This is one of those very nice, but also somewhat expensive, sheets of material that are coming to the market from Faller, Heki, and the rest. This is the F-180471 field from Faller. Advertised as HO, but really, who's telling? Those HO guys just don't have the same healthy crops us N'ists do!
I planted this on the corner...actually, its the very first corner that you see of the layout when you enter the 'train room', so it has to be something that looks 'right' but also not something that takes too much attention. Here's a shot from the other side of the corner.
The nice thing about this field in this location on the corner is that its still a decent place to set down your controller, train box, or whatever else you happen to be holding but can't find a third hand to hold it.
I've also been playing around with an old Minitrix Class 47 I picked up off eBay a couple of years ago and which has been gathering dust for two years. I have some 'free-lancing' ideas for this, so I stripped the paint (which was also a test for some other things I want to try and do in the future). Note to my British friends: The original Minitrix BR blue paint was pretty rough looking and couldn't be saved. Please don't hate me.
I also 'chipped' it as well. I used the directions from the folks at the Modellbahn Team Koln Bonn with some help from Google translate to ensure I was getting it 'right'. I actually think I've seen enough of these older non-DCC circuit board types that I can almost do a DCC install without instructions anymore. Now that's an achievement!
Yeah, I didn't like it either...so it was back to the ELO for another round of paint stripping. We'll see what happens next.
Speaking of digitalization...another locomotive that I've had forever was one of those little 0-6-0 tank engines (a BR 89) that come with those super-cheap starter sets. I was surprised to see a couple of tutorials on how to add a decoder to one of these, and I also really wanted to give it some lights. It seemed impossible given its small size, but I gave it a shot. Surprisingly it worked! I had to mill out some openings in the lights, and only the two bottom lights will be lit, but this was an excellent application of the tiny SMD's I got from LED Baron. The worst part of this has been trying to find a place for the bloody resistor! Man, those things are huge when you try to fit them inside these little locomotives!