Wednesday, August 21, 2013

More odds and ends...

Here's George Sellios' Franklin and South Manchester RR. I shot this photo while I was there many years ago shooting a story for Model Railroader magazine. At the time I lived close to George and visited the railroad almost monthly. George has made a lot of changes since my last visit.

I've posted a lot of photos of the Nantucket On30 railroad display. We built the display in 2008 and since then over one hundred thousand people have viewed it. 

The original Bachmann Forney lasted two years of everyday use. I removed the engine and replaced it with another Forney. It lasted two years. I replaced the second engine with the original engine which I had cleaned and refurbished. This week I retired the original engine and replaced it with the second engine. The next replacement will be a Bachmann American to which I added a SoundTraxx light steam decoder. It'll be interesting to see how long this light engine lasts in constant service.

For my On30 sugar cane railroad I built two Mt. Blue open observation cars. I had Atlantic Scale Models make the Rafael Freyre decals. This kit is fun and easy to build.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Planning Models

I've written a lot about building and using planning models. A planning model is a small model of a model railroad. 

The book I go to for many small structures is A.G. Smith's An Early American Seaport. The book is out of print but still can be found through used book dealers and at train shows. There are many other books like this one featuring other architecture and building styles.

I scan the pages, reduce them to the size I need, print them out, glue to a cardboard backing, and build them.

Here's the 1/2" scale planning model I built for the Sea Port display. The little structures are place holders showing the size and scale of a building in the scene. These can be moved around or removed to help determine how the final display will look. 

This is a valuable tool to use when trying to project your ideas to someone who "doesn't get it'". It's also a great "what if" tool.

Here's a more elaborate planning model of an 8' by 25' Lionel layout. The project followed the model closely.

The Sea Port Car Ferry

This is the car ferry ramp on the Sea Port Model Works display. The display was built to serve as a background for the Sea Port line of HO boat kits and built-ups. 

The ramp was scratchbuilt to fit into the front of the Sea Port car carrier. I raided the scrapbox for this one.

Here's the car ferry at the loading ramp.

On30 Maine-style Engines

Here are two Bachmann On30 engines Bob Hayden modified and painted to represent the Maine two foot motive power. These are on Bob's Elk River/Thatcher's Inlet On30 layout.

The turntable is scratchbuilt using styrene - based upon a Maine prototype.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Kingfield Maine engine house

A few days ago I posted a photo of the SR&RL station in Kingfield, Maine. Along with the photo I published a map showing the location of all the railroad buildings in Kingfield. This in the three stall engine house that sat behind the station. I took the photo in 1961 and don't know if this building has survived. 

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Bachmann On30 Forney

On the Nantucket Railroad display I decided to use the Bachmann On30 Forney as the display motive power. The Forney is a close match to a 3-foot gauge Mason Bogey engine the railroad leased from the Boston, Revere Beach & Lynn RR. 

The Bachmann On30 Forney ran great for two years. When "crash-bar" type handles were added to the front of the layout, to give children a hand-hold, the track went out of level and the rear truck under the Bachmann On30 Forney tender would hop on and off the track. I tried all the tricks to get the engine to track better. 

Finally, I decided to try solder wrapped around the rear truck's plastic axels. I used the thinnest solder I had and wrapped the axels keeping the solder below the wheel diameter so the solder would not foul on track or guardrails.
It worked. The rear truck was heavy enough to track properly and not hop of the rail. Another two years of everyday operation.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Bachmann On30 "shorty" ore car

This is one of the new Bachmann On30 "shorty" ore or coal cars. This is the actual car that appeared in the Bachmann ads. I took the raw plastic car and painted and weathered it. There's a plastic coal load sold with the car. It's a nice car, tracks well and has a lot of detail. 

For you On30 2-foot fans - look at the Vulcan trucks. They are dead ringers for the SR&RL trucks - the only thing you have to do to make them perfect is to cut off the spring cover that extends above the truck frame in the middle of the truck.

Kingfield Maine

Here's the Kingfield Station in Kingfield, Maine on the Sandy River and Rangeley Lakes RR as it looked in 1962. The building looked abandoned. I walked around it and there was no signs of life. 

On the rear side there's a loading or freight door with a log bumper. It was probably added after the railroad closed in the 1930's. 

Pardon the cheap camera with an awful lens and Anscochrome film.

From the map you can see that the train, at one time, ran through the station. This practice didn't last very long. Too many stations burned down. 

The map is reproduced from the Two-Foot Cyclopedia, Volume One, Kingfield, Maine by William H. Jensen, Jr. from my collection. 

I have photos of the engine house, somewhere. It was still standing in 1962 and used by an auto dealer to store cars.