|T O P I C R E V I E W
||Posted - 10/13/2010 : 09:14:03 AM
This is the first official post for my new layout I am building in On3, the Slater Creek Railway. I became a fan of the Manns Creek Railway while researching information on coke ovens for a project on my HO railroad, the Roanoke and Southern. Shortly after discovering the MC an article on building MC hoppers in On30 by Sam Swanson was published in the Narrow Gauge and Shortline Gazette. For fun I built one hopper with the intent of it being a static display. One thing led to another and I built the car to have operating unloading doors controlled by a DCC decoder. Wanting to see the car in action I started to consider building a layout in On30, but since I had only one small space to model railroad in would mean that my HO layout would have to be torn out. My HO layout met all my goals, was published in Model Railroader, and was complete, so I decided I missed layout building and decided that I would tear out the HO layout and try a new modeling adventure.
While I really enjoy modeling prototype railroads and their equipment, and swore that the next time I would model a prototype RR, I decided to once again do a fictional railroad. My reason is I like to have a little freedom to take pieces that I like of other railroads and put them together to form my own railroad that I believe will give the viewer a good idea what form of railroading I am modeling would be like, which I do by carefully picking features of railroads that do what my railroad does. I would do not pick "one of everything" to be on my layout, rather I pick features that would have been typical of railroads that are in my area and do the same work.
I liked many of the features of the Manns Creek railroad, I liked the area where the MC was located, but I wanted to be able to do a few things differently. I wanted to have a couple Rod locomotives, I know the MC did have some at one time but I want something a little bigger than they had, and I wanted to have a few different pieces of rolling stock and do a little more than haul logs, lumber, and coal. So using Google maps I searched around the area of the MC to find a location that I could place my railroad. I found another creek a little further up the New River called Slater Creek, located along the New River at a town called Thayer on the C&O.
From what Google showed Slater Creek looked a lot like Manns Creek and was close enough to each other that I could say that coal was discovered in Slater Creek canyon as well. Actually there was a coal mine there at one time and my story is that as that coal was mined out a narrow gauge RR was built up Slater Creek to reach new seams of coal. I am using many pieces of the Manns Creek on my railroad, one of which is the car shops which I plan on building to scale.
Now I know that some of you expected me to build this layout in On30, so did I, but just recently I decided to switch to On3. I switched to On3 after having a conversation with a fellow HO modeler, who after listening to me describe what I was going to do, what scale I was going to use, and how I was going to scratchbuild almost everything and he asked me why I was going to build it in the wrong gauge. I told him all the reasons why modelers choose On30 to represent three foot gauge railroads but he said that if I was going to hand lay all my track, scratchbuild all my rolling stock, and maybe even scratchbuild a locomotive or two why would I not just build it in scale three foot gauge. I decided that he was right, all the reasons to model in On30 did not really apply to my situation, so I switched to On3.
Here is the final track plan of the Slater Creek Railway. My room is very small so I had to pick a few key scenes that I wanted to model. the first scene along the top wall (by the room door) is the coal dump trestle. I struggled for a long time with this section because I wanted to have a place to dump the coal that could justify the need for lots of coal. The MC first dumped coal into a bin that was used to feed their coke ovens, later as demand for coal increased they built a sizing plant just above the coke ovens. In the later years the coke production decreased and most of the coal went to the sizing plant. I decided that I only had room for one place to receive coal and figured that the sizing plant would be the better choice. I had a hard time fitting in the sizing plant because in O scale the structure would be huge. I condensed the sizing tipple as much as I felt it could but it was still a huge model that took a lot of layout width, pushing the narrow gauge track way to the back of the layout. I decided to try flipping the sizing plant so that the standard gauge loading tipple would be at the back drop and the narrow gauge coal dump house would be at the front edge of the layout, which puts the operating track close to the front where it is easy to reach and watch the hoppers unload coal. Flipping the tipple around also allowed me to use trees to hide the fact that the entire tipple is not modeled, cutting down on the layout width required.
Flipping the coal sizing plant will allow me to model the Manns Creek Ray’s stone engine house close to the front of the layout where it can be viewed up close. I also located a storage track here so I can have a place to store a few freight cars or work equipment. In the later years the MC did not use the stone engine house, they had built a new wood engine house at a different location, so I am going to use the stone engine house to store a passenger car and something else, maybe a locomotive used at this location, not sure yet.
The one strange feature of the flipped sizing plant will be the scenery, which will fall as it moves toward the backdrop. The narrow gauge track at the front of the layout will be at the top of the hill and the scenery will fall 16" actual inches as it goes to the backdrop. I don't know how this is going to work out, I hope it gives the operator a feeling of being high on the side of the mountain but we'll see, this will be a bit of an experiment.
Where I did have to deviate from the MC is where I located my switch back and which direction my RR leaves town, a forced compromise caused by the constraints of my room. My SCRy travels clockwise around the room as we leave the coal dump trestle, across Slater Creek and around a tall rock cliff and out of sight. As the tracks turn to the right wall they will be running along the wall of my layout room where my work bench will be located under the layout, this is the one spot there the benchwork supporting the visible track can be thin and high to provide enough room for a workbench. In the middle of the right wall there will be a turnout, one leg will continue along the south wall without an elevation change to a three track storage yard, the other leg will turn along the south wall and start a stiff grade up to my switch back located in the far left lower corner of the room.
At the switch back I believe I will have some room to model either a mining camp or a lumber camp. I think I can get a siding in here but I am not sure yet how I want to do it so I am leaving that off until I get to that point. the track plan makes it look like the switch back continues on behind the furnace and connects back to the coal dump area, which is how I intended it to be to give me a running loop, but a furnace duct passes too low to allow this and the switch back track will stub end in the wall as far as I can go. Instead the staging tracks that are located under the switch back will come back together and travel behind the furnace to form the running loop.
From the switch back the tracks will climb a slight grade to the car shop and foundry. There will be a spur on this slight grade that goes back next to the switch back to a coal mine. I am going to have a small earth loading ramp and dirt road on the mine spur where just about anything can be loaded or unloaded from railroad cars, like mining equipment, building supplies, and whatever else I can imagine.
The car shop will be the MC car shop located at Cliftop and it will be built to scale with full interior. The tracks around it follow the prototype pretty much to scale. Just pass the car shop will be a run around and a strip coal tipple, also built to scale from the MC's tipple at Cliftop. The strip tipple will be built to actual load coal into the hoppers. I am a little concerned that the tipple will somewhat block the view of the loaded hoppers but I may be able to work the scenery around it to make it work better.
Just past the run around tracks is the new wood engine house, also built to scale to match the MC's engine house at Cliftop. The engine house can hold two geared locomotives. And just as it does on the MC, there is a company store located at the end of the engine house spur. The company store will also be built to scale and have three stories above the road level in front with the scenery falling away to form what we would call a "walk out" lower level, which has a set of doors to allow the narrow gauge track to enter the basement for freight car to be spotted inside for unloading.
I know it seems like operation may be limited, but this layout was meant to be a test to see what I think of O scale narrow gauge modeling. I wanted to have it be a place for me to have some very detailed structures get a taste of this new gauge / scale. I would like to move someday to a get a larger modeling space and if I continue in this scale I can use the structures and scenes from this layout on the next. I made some changes to the room since my HO layout was torn down, one was the enclosure built around the furnace, that somewhat reduced the size of my layout space but will provide a nicer room to model in. I got very tired of the narrow aisles of my HO layout and I decided to run the layout only around the walls of the room to give the largest open space for people in the middle. I also wanted to make sure I had a running loop to be able to test and break in equipment, something I really regretted not having on the HO layout.
Well, that got a little long. I will be starting to benchwork soon, I am still doing the room remodeling. I did install the tracks behind the furnace already because once the walls are completed around the furnace because it was easier. I will be able to reach the tracks from one side if there is an issue but there was no way to install them if I had not done it first.
|15 L A T E S T R E P L I E S (Newest First)
||Posted - 05/13/2013 : 09:09:06 AM
The new parts look like the perfect solution. I wonder why Brian didn't think of this sooner.
||Posted - 05/13/2013 : 07:38:57 AM
After the big mix up and a few weeks of confusion I have my Shapeways parts. All the parts went together just as planned and the conversion was quick. The Black Detail material from Shapesways is ok. I used the Black and Flexible material for the motor cup but gear box is the Black Detail material. it is interesting that the material is white with a black outer layer.
The chain drive is pretty quiet and the ratio is just right. I do have trouble with the small sprocket because the pitch does not match the chain pitch and there is a small jump in the chain. I was warned of the pitch mismatch but I was told that it will still work. I may have to take more slack out of the chain to see if that helps, otherwise I found that if I hold the chain out a bit the drive works great, so I may make a chain guide to install in the drive case that holds the chain out a bit.
here are the parts
||Posted - 04/29/2013 : 3:34:41 PM
Could you post a photo of your Heisler part in the new black material from Shapeways. Did you try to get any small details in that material?
I have some new parts I will be getting printed and would like to see the quality.
||Posted - 04/29/2013 : 2:43:24 PM
Didn't NASA crash a Mars lander due to confusion over units English vs metric?
Now its 3D printing! Yikes.......
||Posted - 04/26/2013 : 1:41:43 PM
That's good news. I will be following- looking forward to more pics!
||Posted - 04/26/2013 : 10:52:13 AM
shapeways responded right away and admitted the mistake on their end, they credited back all my shipping on the order and the part they will be sending. It will still take another couple weeks but they made right on the shipping charges.
||Posted - 04/26/2013 : 08:23:35 AM
It sounds like 3D printing needs a file format like "PDF" is for 2D printing, especially for customers like you who know how to set up files.
I work in file prep for 2D printing, and spend all day manually adjusting files from art directors and designers. If I were to misunderstand a measurement, or assemble an incomplete order, that would be MY fault, not the customer's.
Looking forward to seeing your custom gearbox,
||Posted - 04/26/2013 : 08:02:27 AM
I got my Shapeways order and one part was missing, the bottom of the gear box. They sent me an email claiming that the bottom of the gear box was too thin, however it was the same thickness as the top. I thought we had it all cleared up but when I got my order the gearbox bottom was not in it. I am contacting Shapeways now to clear it up but I am sure it will mean a two week wait.
The good news is that the parts are got are pretty awesome and I can get it all mounted while I wait for the bottm. I will work on it over the weekend and post some photos.
the moral of this story, upload your models and wait for the email back saying all parts have past inspection before you place an order for the parts. If you order before you get the conformation email, even if you know the parts are correct because you have made parts just like it, they will drop that part from the order and charge you shipping again. I found out that the checking process is manual and they insert a shape in your part, if your part is smaller than the inserted shape they reject it, The problem is that they inserted the part using the wrong units and they assumed my part units were millimteters, so when I had a wall thickness of 0.02 they thought it was .02mm and they rejected the part.
||Posted - 04/16/2013 : 08:05:42 AM
The parts for the gearbox have been shipped, should be fun to see if they work out.
The locomotive's speed was good, I like how slow it ran, the trouble was that the motor was running at full RPM and was very loud. I wanted to lower the motor RPM and keep the speed. The other thing I didn't like was how hard it was to switch because you have to always go from 0-100% just to move the locomotive around. The new drive looks like it will be just the ticket.
||Posted - 04/13/2013 : 08:23:39 AM
Looking forward to the rebuilding of this Hiesler. Never thought I would read the words "too slow" in this forum. As one who has never progressed beyond owning a few Bachmann on30 RTR's, the word "slow" to me, is one of pure fantasy, but something I am always striving for.
||Posted - 04/12/2013 : 3:27:34 PM
Can't wait to see what Jeff will come up with.
Mark, glad the number 1 is working well for you. It was a really, really fun build. I thought I was done with On30. Regretfully, I have been sidetracked lately with some On30 Gilpin Tram and Kelley Island ideas. Wasting time but having fun. Pictures to post soon.
||Posted - 04/12/2013 : 09:57:48 AM
That is a cool looking little locomotive, what did it start life as?
I am working on shrinking that Heisler. I am designing a new smaller cab that will be like the one on my shay #8. I think shrinking that cab will be a huge step forward on reducing the size of that locomotive. I kind of like the big look of the boiler but I might drop it a little so the locomotive does not look so tall. I also am thinking of adding some air tanks under the walkways and some clutter to help lower the bulk of the body. I actually think it will become a nice addition and I feel the running quality will be so improved that it might be used more than I thought.
through this process of repowering the Heisler it has got me thinking of a way to make new parts for converting the Kemtron shay to drive from the cyliners instead of the rear truck. I am not a big fan of driving the rear trunk, then converting the power to the side gears, the friction loss at the cylinders then running through another set of gears to the front truck. the power loss at when you go from the rear wheels to the side gears is amazing because the gear ratio is the wrong way and any friction in the shafts is magnified because of the backwards ratio. I was thinking of making a new cylinder base that brass details will be added. I ordered the new Heisler parts in Shapeways new black detail material, if it looks good I will design some conversion parts. I was also thinking of designing plastic bolsters for the Kemtron trucks so the side frames are insulated, and the new bolsters would have extra contacts for better electrical pickup and not rely on the frame for power.
||Posted - 04/12/2013 : 09:25:51 AM
Surprised to hear Brian let go of that big honkin' Heisler. I wonder what he has in mind for running the Coal Turn on his layout?
Piedmont Soapstone has also purchased several items from the DC&L:
The little saddletank is a good runner, and has been in regular service since arriving on the property.
||Posted - 04/12/2013 : 08:57:47 AM
You certainly come up with some very creative solutions! Looking forward to seeing how you re-work/ make a new creation out of this engine. She's a BIG engine.
||Posted - 04/12/2013 : 07:58:15 AM
I just finished my 6hr video on building an operating Manns Creek On3 hopper over on the On30 board and now it is time to get back to the layout (sort of). I can't install the new roadbed yet because I am using the layout as a place to stain my kitchen cabinet doors, which should be done in the next week. In the meantime I am tinkering with a Westside Heisler I got from Brian Bond. My goal with the Heisler was to put a new motor in it, trouble is the gear ratio is so high that I can't get a can motor with enough RPMs so the motor has to run wide open just to get the locomotive to move, which causes a lot of noise. So I contacted Lee Snover at Leetown Models and he set me up with a Faulhauber motor and a couple sprockets and a chain, along with some instructions on how he converts these models to chain drive. Well I took it a little farther and designed a new gearbox to house the sprockets and chain and allow the motor to have some adjustments to set the chain tension. Also, I designed it to have the motor mounted in rear part of the boiler so I can detail the cab and have the tender open for a decoder and speaker. I sent the parts off to Shapeways to have them created.
the brass frame is the existing frame of the Heisler and the new gear case is gray. The gearbox uses two of the existing gearbox mounting screw holes, two new ones need to be drilled. The motor cup has notches to clear the Heisler frame castings.
inside the gear box, the upper cover is removable and there are two slotted holes to allow the motor cup to move up and down.
the bottom of the box shows that a slight amount of the existing gearbox hole will need to be removed. the bronze bearings are taken from the original gearbox.
the bottom of the box comes off to allow the lower drive shaft to be installed.