Welcome!

This site is dedicated to my model railroad, the HO scale Virginia Midland Railroad currently in construction.
The upper layout is about 90% done with a few scenery tidbits left. I am also in the process of building a lower level to this layout.

I do a handful of train shows in the Virginia region and go by the name of Virginia Midland Shops.
I also can help you find that freight car/locomotive or other hard to find item.

Email: stctigers@gmail.com
You tube videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/Virginiamidlandrr/

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Thanksgiving Break Finally!

First, I want to wish everyone a happy Thanksgiving!  You probably have been wondering when my next post would be or maybe I fell off the face of the earth.  Yes I know I have not posted since the end of October but really nothing has been going on on the layout at all.  I started coaching another sport this fall and my 10 hour days have been literally kicking my butt.  Today has been my first day off since Labor Day and I made sure I got some modeling in.  The crappy weather made sure that it was going to happen.  My main point this week is to get scenery on my new peninsula I added this summer.  Being the first thing you see when you walk into the room, it was a priority.  So I tackled that today.
Adding some paint to the area around the sand plant.

Larger view of the area I'm working on.

Sculptamold around the edges of the base of the road.  The fascia board base is a little thick for my liking but it will have to work now.  

The styrene asphalt road on top of the fascia board.  The dark patches are supposed to be road repairs.  I need to weather  the road.  
After letting some Sculptamold dry, I ran a rail cleaning train.  I picked up a rolling track cleaning car to pull behind a loco.  I also build a track cleaning car to pull behind it.  I cleaned the lower level and the helix.
Here's my Centerline track cleaning car I picked up at a show earlier this month.  It needs a little more weight but still pulls the rolling rag around the layout.  I use CRC 2-26 to clean the track.

My homemade track cleaner.  I use WS track dusters attached to the wheels to slide on the tracks.  It's a boxcar frame with lots of weight.  The wooden planks keep the dusters on the track.

Gotta have some muscle to move this train.  VMID SD50 #706 does a great job on this train.  She been weathered finally.

Here's the roller car.  Looks like the track was quite dirty.  The colorful rubber bands are from the kids loom kit (makes wrist bands)  These little rubber bands are perfect for keeping the cloth on.

Back to the scenery work:

Ballast added to the hopper spurs.  Some sand mixed in also. 

Going for a sandy/dirt area around the plant.  Still going to sand it down a bit.   

Ballasting is complete in this area.  

A view from the other end. Hope to get this area most of the way done this week.  

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

A video on some progress

Got a chance to get a video done on the little progress I have made over the last month.  Hope to get some scenery done on the new extension in the coming weeks.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Not a lot to show for and now N scale?


This Fall has been quite busy for me and the modeling and the layout has come to a standstill.  This past week I was on the run it seems everyday after work.  I squeezed a few minutes of decaling out this week and that's about it.  That decaling would be on my Ex-KCS SD50.  I put VMID reporting marks on it and patched the red KCS on the long hood.  I wanted to cover up the entire KCS in red but it hard to do with white trim film.  So I'm going with a faded KCS maybe with a stripe across it. This is common for short line units that I have seen. Here's a prototype: BB GP40-3  An example would be this model I did for the Buckingham Branch Railroad:
This was a loco I did for a customer back in 2011.  Based on the prototype still running in this scheme.

I went to a train show last weekend and my sons talked me into a n scale layout.  My oldest had been all over this for about a year now.  I was not sure that he was ready, but I took the plunge and bought a huge lot of Kato Uni-track and loco and a couple of cars.  This past Sunday, we build a "L" shaped layout in their room.
Simple construction and doesn't  take up much space.

Definitely got the Detroit Tiger theme going on in here!
Here the GP38-2 the boys picked out.  Good runner and right now we are sticking to DC.  It can be converted to DCC if needed.
Here are the 2 cars the boys picked out.  Nicely detailed and they run well.

The overall scene.  Got to get some fascia for the background and a few more turnouts.  Not bad for a few hours of work on Sunday afternoon.
Hear is the Ex-KCS SD50 that will be working on the Midland.  The 6 axle power is a new trend on the VMID.  A tsunami was installed in in and being a Proto 2000 loco, it runs and well and is very heavy.

Here's another 6 axle power loco.  It's a Kato mid-production run.  Picked it up at the RPM meet for a great price.  It too will be patched for the VMID.  


Sunday, October 5, 2014

It's October already?

Don't know where the month of September went but it's gone until next year.  I did have the Mid-Atlantic RPM meet in the middle of the month and that was a great time.  Modeling has generally taken a back seat to the busyness of life lately.  Coaching another sport starting in the middle of November does not leave a lot of time to do much in the future either.  I'm also beginning to write my first article for a magazine on my layout.  More on this at a later time.  I have had sometime to do a few things but I've been lazy, I'm preferring the recliner to the the work desk in the evenings!  Hopefully I can shake that this month.

Here is a ice machine I picked up from Nick and Nora Designs at the RPM meet.  

And here's one on the layout.  A must fro a crew shelter.

Here a prototype hopper from the VC based on a picture.  The car is based on one from the 30's., (Pic below)

VC prototype hopper
Here's a VC boxcar based on a prototype pic.  The car is close but not totally correct.  I have had the decals custom done.  Let me know if you want to purchase some.

Finally added some logs to my pulpwood car.  The logs are azalea bush twigs.  They are nice to work with because they are mainly straight.  Sorry for the blurry picture.

Monday, September 15, 2014

2014 Mid Atlantic RPM Meet this past weekend

Sorry no updates on the layout in this post but I do have several pictures from the Mid Atlantic RPM meet.   


My pictures are only from Friday's models that were displayed. I did not get the chance to get more pictures on Saturday. I'm a co-founder and overall it was a great meet in our second year. Over 250 models displayed and 18 dioramas/structures were displayed. 

http://www.pbase.com/vamidlandrr/2014_mid_atlantic_rpm_meet_fredericksburg_va

Monday, September 1, 2014

Modeling on the cheap

Well, it's Labor Day and that means one thing for me, back to teaching (or work).  I actually worked all last week and as calendar turns to September today, my modeling time will be limited to evenings.  I wanted to do an interesting blog post and thought of it today.  Modeling on the cheap.  If your like me, I find the cheapest price that I can find and somethings you only have place you can get an item.  This goes for all modeling items like sound decoders, locos, freight cars, scenic items and the like.  Not being close to a hobby shop also limits my going out and buying things.  So what are some of the ways I save money in this expensive hobby:

  • Scenic Express:  They have the best scenic supplies hands down and run specials every week.                http://www.scenicexpress.com/
  • Train shows:  These are the hidden jewels, especially the smaller ones.  Great deals can always be found.
  • Home Depot:  I go here for most of my lumber since it's close and pay full price but you can find paint that customers did not want for cheap.  Got a sample earth color the other day for fifty cents!      These samples are more manageable than the gallon cans.
  •   AC Moore:  I go here for many items and I never pay full price.  Brushes, Dullcote, Elmers       glue (big jugs), paint (spray, oils and acrylics) florist foam, etc.  They always run coupons  in the paper, your email address or even on their app for your smart phones.   On top of it, they give a 15% discount to teachers ;-).  Yesterday I went there to get some materials for a water scene and had a 55% off one item coupon.   Michael's is OK but a high traffic area in my neck of the woods!
  • I have also built a static grass applicator from an electric flyswatter.  Pretty easy to do.  I'm always saving items to use for modeling purposes like storage containers and anything I think I might can use.  Let me know of any of your tricks you may have in the comments below!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Scenery is complete at Orange: Video

Been in a scenery rush to get the lower level done at Orange.  The scene is like a upside down "T" when viewed.  I had to do the scenery in the back because it was unreachable unless you access it from the access hatch behind the fascia on the right.  It turned out better than I thought.  It has a building and road crossing.  You will see the building about halfway through the video.  Enjoy!