Wednesday, April 30, 2008

R/C F-16 turbine with afterburner...

1/16 scale Ford 8N tractor...

...another one from my assistant Mike's collection. Enjoy your new home in Colorado, my friend.





Tuesday, April 29, 2008

1/16 scale John Deere Model "A"...

...from my assistant Mike's collection, in honor of his father.






Monday, April 28, 2008

Ertl #3814 1993 Baltimore Gas & Electric Utility Bucket Truck

sniff...a little slice of home from my uncle. These guys actually restored our power after we lost it in a hurricane. When I saw their trucks in a local merchant's parking lot, I just knew my homies would have us up and running by nightfall. By golly they did it too...






Sunday, April 27, 2008

Psalms 119:1-24


(1) Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the LORD.

(2) Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart.

(3) They also do no iniquity: they walk in his ways.

(4) Thou hast commanded us to keep thy precepts diligently.

(5) O that my ways were directed to keep thy statutes!

(6) Then shall I not be ashamed, when I have respect unto all thy commandments.

(7) I will praise thee with uprightness of heart, when I shall have learned thy righteous judgments.

(8) I will keep thy statutes: O forsake me not utterly.


(9) Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word.

(10) With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments.

(11) Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.

(12) Blessed art thou, O LORD: teach me thy statutes.

(13) With my lips have I declared all the judgments of thy mouth.

(14) I have rejoiced in the way of thy testimonies, as much as in all riches.

(15) I will meditate in thy precepts, and have respect unto thy ways.

(16) I will delight myself in thy statutes: I will not forget thy word.


(17) Deal bountifully with thy servant, that I may live, and keep thy word.

(18) Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law.

(19) I am a stranger in the earth: hide not thy commandments from me.

(20) My soul breaketh for the longing that it hath unto thy judgments at all times.

(21) Thou hast rebuked the proud that are cursed, which do err from thy commandments.

(22) Remove from me reproach and contempt; for I have kept thy testimonies.

(23) Princes also did sit and speak against me: but thy servant did meditate in thy statutes.

(24) Thy testimonies also are my delight and my counsellors.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Mamod SE3 under steam...

...owned by Mamodman123.

Friday, April 25, 2008

American Flyer trains...

...and a video tour of the A.C. Gilbert factory from the 1950s. As late as the 1970s, 90% of toys sold in America were produced here. Many thanks to Nelson over at the Tyco Forum for finding this gem.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

My storefront under lights...

Interlocking Tower 2GZ...

...started out the way all my buildings do, a box lot reject that just needed a bit of TLC.





Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Bachmann HO scale 89' tri-level auto racks in PC paint circa 1980s...

Since I posted the Plymouth ad, I just had to pull these out. I've swapped out wheelsets to the more correct 28" size and body mounted Kadee couplers. They handle 30" radius curves just fine. The NASCAR vehicles (modified key chain charms) are there for the necessary weight to keep them tracking well. You can see in the one picture where I've added 2 one ounce egg sinkers over each truck on the other car.




Intermountain N scale 40' commemorative boxcar...

...celebrating Greene County, Ohio's bicentennial. A gift from an online friend.


Monday, April 21, 2008

1969 Plymouth commercial...

No explanation necessary...

...been awhile since you could tote full racks of cars out in the open behind Penn Central geeps.

A gaunlet track on a bridge...

...photographed by Greg over at 2Guyz. I've only seen this done one other time, on Gil Freitag's Stoney Creek and Western Railroad. What is especially neat about this particular setup is that it is on a portable modular railroad. Because trains could wipe each other out on a bad approach, there has to be a "bridge tender" assigned to monitor the bridge at all times or automatic circuitry of some sort, quite a feat in itself as it would have to be split between the two approach modules. That it's on a rolling lift bridge makes it all the grander. PLEASE tell me the bridge does lift...



Sunday, April 20, 2008

A.W. Tozer...

Prayer: Confidence in Him

Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may
obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
---Hebrews 4:16

You can have this confidence in God, and you can have this respect
for His will. Do not expect God to perform miracles for you so
you can write books about them. Do not ever be caught asking God
to send you toys like that to play around with.

But if you are in trouble and concerned about your situation and
willing to be honest with God, you can have confidence in Him.
You can go to Him in the merit of His Son, claiming His promises,
and He will not let you down. God will help you, and you will
find the way of deliverance.

God will move heaven and earth for you if you will trust Him.

Faith Beyond Reason, p. 49


Psalms 32:1-11

(1) [A Psalm of David, Maschil.] Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.

(2) Blessed is the man unto whom the LORD imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile.

(3) When I kept silence, my bones waxed old through my roaring all the day long.

(4) For day and night thy hand was heavy upon me: my moisture is turned into the drought of summer. Selah.

(5) I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the LORD; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah.

(6) For this shall every one that is godly pray unto thee in a time when thou mayest be found: surely in the floods of great waters they shall not come nigh unto him.

(7) Thou art my hiding place; thou shalt preserve me from trouble; thou shalt compass me about with songs of deliverance. Selah.

(8) I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye.

(9) Be ye not as the horse, or as the mule, which have no understanding: whose mouth must be held in with bit and bridle, lest they come near unto thee.

(10) Many sorrows shall be to the wicked: but he that trusteth in the LORD, mercy shall compass him about.

(11) Be glad in the LORD, and rejoice, ye righteous: and shout for joy, all ye that are upright in heart.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Athearn HO scale Hustler diesel switcher...

The Athearn Hustler has had a loyal following almost from Day One. Its reliable, peppy rubber band drive remained unchanged throughout its market life and has been clocked at over 400 scale miles per hour.


Numerous modifications have been done to them over the years, mine being no exception. This one has had details added to it that would make it more in line with what it could have looked like should one have ever been built in real life. I've added handrails, new headlights that reverse automatically, a three chime air horn, brake lines and uncoupling levers. I also removed the drive train, added North West Short Line nickel silver drivers and installed an Accurate Lighting remotor kit and Ernst gears. It is DCC equipped.


It is an excellent runner---with one small problem. Inherent with all short wheelbase locomotives, there is not enough contact with the track, making it very susceptible to gaps at turnout frogs and dirt. One of the ways I overcame this was by adding wipers to the locomotive frame. Made from shim brass, they did alright but added drag which robbed the unit of pulling power.


By permanently coupling two together, each using the other as added electrical pickup, I got my pulling power back and greatly improved pickup beyond that of the wipers. I eventually want to have motors and gearing in both but, for now, its 3-6 car pulling ability is right in line with a real locomotive combo of this size. The bodies are interchangeable on the second unit, allowing for a variety of combinations.

This particular one I've kept stock so that those unfamiliar with the original model may see it as purchased. The only thing I've done is touch-up the stock air horns to match the rest of the unit.


A modified Bachmann moving van trailer was the base for this road slug variation. I cut off the original, badly damaged Hustler body. Then I cut down and reassembled the moving van into what I believe is a fairly convincing slug body. Lights are installed, as well as all the necessary railings and details to give the impression that the two come from the same family, most road slugs being rebuilt wrecked units.



I have one more body to modify, this time as a small steeplecab type electric with pantograph.

Friday, April 18, 2008

"Disaster on the Coastliner"...

Thanks to thetycoguy over at the Tyco Forum for finding this one on YouTube. William Shatner, Loyd Bridges and Amtrak doing what they do best. The only thing missing is "Beam me up. Scottie." or "I picked the wrong day to quit smokin'."

I know of a writeup years ago in the Model Railroader magazine on the making of this movie, I'll see if I can't dig it up. Nice transition from real to model at the end...make sure you keep your eyes peeled for the bascule and Sherzer rolling lift bridges as well. Walthers did the bascule bridge some time back and the Sherzer has been offered by several manufacturers, including Tyco.

Reel Rides 1:87 1977 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am...

Come on now...did you expect it posed any other way?

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Atlas N scale Union Pacific/Sante Fe 0-8-0s...

...and the problem of quartering drivers.

"Quartering" refers to the crank points opposite those crescent moon shaped counterweight details found on the main drivers of all steam engines. The crank point on each driver is 90 degrees forward or reverse of its mate, depending on the road modeled. In real life they smooth out the rotation of the drivers by providing a counter to the pounding rods among other things. In models---unless they are live steam---they are purely cosmetic.

On most N scale steam locomotives, they are usually equipped with all geared drivers, oddly enough an innovation not regularly used in HO steam. Because each driver is interconnected with the next by an idler, quartering becomes very important in relation to the connecting rods. This is the chief reason why most folks have trouble getting a steam locomotive model to run right after disassembly for cleaning and maintenance.


The one on top is properly quartered and aligned. The one at the bottom is as it arrived to my shop after an S.O.S. from a fellow modeler. The driver retainer plate was slightly concaved, allowing the center two drivers to slip out of gear and then out of quarter. By bending the retainer plate slightly convexed so that it would flex flat after the screws were turned in, the drivers were able to remain quartered and the beastie behaved as it should.

Ribbet counters please note that I DO know that the Indiana Harbor Belt was the only owner of this particular type of yard goat.


Monday, April 14, 2008

Budget buildings

As was seen in my recent building project, most of my buildings are junk box rescues. I simply refuse to fork over the kind of long green asked of most manufacturers today, choosing rather to spend my simple green in other, more eternally impacting endeavors.






...and other rescues.




Sunday, April 13, 2008

Life without the Gospel...

Imagine life without the Gospel. For many people, even for many people that we know, this is their reality. What would such a life be like? How would we live, think, be? Without the Gospel we have only the law, only demands, rules, a raging conscience which is devouring us or which is caged and ignored. Without the Gospel there is no Jesus on the cross, no forgiveness of sin by His blood, no comfort in His Word. What is the result of such a void?

The answer is two-fold: pride or despair. A Pharisee or a Judas. Without the Gospel we are flung toward pride on the one hand, and despair on the other. Our Lutheran Confessions give us this insight:

As long as they hear the bare preaching of the Law, and nothing concerning Christ, and therefore do not learn from the Law to perceive their sins aright, [they] either become presumptuous hypocrites (who swell with the opinion of their own righteousness) as the Pharisees, or despair like Judas. [Formula of Concord, Epitome V.7]

We have to do something with our sin. If we cannot confess our sins and hear the promise of forgiveness, then we are set to get rid of our sins in another way. Either we act like we have overcome sin, or we know that sin has overcome us. Without the Gospel we go around like Pharisees or like Judas, governed by pride or despair. These are the only options. (There is perhaps a third option: total indifference to sin, but this is really the worst form of pride.)

Pride tries to handle sin by overcoming it. We see this effort embodied in the Pharisees. By all accounts they were very pious and outwardly holy. They added to the Ten Commandments hundreds of extra laws, but the common thing about all of these laws is that they were keep-able, do-able. This is the way of all man-made laws.

We tend to think that all the extra laws the Pharisees invented would make things more difficult; their standard would be more difficult to keep, but the opposite is true. As more laws are added the simplicity of the ten commandments is obscured. Traditions tend toward externals, and while the ten commandments demand love and sacrifice, traditions demand certain clothes and manner of hand washing. The law demands our heart, soul, mind and strength; traditions may be kept with our hands.

“Don't smoke.” “Don't dance.” “Don't eat meat.” Please add to the list your favorite man-made law. Whatever laws we add the the Scriptures might be difficult, but they are always possible. And this possibility is where pride lives. Whenever humanity invents a law it dulls the accusing edge of God's law until you have mere instruction that asks for correction instead of demanding repentance. This is the road of pride, the way of the Pharisee.

The other road taken without the Gospel is the path of despair. This is the result of the law doing what it is meant to do: it convicts us of our sin. The law shows us our sin; it always accuses. But the Lord intends that the Gospel would then come around to comfort us with the forgiveness of our sins. Without this comfort despair is given free reign; despondency runs free. This is the way that Judas went, and King Saul.

While our pride seeks to overcome sin, despair results from being overcome by sin. The Lord intends neither. He does not leave us to handle sin and death by our own resources and strength. His solution for our sin is the death of Jesus, His suffering, His blood, His cross and the resulting forgiveness and life. We take up the battle against sin not with our will or emotions but with our Lord Jesus and His Word of forgiveness and life.

Would that the Lord would keep us both from presumptuous pride and despair of His promises, and keep us in the comfort of His Gospel. And more, for all of us know people who live without the Gospel; whose lives are a swing between pride and despair, may God open our lips to speak His law and shed the light of His Gospel into the darkness of pride and despair. Amen.

Pastor Wolfmueller

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Modified diecast vehicles in HO scale...

...were the bulk of my LPB fleets until Wal-Mart came out with the Malibu Classics/Reel Rides cars and trucks. I still find I need to modify some vehicles.

I start with the basic toy, such as this Corgi London bus. I disassemble it and soak the parts in full strength Original Scent Pine-Sol for 4-8 hours. Then I file off mold parting lines and dress up overly thick window frames and such. A bit of paint leaves you with a bus that's unique and certainly easier on the budget than Busch or Praline offerings.



My wheel come from Reader's Digest firetrucks that I pick up at yard sales. The fire trucks are a bit larger than HO but their wheels are perfect and go a long way towards improving the look of toy trucks--even without any further modifications.



You know...there's this cat in my neighborhood....

1/6 scale R/C King Tiger tank with firing gun

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Yet another 25th anniversary to be celebrated...

I just realized that I've owned this very tube of Archer (Radio Shack) Rosin Soldering Flux Paste since 1983. I was modeling in N scale then with a nice layout that was about 3'x4' in size. I was also being beaten around the NCO Academy about that time, too. Wow...what a ride it's been...


Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Revell building kit circa 1960s...

I finished painting my wood frame store for my Inglenook switching puzzle layout. More can be seen here...



I lit the store front window using a flasher unit salvaged from a child's toy. Now my feminine LPBs can do a bit of window shopping for the new summer swimsuits.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Miracle Strip Model Railroad Club 25th Anniversary...

...custom painted Athearn HO scale 40' boxcar.


Today's monster scratchbuild...

...kezug's around the ceiling train loop in HO scale. Check out the lacy looking bridges.



Monday, April 7, 2008

Bachmann HO scale N&W Class "J" 4-8-4...

...thundering through Pete's Port at the Miracle Strip Model Railroad Club in Shalimar, Florida. Congratulations on your club's 25th Anniversary.