Friday, January 29, 2010

Git back on yer bike...

Oh how my moods shift!
To think that not but a few short hours ago I was feeling pretty darned sorry for myself at the thought of having ruined my GP10 project.
It's at times like this I remember the words of my late Dad. Who, when I fell off my bike when learning to ride as a child would tell me to get back on and not let it beat me.
So I took a closer look at the chassis and the body together and saw that there was no way on earth that the body would fit over the chassis. The weight was far too big for a start, it was shaped for a hi-nose not the cut away nose of the kit.
I saw that it wouldn't take too much work to trim the weight to fit. So I decided that the best course of action would be to cut the weight down to size and then splice the Kaslo kit cab and nose onto the P2000 GP7 body. This I did rather speedily and a picture of a test fit can be seen below...
I think it's going to work... (by the way that large lump of metal is the weight removed from the nose)

Box o' junk

Well that didn't last very long. My first foray into the H0 scale resin kit assembly that is.
I assembled all the stair treads onto the front and rear steps and fixed them in place continuing on from yesterdays slow start. Then, after that had set, I decided to pop the body onto the chassis to see what it looked like. Like a GP10, I hoped. The body was a very tight fit over the weight on the chassis. It was supposed to be a "drop on fit" according to the instructions. So I set to and started to file some of the inside of the casting away so it would fit easier testing the fit every so often. It started to go on easier. Then at one point it slid on a ways and then stopped. It was stuck. I tried to carefully ease it off and then CRACK! The side walkways broke clean off and the rear steps as well.
So there we go. The kit would appear to be pretty much toast. Perhaps I could try and stick the broken pieces back on or, I could try to graft the undamaged nose section onto the P2000 body.
Whatever I do I'm not in a hurry to do it. It kind of hurt to take the photograph and write about it. Confidence took a battering today.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Box o' fun

For quite some time now I've had this below...
A kit from Kaslo shops for a Paducah rebuilt EMD GP10. For the most part that used to mean nothing to me. But it is was what the Northern Lines Railway out of St. Cloud operate and that is what I intend to model. You can even see I've marked the box RLCX 1704 which as it happens is the loco below. For a few years the NLR operated RLCX 1703 and 1704 they were leased from Relco locomotive services from the start of the lines operation.
So the plan is to model #1704. I took plenty of pictures of it So hopefully I will be able to get it right. I have the Proto 2000 GP7 chassis to fit underneath it so it's all a question of putting everything together. It's a bit more of a complex kit than I'm used to and it took me about an hour last night to add just 4 stair treads to the front nose steps. I'll do bits to it here and there but it would be nice to have it finished ready for the Granite City Train Show and see if anyone recognises it

Monday, January 25, 2010

Model Railroad Planning 2010

I've done a considerable amount of model railroad/railway planning in my time so I'm always open to picking up books and magazines on the subject to see what they have to say. MRP2010 by Kalmbach is no exception.
I've always had a soft spot for the MRP series ever since they featured on of my plan back in the 2004 issue. (If anyone has the issue I'm on the page opposite the inside of the back cover...)
More often than not MRP features the diametric opposite attitude to planning of my viewpoint. They feature the big basement filling opus. I like the smaller layouts. MRP 2010 is no exception.
That is not to say there is nothing in it for me. Far from it.
There's a very interesting feature on the Richmond Pacific Railroad in California. Some very inspirational pictures. Though the actual plans discussed later are large room filling empires. I bet there are plenty of locations on this line that would be very suitable for the small/micro layout builder. My interest in the line is most definitely piqued.
There's also some super pictures of a Midwestern Prairie Layout with some unconventional baseboard construction and scenery that just shows you don't have to stick to the established ideas.
Layouts for smaller spaces do get a look in with a feature on a shelf layout creating a SOO Line scene in Minneapolis.
Freemo modular model railroading, DCC for interlocking, and turning passenger trains are some of the other subjects covered.
So all in all quite a reasonable magazine that you might want to consider buying.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

More from ExactRail

Following a previous review of an ExactRail product you will know that I'm very impressed with them and that I want more of them. This, as regular followers of this blog will know has been fraught with difficulty. I've missed out on the Thrall Railgon, the Pulpwood cars and the Gunderson gondola in the past few weeks. Clearly these cars are very popular and many folks feel the same as I do.
However quite by chance the other day, whilst searching for something else I came across the website for Traintimehobby and they had the Gunderson gondola in stock. Well, I didn't think twice. I ordered the baby there and then. Within three days it was with me. Superb speedy service. Thanks. Here it is.
I'm going to use it to help recreate this detail that I saw on a gondola over in Staples a couple of years ago. I find the fact that the ID number is sprayed on like a graffiti artist would do most amusing.
So let's talk a little about the model. ExactRail have four levels of model. Express, (the basic level) through Evolution, Platinum and Signature which I assume to be the highest standard. The Railbox was an Evolution level model and was stunning I hate to think just how good Signature might be.
The Thrall gondola is an Express model, the basic level. But don't be fooled by the term basic this model still has the equalized trucks of the more detailed models.
The most noticeable difference is in the detailing on the car where the laddering on the Railbox was seperately applied here it is integrally moulded. That was an initial disappointment but heck I paid under $20 for it. My LBF railbox that I love so much also has moulded handrails so it's comparable there. There is also more detail below floor level than on some of my other cars
For its small size it is suprisingly heavy. I noticed that the moment I picked it up. Something else I noticed immediately is that that the interior floor appears to be too high. When you look at the outside of the model it appears that the inside should be about 19mm deep in reality is 16mm deep so perhaps that extra depth is used to hide the exceptional weight. It's really not an issue though as on Wingetts you would rarely be able to see inside anyway. It's just something I noticed that's all. It comes with McHenry sprung couplers like the railbox. My preference is for Kadees though so I'll replace them. Again, not an issue. I know folks who love McHenry's.
It's the kind of model that will look perfect on Wingett's.
Once again, I'm very happy with it.

Ain't nothin' like the real thing...

Last Monday was the Martin Luther King Jnr. holiday hereabouts and as a result I had the day off work. The weather forecast had been quite promising so I decided to go over to Saint Cloud to photograph and film some trains on the main line. (I am TrainspotterUSA after all) Unfortunately the predicted sunshine never materialised. So all my photographs and video are somewhat grey. But I was rewarded with some film of the Northern Lines Railway working the Northern Siding at Phillips recycling. The Northern siding is where the gondolas are loaded with scrap metal.

After I had posted this on YouTube, Jake Nelson, a fellow outstate Minnesota railfan alerted me to some film he shot a while back of the Northern lines working the West siding. This is where cars are left for scrapping. His video is here:

With these two pieces of film you get an insight into the rail operations at this small industry.
If you want to see more of my Youtube railfanning videos they are on my YouTube channel

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Icicle works...

Some of you will have seen this already if you're on your toes.
What I find fascinating is that the icicle is pretty much shaped to the loading gauge...

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Do us a favour will you?

Pop on over to Terry's blog for his hobby shop and answer one of his monthly questionnaires will you?
Lakeside hobby is a brand new hobby shop and with these questionnaires Terry is trying to get a handle on what consumers want and are looking for in a hobby shop.
With more feedback it will help Terry make his (and my) Local Hobby Shop a better hobby shop...

The new header photo

Do you like it?
I do.
Two things that bug me about it though. So I must make a point of correcting them before the Granite City Train show.
Can you spot them?
The first one concerns the pile of junk wheels. There's quite a lot of wheels in that pile there with pin-point axles on them. Real wagon wheels don't have pin-point axles. Need to flatten the points and paint them white or even blue like the ones in Phillips yard.
The other one. That roller door in the wall there is unpainted plastic as it came from the Walthers kit.
Still it's a short list of things to do so the addition of a couple of other small tasks doesn't matter much.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Exhibition news

Wingetts recycling is now confirmed for the Granite City trainshow in Saint Cloud, MN on April 24th at the National Guard Armory.
It's a very good show, one of the best that Minnesota has to offer. With the layout being inspired by a Saint Cloud location I'm looking forward to attending and seeing if the residents recognise the inspiration.