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An Old Man Contemplates an Old Man's Layout

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  • While the Forum was down, I started watching the on-line railfan camera sites and there are quite a few of them. One of them monitors Leaman Place Junction, aka Paradise, and it is!

    Once or twice a day, in the finest short line tradition, a little diesel trundles the four and a half miles from the yard down to the junction with a few cars in tow and exchanges them with whatever shows up on the interchange track. I find viewing this very therapeutic as well as an inspiration for working on the layout.

    In addition, in between the freight runs, there are scheduled, steam powered passenger trains, as this is the renowned Strasburg Railroad. Even the freight end of the operations is done right.

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    • I haven't watched much, except when showing my new family what traffic on the BNSF transcon was like in Flagstaff. But I just saw an announcement of a new one, hosted by the Amherst Railroad Society, watching the Springfield, MA station area.
      James

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      • The Autumnal Equinox is upon us again and for me it can’t happen soon enough.

        Here in the Mid-Atlantic, it has been much hotter than usual. The room that the layout is in is not air conditioned and it becomes a coke oven whenever the temperature goes above ninety, which was most every day. Outside of installing the new Power Cab, nothing has been done on the layout itself.

        For the next week and, hopefully, well into the fall, the weather will be cooler, so it is time to clear away the cobwebs, both mentally and from the layout, and get motivated again.

        Aiding in the motivation, after a year and a half of being cancelled by the pandemic, the big model train show is returning to the state fairgrounds the first weekend in October, so I need to take inventory of what is needed and/or would be usable. Hopefully, there will be some “distressed” rolling stock at a cheap price to fuel some more bashes.

        All the best to everyone.

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        • Dan, I'll be on the look out for updates after you get back to work on the layout.
          have fun at the show.
          Follow along as my dog and I travel the country in our van.
          FaceBook link: https://www.facebook.com/A-Dog-A-Van-and-A-View-108345371976229

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          • Dan, Cool weather is here in Kentucky for sure today. It has has been tough on everyone. Some of the HO stuff is perfect for On30. Happy hunting!

            Philip
            Philip

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            • Working with people.

              While Woodland Scenics figures for Waving Guy and his older brother have worked well posing for various photos, on the layout I like to pose model people in jobs that are different from what the manufacturer intended, without modifying them. For example, their brakeman figure has become a tram car pusher at the factory and two of their track crew figures are now working in the car repair shed.

              One figure that has been a problem was Waving Guy’s overgrown engineer cousin, all seven feet of him. Although he is molded in a seated position, he is too big to fit in any of the loco cabs, so he has become Loafing Guy by mounting him on a wooden crate, waving with his left arm, with his right elbow resting on the top of a water barrel. A people vignette, if you will, he can now be effectively placed just about anywhere on the layout.

              A more subtle variation of the posing theme involves Standing Guy, who is supposed to be relaxing while leaning up against a wall. Although he is still standing, when leaning against the door of the factory outhouse, he is anything but relaxed. As his presence indicates that the outhouse is occupied, the position of his arms and hands and his crossed legs, along with his facial expression, all take on a manner of some urgency.

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              • Sizes of HO and O scale figures are all over the place.
                I've seen examples by other modelers where they've had to cut an engineer in half to make him fit.

                Follow along as my dog and I travel the country in our van.
                FaceBook link: https://www.facebook.com/A-Dog-A-Van-and-A-View-108345371976229

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                • Indeed they are. This is from Aspen models. Cut from the hip down. The fireman is the same.

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                  Philip

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                  • Thank you, Gentlemen,

                    I agree that most of the smaller On30 loco cabs, especially those equipped with sound, leave little room for the lower halves of figures, which makes one wonder why manufacturers don't make upper half figures - one for the engineer and one for the fireman - perhaps with a mounting tab for easy attaching to the cab sides at window sill height.

                    I guess what I am doing is situational bashing, the repurposing of the ready made figures, without requiring their modification.


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                    • Very few do make torso up figures. The speaker is directly in the way on the Porter. The Bachman climax and shay are figure friendly.

                      Philip

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                      • The model train show was very good. It followed the old and highly successful format, but to comply with Covid mandates, the aisles were a little wider and there was less seating in the food court area. The wider aisles swallowed up the usual crowd, so there were a lot less traffic jams in the sales area.

                        With the wider aisles and more and bigger sectional layouts, the show expanded to three and a half acres, all under one roof.

                        It took a full three hours to wander through the sales part, with lots of goodies to see. Alas, there were no suitable junkers for potential bashing.

                        After a lot of looking, I bought some Code 83 track to use as spares and some scenery material for the layout.

                        All the best to everyone.

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                        • An On30 Towboat Bash

                          While looking through the new activity on the Forum, the “50ft O scale sternwheeler” posting caught my attention.

                          When I retired from work, I looked about for a new hobby and radio control model boats seemed interesting. As a kid, I tried model airplanes, but I built bricks with wings, so they all crashed and I didn’t need to relive that childhood trauma. However, the problem is, you need to have access to a big area of calm water to make the hobby practical, which I did not have, so after bashing a few small models from common plastic kits I returned to model trains. You can’t improve on perfection!

                          One of the bashes was a paddle wheel towboat made from a 1/64 Lindberg Southern Belle kit (HL201). It is an unpowered reissue of the 1960 powered model. I left off the upper cabin structure and transplanted the pilot house to the intermediate deck. I also turned the boiler around so the stack is now mounted behind the pilot house and rearranged, or left off, some of the details. As it was intended to be used behind an RC powered barge, the stationary sternwheel was modified so that it would freewheel when in the water.

                          The bash changed the look of the model considerably and if the pilot house is raised by three or four scale feet, which I did not do – yet – it becomes suitable for an On30 towboat that is also about fifty feet long. If desired, the intermediate deck can also be raised by about two feet, but being a small boat, this is not necessary, as the crewmen are used to ducking. As this is not a waterline model, but a floating one, the already shallow, one piece molded plastic hull can be easily cut down.

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                          For anyone in need of a smallish, steam powered, sternwheel towboat for their layout, this simple bash might work. It measures three and a half inches wide by twelve and a quarter inches long over the sternwheel by four and three quarters inches high over the stack. The Lindberg kit is still available and the cost is approximately thirty dollars.

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                          • Hi Dan,

                            Interesting you should bring up the reissued Lindberg kit. I have one of the originals that was powered. Kit #774M. I was going to use it but found out it was 3/16" to the foot. I model HO. I did start to measure it up and was going to scale it to HO. Guess how far that got? Might still do that since I want to do a water scene.

                            Bernd
                            New York, Vermont & Northern Rwy. - Route of the Black Diamonds

                            Main thread to all that's happening on the NY,V & N Rwy. The New York, Vermont -and- Northern Rwy. - Railroad Line Forums (railroad-line.com)

                            New York, Vermont -and- Northern Rwy HOn30 Quarry Line https://railroad-line.com/node/31167

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                            • Hi Bernd,

                              The interesting thing about boats is a small one in O scale will be a big one in HO scale, without having to change its proportions or the basic details. I would suggest turning the pilot house around so the small pane windows are in front and on the two sides, while fitting a smaller rowboat on the deck.

                              All the best.

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                              • Looks worthy for O scale with a couple mods.

                                Philip
                                Philip

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