New Year’s. For me, and I think many, a time of renewal. A chance to clean up and be ready for the future. One morning during the holidays I decided to give Fillmore the yearly maintenance it deserves.
Beforehand I had decided that I would give it a good going-over that may take the better part of the day. It would be at a leisurely pace; just doing whatever needed to be done without looking at the clock. It would be a big job, after all – you know cleaning (ugh).
But my grandiose plan was totally unnecessary because it really doesn’t take much to clean-up the layout while doing some fix-ups here and there. Here’s what I did…
Even though there is a cloth cover over the layout when in storage, fine dust infiltrates over time, so a vacuuming with a soft brush attachment restored the scenery quickly. In delicate areas, I used a ladies make-up brush to stir the dust away. However, I found that the one I had kept losing bristles and was creating more work for me. Fortunately I have a proper model dusting brush, although it is much smaller, and that did the job.
In the picture below, we see the Fillmore 300 Ton coaling tower and associated sub-structures scattered about the yard while I was vacuuming the grounds where they normally stand. Except for the roundhouse and passenger car service building, all structures are removable and the lighting wiring has quick-connectors for easy removal.
In the picture below, the pockets for locating the various items are evident. They are typically made with .060″ x .100″ styrene strip and cinder ballast is carried over top.
The dust got inside the roundhouse too. Accessing these areas was possible with the removable roof sections. Using the straight/flat attachment and the small dusting brush, I went inside without much trouble.
In a few places I noticed some small cracks in the cinder ballast ground cover. I scraped away the area, added new ballast, and secured it with Woodland Scenics Scenic Cement.
At the turntable pit, I used contact cleaner on the electrical wipers and contact face of the bridge.
At the ash/wash pits I knocked over a man (I was wondering how long it would take me to do this; he’s been standing there for years!). All I had to do was CA him in place, but the glue (as careful as I was) left a shiny spot at his left foot, below. This naturally bugged me.
I corrected this by spraying (just a squirt) Tamiya TS-80 Flat Clear lacquer (rattle can) into a small, low container and using a fine brush, I applied it to the shiny area. TS-80 – is there anything it can’t do (yes, I’m still in love with this product), and as seen below, the model is as good as new.
Clean the track…ah yes, the track. Well, it seems, that I haven’t had to in more than two and a half years. And I’m not going to, until I have to, either. I applied a graphite stick (2B or 4B) to it long ago and it seems to be working. I learned this from a posting by skilled railway modeller Trevor Marshall (CNR Port Rowan). I took a chance and tried it and am pleased so far.
As I vacuumed in sections, I re-applied the graphite; I suppose the act of rubbing the stick on the rail tops does clean the rails somewhat, but it was more for keeping the application up. A graphite stick (shown below) can be obtained from an art shop. When applying it, ensure that track power is off. The tracks inside the roundhouse do not get the treatment. I wonder how long I can get away with this….
Total elapsed time spent? Exactly two hours.