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deemery
Fireman

USA
8436 Posts

Posted - 09/03/2019 :  08:44:25 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Those old Alexander kits were quite innovative for their times, I have one or two of the tank kit stashed away from when I start the refinery. As i recall, they were a challenge, and I see you rose to the challenge. I remember that open spot in Bexley, it'll be good to see something besides plywood there.

dave

Modeling 1890s (because the voices in my head told me to)
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Grubes
Crew Chief

USA
613 Posts

Posted - 09/09/2019 :  9:44:23 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Looks great James. Alway amazed at how much progress you make.
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jbvb
Fireman

USA
6474 Posts

Posted - 09/24/2019 :  9:33:01 PM  Show Profile  Visit jbvb's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Thank you, Pete, Dave and Dave. I haven't posted in three weeks because 1) my HS reunion, 2) Hub BoD meeting and 3) the Northeastern Region's Syracuse Jct. convention.

The latter also stimulated a change in my focus. Before I got started on making a 'complete' layout, I'd been building and painting cars and locomotives for years. I'd taken breaks to build pieces of the Hub Division Modular Layout, but I always came back to B&M passenger equipment, plus a 'Green Dot' (NEB&W style) freight car fleet. Enough so when I started formal operations, the Eastern Route only needed a couple of diesels and three commuter coaches to be completely equipped. While 6 additional storage boxes provide a B&M presence at Module Group events.

Since 2009, I've been working on the NMRA Achievement Program. I got my 6th and 7th certificates in 2017, but I still needed either Cars or Motive Power to obtain Master Model Railroader. I'd tried a few Cars contest entries but only one locomotive achieved Merit. And the layout didn't need scratchbuilt cars or locos - kits and paint jobs would provide almost everything the B&M owned.

But then I reconsidered: I have quite a few high-quality passenger and freight car models. Turning my Judge's Eye (Jr. Grade) on them, several might be brought up to the Merit level with reasonable effort, and without compromising their usefulness for op sessions or module shows. This rang true to me; my AP is less important than the layout, but I have put maybe 10% additional effort in to document things I'd have done anyway, to get the AP award.

So I re-started work on B&M #32 (Old Orchard Beach), 6-4-6 Pullman-built lightweight sleeper for a contest entry. Back in the '90s, it had started out like this: Brass sides and a car core kit, except where this old slide shows a finished combine next to diner/bar/lounge sides and an Eastern Car Works core kit, #32 used a then-new Train Station Products core kit:



ECW's roofs were often warped, so the TSP core was a pleasant surprise. This was also the timeframe when TSP and Red Cap Lines introduced a dozen or two products aimed at accurate passenger car interiors. So I got #32 to the point where you couldn't see through it any place you weren't supposed to, and it spent 20+ years in the fleet.



Below, gray parts are from Red Cap Line, brown seats are Rix, white is scratchbuilt styrene. First I added the partitions, sink enclosure, toilets and water cooler internals to the common bathrooms next to the sections.



I hadn't had an underbody plan, so I'd guessed about the generator, water tank etc. based on what I could see in broadside shots. But now, to achieve Merit I'd have to show plumbing. So I extrapolated from plans for other cars. In retrospect, I could have also installed the 14 toilet chutes with confidence.



The toilets, sinks and bedroom interiors represent a lot of styrene fabrication and hand painting. The only short cut available was not modeling hidden features. So no bedroom toilets. But yes, the stainless strips around the other toilet lids/seats appeared in 1955 builder's photos.



I didn't have color photos of the original interior either, so more guessing. And a few of the original details had been lost to derailments and handling, so I made new air/signal/steam connections from phosphor bronze wire:



Happily, the judges accepted my guesses and awarded 90 points. So now I've picked out a Tichy reefer and an F&C boxcar I'd built with full brake plumbing etc. to polish and see how I do next contest season. And a tip of the hat to Ted Culotta and his excellent photography for his Essential Freight Cars articles. He really made it clear how the plumbing should be modeled.

Edited by - jbvb on 09/24/2019 9:36:34 PM
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cajon
Engine Wiper

USA
286 Posts

Posted - 09/24/2019 :  10:00:38 PM  Show Profile  Send cajon a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
Do you have any steam engines that need a turntable?

Andy Jackson
Santa Fe Springs CA
LAJ/ATSF Modeler
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Orionvp17
Fireman

USA
7272 Posts

Posted - 09/24/2019 :  10:09:53 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Nice work, there, James!

And with OOB earning a Merit Award, you need three more for the Cars Certificate. But you also need four scratchbuilt cars. Thoughts on these?

I had a ball with this certificate once I got past the "Gaaa--this is hard!" concept. It's no more difficult than any of the other cool stuff you've laid on us, and it was a whale of a lot of pure fun.

Keep going!

Pete
in Michigan
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jbvb
Fireman

USA
6474 Posts

Posted - 09/24/2019 :  10:13:54 PM  Show Profile  Visit jbvb's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Andy, I have one of the original Walthers 90' turntable kits installed and operational at my Bexley yard. It sounds like a tired kitchen mixer but does the job. 90' is enough for the 4-6-2s and smaller locos on trains that turn there. I forget if it will turn my T-1a 2-8-4; that has the original 4-axle tender. I know R-1 4-8-2s and the later T-1b 2-8-4s with 6-axle tenders won't fit.
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jbvb
Fireman

USA
6474 Posts

Posted - 09/24/2019 :  10:22:08 PM  Show Profile  Visit jbvb's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Pete, my first scratchbuilt car might be a Western Union materials car like the one that survived into the 1970s at East Deerfield. That could be put here and there to annoy any excessively cocky operators. And kind fellow modelers sent me copies of the old Ambroid kit plans. Though I'd probably use styrene.

My second thought had been a 104000-series narrow monitor caboose, but checking my stash I find I only need to paint the brass model I already own.

So I'm back to the idea of building a few Laconia cars in O scale while I can still get the milled wood stock called for by the Ambroid/Northeaster HO plans. Of course, they'll never run till I paint the O-scale P-2b and find a receptive layout owner.

Regardless, scratchbuilding is simplified by any Merit awards I get for cars already on hand.
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Michael Hohn
Fireman

USA
6360 Posts

Posted - 09/25/2019 :  09:31:18 AM  Show Profile  Visit Michael Hohn's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Congratulations, James, on a fine model and the Achievement marks.
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jbvb
Fireman

USA
6474 Posts

Posted - 10/01/2019 :  10:52:01 PM  Show Profile  Visit jbvb's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Thanks, Michael. Whichever conventions I attend next year (my presence is pretty much obligatory at the Columbus Day NER convention in Westford, MA), I will bring an entry or two and see how I do.

I'm showing my layout after the Oct. 12 Seacoast Div. Fall Event, so I did a lot of cleaning up, some of which turned into 'finishing projects so I can put parts & tools away':



This tight-clearance underpass was built in the 1870s to get the City RR branch under High St. I hadn't realized it was dry-laid until I set out to model it. The batter is as large as I've ever seen on a RR structure. But the span itself is clearly much newer, either just before or just after WWII, and allowed much larger freight cars down to waterfront customer.



My stepson carved the rocks in meat-tray styrofoam. I built the railings from cut-up Rix parts. I will clean up the shaggy edge on the hardboard before visitors. I may go back and model the blank panels, but not this week or next.
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Orionvp17
Fireman

USA
7272 Posts

Posted - 10/02/2019 :  09:59:25 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Tight indeed! Taking a K-7 or K-8 through there must have been a cultural experience. Wow!

Cool shot, though! Looking forward to the "finals."

Pete
in Michigan
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BurleyJim
Fireman

USA
5453 Posts

Posted - 10/02/2019 :  1:40:22 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
James,

I detected a bottle of AlClad paint in the photo of the passenger car (it's a beauty!) That Alclad was recommended to me by Bill Gill, is great!

Get going on that Cars AP, mine drove me a little [:-crazy], but it's just a short putt for me.

Jim

Take the red pill
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jbvb
Fireman

USA
6474 Posts

Posted - 10/10/2019 :  1:44:54 PM  Show Profile  Visit jbvb's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Pete, I think before the real-world bridge replacement, B-15 2-6-0s (the origin of the 'Mogul Country' tagline, for B&M novices) were the largest engines allowed. But I actually built my whole RR to clear Plate C; that gives me enough of the 'that's why clerestory roofs are so low and modern steam locos look so scrunched' flavor.

Jim, I think that was a solvent cement bottle. I've never bought Al-Clad, though I have read a good deal about it. All my 'stainless' roofs and ends to date are Floquil Silver plus weathering. I do have one set of non-plated car sides (NYNH&H 14-4 sleeper), with Bare Metal Foil stashed alongside them.

My stepson and I did more work on Franklin St. over the summer. Here's the color original of the B&W shot in The Gallery:



Headlights could be added, at the cost of making the vehicles tiresome to move.
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Orionvp17
Fireman

USA
7272 Posts

Posted - 10/10/2019 :  2:50:40 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Looking good, James!

As for the headlights. turn the room lights on... Instant Daylight and the headlight issue goes away.

Nice progress!

Pete
in Michigan
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jbvb
Fireman

USA
6474 Posts

Posted - 10/16/2019 :  10:00:44 PM  Show Profile  Visit jbvb's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Room lights would dodge the headlight issue, but then the sloping ceiling looms over the scene.

I'm back to working on a couple of projects on Franklin St. The big acrylic carcass that will become Batterman Press now has its first laminated styrene 'concrete' beam. Happily, the acrylic cement didn't affect the well-dried Floquil. But it won't be photogenic till I work out how to do the masonry windows.



There's also what I plan to call the Ritchie-Gilbert House, which goes behind the Coco Club. I'm using the 'extension' part of the BEST kit here; the main house will go elsewhere. The clamps are on the end wall I fabricated to match the kit's.
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Orionvp17
Fireman

USA
7272 Posts

Posted - 10/16/2019 :  10:08:18 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Looks like a fun project, James! Please keep the pix coming!

Stay dry, too!

Pete
in Michigan
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