Sunday, October 16, 2016

How Long Does It Take

Sometimes I forget how long it takes to get things done. I was wondering, how long did it take to get from the conception of building a on2 module based on Albion, ME to getting to laying out track center lines on the module? Well, I'm not exactly sure when the idea started. I do know that the first "final" cad draft was done for the plan in late July, so let's say 3-4 weeks before that, so maybe July15th. I remember trying to decide what to build a module of? Coopers Mills was the original idea, much simpler and could have been done in eight feet. However, I wanted a little more switching and decided to see what could be done with Albion.
So, idea was borne in mid July, bench work started in August (have to check my receipts for HD), track center lines down by October 14th! Still no track to run on!

I have managed to kill time building two flat cars, one gondola, one box car and a creamery car. So maybe not all that bad? Note to self, keep this in mind the next time you hot to move on a project.....

Sunday, October 9, 2016


The Albion module has fallen behind a bit due to a lack of legs. I had wanted to start laying track weeks ago. I had intended to bolt the two module sections together, place some saw horses under them and start on some much anticipated track work. However, the bolted joint ended up performing more like a hinge, so I decided that I'd better just build the legs first and figure out how to stabilize the whole thing.  Legs are now on one module and should be done on the second soon. Can't wait to not be cutting and fitting bench work! Track down soon! (Famous last words)


Monday, October 3, 2016

Chasing the WW&F

In September, I had the chance to attend the 2016 Narrow Gauge Contention in Maine. Spent an afternoon chasing down what is left of the WW&F.

Here's the station in Albion

The number 9 all done up at the WW&F museum.

Head Tide area, Church on the Hill and the "cut". Lots of trees, all absent in the historical photo's!

Old lumber mill still standing
 Nice rock abutment!
Turner Center Dairy Car - 65 in Wiscasset
 What's left of the pier in Wiscasset

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Tin Roofs on Two Footers

Tin roofs were used on many of the two foot narrow gauges in Maine. There has been lots of discussion on how model them on the various modeling forums. I really like the look of the train and Troll tin roofs (Picture 1) but I'm not sure how well they represent the real thing. Most On2 modelers are moving to model them in this fashion. These particular ones are laser cut with aluminum HVAC tape.

The tin solder joint is less than 1/4-inch in reality, so in 1/4-inch scale, it would barley be noticeable. Here's a picture of the real thing, WW&F box car 309 at the WW&F museum.

 I guess it's like modeling wood grain or nail holes, many like to see it and the only way to effectively model it is to over exaggerate a bit? I like how they've turned out and may use the idea for my scratch-built cars, or may come up with a different technique. Time will tell.......

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Sheepscott Ops Session

Traveled to Va Beach this weekend to finally get a chance to run on Tom Sullivan's well planned 0n30 Sheepscott railroad, based on the Sandy River and the Wiscasset two footers.

The crew of six worked out Tom's new system of waybills and car cards. Tom has worked out what seemed to me to be a very prototypical way to run a narrow gauge railroad. I might have to borrow some of his ideas.....

Here's my train, definitely looks like Maine  two foot! Toms done a great job planning his layout.

Here's Tom checking the detail on the local.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Albion Begins

Its been a while since my last post, so time for an update!

Albion, on the WW&F begins.....

This summer, I inadvertently was once again bitten by the two-foot bug. I injured my back and was not able to bend over to complete the changes on the Deer Creek and Laurel that I had desired. I started looking at some books and information on the Wiscasset Waterville and Farmington Railroad, a two-footer in Maine. Interest increased the more I looked into it, more books purchased, then a track plan for a module, then lumber, then some kits........

About 5-7 years ago, I sold off 90% of my two foot equipment. Frustrated with its performance and well entrenched with my On3 layout, I sold or traded my cars and all but one locomotive, which needed a little work before re-sale.  Now I have re-motored that engine and will begin installing DCC and sound, then painting. Not sure how this interest has manifested into all my current modeling time and effort.

Differences this time?
Precision Scale flextrack and Fasttracks No. 8 turnouts and 42 inch minimum radius curves.
No handlaying track this time, no building turnouts on the workbench and trying to get them to fit, no kadee uncoupling magnets under the track, no heavy wood and plywood benchwork. Good, reliable turnouts, light benchwork, modular construction, reliable track, and more experience.

I've built two modules using some old standards I pulled off a Texas On30 module group on Yahoo. They use 2 -inch foam, a little plywood and MDF. I have found them to be good, reliable and light methods. They have been updated to use plywood under the 2-inch foam, so I gave it a try. Results - I think the extra 1/4-inch plywood is a waste of time and money. The 1/4-inch sandply is so flexable, more so than the 2-inch foam, that it doesn't provide any support to the center of the panel (flexing in the middle of the width of the module). I'm not even sure support is necessary, as I haven't had problems with my other modules but if there is a weak spot in design, I think this would be it. So, I added some 2-inch wide strips across the bottom to provide support. I think I will do this if there are any future modules and leave the 1/4-inch ply on the bottom off. 

I tried out a different type of adhesive this time, a Loctite product. It was much more difficult to apply, much thicker and required a lot of pressure on the applicator. However, it does appear to provide a stronger bond than the Liquid nails projects adhesive. I think I'll use liquid nails for large areas and the Loctite product for ends and sides.
Had some issues (imagine that) with the foam panel sitting flat. One edge dried with an edge raised. So, I had to level this out with a knife and rasp. Ugh. Should have seen this when gluing it up. Sloppy work! A good craftsman is one that can recover from mistakes without remaking the part!

I have been avoiding painting several models lately, so the paintshop has quite a backorder list! I really need to get to painting as several new On2 cars need the painting step before progressing.

Here is a Train and Troll WW&F flatcar laser kit. It was a nice kit and went together fairly quickly. It was interesting to see how they planned the underbody construction. Nice to have all those holes for stake pockets, pre-cut for me. I have put two of these together and am working on two of their boxcars. Thanks to Train and Troll for some WW&F On2 car kits....

Here are four cars waiting to go to the paintshop. Two Train and Troll flats, one scratchbuilt 30-ft flat (will be a coal gondola) and a scratchbuilt (styrene) start of a Turner Center Dairy boxcar.

More as time permits.......

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Trucks for Small Gilpin Cars

Using the suggestion from GrantLine to use HOn3 trucks for the small Gilpin ore cars, I widened the truck bolsters of some Rio Grande Models, West Side Lbr. Co trucks. GrandtLine suggested using Precision Scale or Kemtron trucks but I couldn't find any suck trucks available today. I had some of the Rio Grande Model trucks left over from my Hon3 days.

After a miserable attempt at making new axles for the HOn3 wheels, I purchased some NWSL 28-inch HO wheelsets. Then I made up extra spacers for the bolsters. Two 0.08 thick styrene pieces glued to two 0.01 pieces (yeah, should have used a 0.02 thickness but was testing as I went along).

I then glued a small brass strip across the truck, brakes in the future, maybe.......

While the cars and trucks look really small, it does seem appropriate, i.e very close to what the prototype did. Wow, these are small I just need to paint them.....