old steamie on display… Which is pretty much exactly what it is. Such a pretty engine, even in pieces. May as well put it on the layout! The passenger car works just fine, I just stuck it there for the photo because it matched the theme. Whether or not that bit will stay that close to the edge of the layout will be determined by three little people and their ability to keep their fingers to themselves. Which means – not bloody likely. But, anyway!

That is part of what I’ve been up to in the basement.

Oh, I suppose I also drew the lanes for the automobile roadways, but until I have some of the buildings for the ‘city street’ section so I can see their footprints, it really makes no sense to paint the roads.

I ordered the Belvedere hotel from Hobbylinc because it’s on sale and will give me some good practice on a ‘larger’ building, but scale-wise it would probably be one of the smaller buildings on that particular layout. Because of the lift between train levels, the buildings in the ‘pit’ need to be pretty much at least 5 stories tall. (There is a 4 inch lift there, so anything less than that would make the tracks level with their roofs, which makes no sense visually. Even if one considers the top portions to be like the ‘El’ in Chicago, the buildings still rise quite a ways above that.)

Of course, the bigger models are more expensive, so that’s a long-term thing. Bah!

Here’s a few on my ‘wish list’. These are big buildings, squished close together, and a low-rent district cos they’re so close to the rail yard. Or at least, that’s my story….

DPM Industrial Building | Heron Ltd | Spectrum Trade Tower |Magnuson Int’l

I’m not holding my breath on any of those, for obvious reasons. You get the idea of what I’d like to accomplish, though, I hope!


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