Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Pre Christmas Meet at Mikes

Great preChristmas On30 meet at Mike's in Roanoke. Mike has a nice two car garage size On30 layout. Here's the crew:

A shot of Mike's great layout

More of the crew: Mike, Mark and ....

Till next time! Hoping for a meet in January.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Logging Scene

WSome minor scenery updates on the logging scene. It seems with scenery, you can always add a little more, a little more......a little.....

Another shot along the line near Collins

Logging Scene

WSome minor scenery updates on the logging scene. It seems with scenery, you can always add a little more, a little more......a little.....

Another shot along the line near Collins

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Monday, November 30, 2015

Mixed train to Collins

PMixed train runs to Collins. The locals were happy to see train service restored.

After stopping a at the station, some mine timbers were dropped at the tipple. Construction on the tipple continues.

Yup, sure does. Slow but going..........ooops, need some more grass.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Manns Creek Tipple

It's been five years since I started the tipple at Collins. I haven't touched it since. After finishing some scenery and the backdrop at Collins, it became painfully obvious what was next, to complete the tipple. Making some slow progress. It is based on the Manns Creek strip mine tipple at Clifftop. Not my best work but she's getting done. Need to finish before I loose interest!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

PSC Shay Finally Gets Completed! (Sort of)

My PSC shay has no more parts to install! Today marks the day, all the parts in the kit have been assembled. A major victory to celebrate. Despite horribly incomplete instructions and some really poor castings (PSC is much, much better today. Today's castings are much higher quality) I managed to get it all together and running well.

A few things I would like to do yet:
1. Install sander rod and leaver to sand dome
2. Install wire rope to bell and whistle
3. Install some kind of tender coal board and coal cover for the motor
4. Install the bulbs and wiring for the headlights
5. Paint, letter and weather the loco.

Maybe I'll get this done before 2016...........

Monday, October 19, 2015

Cairo and Kanawha RY Boxcar #?

Here is my version of the outside braced Cairo and Kanawha Railway boxcar.  It is a Wisemann Models On3 Peach Bottom box car, as drawn by Edmund Collins. I modified the ladder and brake detail. Notice the lack of brakes on one side of the car. Looks a little funny to me, but that's what they did, all the way to 1929.

The car just needs a little weathering, otherwise, its done. I don't know if I'll ever decide to scratch build a more exact model of the car. I'm not sure what the car number was. Pictures clearly show the car and locations of the lettering but not the number. We know that box car 5 and 7 were different and numbers 8-12 were flat cars, so, I'm guessing its no. 4.

I have been trying to modify my Kadee couplers to eliminate the bobbing caused by too much slack in the coupler system. I have been using the idea posted here: S-Coupler Head and finding it works fairly well. The couples still center but not quite as well as unmodified. I can live with it since the bobbing caused by Kadee's is so very, very annoying...... I could use link and pin couplers, that would be prototypical but I have no desire to operate with link and pins. Too short a fuse.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

No. 1 Gets A Tune-Up

Shay No.1 was my first Bachmann locomotive. It was originally On30, and ran for a short time on the Arroyo Mine RR. I converted it to On3 a long while back, added the new cab, headlight, bell and removed the generator.

The motor has been acting up over the last year or so. Sometimes works, sometimes doesn't. Odd behavior in between. So, I pulled the motor and switched it out with another I had on hand. I was worried that the decoder may be bad, but it seems to be working with the motor replacement. Noticed that three of the gears had cracked and that they were affecting the engine's performance. One gear had been cracked but had not seemed to affect the performance prior. So, two Northwest Shortline gear replacements on the front truck and a plastic Bachmann spare on the rear. Off she goes. Still needs a new cab window and the headlight glued down. Wondering if I should out gear covers on her and a cover over those cylinders............

Friday, September 25, 2015

Sawmill Gets a Jack Slip

After all these years.....I finally added the Jack Slip to the sawmill. I have been working on the interior of the mill, trying to get the equipment lined up, and the chain drive figured out. Turns out I don't really need to in order to complete the jack slip. The Jack slip was a chain with cogs, that brought the logs into the mill. The side pieces are made up of laminated wood on its edge. Most had a walkway, etc.

I also managed to get the last part of the roof on. More details as time permits.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Box Car Aris'n

EBT 107 is nearing completion. Spending a little time here and there. Nice to have a project that can be done that way, as I do not have large blocks of time for modeling these days. All that's needed now is trucks, some air-brake piping and off to the paintshop! Trucks are in the mail so to speak. I'll update progress as we go....

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

EBT Boxcar Progress

Working a little each night on the boxcar. Slow as she goes but handrail details aren't that exciting.
 Evidently, the EBT had one of these with a steel underframe. Looking for some Vulcan trucks to go under it. Looks like B.T.S has some and so does CB&T Shops. Might give'em a try.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Deer Creek Mixed

The Deer Creek Mixed had a busy day hauling some box cars out to the extract plant today. The run included picking up a load at Collins. Loads back to Laurel Jct. included a broken donkey engine, loaded extract cars and a loaded tank full of extract. Business is good despite the downturn in the lumber industry.

The shops have been working on an EBT boxcar, getting it ready for the Deer Creek. Slow but steady progress.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Time without Trains

Ran the first train since April. Wow, what a long spell. Too much work and not enough play!

Deer Creek and Laurel Mixed Heads North

 The "mixed" comes back into Deer Creek after descending from Collins.

Started a box car kit that was recently sent via one of my father's friends. He's no longer in On3, seems like On3 is getting smaller each year. Still my scale and gauge of choice!

Been a long time since I sat at the workbench. Box cars are relatively easy and this one doesn't have truss rods (EB&T steel underframe), which makes it even easier. Really fun to build these up. The trucks even have four springs per side. They are Portland Products, long gone, but EXCELLENT brass castings...

 Some steel plate epoxied in for weight

Nothing holding these together except the springs!!

Monday, April 27, 2015

On30 4-4-0 Nears Completion

This weekend I added some final touches to my modified Bachmann On30 4-4-0. I never liked the original model. Too modern, drivers too small for a 4-4-0, etc. After seeing an article in the On30 Annual, where two folks modified their 4-4-0's similarly, I decided to go for it. That and I could pick up a new one from the Favorite Spot on Ebay for less than $60.00.

Just like the article, I added a Banta Cab, PSC domes, stack, headlight, backup light. I added a new cowcatcher (Mount Blue, I think), raised the tender a bit (still looks low) and a TCS WOW decoder. WOW is right. 1. the engine runs much better, the Bachmann decoder was, well, junk. 2. the sound IS AWESOME. Sorry Soundtraxx, you've got some catching up to do..........

The photo is on Mike's On30 Maine based layout. It was a test run and a chance to check out his new switchlist set up. Till next time............

Monday, April 13, 2015

Back to the SHAY

Worked again on the shay this weekend. I managed to get it running, but rather poorly a while back. So, I took each truck apart, yet again, and un-soldered the truck bolster for each. I had been told to do so while originally assembling the truck by master shay builder "Killer" but over the multiple rebuilding of the trucks, they had ultimately gotten soldered. I also replaced the front trucks bevel gears as they too occationally gave me binding issues. Poorly made castings but no defects visible to the eye, even with magnification. Replaced with new castings, no problem. A pain in the rear to do all this work, yet again, but the shay is now up and running.

I worked a little on adding the sound decoder and some final details. Turns out PSC included four FRONT TRUCK GEAR COVERS! instead of two for the front and two for the back. I will have to order new ones to finish the engine. Still need to add some cab interior details, generator, check value and tubing then figure out lighting. Always more but a great feeling of accomplishment in getting the engine running.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Virginia Beach On30 Meet

Back from a fun weekend in Virginia Beach with a bunch of 0n30 folks. Had a chance to put some faces with names. Tom Sullivan deserves a great big THANK YOU for putting on this wonderful event. Lots of long-time and new narrow gauger's in attendance. (Mark Chase, Bill Davis, Steve Sherrill, Bill Uffelman, and Steve Fisher to name a few). Clinics were given on soldering, paper models, weathering wood, weathering and reality, show and tell, and what's new in dead rail.

Tom had his two-foot based On30 line running for the group. Tom's done a great job getting the layout together. I failed to recognize some of my own handywork displayed. Tom did a great job on the shingled engine house!

We also visited a nice western On30 logging layout by Bryan Brown, a short drive away. Bryan has been building some wonderful Serra West kits and his layout displays them very well.

Tom Colasurdo provided some AWESOME smoked pork barbeque that went over very well with the group. Overall it was a wonderful time. Not enough time to see it all, talk to everyone, so we'll have to do it again!

Sunday, March 15, 2015

More KIL&T Shay Progress On30

After conversing with my friend and expert brass worker Jeff Kraker, I dove into changing the tender. He suggested that I use brass wire for the tender wrap over. I had fairly good success with using his technique on the first try. One end did get bent a little while I was working with it, which made things more difficult than they needed to be. I cut the old top off using a dremel tool cutting disc, then filed to get a flat surface on all three sides. Not a perfect fit but close enough, especially for the first try. The new brass top was mounted onto the tender shell using AC glue.

Once I got the tender shell back on, I finished the dome sander mechanism and sander pipes. Still need to fix the headlight, do some painting, add the other cab door, do some weathering, then add the cab windows. The project is coming along nicely.

Here's one of their shays:

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Bachmann to Kelley Island Shay - Trying to finish another "Project"

As part of my finish what you started or get rid of it mode.............

The Kelley Island Lime and Transport Co has been an interest of mine since Lee Rainey published some articles in RMC back in the 1985. There are lots of photos and information about the line. Very tempting with the small shays, dump cars, steam shovels, ships, large steel bridges with passing sidings, tipples, etc.

While the Bachmann On30 shay is a bit small (13 ton) for the engines used on the KIL&T (lots and lots of 18 ton engines), I have always thought you could get it to look "close". So here is what I have been working on (an off) for a while. I added a small shay sand dome from Wiseman Model Services, a Cab from Banta, etc. Still need to change the tender a bit and add some details.

 I just made and added some gear covers.  An easier project than what I thought it would be. They are mounted with AC glue and two pins each.

Fords are here!

Finished two 1912 Ford Trucks from Wiseman Model Services. These kits have extremely nice detail for a soft metal kit. Very impressive. Only problem with the kits are that the soft metal is SOFT! If you look at a part too long, the force of your eye strain will bend the part. No, really! The first truck was the most difficult as I followed the instructions. Mistake! Definitely do not do the wheels, axles and underbody first. When you hold the model to fit the upper parts, you WILL bend the wheels and axles mercilessly. The second went together much easier since I put all the upper details on first, then the underbody details. The parts fit together very well (unusual in my experience with many soft metal kits). They ACC glued very, very well. The most difficult or most time consuming part is painting. Still working on that.

Great kits, they went together fairly quickly and easily. With as much time on bending stuff back and painting as anything else. I recommend these kits, just don't let anyone pick them (bend, bend) up.



Monday, February 23, 2015

February Operations Session

Today was the first operations session for 2015. Mark, Hank, and Rick showed up for some fun. The session started off with a presentation on Narrow Gauges in Pulaski, VA. With some pictures and information on a narrow gauge coal and logging railroad.

The following trains were run over a 3-1/2 hour session: Morning Passenger Train, Morning Log Train, Daily Mixed, Coal Turn, Bark Train, Afternoon Log Train. We ran out of time and did not run the Slate Train or the Afternoon Passenger Train. I think the trains ran well, trackwork is getting better and the overall operations scheme seems to work well.

Rick prepares the mixed train in Laurel Jct. using a switchlist as Hank re-assembles the morning passenger train in Deer Creek

 Mark prepares the morning log train. Ready to leave Laurel for a long day in the mountains

 The morning passenger train comes in as the mixed freight waits for clearance.

 Mark's working the log train out of Hawley Junction. Tough job keeping the main clear.

 The logging camp on Flat Top mountain seems empty as the morning log train passes up the switchback

 The coal train with giant engine number 9 crosses the Laurel Creek trestle

 Mark works the coal turn, re-arranging the train in Deer Creek prior to heading up to Collin's as Rick finishes up the bark train.

Coal train working Collins

Hank, having thought he was done with the afternoon log train realizes there is still a car up on the mountain to deal with...