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Author Previous Topic: The Holidays Topic Next Topic: The Whiskey Gap & Southern Railroad
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thayer
Engine Wiper

Posted - 12/26/2017 :  3:55:03 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Dan,

Merry Christmas to you as well.

Thanks so much for the read. I know that I account for at least a couple of the previous "reads", when checking in and realizing it deserved more than a glance and that I wanted to save it for later. I first saw it a few nights ago, on maybe the 22nd, and have just gotten back to it now. It reminds me very much of many Christmases past, and hopefully many more yet to come. Like yourself, and many others, I was also introduced to model railroading on Christmas morning, though for me it was an HO set, which soon moved to the typical 4x8 on one side of my bedroom.

While my younger sibs were growing up, we always had LGB around the tree, and I have introduced that tradition to my own son over the last several years.

This year I made just a modest addition to our Christmas train. It is a small crate to hide the batteries on our custom tree car. You can see it in this thread, in the second post with photos. http://www.railroad-line.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=49926

I believe it is in keeping with your theme, despite the obvious inspiration from A Christmas Story.

Thayer



Country: | Posts: 251 Go to Top of Page

robchant
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 12/27/2017 :  11:36:56 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi Dan,

Since you seemed to be looking for an answer as to why you're not getting more replies on your thread, I will offer my thoughts. (Just so you know, I have read every post on this thread since you started it, and I replied where I thought that I had something to contribute.)

First, I have no doubt that adding photos to your thread will increase the viewership, but whether that will increase the replies, is another thing. From reading most threads on this forum I see that the writer and viewer are engaged in a conversation. Most times I see that this dialog is started by the viewer wanting further explanation or clarification of what the writer is expressing or has stated in the post.

With that in mind, have you ever considered that since you go into so much detail in each of your posts that you have eliminated this potential for starting a conversation with most of your viewers? Maybe you're explaining things so well, and so completely, that there is nothing left to ask in most cases?

You are also quite right about some people having limited attention spans. I designed web pages professionally back in the mid-90s and one thing that I discovered was that you have about 3 seconds to make an impression with a viewer before they will lose interest in the written word.

It is my experience that a viewer can easily be turned off by having to read a long and very detailed single post containing several topics of interest. Your posts actually seem to contain enough information for several posts, so maybe you should try breaking the post down into smaller, more digestible parts to see if that helps.

Web designers of today also know that people are more visual oriented, and it is photos (and bright colours) that grab a viewer's attention. I think if you start posting photos, along with a short worded description (that invites further questions), you will find an increase in responses and inquires.

Save all the small details for the questions your viewers ask for further clarification. I think your posts will seem less like a well detailed "how-to" manual, and more like a start of a conversation.

Good luck,
Rob.



Country: Canada | Posts: 1142 Go to Top of Page

Dan
Section Hand

Posted - 12/28/2017 :  11:50:58 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thank you Thayer.

It's good to know that Christmas Gardens are still around.

Here are a few pictures of the present one. When the Garden was recently downsized there was no longer room for a circle of tinplate track, so a tinplate point-to-point suburban streetcar line was substituted.

Dan














Country: | Posts: 87 Go to Top of Page

Dan
Section Hand

Posted - 12/28/2017 :  4:50:07 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hello again Rob,

Your informative reply is most welcome.

Yes....I am guilty as charged. I put too much information in my posts and this precludes the asking of questions, hence the minimal amount of replies. After a new post, I seem to average about 70 Reads per 24 hour period, which is greatly appreciated.

Therefore, all I am asking of my loyal readers is a brief "Attaboy" from time to time to let me know I am going in the right direction or a "Hey Butthead" if I am not, which is why I suggested some form of "Like" or "Dislike" button for the Forum.

However, if I used fewer words and more pictures and there was still a minimum amount of communications, it would seem to indicate that what I am saying and doing is not interesting enough to garner replies, which is a possibility.

As New Years is traditionally a time for introspection, I will give some serious thought to the matter.

All the best,

Dan



Country: | Posts: 87 Go to Top of Page

robchant
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 12/29/2017 :  08:47:40 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi Dan,

I don't subscribe to very many threads, but I did subscribe to your thread. I really don't mind the long posts, and I enjoy reading them and find them interesting since you certainly have a way with words. (My only nit up to now was that you weren't posting photos, but I was hoping that would eventually change.)

Sometimes you have to decide who you are doing this for. I have a thread, and sometimes it feels like I am talking to myself. Out of the 246 posts, I have made over 150 of them. Although I can go many posts without receiving feedback I don't plan to change anything. I have received 43,677 page views, so someone is looking and that's enough to keep me going.

You should also remember that there are quite a few members on here that just lurk and never comment. There are also guests on here that can view the thread but can't post a response. And at any one time, it seems that there are at least 10 times the amount of guests as registered members.

Take care,
Rob.



Edited by - robchant on 12/29/2017 8:05:57 PM

Country: Canada | Posts: 1142 Go to Top of Page

quartergauger48
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 12/29/2017 :  8:27:08 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Dan, your thread is being read'..So stop worrying and keep on trucking'..
PS: Very nice tin plate Christmas layout'...HAPPY NEW YEAR'..

Rob, how do you determine this calculation? "I have received 43,677 page views"



Country: USA | Posts: 5669 Go to Top of Page

robchant
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 12/29/2017 :  8:34:50 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi Ted,

The 43,677 page views is just the number of times one of the pages on my thread was read. Sorry, I guess I used the wrong wording.

Take care,
Rob.



Country: Canada | Posts: 1142 Go to Top of Page

quartergauger48
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 12/29/2017 :  9:00:21 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
No Rob, wording. Was just curious about how the math came about. I never kept track of how many reads any of my threads received. Was just curious'..That sure is a good response though.

Thanks, Ted



Country: USA | Posts: 5669 Go to Top of Page

robchant
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 12/29/2017 :  9:25:12 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi Ted,

You really don't need to keep track of anything, the forum's software does all that. Here are your threads on the "Mike Chambers' Craftsman's Corner" forum with the number of page views (reads) for each:

Cameron Canyon, County Utilities - 1402
Monster Bash - 2221
Welcome to Onion Town - 1048
Welcome to Onion Town' Take Two - 4371
1898 Building finially finished - 2508
Metal paint - 1203
Symphony Street, in the Fall - 1454
Thomas A Yorke, "Back Roads Buildin's" The Grocery - 4701
"Ilsa,We'll always have Paris" - 1162
Some simple techniques on weathering - 991
Difference between Hydrocal and Plaster - 2345
80' Diner All Nation Metal Coach Customized/Kit B - 4527

Take care,
Rob.




Country: Canada | Posts: 1142 Go to Top of Page

quartergauger48
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 12/29/2017 :  10:37:16 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Rob, I sent you a PM...


Country: USA | Posts: 5669 Go to Top of Page

Dan
Section Hand

Posted - 12/30/2017 :  6:17:53 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks Guys,

Keep on truckin' it is! (But with more photos.)

I always scored very high in reading comprehension. While my little schoolmates would occupy themselves in the children's section of the library, devouring the works of Doctor Seuss, I was in the research section leafing through the umpteen volumes that then comprised the Encyclopedia Britannica.

Over the last five decades, I have done quite a bit of technical writing; mostly procedures for operations, maintenance and calibration. In connection with the writing, I also conducted on-the-job and classroom training, so feedback from my students and my coworkers was nearly instantaneous.

It is said that inside every technical writer, a novelist is trying to get out. To that end, I also do writing as a hobby. As a history buff, it is mostly on the more obscure points of the development of technology, starting with Cro-Magnon Man. As it is intended for publication by museums as well as societies of a historical nature, much of it is required to be scholarly ("stodgy" might be a better word) and the original research must be peer reviewed. While to some, the review may seem to be a pain in the posterior, I ain't not got no official education beyond a high school diploma, so I consider it necessary to validate my work.

As these publications become a part of the collections of research libraries, they fulfill the saying about people in the future who will gaze upon my work and marvel at my skills, but will not recognize my name. With that in mind, as the research typically requires months and even years to complete, it is a hobby after all; I often develop a literary form of post partum depression at the time of publication.

This now brings us to the subject of writing for an online forum, which is something really quite different. Lacking both timely feedback and the process of peer review, it is all the more intimidating, as I am now writing about myself and my late-in-life attempt at building a model railroad. Adding to my trepidation, my layout is pretty far from the status quo, so until the recent replies, I did not know, for sure, how my postings were being received, and now I do.

Thanks again, guys, for your response.



Country: | Posts: 87 Go to Top of Page

Dan
Section Hand

Posted - 01/30/2018 :  3:36:59 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
A Short Treatise On On30 Vehicles

While there are craftsman type kits that are suitable for modeling vehicles used during the Edwardian ear in America, they tend to be rather expensive and require hours of tedious work to put them together. As I am now in my dotage, I don't do tedious very well. Furthermore, with living on a fixed income, buying expensive kits, which I may never build, is hard to justify. Serendipitously, there are some suitable vehicles which fall into the genre of inexpensive R-T-R, that match both the timeline and the theme of the present layout.

As the layout structures, save just one, are injection molded plastic kits, they tend to have a familial "look" that is quite different from that of detailed craftsman kits made of wood and metal. However, if one uses select offerings from the venerable Matchbox series Models of Yesteryear this "look" cab be continued with die cast metal cars and trucks.

Originally introduced in 1956, the line went through a major change in 1973 where the overall level of detail was substantially increased with the addition of molded plastic parts. Unfortunately, the vehicles continued to be made in differing scale ratios, from a large 1:34 to a tiny 1:130, in order for them to fit inside the trademark "Matchbox" box.

For example, the scale of the 1932 Ford AA, one and a half ton truck, is 1:46, but the contemporary and much larger 1930 Mach AC is modeled in 1:60, making it too small for layout use. Conversely, the much smaller 1930 Ford Model A pick-up truck is actually too large for the layout at 1:40. Generally, the relatively few American prototypes modeled between 1:46 and 1:50 are the most suitable for On30 vehicles.

Most of the Yesteryear models consist of a combination hood and body casting attached to a frame and fender casting. Cast onto the hood and body are locating pins that fit through holes molded in the fender/frame casting. The projecting ends of the locating pins are then riveted over, holding everything rigidly together. By carefully drilling out the riveted ends, the castings will easily come apart, as does the plastic details, facilitating modifications and repainting.

Back in the early days of On30, everything needed to be bashed together. To experiment with, I bought a Yesteryear 1911 Maxwell Roadster (Y-14) in 1:49. Using my trusty razor saw, I removed the bustle truck with spare tire and the mounting platform for the gas tank from the body casting. I remounted the gas tank directly to the car frame and built a between the fenders, pick-up truck body from some scrap modeling wood.

However, as that was about the time I started working with real trains, my model building interests were on the wane and the unfinished modified Maxwell was subsequently stored. This recently resurrected, forty-four year old pioneering project can be seen in the accompanying photos, with Waving Guy included, all six and a half feet of him, as a size reference. Over the decades, the plastic radiator insert has turned to dust and the wood in the pick-up body has warped a bit. Nevertheless, when finally completed, the model will be a suitable addition, as well as a sentimental one, to the current layout.

Sometime in the mid-1980's, the line of Yesteryear models started to be marketed as collectibles, with different paint schemes and small details. Nevertheless, the more common variations are presently available on eBay for prices that are reasonable. The following vehicles were ten bucks each, with free shipping, as "But It Now" offerings and each came complete with an officially signed and sealed, but generally worthless to the average modeler, "Certificate of Authenticity."

For the layout, I acquired the aforementioned 1932 Ford AA truck (Y-62) in 1:46 and the 1:47, Crossley Brothers truck, circa 1918 (Y-13). The prototype for the latter is a British vehicle that was built along the lines of period American trucks. However, the name should not be confused with the later, U. S. made Crosley automobile. These are new-in-the-box, R-T-R vehicles that are factory painted a bright red color. As a seasonal, part-time tinplate modeler, bright colors and shiny paint are acceptable on the layout, but they will be toned down a bit as a future project.

For an additional ten bucks, with free shipping, I acquired yet another 1911 Maxwell Roadster. However, this time it is the deluxe, fortieth anniversary, commemorative edition also in a bright red color. It will stay unmodified, not as a prized collectible, but on the layout, as industrialist Owen Thurdy's pristine personal vehicle.

I have an interest in early electric transportation and, although a skosh undersized at 1:51, there is a Yesteryear model of a boxy, one ton capacity, Walker Electric delivery truck from 1919 (Y-29). The simple and rugged prototypes were built in Chicago and they were known far and wide for not generating excessive noise or producing offensive odors in crowded urban areas. The renown and penchant for longevity of the real vehicles earned a place on the layout for the replica.

Since there are no red versions of the Walker Electric model, the one I brought on eBay, also for ten dollars, with free shipping, will need to be repainted to match the rest, as does the homemade Maxwell pick-up. Perhaps all four will be done at the same time, in a yet unspecified color, once the weather gets warm enough to spray paint out-of=doors.

This clutch of Yesteryear vehicles provides the layout with a modest fleet, company owned and operated, which spans the years from its beginnings through the start of WWII. Initially, the Maxwell pick-up truck, along with horse drawn wagons, followed by the Crossely truck and then the Ford AA, would transport completed orders to area customers and bring back to the factory, company coal and other freight consigned to the in town, standard gauge team track. As handling freight FOB saved the company money, the ageless Walker Electric shuttled back and forth, year after year, between the factory loading dock and the standard gauge passenger station, delivering and retrieving express freight shipments, for and from faraway places.










Country: | Posts: 87 Go to Top of Page

ed k
Fireman

Posted - 01/30/2018 :  6:15:11 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Dan, I must admit I read every word, out of respect. I figure if you are going to take the time to write such detailed entries, I should take the time to read them. I will respond.
By the way, you do write well. I don't.
Reading two books a week, one would think I would write better.
Life's puzzles. Like The Taos Hum, Tamam Shud and the Georiga Guildestones.
Dan, do rock on.
ed



Country: USA | Posts: 1091 Go to Top of Page

Dan
Section Hand

Posted - 01/31/2018 :  11:01:24 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks ed k,

And thanks to the anonymous readers who keep the counters turning with each new post.

Truth be told, there isn't a day that goes by, when working on the layout, that I wish I could trade some of my writing skills for some model building skills, but you go with what you got.

As can be seen by the photos, my modeling skills were not that good to start with and they have not improved, so I prefer simple kits and R-T-R. I am hoping that what the doctors tell me about my health also applies to the layout; I am doing as well as can be expected for a person of my age.

I am very aware of the social disconnect between the generations due to advances in technology. This is especially true with the Baby Boomers, of which I am a charter member. For example, I recently did some rail fanning at a local commuter stop. Of the twenty-seven people in the station, I was the only one who was not staring down at their hands. As some of the denizens were smirking, I will venture a guess that they were texting about the strange old man, who seemed to be staring off into space.

As far as model railroading goes, I do not want to become an on-line version of Jake Flack. Way back when dinosaurs roamed the earth, I was a lowly, junior member of a large model railroad club. Jake was a much older member who, in his younger days (circa 1950), built a rather nice model. It was the modern version of the Lackawanna's famous Phoebe Snow, a diesel powered streamliner. Unfortunately, neither Jake nor his model had aged well and, whenever the club held an open house for the public, both he and his train were an embarrassment. As a result, us young whippersnappers derisively referred to him as Jack Flake and his train was renamed the Flackawanna Flimited.

All the best to everyone.

Dan



Country: | Posts: 87 Go to Top of Page

ed k
Fireman

Posted - 01/31/2018 :  5:55:31 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Dan, Keep writing. I am 75 and I dig your writing. Model for your own joy. You will do the best you can like everyone else and we will enjoy it. The level you model at has no importance to anyone who respects you.
I saw Phoebe Snow (Laub) perform in 1976.
She retired very early to take care of her daughter Valerie Rose who was born with severe brain damage.
Dan, I look forward to more from your pen.
ed



Country: USA | Posts: 1091 Go to Top of Page
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