Sunday, November 2, 2014

Getting closer.

Had just a little time this week to work on the hobby. Work has been very busy. Did get the Silver City shay running on DC. A BIG step in the right direction. Maybe will get her done by the end of the year....

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Many years waiting.....

This week I managed to pull out my CHB models log carriage and assembled it. Back in the mid 80's I saved up a little money mowing lawns, etc. to get the edger and log carriage kit. Couldn't afford much and I knew that I would want a band mill rather than the circle mill. Well, I finally got the kit out and assembled it. Magnificent castings. Charles Brommer was an EXCELLENT pattern maker and caster. The knees on the carriage move back and forth as do the dog settings. Sometime in the future, I will partially cut a log and put it on the carriage and the carriage in the sawmill. Another time.......

Also managed to paint a slew of Chivers Finelines Gilpin style On30 trucks for the new Arroyo Tram. Wasn't too fun air brushing the sets but needed to get done. Also started painting two completed Grandt Line Gilpin Tram cars, one Chiver's side dump gon and a On3 Foothills Models gon that I assembled a while back. Oh, yeah, finally touched up the lettering on that Flying Zoo Climax. Just need to add windows and an engineer!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Back to the Future?

Finally had some time this last weekend to pull out some models and get some work done. Recently, I developed an interest in getting some engines that I procured long ago, started. Getting tired of so many half completed projects maybe? Don't know. Worked on my Leetown Models Climax till I realized I was missing some parts. That happens when you keep models in pieces for more than 14 years!

 I also realized that I had no business starting a new project when I had another one still uncompleted! My frustration with the shay project is considerable. All due to some poorly cast and prepared parts. Oh well, live and learn. Managed to get some backhead detail on my PSC Silver City shay. Some really, really crappy instructions had me going back to add parts that were on the engine but not discussed in the instructions. Geeze. What were they thinking at PSC back in the 80's? Maybe I shouldn't ask....

Progress was made. I couldn't believe that I would need to use a torch for this level of detail or maybe I should say, these TINY parts. However, the backhead and boiler are MAJOR heatsinks and I just couldn't get the solder to flow using the resistance soldering tools. When it comes to this stuff, trial by fire, sometimes literally. While I struggled with this and wasn't really sure that I was having that good a time, when I got this far, there was definitely a feeling on wonderful satisfaction! All in a good weekend. I guess the rain wasn't too bad after all. Hey, I even managed to get some real work, i.e. work, work, done! Someday this shay will get completed.....someday........

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Remembering the 1st Op's Session on the Deer Creek and Laurel

Blast from the Past!

Remembering the 1st Op's Session on the Deer Creek and Laurel.
Clint, Mark and Wayland for attended the first Operations Session/Open house on November 15, 2009.  It was great to finally meet Mark a Railroad-line, On30 forum contributor.

I think for the inaugural operations session things went well. Of course, I have a few minor changes to make for the next session. Here are some photos:

Here's clint bringing in the daily coal train to Collins

Here's Clint and Wayland working out the Southbound passernger/milk run and the northbound mixed out of Laurel.

Here's Mark working the morning log train.

Friday, July 25, 2014

More progress

Making more progress with the Arroyo Tram. Cleaned up and back to operations. Very fun for such a small layout!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

A little scenery......

Managed to get some scenery down on the Arroyo Tram. Slow progress. While I'm a little driven to get more done, I'm finding myself more interested in building some cars, buildings, etc. Think I will try to get a little more base scenery profile done and then take a brake, build some cars or another shay........

Monday, July 21, 2014

Arroyo Tram Up and Running!

Over the weekend, I was able to install all the track and get the Arroyo Tram wired up. Trains are running on the layout. Had some issues with the layout not being level and thus turning my grades into 6% uphill rather than 3 and 4%. Once I got that fixed, things ran fine.

Also took my On3 shay truck apart, added washers to eliminate the "play" in the drive wheel. Re-assembled and while it certainly made a difference, it still did not eliminate the jam entirely.
So, I finally completely dissasembled the truck, all gears, etc. and FOUND THE PROBLEM!! The drive shaft for the gears was slightly bent, a few thousands off. It was one of the only parts that was assembled when I bought the kit and has cuased the greatest strain for me. New shaft material has been ordered and the shay awaits completion!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Arroyo Tram Begins

Well, I finally started another On30 western mining layout. This time it will be called the Arroyo Tram, based loosely on the Gilpin Tram in Colorado. I will follow some of the Gilpin practices and area, such as the style of scenery, mines used, equipment, etc, but will do so on a freelance basis rather than strictly follow the prototype.

I used a 24 x 96 -inch base that was originally to be a Mexicano 30-inch gauge switching layout. Problem was, with large 2-8-0's and longer cars, you really can't do much in a 2 x 8. The Gilpin indea has been with me for many years. I attempted something in 0n2 but quickly gave up. With the fairly large amount of equipment available in On30 for the Gilpin, it seemed like a natural fit.

The Basics:

Three mines based on the Whiting, St. Loius Mine, and the Grand Central. Grades will be 3 and 4%. Poor running quality of Bachmann equipment on larger grades was the limiting factor here. Curves are 24 and 30 inch radius. Base is build using the standards of the Texas On30 group found on Yahoo groups. Track is Code 83 Micro Engineering with a Mix of Micro Engineering and Fast Tracks Turnouts (No. 5).

I easily removed the top two layers of foam insulation from the Mexicano switching layout. Not sure if the ease of removal was a good thing or a bad thing. I used three adhesives this time. Loctite Foam, Liquid nails projects, and some Irene's Tacky Glue. Using Woodland Scenic risers for 3% and 4% grades. All of this material, except for two left hand switches, I had from previous layout work.

Friday, July 11, 2014

New Mine, Mann's Creek, Cass and On30

Its been a while since the last post. Keeping a blog up is a pain. Oh well.

Mostly completed and installed a mine in the Collins area based on one at Whitby. Picture coming soon.

Spend a few days will Jeff, "Coaltrain", looking at old stuff, chasing remnants of the Mann's Creek and riding trains at Cass.

I got a chance to climb in and onto one of the Moore Kepple Climax locomotives. I saw this as a child years ago in a trolley museum. Now is up and running.

Here's Jeff working the log train on the DC&L

 Jeff on "Sacred Ground" Mann's Creek enginehouse in Sewell, WV

Cass of course

Been building resin kits for the On30. Kind of miss working with brass. Resin is brittle and soft metal castings are very fragil. The kit went together just fine, its adding it all together (cab, boiler, details) that has cost so much time in repairing broken parts. Oh, well. Nice kits when you get them done.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

May Upate

Been working on lots of little projects again. Finishing up some brake beams on log cars this week. Finally got the windows, winter tarp, new On3 couplers and an engineer in Climax number 8. Need a new bell before I can add the bell string.

Also held an operations session with Wayland and Doug. Fun time was had and trains ran well. Did run into a problem with the couplers on number 8, fixed that......

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Slogging through the Blogging

As I thought, this blogging stuff is fun but not as much as doing other things, hence the lack of updating. Some work on the layout, its been running great but also some recent inactivity due to a busy work and travel schedule.

Did have another kids operations session.

Working this weekend to clean up a bit for an adult operations session coming up.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Something new....

Picked up a Bachmann Forney that arrived a bit damaged. So, turned it into a 2-4-2. Followed Allan Caroll's instructions on the On30 Kitbash Yahoo Group. I did shorten the coal box a bit more. So far an easy conversion. Need to move the wheels out to On3 next.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Assembly line

Assembled three sets of Tichey arch bars with larger wheels for On30. Off to the paint shop.....

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

One Man Op's Session

Tonight I was a bit tired so I started some cable reels that I got from BTS. I once saw a picture in the PA Logging series of a PA narrow gauge logger hauling cable reels. I was surprised they used them that early and that they would be hauled by a narrow gauge. When I saw these on the BTS site, had to give them a try.

Also, I put the finishing touches on my Manns Creek style water tank.

Next, I felt it was time to run some trains. I printed out a switch list and off when the local mixed, pulled by Climax No. 8.

Next, the train passes over the Poverty Creek bridge and through a large cut.
After switching the extract plant in Deer Creek, the train heads up to Collins

 After backing down Collins and finishing the switching at Deer Creek the train heads through the Deer Creek gorge on its was back to Laurel and Laurel Jctn.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Little Things Weekend

Managed to get a few things done this weekend. I finished up those On30 gable bottom cars. Even managed to get them painted.

Then I got some casting done for a couple of different projects.

While nothing too big, they all need to get done to complete a larger project. Beautiful weekend with sun, so a lot of time outside instead of the basement. More to come..............

Monday, February 17, 2014

On the Road: Last Week

Ok, on the road for work last week. Took some model building stuff with me. Didn't get too much done but every little bit counts. Worked on putting some resin cast cars together. An On30 distraction..... Nothing model related over the weekend. Monster truck show, sledding in the snow, etc., etc...

Sunday, February 9, 2014

This weekend

One of the reasons for doing this blog is that I often feel that I get little accomplished on the layout, despite putting in many hours working at it. The problem stems from how much time it takes to start something, till it is completed. Often there are many small steps required.

For example, I worked on a bunch of stuff this weekend, none of which has resulted in a finished product but all have advanced little projects a few steps closer to completion.

The last house for Collins has been sitting there, waiting for me to finish it. So this weekend I added the tarpaper roof, porch, railings, etc. Still not done but that much closer and it does look a lot better.

I also did the first painting step for the GrandtLine battery mine locomotive and coal car. Yes, a lot of weathering steps to go but its not styrene gray either!

Then, I started the backdrop for Collins, much needed but even after two coats, it looks like two more to get it done. Again, nothing completed but progress is made.

Often its the  little things that drive you nuts. Decided to take a break and run a train. The coupler on this engine has always bothered me. So, I took out the dremel tool for a quick fix. Hmm, broke off the rear steps, had to re-do that, etc. etc, Its those small quick fixes that take a lot of time. Finally go it done and ran a switchlist operation to enjoy the fruits of my labor.

Nice to add Stange Mining's manganese mine to operations. Here is an oldy but goody. I started this car back in the eighties. Still running on the layout. Added some detail last week in addition to fixing the couplers, runs much better now. There's more that was accomplished but this wraps it up for the weekend. Cheers!

Friday, February 7, 2014

New Blog

First Post on the Blog

Lets see how well it works now.

Finished a Mack Truck kit from Blackwoods Minieatures last night. Part of the manganese mine operation I want to add to the layout for more operation. I pick up the kit almost two years ago at the Narrow Gauge Convention in Hickory, NC. Needs a cab, something for later. Nice to finish something.