Site Update – December 15, 2018 – RailBox XAF10 Modelling pages updated

The modelling article on the RailBox XAF10 class cars have been updated. There is new content and the third step of the rebuild article promised some time ago. There’s more information below.


What’s happened

My last update on this project covered the addition of a short history of the class. This time we’re getting into the meat of the project.

This new page covers the dangly bits between the frame and the rails – brake rigging. This is a task focused modelling article on how to simulate the brake rigging on the model without going over the top. Thanks go out to Tony Thompson whose original post on his blog got me started on this particularly enjoyable journey. (There’s a link from the new page to Tony’s original blog post.)

Throughout the series I’ll be aiming to complete the entire project section within an hour (between getting home and dinner for example) and at the end of it have a model that you can be proud of. Here’s what I mean using before and after photos:

Image 1: The basic Athearn BB kit sans brake rigging

Image 2: Same kit (undec) with brake rigging – a subtle difference but well worth the effort

You can head direct to the page by clicking this link, or head over to the project home page clicking this link. I hope that you enjoy this new part of the project. Like, subscribe and follow to keep up to date with all the new content here on Andrew’s Trains.

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Posted in Boxcars, Freight, HO Scale, Modelling, Per Diem, Prototype, Railbox, Scales, Site Updates, This Site, Web, XAF10 | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Site Seeing – Sebastopol Shops RIP Track – 12 December 2018

There was movement at the station, (to partially quote A. B. ‘Banjo’ Patterson), and I’m working to update a fair proportion of the model fleet with basic brake gear. More below…


Low hanging fruit

I mentioned a couple of posts ago I wrote about simplifying my modelling, without compromising my vision of what I want to achieve with my modelling. I believe that simplifying my style modelling does not mean accepting less. I tend to over think everything, over detail (hyper detail) and in the end never finish anything to the standard I want to. Think contest models of everything, no more however. In that spirit I’ve been working toward cost-effective updates to my Athearn BB and other boxcars that I’ve collected over the years. To that end last week I found (for the second time at least) the post by Tony Thompson on his blog about providing partial yet effective brake rigging. This week I’ve gotten that done on several cars, and what a difference it makes.

There’ll be a full article coming later this week on how I achieved my version over on the project page for the RailBox XAF10 cars. The page updates appearing there will be out-of-order but I’ll be filling in the blanks over the next couple of weeks as I get images completed. In addition there’ve been some cars in for repairs and one specifically coming closer to completion. More on these last two tomorrow.


Images from the RIP track

The production line; and while the cars have good general representations of the AB brake system, you can make a better looking version with a little time, staples, some fine brass rod and a little super glue (in this case super thick).

Above: the Prototype RBOX XAF10 car at the back (all brass) with the other three cars using staples for the protective hangers.

Below: Bringing it all together. Staples and brass rod for the actuating rods. Absolutely prototypical? Nope, but they look the goods and make a total difference to the side on view of the cars. Well worth the time and effort to do.

50 Boxcars NW 52900 & Southern 36188 showing the difference between steps:

Above: the car with the beginnings of the brake rigging in place.

Below: shows the difference between one day and the next. Talk about a difference. I really like the look, busy, but simple and cheap to do.

I’ll post more images next time as I work through the rest of the cars on the RIP track.

Thanks for reading and dropping by.

Posted in Boxcars, Freight, HO Scale, Modelling, Per Diem, Railbox, Scales, Simple Upgrades, XAF10 | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Site Update – December 05, 2018 – RailBox XAF10 Modelling pages updated

The modelling article on the RailBox XAF10 class cars have been updated. There is new content and the first step into the rebuild article promised quite some time ago. There’s more information below.


What’s happened

The XAF10 class RailBox boxcars (the first of the fleet) built by ACF from late 1974 through mid 1975 are my favourite North American railcar. I’ve been working away on collecting information for the rebuild and upgrade to the Athearn Blue Box models since 2010.

I first mentioned rebuilding my XAF10 model fleet, in this related post, back in 2014. Since then a tightening of the modelling budget (due to being laid off, and being over 50 and it taking a long time to find full time work again) has slowed the build process down, although it never stopped completely. I’ve worked in fits and starts as I could afford to buy bits and pieces. The test boxcar is very close to being finished. I’ve tested updates and processes as I go to find what works best for me. Once the test car is done I’ll get stuck into the other 5 cars and knock out at the one time. And that should be over the next 10 days (I hope).

I’ve updated the main page, and added the first page of the process. I’ve got a couple of tasks left to model on the on the test car tomorrow. Once that’s done I’ll upload the work to that point.

Resources

XAF10 Class modelling updated pages:

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Site update – October 30, 2018 – Milestones, not mill stones

This month I’ve reached the first major goal I had for this blog – 100,000 individual views.


Satisfaction and thanks

100,000 individual views is not bad for a one man band. It is a joy to know that something I love so much, small layouts combined with operation, could be something that inspired so many of you to come along with me on this ride.

I’d like to thank you all for your time, not only to view, comment and write emails but for the personal lift I’ve received when you did so.

The model railroad hobby can often be a lonely thing. Working so far from so many of you, in regional Victoria, in southeastern Australia while modelling primarily US railroads would not be possible without the help of so many of you.

Looking forward to hitting the quarter million view mark as the next milestone. I hope that you’ll stay along for the ride.

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Why am I modelling the way I do?

A recent conversation with a fellow modeller has bought me back to thinking about why I’m modelling, and what my modelling should represent. Let me explain.


I have a lot less modelling time now than I ever did before, due to my work commitment, which is driving the nature of my modelling in different (if interesting new) directions.

Among the changes I’ve had to make is in the scope of the work. Because it takes longer to complete larger and more complex projects I’m focusing on smaller easier to complete in a day projects as my primary goal. I have some large projects that remain on the table. These will be for items I cannot buy, kitbash or otherwise make out of something else.

Will this change the nature of posts that appear here on the Andrew’s Trains blog? No, I don’t believe so. This blog has always been about small layouts with lots of operational potential, and that is in line with what I am moving to in my modelling.

Weathering will continue to play a large part in my modelling, upgrading blue-box style kits to better reflect the prototype is where I found real joy in modelling as a young man. And I’m going back to that in a big way this year. There’ll be more posts along these lines to come over the next few months as I get my modelling life back in order.

With a demanding and hectic work life simplicity is my goal. Modelling simplicity likewise has to be the case. Simple projects that can be done with:

  1. tools I already have,
  2. resources I already have, and
  3. that can be completed in the time I have to give them.

This is the focus of my modelling going forward. Likewise to layout building. I have a couple of projects that I want to complete, one of which is a Supernook, a new design I’m working on now that will begin with the baseboards build before we left the USA 13 years ago. I’ll be continuing on with the US-based shunting layouts, but I’m interested in building a Australian/UK-based Minories layout soon as well.


Takeaway

I’ve made modelling a complex and often difficult endeavour. I’ve lost my love of producing models that I enjoyed building and that I am proud of. Life is short, and more so as I near my mid 50s. Time with my family and enjoying what I do is not limitless. So the time is now to make the changes that keep me happy, healed and enjoying what I do. I hope that you will stay along for the ride. With almost 100,000 unique views over the last 3 years I’m hopeful that you will stick around and see what is coming.

Posted in Information, Inglenook, Layout Design, Layouts, Minories, Modelling, Site Updates, Small, SuperNook, This Site, Web | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Site Seeing – the “I love the Yard” edition – September 28, 2018

Imagine an industrial 7mm narrow and standard gauge model railway with radio controlled crane and lorries. Then look at a great video and see it in action.


The Yard

Built by a group of four during a three-month period for a club exhibition. This layout is in 7mm scale and uses both 16.5mm (3.5mm HO standard gauge) and 32mm (7mm O scale gauge) track. Scenic area is only 2’2” x 6’, with an overall size of 2’2” x 9’ including fiddle yard.

Of particular note are the working features of the layout including:

  • standard and narrow gauge trains
  • working gantry crane, and
  • radio controlled lorries

The gantry crane had apparently been on another layout and manually controlled. When moved to the yard it was converted to radio control. The lorries, which I believe are the work of Mr Giles Favell, (see the resources section below for more) were in use on other layouts. The rolling stock came from other layouts also.

Control of trains is by DCC, while point control uses MERG canbus.


Resources

See more about the wonders of Giles Favell’s radio control 7mm scale lorries and his layouts at:

Posted in 1:43.5 (7mm Scale), Exhibition, Layout Design, Layouts, Liked off site, Modelling, O Scale, Scales, Site seeing, Sites of interest, Small, Switching, UK, Web, YouTube | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Site Seeing – The David Barrow fan boy edition – September 24, 2018

We moved back to Australia in 2006. So, I have to live through others when they visit David Barrow in Austin Texas, my wife’s hometown, and where we spent 10 years from 1997. Trevor Marshall visited recently and came away with a great post on the man and his layouts – including his new small (comparatively speaking) O scale layout which really piqued my interest.


David Barrow’s layouts

Hi – my name is Andrew – and I’m a David Barrow fan boy tragic…

I first remember reading about David Barrow’s Cat Mountain and Santa Fé layout in the 1980s in Model Railroader magazine. As a young man, dreaming about my large future model railway plans, David’s layouts (there were at my last count about 17 versions of the Cat Mountain) were my ideal. While I dream of those massive layouts still I took another path to small layout designs.

Recently David Barrow has followed down that rabbit hole, this time in O scale, with a new layout. You can read more about that in the second link below by Trevor Marshall.

David’s layout design and presentation skills are unique in the hobby. Not to everyone’s taste I’ll grant, yet having seen and operated on the layout once in 2005, I did not notice its minimal scenic treatment. I was too interested in the operational side of things.

Image 1: Davids Barrow’s entire O Scale layout – battery-powered and operated by radio

Once again the layout design is the centre of attention and the scenic treatment is classic David Barrow – minimalist. However, you can use the design and then scenic it to your heart’s content. Hmmm – now let me see – I have 3 boards in the garage on which that layout design would fit perfectly…

You can out more on this layout in the Model Railroad Planning 2018 publication from Kalmbach.


Resources

Posted in 1:48 (US O Scale 1/4"), Atlas O / TrainMan, Exhibition, Home, Layout Design, Layouts, Liked off site, Modelling, O Scale, Operations, Reports, Scales, Scenery, Site seeing, Sites of interest, Small, Switching, Web | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Site seeing – the Second Hand Inglenook edition – September 20, 2018

I admire modellers who can get to the meat of a project, quickly and with vigour. Gazmanjack (Gary) on RMWeb used second-hand track, wood and other parts from his modelling left-overs to create a stunningly good small layout for operations. Read on for more.


Linden Ford – the second-hand layout

Gazmanjack (his handle on RMWeb) back in 2014 built an outstanding layout from left over bits and pieces, as an adjunct to his current layout, to give himself something to operate on during the other layout’s longer build. I’ve only just found it and wanted to share the forum post with you.

And what a cracker this layout is. I won’t go into too much detail here, as I think the adage of a picture telling a thousand words is true on this occasion. There is plenty of information in the post too on the build including scenery, tree armatures, and so on.

Image 1: Linden Ford – an outstanding small Inglenook layout

I hope that you find inspiration in the post. So much with so little that turned out so well. Well done Gary!


Resources

Posted in HO Scale, Inglenook, Layout Design, Layouts, Liked off site, OO Scale (4mm:Foot), Operations, Operations, Scenery, Site seeing, Sites of interest, Small, Web, YouTube | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Site Seeing – The I wanna live in Lakemont edition – 16 September 2018

Small switching layouts are plentiful. Seb has taken this layout to an awe-inspiring level.


Welcome to Lakemont

Over on the RMWeb forums Seb has served up some serious eye candy with photos of his in progress layout. He describes his freelance layout as “a short line located somewhere in the NE, near the Canadian border”. The track plan is simple and efficient; main track, runaround, and sidings.

There are two major customers served by the LVN : Lakemont Packaging & Farmers Coop Elevator. Are also served a team track, an unloading dock and unloading pit with auger.

His attention to detail and his execution of the built and natural shown in the image below (click the photo to go directly to the forum) are outstandingly good.

Image 1: LVN 150 and another loco on the left end of the layout

There are many more photos on the main thread on RMWeb. Head over and read through the full thread and see a lot more photos of the layout. You’ll thank me once you’ve visited.

As a final teaser…


Clicking the image will take you to another thread where many of Seb’s images from Facebook have been linked and shared for those not on the specific Facebook group.

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Site Seeing – The Super Duper Switch Stand Edition – 9 September 2018

 

Using Sunset Valley Railroad switch stands on the layout

Operating realism is very important to me. It ensures that those working my layouts move at a realistic pace and in a realistic way. Switch operation is a big part of that goal for me.


The source of inspiration – Port Rowan in 1:64

Originally inspired by a post on Trevor Marshall’s Port Rowan blog, I want to include these switch stands as a part of my operating realism approach.

I particularly like the fact that Trevor uses a single style of padlock to lock the switches along with a length of chain. This ensures that all switches must be unlocked before use, and relocked after use as happens on the 1:1 railroad.

As Trevor says in the blog post, they are more expensive than other simpler options. However, I think that if you have a small layout, and realistic operation is your thing, then the cost is worth it. And they’ll last forever.

I’ve wanted to share this post for a long time, but only recently found all the links again after long searching. I hope you enjoy reading about this and get inspired.


Resources

Posted in Home, Layout Design, Layouts, Liked off site, Modelling, S Scale, Site seeing, Sites of interest, Small, Switching, Web | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment