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T O P I C    R E V I E W
jbvb Posted - 01/31/2008 : 8:10:46 PM
I'm modeling the Boston & Maine's Eastern Route in HO standard gauge in my 207-year-old house's attic. The attic has its pluses and minuses - plenty of space, just up the stairs and finished, but the combination of the sloping ceiling and a 36" minimum radius meant I could only do an around-the-walls plan. Also, it can get a bit hot in the summer and cold in the winter.

The layout incorporates my Rowley MA modules, presently the only finished scenery, in the rural northern half of the attic. The southeast corner is where I'm building my compressed version of West Lynn, MA including the General Electric River works and the West Lynn creamery.

This photo shows the mainline curve passing the future creamery (spur under the file) and the Saugus Branch (long staging tracks) coming in from the left. I'm spiking rail on the branch, building the switch comes next. The flying plywood is actually pretty rigid with the flange below and the backdrop partially installed, it will get better when I bring the backdrop around to the left edge of the photo.
15   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
deemery Posted - 11/28/2020 : 12:57:42 PM
I've broken A Lot Fewer drill bits doing grabirons through 3 related idea:
1. I buy the more expensive Gyros drill bits (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000SKT9KO)
2. I'm using a low speed rechargable battery screwdriver (similar to this one: https://www.amazon.com/BLACK-DECKER-BDCS20C-Lithium-Ion-Rechargeable/dp/B00TM2T9C2) and the MicroMark hex shank micro drill chucks (https://www.micromark.com/Precision-Micro-Drill-Chuck-for-Cordless-Screwdriver ). I buy the chucks "in bulk" so I have the most common drill sizes each permanently chucked into one of these.
3. Before drilling, and occasionally during drilling, I poke the drill bit into beeswax

It used to be I'd break on average 3 drill bits per Westerfield kit (the resin they use is pretty tough). Now I usually finish the full kit without breaking the drill bit (but they do get dull, so I have to replace the drill bit. I try to keep at least 3 bits of the most common size on hand, so if I break 1, I'm not screwed for finishing a project...)

Grubes Posted - 11/28/2020 : 11:12:31 AM
Definitely an upgrade. Looks good.
wvrr Posted - 09/30/2020 : 7:54:09 PM
The car is looking great, James!

Orionvp17 Posted - 09/29/2020 : 5:51:43 PM
Looking Good, James. Are those plastic wheels? If so, they might want to become metal ones....

Keep going!

in Michigan
jbvb Posted - 09/29/2020 : 5:41:16 PM
It's been a while. Lots of work on track and equipment at Seashore, getting my stepson ready for on-line school, politics etc. And the attic was fairly hot most nights until recently.

My modeling lag started with a discouraging experience working with my Rapido RDCs; I installed non-sound decoders in three, but when I went to speed-match them, I found my first apparently suffering from a cracked axle gear. When I opened it up and ran it upside down to ID the bad part, something came apart closer to the motors (both). It seems I have to take the drive-line completely apart to get back to where I can ID the broken gear. And while working with the others, I cooked a non-sound decoder. I do have two matched...

So last week I picked up a long-stalled project: Back when Star Trek: Enterprise was on, I'd take a kit and tools to a friend's house to work on while watching and sipping adult beverages. Alas, my ancient Tichy 4028 is more complicated than the basic USRA single-sheathed box: Several sprues from which only a few parts are used, 3 sets of doors, not enough grab irons, ends don't fit the shell perfectly etc. Since it didn't work as a 90-minutes-most-weeks project, I put it aside.

I finished drilling/installing all the grabs (breaking a few drills doing so), then did the underbody. .020 styrene rod train line was easier to install than the supplied .020 brass wire. I used a 1/32" long drill (MicroMark) to
make holes to thread it through.

The roof comes next, but I needed info for paint/lettering. I found Richard Hendrickson's July 1993 RMJ article and am thinking about extra detailing for the AP.
Bernd Posted - 08/04/2020 : 07:52:03 AM
Originally posted by jbvb

I was making a list of structures on the layout (about 70 to date) and added links to a few 'lost' threads to my index on page 1. Nothing photogenic yet this week, sorry.

Oh, and if anyone looking in knows sources for replacement gears for the original Bachman HO GE 44-ton locos (a motor in each truck), web search hasn't been successful to date.


You might want to try and contact Northwest Short Line to see if they carry any of the gearing.

jbvb Posted - 08/03/2020 : 9:48:16 PM
I was making a list of structures on the layout (about 70 to date) and added links to a few 'lost' threads to my index on page 1. Nothing photogenic yet this week, sorry.

Oh, and if anyone looking in knows sources for replacement gears for the original Bachman HO GE 44-ton locos (a motor in each truck), web search hasn't been successful to date.
Orionvp17 Posted - 07/14/2020 : 5:55:36 PM
Nice article and photos, James, but you've already heard that from me.

in Michigan
jbvb Posted - 07/14/2020 : 5:34:01 PM
Thanks, Bruce.

While we still hoped to hold the 2020 NER convention over Columbus Day weekend, I wrote an article about the Eastern Route. The convention focuses on operations, so I photographed what will be the next trip of the 'Boston Freight' and wrote it up. Coupler editor Jeff Paston squeezed the article, my track plan and eight photos into three pages. A PDF may be downloaded from the NER website:


The convention has been postponed to Columbus Day weekend, 2021. See millcity21.org for details.

I was working away on power feeds for the River Works in-plant track when I heard violent thunderstorms had dropped a tree on Seashore's overhead. I was already planning on driving up tomorrow, but now I'll leave earlier.
Dutchman Posted - 07/12/2020 : 1:10:37 PM
Your neat wiring makes me jealous, James.

I love the vintage photos.

jbvb Posted - 07/12/2020 : 11:07:14 AM
Thanks, Pete and Michael. I showed the video to a few FB groups and it drew quite a few views.

Just short of a month since I last posted, which has included haying season and a good deal of track work at Seashore. But I have made progress on the layout:

I finished two turnouts on West Lynn's GE River Works in-plant railroad. These were built about 2013 and spiked so the Lynn Goat could switch GE's receiving tracks beside the future Building 41. Now they have mechanisms, wiring and gaps, making 58 complete hand-laid turnouts on the Eastern Route. Further in-plant construction awaits deciding whether I want to do girder rail and single point turnouts.

I also got out an undecorated 1st generation Bachmann GE 44 tonner I'd bought years ago. I will lube and clean it, but of course the first photo I found of a River Works loco was a 45 tonner (B&W too). I do recall seeing a 44 tonner there in the 1960s, but can't say whether it was painted light grey or light blue.

I did find some useful photos, put up by the Museum of Innovation & Science in Schenectady, NY, resolving a bunch of questions:

1. Enough to build the quick-n-dirty pedestrian overpass built as the USN Gear Works was going up behind the photographer just before WWII

2. GE property fence and track gate.

Plus an interesting oversize load and a nicely maintained late-model SW-1 in 'over the road' paint.

Note the differences between the 'roll out' publicity photo and the 'actually handed off to the B&M' photo earlier in this post. Clearly I can get a lot lazier about special loads for my flat cars.
Michael Hohn Posted - 06/13/2020 : 8:26:19 PM
Now THAT was excellent, James. Terrific look at your layout. Itís neat seeing your work in context.

Orionvp17 Posted - 06/13/2020 : 2:17:09 PM
Nicely done, James! Cool video!

in Michigan
jbvb Posted - 06/13/2020 : 12:30:19 PM
I got around to uploading the video of an all-stops RDC local westbound cab ride: https://youtu.be/iEsj2GfeUaI

This was the main part of my first on-line modeling presentation to HUB Division members. Since then I've set up a USB web cam on a cord which does auto-focus. This should be pretty good for modeling demonstrations and points-of-view on the layout that aren't available to 1:1 eyes.
Orionvp17 Posted - 05/17/2020 : 8:55:26 PM
Sounds Good to me! I wasn't worried about wear as much as I was about dirt, which seems to have an affinity for plastic wheels....

in Michigan

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