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Author Topic Next Topic: Nye, Inyo & Esmeralda Railroad
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Posted - 03/17/2019 :  08:12:56 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The only thing I mask for painting trucks is the wheel tread. I cut strips of tape and tape off the tread only, the reason is because it I know all the paint would have to come off that surface and taping just makes less work. The rest of the truck I just carefully paint with my airbrush. I donít worry about paint on the gears because the way I spray I donít get much paint on them any ways. Brush painting acrylic paint on the trucks and the ďengineĒ (cylinder assembly) works very well as long as the brass is clean.

On shay #7 I used primer on the boiler, cab, and frame only. For the trucks and the engine I sprayed only black acrylic on the bare brass.

On shay # 8 and #2 I used no primer on any of it, only black acrylic on bare brass. Acrylic paint is tough stuff, and I proved it while working on shay #8ís boiler, I have been soldering and man-handling itís painted cab and no paint has chipped, pealed or scratched off of it, even where I soldered. So I will now NEVER prime my brass any more.

I promise I will video how I paint acrylic on brass when I paint #8ís boiler. Itís all in the prep and the spraying technique when it comes to acrylic painting

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Premium Member

Posted - 03/17/2019 :  08:50:44 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote

It's been a while since I last was viewing your thread and I have enjoyed looking at the scenery you have done with envy. I especially like the fact that you make your scenes as close to prototype as possible. All of your trees, rock formations and grasses along the tracks look so real. Excellent work. There are a host of different projects for viewing here and I do check back from time to time always to find something new. Thanks for sharing your skills with us.


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Michael Hohn

Posted - 03/17/2019 :  11:26:44 AM  Show Profile  Visit Michael Hohn's Homepage  Reply with Quote
You indeed do beautiful work. Iím taking notes of your brass work for a couple of projects I have in the pipeline.


Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced. James Baldwin

Country: USA | Posts: 7497 Go to Top of Page

Crew Chief

Premium Member

Posted - 03/17/2019 :  9:49:59 PM  Show Profile  Visit Railrunner130's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I refreshed myself on your work. Incredible. You've got some serious, hard-working locomotives there.

That's one thing I noticed in reviewing photos from John Allen's layout- his locomotives look like they worked hard. Well done!

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Posted - 03/25/2019 :  05:47:07 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
thanks everyone.

I made a little more progress on the modifications to Shay #8 and I have to say I really like how it is turning out. the new boiler matches the cab much better than the original did. I am waiting for an order from PSC for a couple detail parts before I can finish it up and get it repainted, and knowing my luck with PSC it could be a couple weeks or it could be a couple months (or more).

here is the progress I made on the right side. the air lines to the sander is not final yet, it still has to be bent around the top of the boiler. this week I hope to finish up the left side and work on the lighting while I wait for the parts to come. I ended up building a new smoke box for, the original had too many holes from the detail parts and the it was slightly turned.

I used to have warm white LED lights in this locomotive but I am taking them out and going back to incandescent bulbs. I know all the advantages of LED but I just don't think they look right for steam locomotives. Headlights on steam locomotives were not that bright and flashlight looking, and they lack that warm dim glow of a steam locomotive headlight. Also, I never liked the look of the LED headlight in videos and photos, it looked too yellow.

here is the progress, there needs to be some solder clean up with a wire brush.

here is the locomotive 8 years earlier when I built the new cab and used the original Kemtron boiler with just a few detail modifications

Edited by - Coaltrain on 03/25/2019 05:49:21 AM

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New Hire

Posted - 03/26/2019 :  08:44:32 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Jeff, excellent update on the shay. When can we expect you starting on the benchwork for the layout? Mirko

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Posted - 04/22/2019 :  08:02:13 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
its almost a month since I ordered my parts from PSC, not here yet, but I knew that would be the case. When I plan locomotive project that will require detail parts I try to get them all ordered before I even start so they stand a chance of showing up when I get to the point of needing them.

since the shay rebuild is on hold still I got a bug to work on the engine house. I added all the wood headers (not sure what to really call them) over all the doors and under all the trusses. The Sewell engine house had three beams over ever window and I assume the same under the trusses.

Next I built the trusses. I did a quick drawing of the trusses to use as a pattern to build the three trusses over, very old school like and many structures have been successfully built this way over the years by others but for some reason it does not work well for me. I did build one truss but it took a while to get the cuts just right, and the joints tight and when I built the second one there were some slight differences from sanding the cut ends to get tight fits. I decided that it was just not the way I like to work, I am a big proponent of jigs and I decided to built a set for cutting and assembling the jigs, much like I did for my hopper cars.

For my hopper cars I first built styrene assembly jigs, then I came up with an idea to have jigs 3D printed at Shapeways. the set of jigs I made were cutting jigs and assembly jigs. I was impressed with how well they worked, however the cost was high and there is about a week wait time to get them. I could justify the cost for those jigs because I built many cars from that set of jigs, and the wait was not bad either considering how much time they saved me. The trouble with Shapeway jigs is that they don't work when you want something fast (think same night) and you only need to make a few parts or assemblies and then they would be pretty much waste afterwards. However, I have a 3D FDM printer that just the ticket for this job, and since I am a master at Autodesk Inventor I just quickly designed up a set of jigs and printed them off. for this job I made three jigs, two cutting and one assembly.

for the cutting jigs I simply design them to hold the piece of strip wood and have the cutting ends raised up taller than the height of the piece of wood being cut, this allows me to use either a razor saw or in this case a straight edge razor blade to make the cut along the raised block. these cutting jigs cut both ends without moving the wood from the jig, while most of the jigs for my hopper cars had the wood slid in until it stopped and then one end was cut, both ways work well as long as you make sure the wood does not move while making the cuts in the open end jigs.

the assembly jig is used to hold the pieces of wood in the exact same location every time while the glue dries. I make cutouts at every glue joint to prevent any glue ooze from gluing the assembly into the jig. The assembly jig took the longest to print, two hours, but it was worth it because I was able to work on other things while it printed and afterwards it took only a few minutes to build each of the three truss assemblies and all three were exact matches, totally worth the effort.

next up were the windows to construct. The thought of building those windows has caused me to really drag my feet on this project, more so than any other part. The size of the windows does not match any commercial windows, and although I could have altered the window sizes to match a commercial window I decided I wanted to remain true to the prototype and excepted that I was going to have to scratch build them. I felt pretty confident I could the 9 engine house windows in O scale after I just scratch built 70 windows for my Mankato depot in HO scale. However, the ones I built in Ho scale were not as complicated and I built them out of styrene and used clear styrene for the glass. The engine house window I wanted to build out of wood with real glass.

I made a quick jig to assemble the engine house windows in to keep them square and I built one window. it took 42 pieces of wood to build the window, and about two hours to build the first one. I was not very happy with how it looked, it was very hard to keep all the pieces straight and glue them to the glass, then build the other side over it to match. And after all that I broke it trying to install it. I built a second one and it went a little better however I broke it as well.

After almost five hours of window building with nothing to show for it I decided to just 3D print the windows and use real wood for only the outside pieces (I don't know window terminology). I printed enough pieces to make the inside and outside window parts and have some extra in case I broke a few. I set the printer to print in very thin layers and print really slow because the window pieces were very fine and printing to thick and fast can make those parts look not so nice. The windows turned out great, I printed them in gray PLA so I could paint and weather them to look like wood.

I will do some final weathering to blend everything together. I am very sure the window glass would be very dirty and I will use the Mig and AK washes to make a dirt film on them. Why make them out of glass just to make them dirty, because even after weathering you can tell real glass from plastic.

back to the roof. after the trusses were in place I used the cutting jig to cut all the roof joist and I glued them to a piece of scribed Bristol board. I painted the inside of the Bristol board to look like wood and the outside I painted black because it will be under tar paper. after I get the roof finished I will weather the inside to look sooty.

The construction of the Sewell engine house roof is a little different, the three trusses are sent into notches in the side walls and rest on wood beams that are also set into the stone walls. on top of the trusses are four large beams the run the length of the engine house. the beams are set into slots in the stone end walls and rest in notches in the roof trusses. on top of the four beams are all the roof joist, each one of them have notches for the four beams. I wanted to have the roof removable to show the planned interior details, however because of the angle of all those notches the roof would be locked in place. to keep things simple I eliminated all the notches and just made the four beams sit on the trusses and the joist (which are glued to the roof) sit on the beams. I think most people won't really pick up on the fact that it should have been notched.

That last shot shows how the roof is looking so far. I am pretty sure the real engine house had a dirt floor but I wanted a wood one in mine. I also want to add lights (which I don't thing the prototype had). I am not sure yet how the lights would have been mounted if it did have lights in it, I am still looking for a photo that would give me an idea how it could have looked.

My next decision is what to do about the big end doors. the photos of the prototype show it to have square doors on the outside of the openings, not even an arch top to match the opening, but I think the photos of the real engine house that show the mismatched doors were taken after the railroad stopped using it and it was being used for coal truck maintenance.

Edited by - Coaltrain on 04/22/2019 08:44:36 AM

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Premium Member

Posted - 04/22/2019 :  09:02:50 AM  Show Profile  Visit jbvb's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Very nice work.


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Premium Member

Posted - 04/22/2019 :  09:27:17 AM  Show Profile  Visit slimrails's Homepage  Reply with Quote
That's one fine engine house, Jeff. The stone work looks great!

Edited by - slimrails on 04/22/2019 11:39:58 AM

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Posted - 04/22/2019 :  10:41:48 AM  Show Profile  Visit quarryman's Homepage  Reply with Quote

Engine house is looking good. The time you put in on the stonework really sets it apart.

I looked through my old building interior shots and found this photo of the dust mill at Schuyler. It shows that they just nailed junction boxes to the bottom of a joist or added a ceiling cross member at the desired height and attached conduit and junction boxes it it.

Hope this helps,

Mark Chase


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Michael Hohn

Posted - 04/22/2019 :  12:55:46 PM  Show Profile  Visit Michael Hohn's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Beautiful craftsmanship.

Country: USA | Posts: 7497 Go to Top of Page


Posted - 04/23/2019 :  05:45:54 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
thanks for the photo Mark, that's a good idea.

Also, I got the PSC order last night so I can start back up on the shay and get it off the bench before I lose parts. Four weeks was not a bad wait.

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Posted - 04/23/2019 :  2:05:32 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The engine house is looking sharp. Great use of jigs and the new technology to make them and the windows.

Bob Harris

It's only make-believe

Country: USA | Posts: 5826 Go to Top of Page

Engine Wiper

Posted - 04/26/2019 :  03:27:18 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
You should look into getting an Anycubic Photon and ditch Shapeways forever!. I literally ordered mine while waiting for a Shapeways order and had my first print before the SW showed up. Lately their turn around time is about a month unless you slip them a few bucks to hurry up. Seriously! In many cases the Photon detail is much better than FXD due to not needed support wax. You end up with supports on the underside of parts, but it is easy to work around. The best part is the Photon is only about $400, or a winters worth of Shapeways orders.

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Posted - 04/29/2019 :  11:47:11 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Chris333

You should look into getting an Anycubic Photon and ditch Shapeways forever!.

that's exactly what the plan is. I have not ordered anything from Shapeways in a while. I have a cheap FDM printer (Creality CR-10) that I got for doing stuff that does not require detail or doing tooling, but I plan to get the Anycubic unit soon.

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