Monday, September 18, 2017

WW&F On2 Tank Car Kit Completion

Looking at the Albion module this evening, I realized that I never posted the final tank car picture. So, here it is:

Personally, I'm not crazy about the light grey color but supposedly that's what they were.

The kit was produced by Portland Locomotive Works, they have a Yahoo Group for those interested. I got the kit for Christmas in 2016 and finished it recently. Here's the progression.

Started with the frame. Typical flatcar frame, easy going.
Next, I added the deck. Two things quickly became apparent. First, the end blocks were too far from the ends of the tank and the tank didn't sit well in the curved blocks.
First fix was to add some styrene to fill the gaps where the tank didn't sit well.

Next, I found some scale lumber to fill into the holes for the end blocks. Not perfect but unless you look really closely, you wouldn't know that they are there.
Next, I noticed the kit didn't contain any method to attach the tank to the car. It seemed unlikely that there was no attachment and sure enough the real Portland Locomotive Works drawings, provided by Ed Bond, showed how the tank was attached and the locations of the tie down straps. Turned out to be handy that dad stopped by the works years ago when they were still in business!

 I fabricated the straps out of styrene and brass wire with some NBW castings.
Then came the tank handlebar mounts. WOW! How in the world was I supposed to cut these off the 3D printing? The instructions suggested the use of a Dremel tool, which resulted in a 75% failure rate. Luckily, a quick email to Gary at Portland resulted in an extra set, no charge (Thanks Gary!). The next time I used a small wire saw and only managed to brake one!

The final result after painting. Well, you can see the results at the top of the post. An interesting build to say the least. It would have been cool if the WW&F had actually purchased these cars as projected. I'll use them on the module. Portland is talking about making the Brigton fuel tanks, so I might go ProtoFreelance for that part of the Albion module. Who knows, there's actually drawn plans for expansion.....

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Car Progress

Finishing some final touches on the B&H or B&SR boxcar. Added the roof walk and platforms, brake wheel, etc. The roof end platforms were a real pain, had to re-do them three times to get them level with the top of the car. Put the right trucks on it. Just needs a little weathering and some brakes on one of the trucks. I'm happy with how it turned out. Didn't add the B&SR lettering, since it sits on my WW&F module.

Getting closer with the WW&F passenger car and Sandy River Mail car/Combine. Turns out I don't have the right lettering, so I have to order some before the final coat of finish. Then the windows, then I'm done. Still waiting for my replacement sides for the WW&F combine. Emails to GME are going unanswered.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

B&SR RR Box Car

I did some horse trading a while back and picked up a Simpson B&SR RR box car #47 kit. I've always been a fan of the B&SR or B&H two foot in Maine. I like there track layouts, equipment, why just about the whole thing. Plus, I like shorter cars, as in 24-26 ft cars rather than the 30-32 foot cars of the "later years".

The kit was fairly well complete and ready to assemble. I had to do a few modifications. The scribed wood for the floor was all too wide, so I had to cut them down on the table saw. The steel corner posts are a but small but as per instructions, I could have made them out of styrene instead of the Gradtline castings. Finally, the scribed siding for the door seemed much to thick, so I substituted some thinner material. Its amazing how narrow in thickness narrow gauge car doors really are.

I used some 0.010 wire and some tin tape to simulate the tin roof. Think I need to use thinner wire next time. Here are some shots of the car before going into the paint shop. When it comes out, I'll add the roof walk, brake platforms, and brake wheel. A fairly quick kit to assemble and while its not WW&F, I'll be using it on the Ablion module.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Tin Passender Car Roofs

Last night I took the time to finish the WW&F Passenger car roof. I use aluminum tape designed for air conditioning and vent work repair - I think its what most use. I use the tape to represent the tin roofs commonly used on the Maine two foot equipment. It's easy to do but time consuming. Next up is the time intensive paint shop. I'll try to finish the SR&LR Combine/Mail car first.

Still no luck getting a replacement casting for the WW&F combine from GME. It's hard to build a combine when the sides don't match up. Been about 6 months since I contacted them. Getting frustrated, might just have to cut and glue one side back together.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

WW&F Coach and Tank Progress

Managed to get a little done this weekend on the GME WW&F coach and some final touches on the Portland Loco Works WW&F tank car kit.

Here's the vacuum brake and underbody detail for the coach. Glad to have this out of the way. I think the way I have it mounted will keep the brake rigging from interfering with the trucks.

End View

Side view with a test of Floquil Pullman Green. I found in the poor lighting, that it looks dark enough. My efforts with Scalecoat Burlington Green, turned out too dark. Might look nice in natural sunlight but too dark in my layout conditions.

While no information was included in the Portland Locomotive Works WW&F tank car kit regarding how the tank was held onto the car, a few calls to my father resulted in getting the original, "real" Portland drawings, which clearly showed four straps on the car. I made them out of styrene and brass wire.

Here's the car, per-paint with the straps.

Here's the tank with the first coat of paint. Looking much better. Can't wait to get it onto the car and be finished with this kit.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Op's Time and a New Loco

Today, I held another operations session at the house. Managed to get the Albion On2 module, the Arroyo On30, and the DC&L RY running at the same time. Good thing, as there were more operators than the DC&L could handle!

The DC&L ran fairly well. Despite my efforts there are still a few spots that are causing problems. Turnouts all. I may have to redo a few with the FastTracks jig. Despite my pride of originally only having one turnout built on the FastTracks jig, it is one of the few turnouts that has never given me the slightest problem. Frustrating for me but I think everyone had a good time. Mark gave the new trackwork on the mountain a thumbs up, which was encouraging.

Steve, Chris and Alexander have a three way meet at Hawley Jct. All went smoothly. Fun to have a friend from 30 years ago come and see the layout and to have my son, seven, participate.

Somehow I managed to get the new Class A Climax up and running before the meet, then forgot the address! Opps. It's a car works Class A that I picked up on Ebay for a deal. Didn't run when I got it but with a decoder and keep alive installed and some drive train work (glue on those GrandtLine gears and modifying the pickups) it runs smooth, quite and like a champ.

Next time I decide to have an operations session, I'll have to run a few more trains to pick out the trouble spots. Till then, back to Albion, I think.......

Monday, July 10, 2017

DC&L Steaming Along

Been working a little in the evenings on the DC&L RY. Its been a while so the track needs a little cleaning and a few items need fix'n. Here's a test run of the coal train. Running loads to the mines in prep for the next operations session. Things are running well but I need to add a stay alive to Climax no 9 and a headlight bulb, neither will likely happen before the meet.

Been going back and forth on whether to move the logging camp down the mountain to Hawley Jct or leave it on top of the mountain. Current thoughts are to move it to the bottom, both the camp and logging scenes just look better this way. Not what I had panned though. If I leave the camp up top, it's just too crowded looking. Less is better? Plus, if you have a logging camp, might as well be able to see it! Till next time.......

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Summer is Here!

Summer has arrived and with it, so have other priorities, obligations, and interests. So, the goal of finishing a module, a mere 2 x 10 in one year doesn't look like its going to happen. Oh well, I am still having fun. While at the beach, I managed to start a Portland Locomotive works water tank. Need to finish it off with some things but here it is in its current state:

No, it won't go on the Albion module but its two foot and something I've been working at. Two more unfinished projects include a GME WW&F "like" passenger car and a Portland Locomotive Works WW&F tank car kit. Plans for the built tank car were done by the original Portland Locomotive Works in Portland, Maine but it was never ordered. Still have a ways to go but some progress.
I'm having the local On30 guys over in August, so it looks like the Albion module is going to sit for a while as I get ready. The Deer Creek and Laurel Ry hasn't turned a wheel in a really long time gotta clean some rails and finish some scenery!

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Shingles Anyone?

No, not that kind of shingles, the wood kind. I finished shingling the outside of the Albion engine house. Now for the roof, well, maybe some procrastination first.

While taking a brake from shingling, I worked on several other "Albion" projects: started the potato house, added the milk platform, added the ice house/tilton's potato house addition to the left front end on the module. Managed to get a base coat of scenery on it this week, including the three road crossings.

The last two evenings, while waiting for scenery to dry, I started on the passenger car, which as the previous GME kit, is moving along quite nicely.

So, the Albion module is progressing nicely. Lots more shingles to do, lots more, lots, lots more.........

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Narrow Gauge Union Meet

Saturday, April 1st was the Narrow Gauge Union meet in Roanoke, VA. I had been scrambling to finish half the Albion module for the meet. Sometimes it is good to have  a deadline to push getting something finished.

 It was the first time I had the turntable wired up. It ended up working well due to the frog juicers wired into the layout. I till want to wire it up properly but was surprised that the juicers worked for the turntable. Interesting.

 The module ran very well. Turnouts worked, no derailments.
Several folks kept trying to get On30 cars onto the rails. Seems that a two foot module modeling two foot was confusing.
The completed coal shed is in the background. Since there aren't any pictures of the roof to indicate whether it had singles or not, it likely did, I used tar paper. Tarpaper will provide something a little different since all the other structures are shingled, many even on for the siding.

 Hank had is On18 module running. It ran the whole day. I really like his shadow box, looks great.
 Mike and Rick had their modules up. Rick had really expanded his into a nice version of the Gump Stump and Snowshoe. I got interrupted taking pictures and failed to get any.

Several folks from Lynchburg were in attendance with modules. There was even some large scratch build models on display. 
Several excellent clinics were given. Steve covered coke ovens and coke manufacturing, using some cool graphics. Chris Riley gave a clinic on the new MicroMark laser cutter, Hank did one on making trees with wire and I covered Albion on the WW&F. The laser cutter is nice but I can't justify the expense at this point. If I was starting out and had to build a lot of buildings, I could easily see the justification.  We'll see..........

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Albion Truntable

The structural part of my Albion turntable is completed. Time to finish the pit and wire it up. Looks good and turns well. More tomorrow?

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Albion Coal Shed

Major progress today. I managed to get the turntable base in, which allowed me to get the turntable and engine house track in. Got both wired, ties and rail painted and track ballasted! Three quarters of the turntable pit has been lined and the coal shed just needs a floor, roof and coal load. Got the roof of the tool shed weathered. Ran a train, fun switching the module. I can see the need for a longer tail track but still fun! Definitely enjoying the two foot!

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Turntable Spider

Managed to finally get the turntable spider together today. The turntable is coming along nicely. I can now figure out its proper depth on the layout and get some scenery done. 

The bearing roll very smoothly and I'm happy with how it's turned out. I thought I would certainly be making two, a pilot model and the real thing.

It's always amazing how slow progress is........1/2 the module is starting to come together nicely. 

Monday, February 6, 2017

WW&F Creamery Car 65

Managed to finish my scratch built WW&F creamery car #65. I wasn't happy with the door height, so ended up lowering the door to the proper size. Should have done that before.....I used Grandt Line S scale refeer door hardware, cutting the hinges to match the prototype. I used real glass, what a pain to cut, kept breaking. My car is 28 feet long, instead of the correct 30 feet length. The original drawings of the car were 28-ft, but the wrong car, not #65. Oh, well. Once I realized the later car wasn't around for the era I'm modeling, so I added the windows and decided to just deal with the shorter length. I think it came out well. Just need to paint the trucks and weather it.