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Topics - deemery

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Dioramas / yard scenery
« on: September 12, 2021, 07:13:53 PM »
Here's a look at my visible staging yard, after laying down a base texture and then 'yard mix' ballast.  I plan to add some brown 'scrub grass'.  I'm after a 'well used yard' look.  Later on, I'll ballast the main line tracks to the right, and the narrow gauge to the left.

Comments and suggestions very welcome!  Since this is a staging yard, I expect the 0-5-0 will be active on at least some of these tracks. 


Baggage Car - Daily Chat / What kinds of kits do we need?
« on: September 09, 2021, 01:11:02 PM »
I was thinking about this today, looking at the various recent kit announcements as well as recent builds.

Seems to me we still have a deficit of masonry (brick or concrete block) urban buildings.  That includes storefronts/city block buildings, small independent (standing alone) buildings, and factories (now that Bob Van Gelder has retired.)    My #1 choice would be a mansard roof 2-3 store wide brick block building (with cast iron storefronts.)  But that's in part because of my modeling era.

What would others like to see?


Baggage Car - Daily Chat / turnout controls - opinions sought
« on: August 11, 2021, 02:47:00 PM »
The visible staging area is about 10' x 2', and has both standard and narrow gauge track. 

I've done some significant additions to the NG track along the back from the original track plan, adding 2 passing sidings, a spur, and a turntable/enginehouse.  Plus on the SG side to the front I added a turntable and siding. 

This is easily the most complex part of the layout from a track and control perspective. 

So I'm interested in thoughts about how to do the layout fascia.  The second photo shows some of the wiring behind the fascia, as well as the edge of the layout where the fascia would attach. 

My current thinking is to do 2 "control panel" areas, about 18"-24" apart.  One for the NG controls, and the other for the SG controls.  My reasoning is that everything is visible, the SG and NG operators would each stand in front of the control panel area to manage their turnouts.

The alternative, to put the turnout controls along the fascia in front of each turnout, strikes me as more confusing in the long run. 

Opinions very welcome!


I hung the valence boards yesterday.  The LED lights are fed by the pigtail coming out from behind the valence.  The cord hanging down will eventually run along the ceiling to an outlet there (originally intended for track lighting, this is switched separately from the room's lights.)   The Wago lever connectors are there temporarily to check out the lights.

I want something small that also contains a switch, and that is 'legal' with the electrical code to make the connection between pigtails and lamp cord to the outlet.  Any thoughts/suggestions?


Baggage Car - Daily Chat / Wednesday, Jul 21, 2021
« on: July 21, 2021, 08:31:01 AM »
That date has a bit of a ring to it, doesn't it? 

Anyway, we're up and ready for our home repair guys to come for a couple small projects, most importantly fixing a leak in the roof. 

Yesterday I drilled the grabiron holes on my MDC old-timer rework.  Today, after the dogs' vet appointment, I'll probably glue the grabs into place and start on the metal undercarriage.  Hopefully I'll get far enough to paint the car, too.


Baggage Car - Daily Chat / Saturday, July 10...
« on: July 10, 2021, 01:47:09 AM »
We're still on vacation in Jan's time-zone.  I'm checking the forum before breakfast. Here the big news has been split between the Euro soccer cup and the Tour de France.  The tour passes through several towns we've visited, fortunately we're running a bit ahead of it.  Road closings, etc in the afternoon over roads we drove in the morning.  There were guys in camper vans parked along one route. 

So no modeling to report on my end.  But it's good to see others are getting things done.


Baggage Car - Daily Chat / Roof Repair Sale
« on: April 12, 2021, 01:10:11 PM »

From Don Tichy

April 10, 2021

Dear Modeler:

We here at Tichy Train Group want to wish everyone a happy and healthy year as we hopefully emerge from this pandemic. Our factory is not as healthy as we are. We are having 24,000 square feet of new roof installed on our factory this week to keep our production areas dry and the people that bring you Tichy products happy. To tempt you to help pay for it, we are having a special sale while the work is being done.

On orders from 20 to 50 dollars we are giving a 10% discount.
Just use 10 in the coupon code box at checkout.

On orders from 50 to 100 dollars we are giving a 20% discount.
Just use 20 in the coupon code box at checkout.

On orders over 100 dollars we are giving a 25% discount.
Just use 25 in the coupon code box at checkout.

US customers will receive free freight on orders over $60, $4 under that.
Canadian customers will receive free freight on orders over $100, $10 under that.
International orders will go into moderation when you place them and we will add airmail postage and send you a payment link to approve and pay. On international orders, you can request a PayPal invoice by sending us an email.

These coupons expire at midnight on Monday April 19th.

A quick note on shipping. USPS shipping times have started to improve but we are still seeing significant problems. We now have send you a shipping link with your tracking number when we ship. We do not have any better information than what this link provides. UPS shipping is available on any order for a $4 charge, just buy a UPS shipping surcharge available under the what's new tab.

Kit Building / Review of BESTTrains Vetero stains
« on: December 14, 2020, 01:30:51 PM »

(I'm still having problems posting pictures, so I'll just post a link to the illustrated review on The Other Forum....)


Scratchbuilding / small office
« on: September 14, 2020, 10:19:55 AM »
I'm working on a small office from a prototype photo.  Although that particular photo is from a Northern location (the snow is a big hint :-) ), I found a bunch of similar structures in Southern locations (including several from a town in MS.) 

The challenge was getting something to look like those scroll-end Ionic columns.  I ended up twirling thin brass around round nose tweezers, then inserting a styrene rod.  The columns should be fluted (and to be most precise, should be slightly smaller diameter at top), but I'm doing "Victorian Vernacular" so I can cheat and use plain columns.  The square Tuscan columns were easy by comparison.

I wanted an interior, so I primed both sides of the styrene walls white, and then painted on wainscoting.  After I painted the windows and added glazing, I glued them in place, and then added interior trim, painted a slightly different brown to stand out.  And yes, one window is glued in upside down, I had real problems with the glue actually holding.


Kit Building / NE Brownstone Viaduct
« on: January 28, 2019, 08:23:51 PM »
Russ Greene released parts for a new kit, which allows you to build a viaduct or stone arch bridge.  Each arch is 4", and there are both short and tall piers, plus abutments. 

I started working on mine today, after picking up some of the first run castings at Springfield.  Russ told me this was coming, so I designed a spot for it, with a 12" straight section and a 6" drop from track to benchwork base.

Today I discovered the tall pier castings are at the exact height, just a bit of shimming needed.  The track curves on one abutment, so it will have to be slightly skewed to the angle of the rest of the bridge. 

I cut away the splines, fit and shaped the main pieces to fit.   Next step is to think about how I'll glue them together, I don't want the end assembly to be fragile.


Kit Building / FSM Jacob's Coal
« on: November 17, 2018, 08:36:15 AM »
A couple years ago I got a good deal on some older Yellow Boxes.  On the current layout, I have 2 different locations where I could put a coal dealer.  So I dug this kit out, in response to the latest challenge.  I can build it in parts, and defer the final assembly until the end.  (The two locations I have require the conveyor to be on opposite sides of the structure.)  I work slowly, so don't expect frequent updates, but this is my attempt to build something for the winter Tom Schwarz build.  (I probably met Tom when I was in Pittsburgh for a couple of their NMRA meets.)


Scenery: Rock & Landforms / clay model of the layout
« on: December 23, 2017, 08:13:46 PM »
Dave Frary and John Siekirk are two modelers who have talked about building a clay model of their layout to understand landforms, etc.  I thought I'd try that myself, using the track plan I got from a professional track planner.

I got 2 large copies printed at a local copy store.  On one of them, I carefully cut out the track plan itself.  On the other, I cut out the total layout geometry.  Then I glued that latter copy to some foamcore, added some 1/8" stock to represent the walls.

The plan is to get the modeling clay (doesn't dry out) to a consistent thickness, then lay the track plan on top of the clay.  (The standard gauge track is supposed to have no elevation change.  The narrow gauge branch will have a 2.5% to 3% grade, something to work out with the clay.)  Then I'll add and subtract clay for the contours, working around (and in the case of a tunnel, over top of) the track.


Layout Tours / Sandy Lake & Northern, Mk 3
« on: December 06, 2016, 09:13:24 PM »
I've started preliminary planning for my new SL&N layout (the 3rd by that name.)  Construction won't seriously start until all my wife's projects are done, but at least I can provide some thoughts as I figure out how to partition the basement, etc.

Givens & Druthers (per John Armstrong):
(Railroad Name)   Sandy Lake & Northern (std gauge)
                         Sandy Lake & Rangely River (HOn30 gauge)
Scale:             HO
Gauge: (Std, Narrow)      Std, Narrow

Prototype: (the railroad you want to model)
Era:      1890s
Region:      PA oil country, New England mill towns
Railroad:  Influenced by Colorado Midland, Rutland, Pittsburg Shawmut & Northern

Space:   TBD in the basement
Describe Space e.g. basement. Provide diagram showing Overhead clearances and any obstructions or limitations.

Governing Rolling Stock: (Biggest planned)
     65' passenger cars for main line
     45' freight cars

Need to minimize grade, due to limited hauling abilities of small steam locos

Relative Emphasis: (move the V)

Track/Operation ....................................................Scenic realism
Mainline Running .......................................................... Switching
Operation Priorities: (rearrange as required)
   1.  Main line freights
   2.  Local freight switching
   3.  Yard ops, train composition
   4.  Engine terminal operations

   HOn30 - don't expect to do much switching,

Want to have the ability to 'sit back and watch the trains go around' as well as more realistic/prototype operations. 
Typical operating Crew: _2-3_
Eye Level (Owner) _67_In.

Additional features:
1. a moderate yard with full engine terminal (reuse my FSM 155 coal dock, Sellers Turntable and 6 stall MM Colorado Midland Roundhouse)
2. A large New England "mill canyon"
3. A substantial town
4. standard/narrow gauge interchange, probably patterned after the Bridgeton & Harrison
5. Narrow Gauge servicing some sort of mineral extraction industry (mine, quarry, etc)
6. At least one long stretch of just scenery

Double-decking is feasible, but I'm not thrilled by the idea. But this has to be doable at my slow rate of construction.

And a diagram of the basement, which also has to hold existing HVAC, storage space, model workshop,  home workbench, powder room, and maybe exercise room.   I need to add the existing items and annotate ceiling heights (including ductwork, etc.)


Modeling: Signage / rescuing old decals
« on: March 30, 2016, 04:31:26 PM »
I found some decals (Walthers white letters and numbers) that I've had for 35 years (I can tell by the shop label, who knows when they were actually printed...)

The first time I tried to apply some, they fell apart.  So since I had 4 sheets, I tried a little experiment.  On 2 sheets, I applied Micro Scale's Liquid Decal Film (brushed 2 coats).  On the other 2 sheets, I applied Krylon UV Resistant Clear Matte Finish(spray - 40% off coupon at Michaels :-) ).  I applied one coat, but went over the decal surface 4 times.  I let the decals dry thoroughly for 2 days.

A couple observations:
1.  The decal release time was longer for both products than for many/most decals.  This was a bit frustrating, since I didn't want the decal to spend too much time before it released from the backing paper.
2.  The Micro Scale Decal Film was sturdier than the Krylon spray.  But the decals are still fragile
3.  Both worked, in that I was able to apply decals with either finish.

So if you have some really old decals that you want to apply, I'd suggest the Micro Scale product.  But if you're impatient, the Krylon spray worked OK, too.


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