From a model train magazine in 1960...
Thursday, January 31, 2008
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
When you been in the hobby long enough, you might notice that some things look an awful lot alike. This caboose is a classic example. The first is a reworked Mantua from the 1960s, part of a box lot of trains found in a dilapidated barn scheduled for demolition.
The second is a Tyco issue from the late 1970s. It is true that Mantua/Tyco were one in the same for awhile but, when it became fully Tyco, the quality dropped noticeably---no metal frame,plastic axles and wheelsets, lower grade plastic casting, etc.
The final one is an IHC offering from the mid 1980s, Corkey's Carnival Caravan, part of a complete train and carnival setup they offered. I used to work the midway of a amusement park in the summers of '77, '78 and '79---the "Shoot out the Star" BB machine guns---so this one holds a special place on my mantle.
Saturday, January 26, 2008
Friday, January 25, 2008
As john the Baptist once said, "He (Jesus) must increase, I must decrease." Such is the way of my hobby in my life. As the responsibilities of holding home Bible studies grow and the need for more in depth and intense research and prayer grows with it, my hobby will have to take its rightful place in the grand scheme of eternal things. While it will always be my hobby, I will not have---nor do I desire to have---the time to invest in it like I used to.
I hope I got the nomenclature right...it's not mine but I did "own" it for about 20 hours. Once I told the original owner how much it was worth, he understandably wanted it back. Worth about $700-1000 last I checked...hope to see another one as I've always wanted one.
"A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold."
Thursday, January 24, 2008
Too many of these show up on Ebay to ignore so I figure I'll put a post in pointing them out in the hopes that it will save some newcomers some grief.
---THESE ARE NOT "DUMMY" OR "NON-POWERED" MODELS--- These are, at best, caricatures of locomotives and equipment given out by Reader's Digest as a premium for subscriptions. They have poor rolling and tracking ability, the trucks do not swivel well and the couplers do not and cannot ever operate. I know of one that was repowered and that with extensive reworking beyond the abilities of most newcomers.
I picked up all six cars and this engine for $.50 at a yard sale in their original boxes and with the pens that came with them for the express purpose of showing them to newcomers and to let them decide for themselves without getting burned on their own.
These HO scale trolleys are another Reader's Digest promotional item. The good news about these is that they are based on Bachmann models and can be fairly easily modified to run on Bachmann mechanisms from the same type trolley. They make great scale push around toys to give you an idea about your child's model handling ability and maturity. I always kept mine with my other model trains so that they could "play with Daddy's trains" without harming one of my other models. In time the green one will make it to my model bench to be turned into a model of a produce stand that stood near my house as a child.
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
A son make you a father but a daughter makes you a daddy...
One Father's Day some time back, Momma came to me to tell me that our daughter really, really wanted to buy some kind of train for her Daddy. Knowing that I didn't care for much that is offered nowadays, she was looking for any suggestions I could offer. I told her that I had seen a local flea market vendor had two cars sitting on his table for sale and that he wasn't asking much for them. I think my girl did rather well for an eight-year-old...
Kronen refrigerated van...
DBR goods van with brakeman's cabin...
Monday, January 21, 2008
Sunday, January 20, 2008
(1) Now a certain man was sick, named Lazarus, of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha.
(2) (It was that Mary which anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick.)
(3) Therefore his sisters sent unto him, saying, Lord, behold, he whom thou lovest is sick.
(4) When Jesus heard that, he said, This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby.
(5) Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus.
(6) When he had heard therefore that he was sick, he abode two days still in the same place where he was.
(7) Then after that saith he to his disciples, Let us go into Judaea again.
(8) His disciples say unto him, Master, the Jews of late sought to stone thee; and goest thou thither again?
(9) Jesus answered, Are there not twelve hours in the day? If any man walk in the day, he stumbleth not, because he seeth the light of this world.
(10) But if a man walk in the night, he stumbleth, because there is no light in him.
(11) These things said he: and after that he saith unto them, Our friend Lazarus sleepeth; but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep.
(12) Then said his disciples, Lord, if he sleep, he shall do well.
(13) Howbeit Jesus spake of his death: but they thought that he had spoken of taking of rest in sleep.
(14) Then said Jesus unto them plainly, Lazarus is dead.
(15) And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, to the intent ye may believe; nevertheless let us go unto him.
(16) Then said Thomas, which is called Didymus, unto his fellow disciples, Let us also go, that we may die with him.
(17) Then when Jesus came, he found that he had lain in the grave four days already.
(18) Now Bethany was nigh unto Jerusalem, about fifteen furlongs off:
(19) And many of the Jews came to Martha and Mary, to comfort them concerning their brother.
(20) Then Martha, as soon as she heard that Jesus was coming, went and met him: but Mary sat still in the house.
(21) Then said Martha unto Jesus, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.
(22) But I know, that even now, whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee.
(23) Jesus saith unto her, Thy brother shall rise again.
(24) Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day.
(25) Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:
(26) And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?
(27) She saith unto him, Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world.
(28) And when she had so said, she went her way, and called Mary her sister secretly, saying, The Master is come, and calleth for thee.
(29) As soon as she heard that, she arose quickly, and came unto him.
(30) Now Jesus was not yet come into the town, but was in that place where Martha met him.
(31) The Jews then which were with her in the house, and comforted her, when they saw Mary, that she rose up hastily and went out, followed her, saying, She goeth unto the grave to weep there.
(32) Then when Mary was come where Jesus was, and saw him, she fell down at his feet, saying unto him, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.
(33) When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping which came with her, he groaned in the spirit, and was troubled,
(34) And said, Where have ye laid him? They said unto him, Lord, come and see.
(35) Jesus wept.
(36) Then said the Jews, Behold how he loved him!
(37) And some of them said, Could not this man, which opened the eyes of the blind, have caused that even this man should not have died?
(38) Jesus therefore again groaning in himself cometh to the grave. It was a cave, and a stone lay upon it.
(39) Jesus said, Take ye away the stone. Martha, the sister of him that was dead, saith unto him, Lord, by this time he stinketh: for he hath been dead four days.
(40) Jesus saith unto her, Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God?
(41) Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid. And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me.
(42) And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me.
(43) And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth.
(44) And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go.
(45) Then many of the Jews which came to Mary, and had seen the things which Jesus did, believed on him.
(46) But some of them went their ways to the Pharisees, and told them what things Jesus had done.
(47) Then gathered the chief priests and the Pharisees a council, and said, What do we? for this man doeth many miracles.
(48) If we let him thus alone, all men will believe on him: and the Romans shall come and take away both our place and nation.
(49) And one of them, named Caiaphas, being the high priest that same year, said unto them, Ye know nothing at all,
(50) Nor consider that it is expedient for us, that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not.
(51) And this spake he not of himself: but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus should die for that nation;
(52) And not for that nation only, but that also he should gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad.
(53) Then from that day forth they took counsel together for to put him to death.
(54) Jesus therefore walked no more openly among the Jews; but went thence unto a country near to the wilderness, into a city called Ephraim, and there continued with his disciples.
(55) And the Jews' passover was nigh at hand: and many went out of the country up to Jerusalem before the passover, to purify themselves.
(56) Then sought they for Jesus, and spake among themselves, as they stood in the temple, What think ye, that he will not come to the feast?
(57) Now both the chief priests and the Pharisees had given a commandment, that, if any man knew where he were, he should shew it, that they might take him.
Saturday, January 19, 2008
Because my children are homeschooled, science classes tend to be a bit more hands on. Well...that was the excuse that worked well enough for me at the time. I'm getting the itch to fire it up and I'm looking to the guys at The Mamod and Other Steam Engines forum to walk me though it...
I just love this show...
Friday, January 18, 2008
RULES FOR SWAP MEETS AND TRAIN SHOW PURCHASES
1. Don't be afraid to haggle.
2. Don't buy anything until you've seen all the tables.
3. Look under the tables as well as on top.
4. Bring a specific amount to spend.
5. Bring your best poker face then refer back to Rule #1.
6. No jumping for joy until you're out of the dealer's line of sight.
When I walked away from the dealer's table with this for $.50, it was everything I could do to keep from dancing down the aisle. Selling for $28 normally, it's a nicely detailed truck made by Herpa that now hauls my exotic sports car collection...and waits patiently for me to apply its remaining details...sigh...
...check out how long that double headed freight is in the foreground...I counted 76...not bad when you figure that they weigh roughly 3-4 pounds apiece.
An Ebay purchase...a bargain for its rather interesting turquoise and white paint job on the cab. I generally don't cover over another modeler's work but, that had to go. After rebuilding the pilot and adding other details, I touched it up just enough yet still retain the original weathering from its former road.
Original 1975 ad
Thursday, January 17, 2008
...shown here sitting next to her HO sister, an AHM/Rivarossi Virginia & Truckee 4-4-0 American. With over 25,000 built, these were by far the most popular locomotive ever manufactured with a few lasting into the 1950s after upgrades and rebuilds.
...and I'm an HO car-aholic...
I simply refuse to fork over $14 for a passenger car and $25 bucks for a truck. I do some modifying of diecast vehicles but a hobby within a hobby has kind of blossomed. I pick up $1 cast off Wiking (pronounced Viking), Pralene and Bucsh cars and trucks at swap meets and add to that some great diecast available at Wal-Mart. Yard sales and flea markets are also good haunts. I can cover pretty much any era from the late 1940s on up to the present day.
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
My model of the Union Pacific "Big Boy" #4005 was the second articulated engine I purchased. There is tragedy associated with the real one, a reminder that we are indeed but a vapor. It still exists today and is housed in the Forney Museum of Transportation.
Here is another view of my model of #4005...
I have its original white and orange Athearn box as well. I own two with the desire to add weight to them, tune their mechanisms as best I can and couple them together with a drawbar. I would like to see just how many cars four motors and sixteen powered axles can pull around on the club layout.
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
There were also UP, SP, Atomic Energy Commission, Dept. of Mines and Wabash versions.
They also came in PRR Black and PRR silver, Amtrak Phase 2 striped and in the New Haven's distinctive "McGinnis" paint scheme. My box is incorrectly marked as a "GG-1 Diesel" from the factory.
Monday, January 14, 2008
Where were you in December, 1978 when Jimmy Carter was president and Walther's was putting this out? Me?...I was a carney, a game hawker making good coin on an amusement park midway during the summer. During the winter I was park maintenance earning a $1.25 an hour changing lightbulbs on a roller coaster---six stories up in the air on a 6" wide catwalk.
After 37 years it is still a delightful engine to run, crawling from tie to tie in 15 seconds. The detail is amazing for the time, marker lights being an uncommon item to find in HO much less N scale.
Original 1970 ad
Sunday, January 13, 2008
(1) A Song or Psalm of Asaph. Keep not thou silence, O God: hold not thy peace, and be not still, O God.
(2) For, lo, thine enemies make a tumult: and they that hate thee have lifted up the head.
(3) They have taken crafty counsel against thy people, and consulted against thy hidden ones.
(4) They have said, Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation; that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance.
(5) For they have consulted together with one consent: they are confederate against thee:
(6) The tabernacles of Edom, and the Ishmaelites; of Moab, and the Hagarenes;
(7) Gebal, and Ammon, and Amalek; the Philistines with the inhabitants of Tyre;
(8) Assur also is joined with them: they have holpen the children of Lot. Selah.
(9) Do unto them as unto the Midianites; as to Sisera, as to Jabin, at the brook of Kison:
(10) Which perished at Endor: they became as dung for the earth.
(11) Make their nobles like Oreb, and like Zeeb: yea, all their princes as Zebah, and as Zalmunna:
(12) Who said, Let us take to ourselves the houses of God in possession.
(13) O my God, make them like a wheel; as the stubble before the wind.
(14) As the fire burneth a wood, and as the flame setteth the mountains on fire;
(15) So persecute them with thy tempest, and make them afraid with thy storm.
(16) Fill their faces with shame; that they may seek thy name, O LORD.
(17) Let them be confounded and troubled for ever; yea, let them be put to shame, and perish:
(18) That men may know that thou, whose name alone is JEHOVAH, art the most high over all the earth.
Saturday, January 12, 2008
There's something to be said for a company that introduces a locomotive in their catalog with one of the rods dropped in the picture. Perhaps that is why no one has ever seen one.
---Picture from the collection of HO Seeker...
Friday, January 11, 2008
So much can be done with so little. All you need for tools is a good scale ruler, sharp pencil and a sharp Xacto knife. Take a small square of sandpaper like those found in children's craft kits. Add some scrap stripwood, shirt cardboard, brass wire, a nail, some scrapbox windows and doors, an old passenger car truck and a scrap brakewheel...
All that's left is a little painting and Kadee is left with one more of their $18 logging cabooses on the shelf.
Thursday, January 10, 2008
Wednesday, January 9, 2008
...without an airbrush---or---expensive fumey paints. These were done with inexpensive water soluble craft paints, then sealed with $3 a can Krylon matte finish.
OK...OK...so I splurged on some Scale Rail Graphics graffiti decals on the last one.
Tuesday, January 8, 2008
One thing is for certain, the guys at Roundhouse could sell a ketchup Popsicle to a woman in white gloves. All through my teen modeling years I wanted one as I had long grown tired of cleaning track. The only thing this cleaned was one's wallet. Oh the locomotive runs great, it's just that there is no replacement for regular track cleaning with a Bright Boy and elbow grease.
Running a Masonite pad equipped car in your consists goes a long way towards keeping your track clean and your locomotives running smoothly.
I've also found an occasional run with a liquid track cleaner car, in this case a modified Life-Like issue, filled with rubbing alcohol helps keep oily buildup down as well. This car had added weight for tracking as well as new trucks and couplers.
This one came and went, $80 being pretty hard coin to part with back in 1978. I understand it worked quite well.
Monday, January 7, 2008
Mine has been modified with an old toy flasher circuit that runs for about seven seconds when tripped. I also traded out the original trucks for better rolling ones. It runs off of two button cell batteries mounted in the frame to give it a more reliable power source than the track pickup it was designed with.
My hobby is used of God as a training ground to listen for that still, small voice in all that I do. If I had listened more closely, I'd have taken a long enough look at the swap table to see that this was a less than complete kit, not worth the money I paid for it. It wasn't a great loss but it stung enough to make me a more careful shopper...and hopefully---more importantly---a more discerning believer.
Sunday, January 6, 2008
(15) And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.
(16) And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully:
(17) And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits?
(18) And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods.
(19) And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry.
(20) But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?
(21) So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.
(22) And he said unto his disciples, Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat; neither for the body, what ye shall put on.
(23) The life is more than meat, and the body is more than raiment.
(24) Consider the ravens: for they neither sow nor reap; which neither have storehouse nor barn; and God feedeth them: how much more are ye better than the fowls?
(25) And which of you with taking thought can add to his stature one cubit?
(26) If ye then be not able to do that thing which is least, why take ye thought for the rest?
(27) Consider the lilies how they grow: they toil not, they spin not; and yet I say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
(28) If then God so clothe the grass, which is to day in the field, and to morrow is cast into the oven; how much more will he clothe you, O ye of little faith?
(29) And seek not ye what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, neither be ye of doubtful mind.
(30) For all these things do the nations of the world seek after: and your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things.
(31) But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you.
(32) Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.
(33) Sell that ye have, and give alms; provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not, where no thief approacheth, neither moth corrupteth.
(34) For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
(35) Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning;
(36) And ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately.
(37) Blessed are those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching: verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them.
(38) And if he shall come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants.
(39) And this know, that if the goodman of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched, and not have suffered his house to be broken through.
(40) Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not.
POINTS TO PONDER...
1. Yes, you would like a bigger layout but, is your eternal destiny secure enough to pursue it?
2. What are you worried about and compare it to what God has already provided.
3. Are you ready for His coming?
Saturday, January 5, 2008
I'd like to get two or three more cars to make a working module to be used at train shows. This is not as pristine as it appears. It was badly warped and the mounting points on the sides were damaged. A little heat, a lot of Ambroids...ta da...a working coal trestle...not bad for a freebie.
OCTOBER 1962 ad
Friday, January 4, 2008
Earlier this year I pondered why no F units were in my roster. My earliest memories of real trains include a covered wagon pulling a short freight through a suburb of Baltimore, wearing Beano basic blue and yellow, so you would think I'd have at least one. Within a short time, a friend gave me the Pennsy unit, picked up in their yard sale wanderings with a couple of other pieces. Then, a resident skipped out on their lease, leaving me a treasure trove of early 80s Tyco, Life-Like and Bachmann pieces that included the Chessie and Santa Fe "War Bonnet" units. It is interesting to note the many subtle variations in details, especially around the number boards and headlights.
Tyco Red Box F9 circa early 1960s...
Life-Like blue box F7 circa early 1980s...
Bachmann chrome FT circa early 1980s...