|T O P I C R E V I E W
||Posted - 01/31/2008 : 8:10:46 PM
I'm modeling the Boston & Maine's Eastern Route in HO standard gauge in my 207-year-old house's attic. The attic has its pluses and minuses - plenty of space, just up the stairs and finished, but the combination of the sloping ceiling and a 36" minimum radius meant I could only do an around-the-walls plan. Also, it can get a bit hot in the summer and cold in the winter.
The layout incorporates my Rowley MA modules, presently the only finished scenery, in the rural northern half of the attic. The southeast corner is where I'm building my compressed version of West Lynn, MA including the General Electric River works and the West Lynn creamery.
This photo shows the mainline curve passing the future creamery (spur under the file) and the Saugus Branch (long staging tracks) coming in from the left. I'm spiking rail on the branch, building the switch comes next. The flying plywood is actually pretty rigid with the flange below and the backdrop partially installed, it will get better when I bring the backdrop around to the left edge of the photo.
|15 L A T E S T R E P L I E S (Newest First)
||Posted - 05/13/2013 : 7:33:27 PM
As I don't find it in a simple web search, let it be known that the old Anderson (or Eshleman) "Turnout Link" has an 0-80 thread in the top arm (the one that screws into the throwbar). Flathead screws improve the clearance relative to the supplied hex-heads.
||Posted - 05/12/2013 : 08:42:27 AM
I don't expect this situation is common in other layouts, but the corners of mine must leave clearance for me to get at the attic windows. West Lynn is the lowest part of the layout, so I've got about 30 inches of flying plywood with no fascia. Vehicles needed access to the West Lynn public delivery tracks, thus Bennett St.:
Micro-Engineering 30' girders, with the middle one cut in half so it fits in a slot I sawed in the Homasote.
I undercut the plywood with a coping saw and painted it black. The girders are taped in place till I airbrush them.
In other progress, I replaced a broken axle gear in P1K RS-2 1501 and it runs nicely again. Non-progress was finding out that modern 'lacquer thinner' will only make the coating on a 20 year old brass tender bubble, though it worked on the boiler/cab. I have commercial stripper on hand, but I'm going to research things I can get by the gallon locally.
||Posted - 05/09/2013 : 12:09:46 PM
The other night I did a partial dry run of an operating session: I ran the 'Casco', a Providence - Portland time freight, the Newburyport Local (until I get more track built, there isn't room to get a Portsmouth Local entirely in the clear at Newburyport) and three local passenger trains. This turned up some problems, but generally it went smoothly and I had fun switching. It was too late to slow it down with picture taking, though. Maybe this weekend.
||Posted - 05/03/2013 : 07:54:44 AM
The other day, Dave (kot2b) asked for advice on fitting a pilot coupler to an Overland B&M G-11 0-6-0. Mine had never been run, so I got it out:
I did the pilot fairly simply - use the hole on the top of the pocket as a guide for drilling through #65, cut down a McHenry (no plastic Kadees handy), mark & drill the shank #75 and pin it in place with a Perfect "#8 modeling pin". A shirt pin would have worked, just more excess length to cut off.
The tender required more effort: First, Cheyenne had not included screws for the mounting pad. Experimentation showed it was 1.4mm metric thread, and NWSL 6mm screws would hold a Kadee box. But then it was low. I didn't want to make pickup worse by using a fiber washer, so I made metal washers from .015 nickel silver sheet using a Micro-Mark punch/die set (left, above the spring, washer & screw). The 3/32" die made a hole that fit the kingpin screw. I also cut one kingpin spring in half and stretched it a bit for more flexibility.
Then there were a couple of hitches in the mechanism. I traced one to the left crosshead/piston assembly hanging up on something inside the cylinder bore. I tightened up the crosshead guides with gentle application of pliers, then ran a #51 drill into the cylinder and finished by rounding the ends of both piston rods.
The next was the connecting rod screw on the front driver catching the crosshead. This was cured by carefully adjusting the position of the cylinder/crosshead assembly relative to the frame.
I only ran it around the layout for a bit - it was late. Appears to be rated for about 12 cars (same as the Atlas HH-660 I just got). The boiler has a weight installed, there isn't room for a lot more.
||Posted - 05/01/2013 : 12:03:33 PM
Just as long as you dont duplicate the smell.
||Posted - 04/30/2013 : 8:47:25 PM
"they take a day or so to dry completely"
So do the real ones!
Nicely done. [:-thumbu]
||Posted - 04/30/2013 : 8:28:45 PM
I've done very little modeling in the past week; work, protecting my orchard from Cedar Apple Rust, comforting Jane and her poor cancer victim cat, who's departing tomorrow. At least the weather is nice, and I've got parts on order or on hand for several projects.
This picture arose from a comment on the Nantahala Midland thread, asking "where were the cow flops" in Tyson Rayles' pasture.
Being a former cattle owner, I thought a bit and decided a simple blob of Raw Umber artist's acrylic paint might meet the need. Two are visible in the cow pasture on the right - they take a day or so to dry completely. I'm hoping they're tough enough to stand up to all the hands (one cow recently lost a leg), but we'll see this Fall.
I'm thinking about how to model one of those rings of rank green grass around a bare spot which you also see in cow pastures. Possibly that will be my excuse to buy/build a static grass applicator.
1706 is an Athearn Genesis lightly airbrush weathered. I didn't want to post a picture which was just model cow pies, lest it show up later when someone wants to embarrass me[:-paperbag]
||Posted - 04/19/2013 : 07:56:53 AM
I hear you, Marty. At the old TMRC (MIT) club layout, I would sometimes run unrealistic 75-car freights led by a Cary/Hobbytown E-7 with 1538 midtrain at the 60 car point. Went right up the 2% grade with 36" radius curve at the bottom. I could pick up a milk car in 15 fast-clock minutes, without banging it around either. But the other members still said "grind me up a pound".
Last night I rewired my block busses to all 5 control panels. I had originally put the DC mainline cab in the leftmost position on the rotary block switches, with Local straight up (next position) and DCC 45 deg. right. I did this because the DC metering was to the left of the DCC master. But when I started playing around with operations, I didn't like moving through the DCC position every time I turned a block off, or switched it to Remote (all the way right). So I put the DCC at 45 deg. left and the DC Train Engineer at 45 deg. right. Then I ran a few trains, shaking down equipment and just for fun.
Now I need to do some bartering with someone who can debug analog solid state stuff better than I can - I really want a DC throttle with a brake lever. I've acquired two over the years, an MRC handheld and an old Heathkit TAT-V clone console unit. Neither works. But I can trade track/equipment/painting for help here.
||Posted - 04/17/2013 : 08:11:44 AM
Looking good. I like your passenger train. I need to get serious about building up my B&M passenger roster or there won't be enough trains in White River Junction!
Hobbytown RS-3s may not have the "slick" detail of the more modern models, but if you got them running well they lacked nothing in performance.
||Posted - 04/17/2013 : 07:48:06 AM
Jon, I agree, though more often it's 'different in a way that can be appreciated'. And sometimes it's just 'wow, I used to put up with that?'
Bill, I haven't put DCC in anything by Hobbytown. One obstacle is the motor - it draws about 0.3A and 'cogs' in a way that works with slack in the universals to contribute a lot to the unit's noise level. The other is that all pickup comes through four brass wheels. Bear Locomotive Works is gone, but if I can confirm that NWSL has a nickel-silver wheel that can be gotten onto the axle without a major struggle, I'll be changing them, and possibly the motor too.
I spent about half my personal day yesterday working on the RR. Here are the most photogenic results:
Decaling residue washed off and Scalecoat Flat Glaze applied to 1538's cab and 6-3 Gounod, but I lost the 6-3's bag of toilet windows (it was built as a traveling project) so I need to get some from AMB.
Weathered & Grimy Black applied to the new 'high window' coach. Alas, the blue masking tape did a little damage to the Maroon, so I'll be coming back to it in a few days.
Bethlehem Car Works underframe applied to it and the older coach (NPP/KMT left the floors flat, partly because they'd put a battery box where one of the crossbearers was supposed to go).
Foundation interior color applied to two P1K RDC-1 shells.
Air-brush weathered the REA express reefer.
Started to put better couplers on the Atlas HH-660, but have to visit Charles Ro during lunch hour for more couplers.
All of this took longer than I expected, because my Passche H airbrush had been getting more and more balky. Finally, I took it apart and found thinner wouldn't flow through the needle. So I cleaned it out with a piece of .020 piano wire - lots of gunk had solidified in the neck above the needle opening. The stuff was mostly gray, which could have been pigment from 'aluminum' paint, or possibly ground glass from Scalecoat Flat. At any rate, I now know where to look if I see that symptom again.
||Posted - 04/17/2013 : 02:29:03 AM
I have an old Hobbytown RS3 I need to convert to DCC What a puller that is. Did you convert your to DCC?
||Posted - 04/12/2013 : 6:34:58 PM
Sometimes the old stuff is better.
||Posted - 04/12/2013 : 07:53:45 AM
Wednesday night was more track and equipment tinkering, last night I got back to the Hobbytown RS-3 project:
I haven't seen zinc alloy casting taken to this level by any other manufacturer. Using mostly needle files, I removed the draft angle and thinned and rounded sections that needed it. A little blackener worked like a charm; both castings were back on the loco in an hour.
||Posted - 04/09/2013 : 12:38:13 PM
Yesterday my Atlas HH-660 arrived. Nice engine, decent sound, programs OK on my Prodigy Advance's programming track just like the Bachmann RS-3 (are you listening, Athearn?). Much better printed documentation than Bachmann's, but a significant omission: the exploded parts diagram doesn't show the user-installed end handrails. Not too hard to figure out, but I did have to drill the holes in the cab out to #74 (0.0225) and both end platforms/steps to #72 (0.025). I had a moment's worry before I realized it arrived in "full shutdown" mode, needing either the magnetic wand or an F6 DCC operation before it would do anything.
Running it, I found it could handle about 12 cars on my layout's grades. Since one of the ruling grades is pulling west from the Bexley yard into the tunnel, and that's only 2/3 of a track, the HH-660 is now in last place for Bexley switcher. I tried some of my others:
P2K Alco S-3: 16 cars
P2K USRA 0-8-0: 14 cars
Kato NW-2: 20 cars (the clear choice for the Bexley Switcher, if I can get DCC into it without removing too much weight)
P2K EMD SW-900: 16 cars
By comparison, my R-1b 4-8-2 handles 29 freight cars - once you get to that length, the yard exit and a couple of other locations become momentum grades.
This has me thinking about the Tonnage Ratings page for my Employee Timetable - it would be easier on operators if I assumed 100 ton cars, or maybe I should just skip the realism and give train lengths. Another variance from the standard format will be the difference between Hobbytown 1538 and Bachmann 1536, RS-3s from the same order, but the former is likely to haul 50% more than the latter.
The set of cars I was testing with included empty hoppers & gons, plus a TLT 8-hatch reefer that arrived with all 4 axles out of gauge and is still picky enough that it's going back to the bench after it's done its job finding glitches: One bad solder joint, a bunch of spikes I'd skipped in the rush to finish track, some gauge and point issues, closed gaps; West Lynn yard is much better now.
||Posted - 04/08/2013 : 2:10:34 PM
Its been many years since I seen a Hobbytown RS3 all dressed up with details..
Thanks for sharing.[:-thumbu]