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Lou’s Photographer's car

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  • Lou’s Photographer's car

    Many modelers at one time or another think about a camera car for photographing their model railroads. I know I have on many occasions.
    There are many versions of this type of car scratch built from box cars, Flat cars, to Locomotives. You can see just a few of the many, from what I have shown below.
    Micro-Mark and other companies sold cameras for our use at one time, and many have stopped selling them since. Then modelers starting using hand held cameras, iPhones and Key chain cameras mounted onto flat cars. I found the perfect 1-inch cube size movie camera, that can be mounted on any rolling stock you wish to use, and get a movie of your layout as the device rolls down the track. It is a very interesting, and different visual, of your railroad that you would not otherwise see.
    A back story for those interested;
    SWEETWATER COUNTY – Frontier-era cameramen once roamed the west in special railroad cars configured as traveling studios called “photo cars.” Photo cars were converted cabooses, fitted out with a small studio, a skylight for illumination, a darkroom, and living quarters for the photographer. Historians believe the first was J.B. Silvis, who began traveling the Union Pacific tracks in his photo car in 1870. His photo car made frequent stops, with people all along the line eager to have their pictures taken. Business was brisk and Silvis could make $100 per day. His success did not go unnoticed by the criminal element. In Evanston, Wyoming, in 1881, he was awakened in his car one night by a burglar armed with an iron bar. Silvis shot the intruder, who fled.
    MDC-Roundhouse came out with a kit of this photo car, an HO scale 34' Overton combination car lettered for Union Pacific Railroad in the white "J.B. Silvis Photographers Car" paint scheme. This car was made by Model Die Casting, Roundhouse as item number 3108, and it is now out of production. Model shown below.
    For my project, I decided to mount a camera into the nose of a Bachmann Spectrum undecorated #81401 model. Also, I’m using Preiser #10089 HO Leisure Photographers, Scene Master #949-6077 Camera Crew, and Faller #180443 Park Benches on the rear outside deck of the camera car. Following along with the build construction progress, and pictures, you will see what I will come up with for my use as a camera car. Until then, thanks for looking and following along with this build.
    As far as the Camera I will be using for my camera car project, there are many videos, and operating information instructions, about this SQ 11 Mini DV Camera for your knowledge off the internet if interested in more camera information.
    This is a summer time build, so it will be a lot slower than my usual builds. I’ll get to it as time, and motivation kicks in. Thanks in advance for following along, and offering your thoughts and suggestions.


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    Louis L&R Western Railroad
    Pacific Northwest Logging in the East Coast

  • #2
    Interesting build, Lou. I have a flat car that carries an iPhone and the on the track view of the club layout is very interesting. I'll be following.

    George
    Flying is the 2nd greatest thrill known to man. Landing is the first.

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    • #3
      I'll be here, Lou.
      Bruce

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      • #4
        Lou,looks like you've had another FLASH of inspiration, watching patiently (it's summer) to see what DEVELOPS.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by George_D View Post
          Interesting build, Lou. I have a flat car that carries an iPhone and the on the track view of the club layout is very interesting. I'll be following.

          George
          Thanks George. As you know then, it is a very interesting aspect of our model railroading, being able to view it as a train ride on the rails of our miniature world.


          Louis L&R Western Railroad
          Pacific Northwest Logging in the East Coast

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Dutchman View Post
            I'll be here, Lou.
            Thanks much Bruce for your interest.


            Louis L&R Western Railroad
            Pacific Northwest Logging in the East Coast

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Bill_Gill View Post
              Lou,looks like you've had another FLASH of inspiration, watching patiently (it's summer) to see what DEVELOPS.
              Nice play on words there Bill. Thanks for taking a look.


              Louis L&R Western Railroad
              Pacific Northwest Logging in the East Coast

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              • #8
                The following pictures show you the SQ 11 Mini DV camera, and the items that came with it. Also, shown is my Doodlebug shell showing the camera size against the nose of the Doodlebug. Second picture shows the camera with plenty of room and width for installation within the Doodlebug nose section. I will however have to move the shell forward a bit, to give room for the camera to clear the Doodlebug front truck as shown in the drawings below. Drawings below also show my vision for this project.

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                Louis L&R Western Railroad
                Pacific Northwest Logging in the East Coast

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                • #9
                  I shutter to think I might have missed this developing project. I can’t wait to see what develops. Don’t leave us in the dark…or over exposed.

                  I have the MDC Overton car you pictured.

                  Can’t wait to see what is a project not to be Glossed over, nor done on a flash.
                  Last edited by k9wrangler; 3 weeks ago. Reason: [**]<—>
                  Karl Scribner-Curmudgeon

                  Cedar Swamp
                  SW of Manistique, MI

                  Avatar image by Savannah Lyn Burgess 7-15-2022

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                  • desertdrover
                    desertdrover commented
                    Editing a comment
                    You've got a whole line of play on words with this one.
                    Also, you wouldn't be interested in selling that MDC kit, would you?

                • #10
                  I will have to periodically look in on this visualization!
                  In a time like ours seemings and portents signify. Ours is a generation when dogs howl and the skin crawls on the skull with its beast's foreboding.

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                  • #11
                    I'm watching the progress on this one too.

                    Jim
                    Take the red pill

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                    • #12
                      Karl, Martin and Jim thanks for posting your comments and checking in.

                      Karl, you aren't interested in selling that kit you have, are you?


                      Louis L&R Western Railroad
                      Pacific Northwest Logging in the East Coast

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                      • #13
                        Interesting the way you are going to move the shell forward to accommodate the camera.

                        George
                        Flying is the 2nd greatest thrill known to man. Landing is the first.

                        Comment


                        • #14
                          Lou, nice project, and ambitious to boot! Be careful trying to move the car body forward on the Doodlebug... the window pieces have notches in them for the little thoodangies on the chassis to fit into to hold the car body in place. There is a better term for that, but the pavers have been here since 0630 and I need more coffee....

                          The only means I've come up with to improve the spacing on the front to allow me to insert a working coupler is to cut the car body, insert a spacer, cut the roof, insert a spacer, and then try to mount the coupler to the car body from the inside. Lots of effort, but it would allow me to run a trailer behind the Doodlebug, then haul it back up the branch to the junction and the engine house. I need to pay attention to what you do here!

                          Pete
                          in Michigan

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                          • #15
                            George and Pete thanks for your comments.

                            Pete, I've already anticipated the slots needed in the window section glass to match-up with the chassis tabs. Where needed I'll cut new slots to match-up with those tabs.
                            Where my doodlebug will only run as a camera car, couplers will not be an issue for me. There will be no coupler on the front, and the rear coupler I will keep as is, using the original Bachmann mechanism set-up.


                            Louis L&R Western Railroad
                            Pacific Northwest Logging in the East Coast

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