Found In the Woods

February 22, 2012

What would you buy?

Filed under: Blogging — bsullivan @ 2:29 pm

A friend recently asked “if you could buy any car, what would it be?” Well that’s like asking a parent which child is their favorite. (it depends) For me, there are so many cars that I adore for so many reasons. But if you pegged me to the wall and told me to spill the beans, I guess here’s a pretty good list of what I’d pick.

What would I buy? Well that’s a tough question all around. A few of my “tops”:

2012 Audi RS4 Avant
http://www.autoblog.com/2012/02/14/2012-audi-rs4-avant/

2004 BMW M3 CSL (E46)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BMW_M3
One of the best platforms ever built. Just a magnificent vehicle.

Land Rover Defender
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Land_Rover_Defender
These are one of my all-time favorite vehicles. They stopped selling them in the USA in 1997 because they couldn’t be fitted with airbags and other safety features without serious modifications. They are amazing vehicles. Pure offroad delight.

1971 Saab 99
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saab_99
My parents had this car growing up. They picked it up in Sweeden, drove it all over Europe and had it shipped home. It was a really neat car and I still love ’em.

Porsche 911
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Porsche_911
Nothing fancy, not the turbocharged version, just the bone-stock legend.

GMC Sierra 1500
http://www.gmc.com/sierra-1500-pickup-truck.html
There is something great about climbing up into the cab of a big pick up truck, knowing you could go anywhere and carry anything and tow the house right off the foundation.

2012 Subaru Impreza WRX STI Limited
http://www.subaru.com/vehicles/impreza-wrx/index.html
I had a 1995 Legacy Outback and loved the thing to death. I have always loved the WRX STI’s too. They are just solid, fun cars.

BMW Z8
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BMW_Z8
A modern classic. Rare and elegant. I would love to tour the country, or Europe, in one of these.

2012 Volkswagen Golf R
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Volkswagen_Golf_Mk6
I saw one of these at H20i (a VW festival) last Summer and, wow, it is amazing. Just a fun, racy car all around.

Mazda MX-5 (Miata)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mazda_mx5
Another fun 2-seater roadster. Simple, affordable – tons of fun.

2002 BMW Z3 M Coupe
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BMW_Z3
This special edition of the Z3 was bonkers in its design and just completely bonkers. I love the wacky shooting brake style.

2011 BMW 1 Series M Coupe
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BMW_1_Series_M_Coupe#M_Coup.C3.A9
Just an amazing car. My friend has one. I am seriously jealous.

February 16, 2012

My Life in a Cube

Filed under: Blogging — bsullivan @ 11:28 am

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February 3, 2012

A Long-Awaited Update

Filed under: Railroading — bsullivan @ 12:27 pm

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I haven’t given a status update on the basement work in quite a while and I apologize for that. It’s how I am with this blog, it comes and goes. Anyway, to sum it up, after I completed the framing & insulation, the vapor barrier went up, drywall and trim. The room was primed & painted a couple coats and is ready for prime time. Since I completed the room I have begun benchwork construction on the layout. I decided on a dual-level (double deck), around the room layout with a helix (repurposed from my old layout) connecting the two levels and located outside the room. (the track passes through the wall via a hole) So far I have completed roughly 50% of the open grid benchwork and am very pleased with the progress. I need to get some more lumber and spend some more time on this but lately I’ve been busy with my new job. (yay!) Thanks for watching! See you soon.

Great Scale Model Train Show this weekend

Filed under: Blogging,Railroading — bsullivan @ 12:18 pm

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This weekend I will be at the Great Scale Model Train Show, held quarterly in Timonium, MD at the State Fairgrounds. It’s a great show and a place you can find lots of model RR related stuff at great prices. My model RR club, the Rockville Model RR Society, will be there as well with about 3+ tables worth of items for sale (see photo above). The club is liquidating many items it has had in storage. Me, well I’m selling lots of items I myself have had for many years and have no use for anymore. Hope you can make it out and if you do, say HI!

April 24, 2011

Wiring, insulation and framing is nearly done

Filed under: Projects,Railroading — bsullivan @ 1:22 am

With the incredible help of my father in law and my buddy Kelly we’ve been able to make amazing progress on the workshop/layout room. Framing is nearly done as is electrical and insulation. Doing drywall and installing fixtures are the biggest jobs left. Very excited!

April 8, 2011

Some basement progress pics

Filed under: Projects,Railroading — bsullivan @ 1:39 pm

I know these aren’t that exciting, but for me they are. 🙂 Also, it’s hard to see here but all the old wall along the back and side walls of the house are gone. Also, the wiring in the room has been removed. Next step is to make some calculations, remove a few more wall pieces, clean up some stuff and get framing the new walls and roughing in the electrical. Stay tuned.

March 29, 2011

Workshop Update

Filed under: Projects,Railroading — bsullivan @ 9:30 pm

My father-in-law Bruce came over today and helped me knock out some serious work on the workshop room. My model RR will be in this room, along with the HVAC unit, the water heater and my work bench/storage. The room was originally part of one large basement room. At some point in the last 30 years the previous owner split the room in half and turned this side into a workshop. He was a serious woodworker and had some large tools (evident by the 220 40A circuit we removed today and bolt casings in the floor) so it’s plenty big. I decided to strip it down and turn it into a combo model RR room and workshop.

When we moved in I set to work removing some of the old storage units, shelves, walls, etc. Unfortunately, there were also some circuits that needed removing around the room and due to a lack of funds after being laid off, this sort of got put on the back burner. Thanks to the generosity of some friends and family I’ve been able to get some building materials and make a go of getting this taken care of. Back to today, Bruce & I traced out circuits, chased wires, rerouted one circuit to combine some lights and removed a lot of old wire. I was even able to remove all the remaining studs from the room (finally) and get things cleared out a bit. The next step is to continue removing wires, random nailed boards and some other shelves/cabinets still in the room. Things are moving along really well. More pics next time. Thanks!

March 27, 2011

LRDG redux

Filed under: Projects — bsullivan @ 3:47 pm

The original Tamiya LRDG 1/35 scale kit fetches a premium these days. I put one together back in high school and at the time it was one of my prized models. It was also one of the few that survived the great “younger brother knocking over the shelves that held all my models” tragedy.

I was recently inspired to take stock of some of the older projects I have and see if I can complete them. The LRDG stood out to me as a really neat kit that could use some work. Yeah, by high school standards I did an OK job, but the model deserves so much more. Much of it was unpainted, poorly weathered, half-done and a little rough around the edges. Finding a ton of really amazing builds online has inspired me to redo this build.

I first took the pieces that would come off and set them aside. I next started with some of the glued-on bits. Thankfully I didn’t do a very good job gluing things back then, so some of the details came off without a fuss. Others required a little bit more persuasion and will require some filling & sanding. Probably the biggest problem is the wheels – the rubber ones that Tamiya supplied were glued and then mounted to the hubs. This invariably caused them to crack as the rubber shrank over the years. None of my original wheels survived this fate and it makes the model look tacky no matter what you do. I found some replacement resin wheels on eBay and snatched them up. I also sourced some decals for the instrument panel. Here are a few photos of the teardown. Expect more soon!

March 4, 2011

Lt. Slug, welcome to the Tiger’s Claw

Filed under: Blogging — bsullivan @ 2:45 pm

Recently, digging through old files on my backup drive I came across this gem, ca. 1990:

Wing Commander 1   PASSWORDS
WEIGHT OF A RLARI-18000
SAFE SPEED IN AN ASTEROID FIELD-250
MAX RANGE FOR FF MISSILE-12000
MAX RANGE FOR  AN IR MISSILE-8000
VELOCITY OF THE DART DF MISSILE, IN THE RAPIER BLUEPRINTS-FF& IR ESK-9500
AGE OF MANIAC-23
FRONT ARMOR  OF THE FRALTHI-28
LAZER CANNONS MAX RANGE-4800
DF MISSILE ESK-11000
TIGERS CLAW LAUNCHED IN-2644

On a whim, I Googled Wing Commander and found the app & a DOS emulator. Both worked and within minutes I was back on the Tiger’s Claw fighting the Kilrathi. I just loved this game (and WCII) so much.

February 16, 2011

Building Building

Filed under: Projects,Railroading — bsullivan @ 10:16 am

Since I was laid off back in November, things have been different. Suddenly I’m playing Mr. Mom while a tenacious Ms. Dad has gone back to working full time to pay the bills while I search for a job. In my rare spare time I’m trying to finish up some modeling projects. I cleaned up the basement workshop room enough so that I could sit down at my table and take a stab at finishing a few projects. I did!

Life-Like Proto 2000 Hopper kit nearing completion

The P2K War Emergency Hopper Car is one I have had for years. It is a pretty nice kit. The details are exquisite. Lots of really well molded detail parts, grab irons and  a nice overall appearance. I brought this kit to Cape Cod with me last summer and never completed it because I ran out of time. It sat on my workbench all Fall and I finally picked it back up. I only had about 20 minutes of work left to complete it and the finished model looks great. Now it just needs a little weathering and it will be good to go.

Suydam 4 track car barn kit

This Suydam kit has a bit more history attached to it and I’ve decided to make it my next project to complete. This kit belonged to my father until I absconded with it years ago when he left the hobby for the most part. It’s identical to a kit that I destroyed as a child (a story for another time) and one that I’ve had half-built for about 12 years now. I picked it out one day many years ago and decided to try out the task of soldering the metal roof sections together which is something that I’d never done. It turned out so well that I painted and lightly weathered the roof. When I assembled the side walls, construction stopped. When this kit was produced, back in the 1960s and 70s, it was really nice. Card stock walls with printed brick patterns and lucite windows with printed on mullions were all relatively good looking. Now, they just look silly. In this day in age when superdetailing is at a mind boggling level, just putting a little effort can take a model like this to a whole new level.

What I’ve decided to do is complete this kit with a few modifications based on a prototype that interests me. This kit is modeled after some Southern California traction car barns. My layout/interest is with the Georgetown Branch of the B&O. I have a photo of the Chevy Chase & Kensington Electric Ry. car barn that once existed at the crossing of Connecticut Ave. in Chevy Chase, MD. The car barn was later repurposed as a car dealership and probably a host of other things before it was eventually torn down and replaced with an apartment building. My goal here isn’t to model the car barn exactly as it appeared but build a car barn model that will represent it with some degree of semblance. As such, even though it’s a very different design overall, I’ll be using this Suydam kit as a basis and adding some details that will give it a feeling of the old Georgetown Branch structure.

First up I’m ditching the old card stock walls. I’m going to replace them with Evergreen Scale Models styrene clapboard siding. The windows and doors are going to be represented with laser cut designs from Rusty Stumps doors and windows. I’m not sure how this will all turn out in the end, but if I can pull it off I think this will be a very nice model with lots of detail appeal on the layout. Who knows, I may even try to squeeze a traction line into the layout plan!

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