Modern Passenger Pulling Power and Scenery

New passenger motive power has been procured! I stumbled across an MTH Premier Amtrak Dash-8 (P32-8BWH) on eBay and was smitten with the Phase V paint scheme.  Also being a sucker for 90s motive power, I had to pull the trigger and I can say I’m very happy with the new addition:

The Phase V paint scheme matches the Phase IV Amfleet cars as well as the recently picked up Phase V baggage car.  While the Dash-8 from MTH may not be entirely scale (It looks like they used an earlier shell mold and trucks) it’s close enough for Slottown!

As for scenery, we’ve finally tackled our small pond project on the upper level – We cut out the pond shape using a rotary cutting saw and used liquid nails to glue on a 1/4″ bottom.  We then used spackle to build up the banks of the pond, then painted the bottom brown and added both commercial and natural ground cover. A short scavenge around the yard turned up a few twigs that match the scale (although fear not should you live in a baren wasteland with no vegetation, you can always buy your sticks from woodland scenics)  Next up, we’ll be pouring in the Woodland Scenics Deep Pour Murky Water solution to give the pond a realistic “Murky” water look and finally our fisherman will have a body of water to snag some trout:

A taste of Chicago

Deep dish pizza, the Cubs, and Metra – is there anything more Chicago than that? After years of hunting for a Metra F40PH to add to my collection and reminisce seeing the real thing for the few years of my childhood in Naperville, MTH offered a new PS3 Railking version in their 2019 Volume 1 catalog. Upon seeing it in the catalog, I quickly put in my pre-order to Legacy Station back in October of 2018. It arrived this week and I quickly headed over to Legacy Station to pick it up.

I’m super happy with the locomotive – the sounds and lights are great, and the fake Chicago accent PFA announcements is pretty great!

It’s interesting to see the new Railking version next to a PS2 Premier version – the shells are sized almost identically but there’s definitely a number of add-on details on the premier version that the Railking version is lacking (as expected) – notably:

– See-through radiator screens and spinning fans
– Windshield wipers
– Marker Lights
– Add-on steps
– Nose ladder hand rails