Thursday, December 29, 2011

Getting Back To Modeling

Time sure flies by when the holidays are upon a person! Here it is, just about at the end of the month and end of the year and I'm now just getting back to doing some modeling at the work bench. I've been working hard to get our new old house in ship-shape after the move-in...building, painting most of the rooms, doing minor repairs, hanging mini blinds, etc., plus getting ready for Christmas!
So, what's been happening? Well, here's a quick run-down.
The biggest surprise was receiving the January 2012 issue of Model Railroader Magazine and seeing a 7-page feature article and photos of my HO-scale Big Island Rail layout in living color! Wow! I was brought to tears as I held the magazine in my hands realizing a life-long dream to have a layout feature in MR! Please check it out when you have a chance.

My wife and I were able to sneak in a quick side trip to a hobby/train shop in St. Paul during a Christmas visit to family last weekend, so I tried to stock-up on parts and a few scratch building supply items. Ouch! Expensive! Spending money was not as easy as I thought, since this shop did not have much 1/4-inch (O-scale) or On30 detail parts. I did purchase a set of On30 arch bar trucks for the tender of my HO-to-On30 Bachmann 2-8-0 saddle tank conversion project. With a little modification, I now have the appropriate size trucks under the tender and it now has that cool "look" to it. Hopefully the power pick-up wipers will "work" and I'll be able to keep the stock set up with those. I rearranged the DCC components inside the tender to allow more room for the sound system and speaker, so that better. I still have to solder the two power leads from the sound module to the DCC board.
Before Christmas, I had the steam and sand domes and a water fill hatch cemented to the top of the saddle tank, but realized I didn't leave enough room for the bell, a steam power generator or water fill hatch. (Ooops!) So, luckily I was able to pop those details off and reposition them better. The photo above shows the new arrangement with space for the bell between the taller steam dome and the sand dome. Not being a "Steam" guy I'm kinda prodding around in the dark with this locomotive. I do have a lot of great photos of plantation-style saddle tank locomotives in the Hawaiian Railroads book, plus a few downloaded from Internet searching, so I'm using those as my guide. The nice thing about NOT following any specific prototype is I can develop and create this locomotive as I go. As long as it looks like it would "work" in the real world, I suppose that's all that's needed. There were so many variations of equipment and shop repairs and rebuilds to these old steamers, that I would think anything goes!
To place the domes on the saddle tank top, I used the "discarded" section of PVC pipe as a sanding guide to shape the bottoms of the domes to fit the curve of the tank. Works pretty well, as seem in this image, above. If you are wondering what "part" I've used for the steam dome, it's actual an antique of the film camera days. In the old 110mm pocket camera film cassettes were these geared spools that the film wrapped around. Back in the days when I worked at One-Hour photo labs, I snagged a handful of these spools, thinking at the time they might be cool for logging "junk." Well, I spotted the reel in the parts bin and bingo - steam dome. I removed the geared top and replace it with an O-scale lamp shade. On top of this will go the steam whistle.

I couldn't find a O-scale steam generator detail part at the hobby shop so I when off to my scrape parts bins to find stuff to scratch-build a reasonable representation of one. Using what looks to be some type of HO-scale barrel, along with a HO-scale locomotive brake system component, I fashioned a steam generator taking my cue from several photos. All I need to add is an exhaust tube, bent to follow the contours for the loco's stack, and get the unit mounted on top of the saddle tank right behind the stack. You can see the detail part in the upper photo showing the saddle tank. The part is sitting on the work mat in the upper right hand corner by the sanding stick.
One of the coolest things I have purchased for this project are the rivet decals available from Micro-Mark. For the $12 you get two large sheets of the raised rivets in curves and strips, plus louvers and a few other details that I wish I had when I was building my Diesel swamp logging critter! So before I get too far along with add items to the saddle tank, I will next add some of these rivets to the tank. I'll let you know how they work!

Well, that's 'bout all for now. As soon as the final home projects are wrapped-up, I'll head to the basement to get that area prepped for rebuilding my double scale, double deck layouts! Then the real fun begins! Thanks for reading and following this blog, Tell your modeling friends about it. Please feel free to leave a comment!

1 comment:

  1. I saw that issue of MR on the shelf and thought that was your layout! Congratulations.