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    • September 11, 2018 10:54 PM EDT
    • Vic, 

      Thanks and no worries.  It is landscaping season around the Triple O right now!



    • September 11, 2018 8:32 PM EDT
    • Looks great, BTW I promise to get that package I owe into the mail before the next Mik Challenge... I hope... maybe.

    • August 14, 2018 12:26 PM EDT
    •    Great me the little one with the hammer; he  looks like he could fix some things real fast!



    • August 14, 2018 11:17 AM EDT
    • nicely done, love the thatched roof it is in the real spirit of Hawaii, Bill

    • August 14, 2018 11:17 AM EDT
    • nicely done, love the thatched roof it is in the real spirit of Hawaii, Bill

    • August 14, 2018 2:13 AM EDT
    • My pleasure.  The railroad is my primary weapon in my War Against Tablets/Phones/Computer Games.  We are holding the line, I think, though it takes some balancing to progress fast enough to keep it interesting, not so fast to outpace the younger ones, not so often they get turned off by the project, and not to the point I lose the ability to escape for a few minutes each day.

      The goal is to come home one day and see someone crafting something - ANYTHING - for the railroad.  I will take that as proof positive they have learned the joy of creating something tangible for the simple sake of doing.

    • August 13, 2018 7:21 PM EDT
    • Excellent !

    • August 13, 2018 5:29 PM EDT
    • Nice and I echo the attaboy about getting your kids involved.

    • August 13, 2018 12:25 PM EDT
    • you finished your project in less than a year? - Oh...

    • August 13, 2018 6:15 AM EDT
    • Well done Eric and family. Looks great in place

    • August 13, 2018 3:16 AM EDT
    • Eric, congrats on finishing your challenge! I really like your layout but I love reading your posts! It is so cool that you have the family involved!


    • August 13, 2018 2:20 AM EDT
    • All,

      This is a long overdue post to close this thread.  Our tower went out in the yard early this spring, but we failed to wire it in until quite recently.  I had also wanted to show it in all of its glory when we go all in "Wild West" theme and populate the Triple O with about 200 PLAYMOBIL figures, themselves mostly refugees from the 1970-s through 1980-s (The kids are hooked; this gives me an excuse to buy more "for the family," of course.).  Anyway, please behold the Pu'uomao Yard Office and Observation Tower in all of its..*ahem*...glory!



      Oh, and lest you wonder, Kid-zilla was engaged elsewhere depriving newly repowered "North Star" of her forward uncoupling lever...

      I guess I have a new skill to learn.

      I should mention that the building did hold two light switches, which allow us to power on and off our engine service track on our inner loop and a passing siding on the outer loop.  This let us run five trains, which was a blast!  More practically, in the future, it will allow the Grillmeister to park the Festzug, enjoy the contents there aboard, return the empty content containers, flip a switch, and send the Festzug on its way, all without interfering with other operations, such as they are.

      We had a real gas with this competition, so much, in fact, that after much hemming and hawing, I just bought a little table saw to allow us to cut our own timbers going forward.  The last of the dry season will go to landscaping, though, to put salvaged cinder blocks and lava rocks to good use.  Besides, I wouldn't want to actually practice before the 2019 challenge!

      Thanks again to all the encouragement and inspiration we got along the way!





    • April 2, 2018 3:22 AM EDT
    • I am happy to report we have survived all visitors.  The crew was happy to show off their ribbon to "Oma" and "Opa," so they are motivated to get this done.  

      We mounted our windows made of plastic from the bottom of a reusable shopping bag.  Kid-zilla tried to apply them using his preferred tool...


      In all seriousness, getting wood to adhere to this stuff defied all efforts:  E6000; construction cement; silicon.  I ended up using silicon to stick the plastic to the wall, which stopped the plastic from flexing.  This seemed to work.   For now.  Were I to do it over, I would glue the plastic to the inside of the building, as a bit of plastic extends beyond my crude frames.  Live and learn...

      This weekend, Oldest Daughter and I used a pause between services and other activities to roof the office.  We had some 1:1 roofing material we trimmed to fit and glued to the top.  We will need to trim off some excess, then we can mount our craft store "lumber" for stringers and more craft sticks for rungs.  I have a solar light on stand by, an we'll also cut a small hole to allow the light to hit the panel, then silicon glue the light to the underside.

      There has been a downside to this project.  My carefully cultivated image of being useless with any tools has been - in the mind of CINCHOUSE - sufficiently shattered to apply nominal skills to household repairs, to include refinishing Oldest Daughter's recently acquired second hand desk.  On the upside, though, Oldest Daughter has said, "Wonder what they will want us to do for the 2019 Challenge?"  To this end CINCHOUSE authorized the purchase of a cheap hobby-size table saw.  This guarantees next year's challenge will require metal work...

      Barring more fun with toddlers and tack hammers, this should be the last update until the yard office is done and wired in place.  I am looking forward to sitting at my grill station, hitting a switch to isolate the full beverage train, and then hitting the other switch to release a train carrying the empties.

      Happy Easter to those who celebrate and have a great week!



    • April 18, 2018 9:40 PM EDT
    • David Marconi,FOGCH said:

      Oh the many chuckles we had over that statement Rooster. But the man did have a knack for creating what he wanted from what he had or, could beg or borrow


    • April 17, 2018 7:59 AM EDT
    • Mik did graduate from the college of hard knocks, he passed with flying colors!

    • April 17, 2018 7:39 AM EDT
    • Oh the many chuckles we had over that statement Rooster. But the man did have a knack for creating what he wanted from what he had or, could beg or borrow

    • April 17, 2018 12:03 AM EDT
    • me an idea for my next layout background.....I wonder if ebay has secondhand trains to match?



      edit: like so:





    • April 16, 2018 8:06 PM EDT


      Back in the day in the hood!

    • March 15, 2018 6:22 PM EDT
    • Thanks guys.

      You can catch up with the 3rd bridge build here;

    • March 15, 2018 5:22 PM EDT
    • John. that really looks good. The solo bridge was nice but with the addition of the second it really is nice.