Message Of The Day

Thu, 22 Jul 2004

08:28 [zork(~)] cat powerless.txt


So, in a fit of something or another I picked up this:

I'm not exactly sure why. It's a Rail Power Products shell/chassis, so I'll still have to pick up trucks, a motor, and stuff to connect the two. And various details and superdetails. But the theory is that by the time I finish detailing it (ha ha rims) I will have found some sort of supplementary income, i.e. a job.

Sat, 22 May 2004

21:41 [zork(~)] cat plow.txt

Snowfighting in the summer

So, my major model railroading project lately has been to electrificate an Athearn rotary snowplow (Made all the more fun by the fact that of the 4 prototype plows for the model, none were ever modernized). So, I got myself an undecorated F7B to act as the power unit, put a winterization hatch and some grab-irons on, did some close-coupling mumbo-jumbo, and removed the dynamic brake fan once I figured out which fan that actually was (not shown). Of course, I'm a little unsure about the winterization hatch, since the prototypes all either have no hatch or have the BN Insane-O-Hatch.

The work on the actual plow consisted of adding the funnel wings on the front, replacing all the molded on grab-irons with hand-made metal ones (just because), applying a random diesel horn, removing the smokestack and the boiler, shortening the coupler pocket (possibly too much), and replacing the silly rubber-band blade-spinner with a motor to be controlled by DCC. It also turns out I misplaced one of my dummy couplers. Oh well.

There also some (largely uninstalled) bits of styrene that will be painted black and placed around the windows and such to prevent people from seeing through the model.

All that's really left is painting, lighting, DCC installation, and installing the diaphragm on the plow (I want to do that after painting, because it's a working diaphragm). I'm still unsure if I'm going to install working diaphragms on the power unit.

Anyway, pictures!

pic 1

pic 2

Sat, 27 Mar 2004

06:12 [zork(~)] cat shay.txt

The problem is you can only run it facing clockwise

So, after purchasing a regear kit, realizing that I can open up the gearbox after all, shaving off the fill ports on the inside of the gearbox (bad design), and remembering where I put that bottle of gear oil, my Shay finally runs. I put it on the club's layout and it only stalled occasionally. I think the PWM inherent in runing an analog loco on a DCC track actually helped the running.

I also took a few pictures of it pulling a bi-level enclosed autorack, you know, just 'cause. Of course, I took them on film, so it'll be another three years before I finish up this roll, and then several weeks before I actually bring it to a developer, and then who knows when I'll get it to a scanner.

Mon, 22 Mar 2004

05:43 [zork(~)] cat changes.txt

Things change in a decade or so

So, in the 10 years or so since I've been in model railroading, two major changes occurred. First off, DCC is all over the place now, which I think is really great. The other major change is that the Kadee magne-matic coupler patents expired. So now everybody has their own magnetic couplers. And some of them really suck, and some of them don't, but they're nearly all plastic. Which is good, because some model makers like to have a solid metal bit going from coupler pocket to coupler pocket (and to a rail, if it's a loco).

Mon, 15 Mar 2004

04:44 [zork(~)] cat back_in_the_saddle.txt

choo choo

So, for those of you who haven't been paying attention lately, I've been slowly getting back into model railroading. I've been trying to go to the university's railroad club and seeing if I can help them out. They're doing kind of a modern/whatever-gets-donated era layout.

As far as my modeling, I can't really decide what I should go for. One option is a 1920s/30s era mountain line, as an excuse to use Shays and Heislers, limit the length of the rolling stock, and model crazy terrain. Or a modern electrified freight line, with overhead electrical power and no good prototypes. I've half-decided to go with the modern electric in HO and if I ever get enough time and garden to do the mountain line in G scale. Of course, I've already got some rolling stock for each choice and neither choice in HO, and an HO Shay, so I'm not really all sure.

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