Saturday, December 26, 2009

Golden Spike Project - 15 days in

Two weeks and a day into the project.

The "benchwork" is complete, as described before, a simple false bottomed box to be filled with pink foam insulation

In what is typical for me, I've jumped back and forth from replicating the original article and building the Payless Mine layout, or doing something similarily "mine-oriented", to doing a logging operation, based on the general layout/ideal of the article. After a lot of back and forth and making mock-ups and all, I've ultimately decided to do the logging idea, basing the size and trackplan on the article. Track will extend at both ends for possible, probable, likely (?) expansion.

Here is my Christmas Day efforts, pieced in pink foam, with a creekbed cut through and the basic track layout. Simple HO scale flextrack, with every other tie removed. Trying to make this as simple and basic as possible, the idea that ANYONE can do something similar, no special materials, tools, etc, just a little space and a desire to try it all.

The "West End", the Bachmann gas mechanical is about the perfect size for this, although I have a couple of similarily small, 4 wheel, short wheel base Milwaukee locomotives in mind as well.

The curve in the center is some of my usual smart-ass efforts, one of the "suggestions" for track for the Gold Spike is a crossing, which of course would be of zero use here, so I added one anyways, conceptually this is the camp foreman's office and a speeder or small railbus pulls up to the office with new employees.

The "East End" of things.

An overall look at the full 6 foot length of things. Planning a small, portable sawmill in the center of the "V" here at the east end, loaded disconnects on one side, flats with cut lumber on the other

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Seats for the Big Birney

Back to the Big Birney car project.

Plan to unveil it in some state of completion for High Wheeler 2010, first weekend in March.
Just under 75 days away, not much time !
Spent much of last weekend figuring out how to make the Brill Waylo seats. Not a difficult project, but with no dimensions or plans, have to wing it best you can. Thanks to Mal Rowe in Australia yet again (He also supplied photos and info on the St Louis #7 trucks), he sent me some good detailed pictures from the Bendigo Tram Birney cars and seats.

Here are the patterns, affixed to the base of the mold box.
All styrene patterns.

Here is the finished mold, everything gets cast twice

except the seat pad to the right.

And here is the first mock-up, not complete, still needs the swing arms in place so that the back is elevated and the seat back can be "reversed", have to play with the castings a bit to make that work right (bit of a design flaw, but easily remedied). Next steps, figure out the fix for the seat backs, cast up a bunch of parts, and put them all together. With any luck, few casts per day, should have a complete set of seats for New Years. A MAJOR step forward !

Friday, December 11, 2009

Golden Spike - The "Benchwork"

So, here we are, 24ish hours into the Golden Spike project.
Actually starting to come together in my mind as I start to make some definitive decisions about the who/how/where/why/what of it all.
First part is the benchwork. This won't be traditional benchwork as we normally view it.

The concept here is basically a box which will sit on a standard 6 foot long folding table.

Easy to accomodate, small enough to fit in most cars, and the standard 6 foot folding table, (a) ungodly common at your average railroad show, and (b) short enough that most of the kids can get an up-close and personal look. And if the little monsters can't keep their fingers to themselves, we can boost the whole thing up 1-2-3 feet by putting milk crates or some such at the corners.

So, starting with the box.

6 foot long x 18 inches wide. Standard 1x4"

A "lip" of 1x1" stock inside, the top of the 1x1" an inch down from the top of the 1x4"

A 1/4" plywood sheet on top of those "lip" pieces, creating a false bottomed box, that is approx, 3/4" deep, with approx 3 inches of "under" for all the wiring and what have you.

On top of the 1/4" plywood we'll start with 1 inch pink foam insulation and build up from there for elevation(s).

This is the rough drawing of the box concept.

FYI, for those playing along at home...

1. Get a damn life !

2. No, seriously,, my junk isn't that interesting !

3. The concept is based on an article by Richard White, "The ON30 Payless Mine Company" featured in the Sept/Oct 1996 issue of the Narrow Gauge and Short Line Gazette. Hopefully, we'll do it justice, should be able to figure this out,, I've only thought about the article and building a reasonable facsimile for 14+ years !

Best Holiday Wishes 2009

I don't normally do these types of things, but here we go anyways...

From our family to yours, best wishes for a safe and happy holiday season 2009.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Golden Spike Project

I have not had an operating layout for quite some time. I beleive I've mentioned it somewhere here in the past, given my interest in larger scaled models and living in townhouses, I've been forced to choose between work area or a layout, and the workroom always wins.

With my more recent activities within our local NMRA chapter, the itch to have somewhere to run trains has become more pronounced of late. I'm developing a plan where I have offered to repaint the entire house next spring, in exchange for taking our spare bedroom/mini-office and converting that to a full office with an around the walls shelf type O scale layout. I suspect the Mrs may have gotten the better of the deal here, but as long as everyone has what they want, good deal.

Anyways, all of that is a bit down the road, and the need to re-sharpen those layout skills makes sense before committing to a bigger layout. With that in mind, I noticed in one of the more recent NMRA newsletters mention of the Golden Spike Award.

In essence, the Golden Spike Award is designed to promote building and completing a layout, with some specific modeling prerequisites.

The qualifications for the Award are as follows :
Rolling Stock (Motive power/cars) Display six (6) units of rolling stock, scratchbuilt, craftsman, or detailed commercial kit

Model Railroad Setting (Structures & Scenery) Construct a minimum 8 square feet of layout, and construct five (5) structures, again scratchbuilt, craftsman, or detailed commercial kit

Engineering (Civil & Electrical) Three (3) types of trackage required (turnout, crossing, etc) All must be properly ballasted and installed on proper roadbed. All installed trackage must be properly wired so that two trains can be operated simultaneously. Provide one additional electric feature such as powered turnout, signaling, turnout indicator, lighted building, etc

Seems very doable, and I have set for myself a goal of designing and building and (hopefully) accomplishing this award, within one year (12/10/2010). What I have in mind at present is a small (6 foot x 18" inch) ON30 layout. The concept will be based at least for the start on an older Narrow Gauge Gazette article. (more on that later)

So,,, I'll hit Publish Post and start the clock ticking,,, as if I didn't have enough other projects

Did I mention back-dating 4 Ken Kidder brass Shaker Hts 300 series cars back to original AE&FRE 300 series, including details, custom paint and decals,, that's my Christmas project !

More to come