Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Eve with the other side

Even though it looks just like a really bad Skype commercial, we had a very enjoyable Christmas Eve chat with the other side, and later found lots of presents under the lighted christmas tree.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Speaking of dinosaurs

The photo might not be 100% sharp, and is a tad grainy, but I very much like how the light and colors play with the dinosaur and the children.

Taken in summer 2009 at "Giganten Argentiniens" in Lokschuppen Rosenheim.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Merry Christmas

2010 is about to wrap up. It was a good year, and I'm looking forward to the holidays and what 2011 is going to bring.

Merry Christmas from all the Becks.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Coyote Valley in the Morning

When I dropped off the kids at school today there was a very nice layer of fog in Coyote Valley. I'm not a big fan of that gas-fired power plant in my backyard...

This is the Coyote Valley I like. Rural, and some like out of this world.

It's hard to believe I'm still within San Jose city limits

Monday, December 06, 2010


I've been fascinated by the backgrounds seen on other layouts. Here is my feeble attempt at recreating the view over the black forest.

Obviously, I'm not done yet, but this corner of the room is starting to come together nicely.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

More progress

The are around Steinle now has earth ground cover and rock walls as planned. The Steinle wall in the foreground became a bit more dominant than I planned for, but I'll tone this down once I had landscaping, grass, bushes, and a small stand of trees on top. In the background I placed some bottle brush trees with my wall painting, and the result effect is better than I expected. Some fine-tuning and this will look nice. The rock walls in the back will get a generous amount of landscaping.

 On the right is Pascal's locomotive. A present he got from his great-grandma. BR 24 affectionably known as "Steppenpferd" (prairie horse) for the somewhat rough ride the engineer and stoker got to experience with those locomotives. It's a nice model, runs quiet and stable, doesn't have too many tiny detail parts that can broken by small hands.

The model has a somewhat unfortunate balance and doesn't put enough weight on the rear axle with the traction tires, so it tends to loose tractions with a moderately long train. I'll try to add more weight to improve traction.

The double-slip switch for Emsingen arrived, too, and got installed. The two main yard tracks now have more capacity, and flow much better. I'm waiting for some spare time to actually run through a full session schedule on the Welztalbahn.

Until then I need to convert the Schienenbus to digital operation, as well as add more weight to the tender of BR50, so that a heavy train doesn't pull the tender off the rails in some edge situations.