Tuesday, October 17, 2023

Tribute to the Cairo and Kanawha RY

As I plan for the future, I need something to haul passengers with that wold be less fancy than what would be considered for busy, larger scale narrow gauge passenger service. Something that would represent what would be used in a mixed train that had low passenger volume. Reaching out to one of my favorite narrow gauges, the Cairo and Kanawha, I decided to model the likeness of one of their combines. The car was clearly modified from an older, less fancy passenger car. Note the narrow baggage compartment door and the boarded up rear window. Oddly, this car has no lamp vents on the roof. Their second combine did have such vents. 

I used a Bachmann On30 passenger car to capture the likeness. I say likeness as the letter board is clearly too tall, the need platforms to short and the steps the wrong type. Maybe I will modify those steps.....

The prototype car clearly was lower to the ground. Many of these style cars used less expensive arch bar type trucks and smaller diameter wheels. I guess to lower the cost? I'm sticking with modified Bachmann trucks (widened to On3) for now. Despite having the same number of windows and what appears to be reasonably window spacing, my car still seems short compared to the prototype.

For now, I am happy with the end result. I think it will look good behind my short mixed trains and captures the essence of a wonderful West Virginia narrow gauge. 

Tuesday, October 10, 2023

Fall Update

A few projects that I have been working on of late. Preparations for the future endeavors

Sunday, July 23, 2023

Donkey Assembly Line

A friend has been working hard on developing a 3D printed model of a two-drum American Hoist and Derrick donkey engine. I've been having so much fun building one, that it has turned into 4 in various states of completion. Amazing detail and amazing assembly. Quite the joy to build. Keeping me occupied at the workbench lately. 

Sunday, April 23, 2023

Ah, ha moment on the WW&F Modules

 I've had power trouble with several turnouts on my On2 Albion and Upper Wiscasset yard modules for quite a while. It was the first time I had not constructed my own turnouts on the workbench but used FastTracks turnout jigs. Also the first time using PC ties. My main locomotive, WW&F No 7 has poor electrical pickups and I've talked about adding additional wipers but haven't yet received the "round to it". I used Tam Valley Depot DCC Hex Frog Juicer's for both modules and thought the problem was due to them being overloaded or overworked when the Stay Alive capacitor was charging. The problem seemed to come and go and so I was never certain what the problem was. However, I was never going to use Frog Juicers again!

This weekend, the problem reared its ugly head while I was switching. To me, it really seemed as if there was no power at the frog. Being no 8 frogs, they are a bit long but why wouldn't they have power? Was it the Hex Juicer as I suspected? I finally pulled out the multi meter and ran some tests. Well, looks like on three turnouts, the point or through and diverging rails were NOT soldered to the PC tie with the wing rails! Who would have guessed. I know that they SHOULD have been soldered. Having always soldered my frogs and then painfully cleaned the flange gap out with files and other tools, I never suspected this to be an issue. While the jigs allowed me to not have to clean out the solder, it is a bit more difficult to make sure all these rails are soldered on the same PC tie. Yes, the instructions show to turn over the turnout and make sure to solder this area but it is really hard to see. 

Bottom line: The Tam Valley Depot DCC Hex Frog Juicer's are working great and now my locomotive works excellent. No loss of power! Happy running trains again.

Saturday, January 14, 2023

DC&L Shay No.3

 It has been a long and difficult journey to get this locomotive up and running. I've been working on it for at least 8 years. 

I had it built up in about a year, see posts from 2014 and 2015

Shay running



Shay Update



Early in the journey


After the initial paining, I blew a decoder, broke off the generator stand, among other things and put the locomotive away for quite a while. Recently, while working on another shay project, I pulled it out. Certainly, I should give it another go? Blew another decoder in 30 seconds, wire touched the metal speaker. This time I persevered and finished the difficult sound install by moving the speaker to the firebox and making a plastic housing for the decoder, keep alive in the tender. I installed glass in the windows, used a weathering technique suggested by Jeff Kracker, and made an ok looking coal bin to cover the motor that sticks up rather high. The locomotive runs well, sounds good. I'll add a toolbox, re-railing frog and some details to the running boards as time permits. I also need to get the sound timing down and improve some of the sound effects, like remove the nonexistent air airpump. Right now I want to just sit back and enjoy getting this far. And onto the other project.....

Sunday, October 23, 2022

Kennebec Central Long Coal Car

 Here is the longer, later version of the Kennebec Central coal car. I messed up the painting a bit but the end result still looks pretty good. Now all I need is a Kennebec Central module to run these on............

Saturday, October 15, 2022

Adventures on the Kennebec Central Continue

I continue to utilize my new 3D printer for some really fun two foot cars. I've always thought that some Kennebec Central opening side door gondolas would be really neat to build. A challenge for sure but really neat. As I learn how to use my printer settings and the best ways to arrange and modify supports (the things that hold your model off the build plate while it is printing), I'm making some really cool cars.

A big THANK YOU to Chris Schmuck! Chris has posted some amazing stl files on Thingaverse and allowed others to print them. Designing in 3D is rather difficult and time consuming. His work is excellent and scales up from HOn30 to On30 or On2 very, very nicely. Here's the latest prints. Some slight modifications to the bolsters and coupler pockets. 

Basically this car is printed entirely in one go. The only details that are added are: queen posts, turnbuckles, truss rods, brake wheel, brake staff, a rod in the middle, couples and trucks. Clean up was easy though I did have to heat the car in hot water and carefully bend. The truss rods put a bit of pressure on the car, so I'm sure it won't dip but it may bend up! We'll see what happens over time. Two prints, one On30 using Chris's trucks and one in On3 using GrandtLine trucks. 

On30 K&C Short Gondola 

On2 K&C Short Gondola