Sunday, September 29, 2019

Some Deerfield Laser Kits

Back in August I picked up some Deerfield Laser Kits off a Facebook On30 group. The kits represent their version of the WW&F Coach and Combine  (or smoker). Someone on the group was selling them with Backmann under-bodies and roofs, so they seemed like a great deal. Why not? I had to order some new On2 car ends, which led me to purchase another kit, more on that later.
Here are the combine sides:

The two car bodies went together amazingly quickly, I thought, wow, that was an easy start!

It was then I noticed a few things that I should have seen before assembly. Note that the baggage doors have the panels outlined instead of cut out? The door ends are the same. Also, there is no trim for under the windows, its just a laser cut line to represent the trim. I thought these two items were rather noticeable, and decided to make some modifications as I moved forward. I really, really wish I had noted this prior to assembly, as it would be MUCH easier to cut out the door panels. I decided to try it on the passenger car first, as I had assembled the combine first. It can be done but use a sharp knife as the sides are plywood, which makes the material more difficult to cut. Getting a slight backcut helped quite a bit. I will likely not be able to do the back cut on the combine.

Here's one side done, one side waiting.....

I carefully glued the trim below the window on all four sides of the car. This involved adding a narrow strip following the laser cut line and then adding an even smaller strip 90 degrees on top. Tricky! I realize they are a bit narrower than the prototype but I thought it was important to use the laser cut line for alignment. I think it came out fairly well and definitely adds dimension to the model.

I narrowed the Bachmann underframe and modified the steps to make it a little closer to the two-footers. 

The roof was a little difficult to get to fit correctly. The roof laid flat along the sides but raised on both ends. I had to file the top of the laser cut ends significantly to get them to fit. I little surprising but eventually, they made and acceptable fit. Photo above looks better than the two photo's below. They are is still a work in progress.....
Working on the coupler attachment and the truss rods. I need to order some trucks from Coronado, I hadn't planned on building another combine and passenger car after the two GME kits. 

I also started one of the EBT BM&S wood hopper kits. Just like the passenger car kits, the body went together super, super quick. The way the sloping interior boards are put together is very clever and works really well.

I was a little disappointment that the kit did not include the n-b-w and rod for the sides. These cars had significant rods holding the side framework together. I added these details, they were easy and I think add quite a bit to the car.  I had to order some extra stuff to finish the car, these cars were rebuilt with truss rods, on the outside of the sides of the car. None of these parts were included but I thought it added to the look. More soon.......
Finally, a little fun from Wild West Models. Super fast builds. Started them this afternoon for something different.

 That's all for September! 

Friday, August 23, 2019

Scenes from the road....CO

I managed to get some fun travel in this summer. Recently, I spent a little time mountain biking in Breckenridge, Colorado. There are some interesting mines and C&S equipment in town. I thought I would share. If your interested in the mountain biking done, check out our three vidoes on youtube. If you're into trains, skip them!

Here is a mine we passed on our first mountain bike ride. Not too far out of town. Its called the Sallie Barber Mine

 Check out the stone firebox on the mine's boiler. Interesting bit of work.

On another ride we passed a few old dredges. This one looks like its seen some repairs despite having sunk. The tailing piles are amazing!

Here is some of the C&S Equipment near the ice rink in town. Nice display. Its easy to forget how small this stuff is, especially when you consider equipment over 30 ft to be "BIG"! Ha, ha.

Finally, on our way back to Denver, we passed through Gilpin Tram Country! Crazy place to say the least. It was really fun to pass through the Forks Creek Gorge on the way to Denver. The buildings in Central City were very nice but the town looks dead.

That's all for now!

Friday, July 26, 2019

Arroyo Update, Running Trains, Weeks Mills On2 Extension/Staging

July Update 

 Arroyo Extension (On30) 
Deer Creek and Laurel Operations (On3) 
Albion Module -Weeks Mills? (On2)

Arroyo Tram

I've had a little time to work on the layout this month, so  Arroyo Tram  (On30) extension has been progressing along. Getting land forms up and preparing for some scenery. I've also been working on a Gilpin Tram style engine house, two stall instead of three. Running trains to make sure my two home built curved switches work ok. They seem to. My three cylinder kit-bash of the Backmann shay is in the paintshop and should be revealed soon, although with the start of the semester looming, it could be a while.

 End view of the 24-inch wide by six foot extension. Man, I wish it was eight feet long.......

 Scratchbuilt Gilpin Style engine house behind a Wild West Kit.

One of the mines on the Arroyo Tram. Man, I really need to work on a backdrop! I just don't enjoy them. Maybe a printed backdrop for something different?

 Deer Creek and Laurel Ry

Ran some trains last night on the Deer Creek and Laurel (On3). My son has very recently begun to enjoy the "puzzle" of switching cars to selected spots. So long as I keep it simple and only help when asked, he really likes it. He's always enjoyed running trains around but this is an interesting twist.

 Albion Module II Weeks Mills (0n2)

I've been wanting somewhere to send trains and make up trains for my On2 Albion module for quite some time. Getting track down on the Arroyo Extension really increased my interest in operations and I wanted something similar. Switching Albion is really neat as the yard is basically set up just like the prototype, just more compact and contains a runaround since I don't think gravity will work to drop cars in On2. 

There is actually a fair amount of variety of freight handled there for a narrow gauge. During my last visit home, my father let me take a peak at an actual W&Q, WW&F bill of lading book. You can see the handwritten freight handled to and from Albion on a daily basis from 1897 to 1902. Cool, a lot more bark was handled than I expected. So, I decided to build some kind of staging, staging turntable to selector plate staging yard. Gave up when I figured out I could make a "fake"version of Weeks Mills, which I have always wanted to model. So, the only prototype arrangement I'm following is the station, freight house and run around track. An engine house and turntable (gone by the time period I'm modeling) will be freelance. However, it fill fit the flavor and give me somewhere to run trains and more switching to get back to Albion! Benchwork is underway!

I'm trying yet another method of building lightweight modules. Quick to assemble but I'm not convinced this is any better than my previous approach.  See you next month!

Monday, June 3, 2019

Hauling Bark for Extract

Climax 6 was spotted hauling bark over the weekend. 

 No. 6 switching on the mountain

 Backing down the mountian

 Backing through the Deer Creek Gorge

Backing towards the bark storage, passing the chipper house.

Sunday, May 12, 2019

My Version of the Tionesta Valley Caboose

Here is my version of the Tionesta Valley caboose, which started life as an IMA On30 kit. I had started to scratch build a TV caboose in highshcool but dropped the project due to other interests. When I saw the kit for sale online, I thought, here's quicker and easier way to get it done! The IMA kit had some laser cut parts and was a close enough fit to the TV Caboose that I just had to try it out. Not very expensive but nor was the kit perfect. It did not come with trim, ladders, and was not quite the same as TV caboose drawings but again, seemed close.

The basic structure went together very quickly but the windows were, well, not such a good fit. The windows in the basic body, were partially laser etched on the inside and had to be cut out with a knife. The windows had no trim, so the fit had to be perfect and it wasn't. I really didn't like to gaps, especially in the cupola, which had been laser cut all the way through- just a bad match up. So, I cut some small styrene strip, painted it and mounted it on each window. The process was slow but I think improved the overall look of the final product.

I added the tissue paper "tar paper" roof, the stove stack, the ladder,trim and some MacLeod Western On3 Russel trucks. The couplers took a little fiddling but worked out well. Not a perfect TV caboose but looks nice on the layout and I think I'll keep it!

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Taconnet in On2

Finally putting the finishing touches on my Grizzly Mountain Engineering On2 version of the WW&F RY Taconnet, or the #6 combine. I just need to add the water gutters over there doors. A long time in getting this one done. Here is the Taconnet with the Vassalboro.


Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Arroyo Update

First post of the new year! and it is March....oh, well.
Over the holidays, I gave myself a birthday/Christmas present of three WildWest building kits for the Arroyo Tram. The extension is progressing nicely and I felt the need for some "townish" structures. I've completed two of them, though I might re-do the shingles on the fire house, they don't look quite right to me, not enough overlap. Live and learn!

I recently had a comment on how small the GrandtLine Gilpin cars look (see #24 in the background above). Below is the progression from the original ore car to the original with extension, to the larger car. They still look small next to a wood gondola! Still having fun as time permits.