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T O P I C    R E V I E W
OK Hogger Posted - 06/02/2016 : 8:48:01 PM
I'm BAAAaaack!

As threatened, here's an update concerning my first fledgling efforts at creating the Colorado & Pacific's first "kit-bashed" steam engine. At this point, I'm just experimenting with the basic components that I hope to make work for my first late-1870s/mid-1880s Mogul.

Here's a pic of the first combination (on the right):

Obviously, I'm starting with the venerable Pocher "Reno". It's sitting on a modified MDC/Roundhouse Old Timer 2-6-0 frame. The stack/cylinder center lines match up, so that works. (At this point, the stack is a Tyco "General" stack which may, or may not, be used.) The boiler will need just a bit of "massaging" (filing the inside edges) to allow it to snuggle down over the frame to sit lower. The "Reno" cab fits fine, should I decide to retain it. At this stage, there were a few more questions I must address:

* Can I use the Pocher cylinder/guides assembly (with new scratchbuilt main rods/side rods)?

* Can I get a Sagami 16x30 to fit inside the rear portion of the boiler? (Or do I need to go smaller?)

* Should I retain the MDC/Roundhouse 72:1 step gear ratio (using an NWSL gear set), or go with the NWSL 45:1 MDC gear replacement set? Experimentations/decisions/ ahead. I hope to answer those questions "soon".

Next, for gits n' shiggles, I experimented with what a 60" driver version would look like by using Mantua 60" drivers (that's what they measure using my dial calipers) installed into an MDC 63" driver Mogul frame. Here's the result:

Don't like it. This is supposed to be a "freight hog" and this looks like a passenger engine.

So, I then decided to piddle n' diddle some more with the 52" driver version, so I detached some more parts from the Pocher assemblies. (Wow, Pocher was way ahead of their time in devising complicated assembly procedures! Would make the "Ah so. We Chinee!" mfg folk proud!)

I massaged the boiler so it would snuggle down more on the frame and added a leading truck using a modified MDC lead truck assembly with a NWSL 26" flush end wheelset. I also modified the Pocher cylinder/pilot assembly and it fits fine. However, I think I would prefer the longer pilot version that came with the Pocher "Genoa" instead of the short version on the "Reno".

Anyway, here's what this combination looks like:

Ah... NOW we're getting somewhere! I like the overall lines and "stance".

What I don't like is the "bulk" that the MDC cover plate creates because it extends up PAST the front driver. To me this makes the frame look too "thick" between the front driver and cylinders. (Compare that area on the Jupiter in the pic above.)

So, I think I will be cutting off the MDC cover plate back toward the center axle. This ought to result in a "deep firebox" look which is definitely desired, but create more "space" under the frame for the front driver. (I will use a thin piece of brass screwed to the frame w/small a pair of bolts/screws to hold the front driver set in place.)

I then got the happy idea to try an MDC "Old Timer" cab on it to see how that looked. Here's a pic of that experiment:

Nope. Ain't happening. Looks like it's been "modernized" in the mid-late 1880s and I don't want to go there. I want it to look more "original". So, that attempt was a dud.

Now, from here I learned that a 16x30 Sagami round can will NOT fit the Pocher/MDC combination. It will fit the MDC frame (have done so in the past) but will NOT fit the Pocher boiler, even after using the dremel to remove the ridge inside the Pocher boiler that's up at the top. (Hits the boiler taper before the can motor is far enough forward for the MDC frame.)

So, this means I need to find an alternative motor. Thus far, it looks like the NWSL 12mm x 25mm is the most likely option at this point. That combination will require an adapter bushing for the shaft to retain use of the NWSL MDC regear sets available.

Which brings up this question:

Have any of you any experience re-gearing an MDC Old Timer from the stock 72:1 step gear to a NWSL 45:1 step gear? If so, what were the performance changes?

Okay... I think that's it on the updates for now.

Any input most welcomed!

15   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
OK Hogger Posted - 07/16/2019 : 10:25:27 PM
Thanks Bob for your kind words.

Mike: I'm a' tryin'!

Dave: Actually, most times I enjoy it. Tonight was not one of those times.

It's literally going to come down to the last gap to close to see if I have enough track to finish the stage. I will find that out sometime during the morning as I finish using up the track on hand. I was so hoping to not have to purchase another bundle, however I don't want to be totally out of track, for I know there will come ideas as to track improvements/betterments as time goes along.

Ah well, 'tis what it 'tis.

So, within the next week or so, I'll probably get a bundle headed my way to stock pile.

deemery Posted - 07/16/2019 : 7:48:05 PM
Originally posted by Michael Hohn

Thanks for the updates. Happy tracklaying.


I'm not sure "happy" and "tracklaying" belong in the same sentence

Michael Hohn Posted - 07/16/2019 : 7:01:09 PM
Thanks for the updates. Happy tracklaying.

railman28 Posted - 07/16/2019 : 5:49:26 PM
Humble beginnings leading to greatness
OK Hogger Posted - 07/16/2019 : 4:31:07 PM
So the makeshift towns are created, cut n' pasted, and placed. It does make it look more "inhabited", even if many of the structures depicted are crude and/or not truly representative of my mental visions. Ah, but it's better than the layout being completely bare!

Here's the towns of Ozarka (below) and Mountain Top (above)...

The two industries along the wall in Mountain Top are (L to R) "Ozark Cooperage Company" and "North Arkansas Planing Mill".

Here's Jack Fork...

And lastly, here's the small town of Piney...

All fer now. Track has arrived!

OK Hogger Posted - 07/16/2019 : 01:08:27 AM



Dawned on me that I wouldn't be operating, just doing some "show and tell" and running a train for the troops come Thursday.


I shifted gears.

Finished the two gons since I was far enough along... but then switched over to decorating the layout.

What I'm doing is slapping together some temporary PhotoFlats and creating some towns so they can sort of get an idea of what it might look like (but in all probability won't). Still, it's better than a totally bare layout.

At this point I have some false front PhotoFlats at Piney, and row of them at Mountain Top, and just printed out enough to do a lengthy street scene at Ozarka. Also started throwing together (in my photo software) a couple of industrial flats for the backdrop spur at Mountain Top. I still need to print out a few false front flats for Jack Fork, too.

I should finish up this PhotoFlats thing tomorrow before lunch.

Hopefully, the track will arrive tomorrow afternoon and it will be banzai time to get the stage tracks in place.

All fer tonight!

railman28 Posted - 07/16/2019 : 12:31:18 AM
Yes, Diosol was nasty. Almost as hard on brain cells than drinking Gin.

OK Hogger Posted - 07/15/2019 : 9:39:20 PM
Hi jbvb:

I figured such an approach (removable styro scenes) would work. In my case, it will figuring out how to apply the idea to my sets of circumstances.


If I go the hot wire route, I promise I'll be careful. I dun't wont more dain bramage than I already have from Floquil Diosol.

railman28 Posted - 07/15/2019 : 6:57:01 PM
Andre, if you use a hot cutter be sure an d vent the work area. The fumes are poison.

jbvb Posted - 07/15/2019 : 2:49:19 PM
I made 3 removable sections for scenes against the backdrop which would otherwise be tiresome to work on. These are only a few feet long and either 1 or 2 layers, so they didn't need a lot of hot wire cutting. I used some Nichrome wire from a surplus place and an old Lionel transformer. A Variac would also work.
OK Hogger Posted - 07/15/2019 : 2:38:31 PM
Hi Bob!

Land forms. Interesting question that I've been pondering for quite some time.

Short version:

Extruded styrofoam via the "cake layer" method.

The verbose version:

There will only be sky blue (and possibly photo mountain backdrops) in the stages, so no worries there. At Ozarka and Mountain Top, the main effects will have to be carried by the backdrops also. There will be corners at Ozarka and Mountain Top that I will be able to work in some land forms, and IMHO they will be needed to convey the idea that there is some topography the railroad had to deal with at those locations.

Along most portions of the main, I intend to use extruded styrofoam via "cake layer" method. Most of that will be quite straight forward. I want to use the extruded styrofoam so I can have more control in the shaping of it, as well as the resultant lightweight.

It is my hope to create some removable land forms for the inside of the horseshoe loop and the Buck Hollow scene. I'm also simmering an idea for land form view blocks up on the upper level return loop doughnut area so I can avoid a back drop between the upper level doughnut and the town scene, as will need to be the case down below at Ozarka.

All of this is still some time away, so I'll have more time to ponder and do some more mock ups to see if I can make it work. I have begun dabbling with cardboard fascia to determine land form angles and such where it will meet the fascia. So far, so good. In all, I'm looking forward to the land form stage, except I'm kind of dreading the styro-dust that using a Surform creates. I am thinking about purchasing a hot wire system for the basic cutting and such.

Enough of my drivel... I'm heading back out to the building to go back to work on some cars.

railman28 Posted - 07/15/2019 : 12:29:59 PM
And now, all is good. How are you going to do your basic land forms?

OK Hogger Posted - 07/15/2019 : 11:30:49 AM
Okay... sort of at a stand still until the track for the north/upper stage arrives. According to the UPS tracking #, that may be today.

I'm pretty much caught up with the layout as it sits:

* All track cleaned.

* All engine wheels cleaned.

* Usable cars placed here n' there on the layout and stages.

We're not talking actual operation, here, but instead more of a demonstration.

For today, I think I'm going to go through my boxed train set cars and pull the ones that could be converted for use in minimal time and work to get more cars "roll ready". (Kadee couplers/wheels/etc.) Should the track arrive, car work will be suspended and I'll go to work on getting the north stage track in place.

Here's some pics of the layout as it waits for Thursday...

The stages w/trains ready...

The main towns...

(Note in the above pic there's a helper at Ozarka ready for the northbound.)

Out toward Hogback Mountain...

SO... there you have it. Now it's back out to the workbench to see what I can do for some quickie rolling stock.

All fer now!

Michael Hohn Posted - 07/11/2019 : 4:38:57 PM

Flows much better. You no longer have two S-curves in a row, which can present derailment opportunities.

OK Hogger Posted - 07/11/2019 : 4:21:56 PM
Hi 'ya Bob!

Good to see that you concur. Helps me to know I was on the right track.

Oddly (given my past propensity to micro-plan), I haven't put too much forethought into what industries will go where.

For the 1880s, a larger "peckerwood" sawmill could go quite well there. As you say, logs in on the right, finished lumber out on the left pair of spurs (boxcars, mainly). Then, for the 1960s, a small tie cutting operation on the right spur, and the left pair of spurs can be yard/utility tracks for southbound shorts and/or classification/storage.

For some reason I just sort of assume I'll figure all of this out when the time comes, which is quite different for me.


Still trimming/cutting/stuffin' ties under the gaps. Tedious and slow going.


Ended up with 132.25' of main line. I used a clothier's 60" tape measure to lay along the main and mark the layout in 5' segments. Should I decide to use 12:1 fast time for operations, then those will become "smile" posts. A "smile" is the ratio of a mile to the fast time being used. In this case, 12:1 yields a 5' compressed "smile". Thus, if the model is running a scale 10 MPH, it will take 6 fast minutes to make a "smile", as it would be on the prototype in 1:1. That so, for timekeeping/scheduling purposes, then my layout measure to be 26.5 "smiles" long. Running 10 MPH from end to end should require a little over 2.5 fast hours.

Mileposts would be nice, for that's the way things are reckoned on the prototype. (Slow orders, MOW locations, situations, etc.) To take it a step further, I can subdivide the "smile" into four equal parts, thus I now can have "pole" numbers (telegraph poles were numbered within a mile, typically 40 poles per mile). Thus, each "smile" will have the Milepost, and also have 10/20/30 pole markers. (Typically that was hash marks on the specified telegraph pole.) SO, telegraph poles can be placed every 15"* and there you go. Now you're railroadin'!

Thus, should a slow order read: "10 MPH MP 85 + 20 poles account of burnt rail"... the "Crew" (visiting operator) will need to keep up with their location and be at the prescribed speed until their train is over the restriction. The basic concept can be incorporated relatively quickly on a non scenic-ed layout with simple pencil marks. However, this is WAAAY off in the future in regards to the scenic support such would entail: MP markers, appropriately placed telegraph poles w/hash marks. Still, it could be fun for those that operate with me that didn't railroad to experience what's like to reckon the line by mile posts and land features, as it is on the prototype.

However, before ANY of the above can be implemented, I'll need to decide what miles are being modeled via my layout. That will take some imagineering with the aid of Google Maps to approximate how far into the Ozarks my layout is supposed to be located. Sounds like it ought to be fun to figure that out. All in good time.

All fer now.


* EDIT: Corrected my math. 60" (5') divided into four parts is 15", not the 12.5" I had typed.

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