M&K Junction Railroad

M&K Junction Railroad
Another train of eastbound coal crosses the Cheat River

Friday, October 19, 2012

Getting Back in the Groove

This spring, summer and early fall I have been in a funk because I was unemployed for the first time in my professional life due to the closure of the company where I worked.  Searching for a job became a full time occupation consuming 5-6 hours of almost every day.  The steady trickle of computerized rejections and the paucity of interest only deepened my malaise.  Add to that the reluctance to spend any money that was not absolutely necessary and it's easy to see that I was able to accomplish little on the layout.

I could have assembled some of the scores of kits that I have laying around, and I did do a couple; but guilt at not spending all of my time in the job search kept me from doing more. I've had three job interviews within the last month and had tentatively landed a job and that's helping me get my modelling mojo back.

Here's one of the cars that I assembled this summer:

It's a Red Caboose 10,000 gallon welded tank car.  This car is definitely not a 'shake the box' kit and took some time and skill to assemble and I broke several of the fine parts and skipped the installation of some others as being beyond my ability. This kit has exquisitely thin plastic parts that have  essentially scale dimensions of as small as a scale inch.  However, it's these same small parts that make proper assembly without breakage very difficult for someone with 'ham hands' like me. 

Red Caboose and Intermountain produced superb O scale kits that can still be found unassembled, largely because of the difficulty of assembly.  But they are not the best cars to have on a still uncompleted layoutThe fine detail does not fair well with even moderate handling  In future when I assemble more of these kits I will substitute wire for all of the scale grabs and piping as it's just too easy to break these parts in asssembly or even after the model is on the layout.  In fact, there's almost nowhere on a model tank car of this level of detail that you can grab it without breaking something. 

So until the layout is at a higher level of completion, and cars do not have to be occasionally moved by hand, I'm going to concentrate on R-T-R cars, Weaver kits (which are shake-the-box and more rugged), the dozen or so die-cast hoppers that have yet to be converted from 3 rail to 2 rail as well as the few pieces of brass rolling stock that I have. 

Unfortunately, the job offer was rescinded after I "signed on the dotted line"; but I have some indications that another offer is pending.

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