Saturday, May 31, 2008

Life-Like HO scale pickup trucks, Part II...

...bumper extensions, mirrors, camper. I used clear styrene so that, once painted, the windows will be flush with the camper sides.





Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Bachmann HO scale Thomas and friends...

When I was a member of a club, I ran Thomas often at train shows and open houses, to the delight of children and their parents. I well remember the squeals of a little girl as she came into one of our open houses. When her eyes fell on Thomas across the layout, she called out, "Thomas, Thomas, look Mama...", as she ran across the room. Just as she got up to him, Thomas' eyes moved towards her and she squealed, "Mama, Mama, he looked at me, Thomas is real, he's real!!" Moments like that made him worth every penny and there were plenty of those moments to cherish.

Then there was a meeting. Apparently one of the members had objected to Thomas running through their expensive and hard built scenery and so a vote had to be brought up. Though they were never named, it was clear from the agitated stance who it was, a modeler whose work I liked and looked to for inspiration. Not wanting a war to break out over something I thought trivial, I offered not to run the locomotive any longer. But, the die was cast, the issue had to be properly resolved and, by an overwhelming majority, Thomas was voted to stay.

Sadly, the friendship I had with the modeler involved, did not survive the debate. They chose to carry the resentment on, even though I never ran Thomas again. When I heard news of his death a few months later, I was deeply saddened at the thought of carrying such a chip on one's shoulder into eternity over something so utterly pointless. Now more than ever I remember that this is just a hobby, a mindless platform that God has blessed me with and to use to reach others. One day it will all burn, a thousand years from now it will be a distant, fading memory of a temporal life, as we live forever in His presence---or apart from it. Never forget that.


Tuesday, May 27, 2008

AHM/Rivarossi HO scale 4-8-8-4 Union Pacific "Big Boy"... "Rod of Correction". You would think that, with less than $60 invested in the previous two articulateds, that I would simply trust the Lord to bring one of these Big Boys along---if He so desired---and at a price comparable to what I've paid before. Nope. $125, a nasty banging around in the box it was shipped it, the revelation that it was parted together from several different models over the years and a year and a half of part hunting had me place the "Lord" back into the Lord Jesus once and for all in this hobby.

This is not to say that doling out $25 Big Boys is a demand we can place on God nor is it to say that fulfilling my hobby desires are at His beck and call. The verse goes..."If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.

Yes, it turned out beautifully but, my goal is to be conformed to His Image...that He allows me to piddle with some of the toys of this world shouldn't even move the needle on my priority meter.



...from the December '66 Model Railroader magazine ad.

Monday, May 26, 2008

AHM/Rivarossi HO scale Southern Pacific 4-8-8-2 Cab-forward...

I purchased it at a swap meet for $25 because it "had a hitch in it" that the original owner couldn't resolve. I brought it home to find that its boiler weight was warped from zinc pest. I broke the weight into 3 pieces, then glued them back straight with JB Weld. After some filing and fitting, I installed DCC and added weight over the drivers. It regularly pulls about 25 cars up a 1.75% grade very well.


Sunday, May 25, 2008

Psalm 8

(1) (To the chief Musician upon Gittith, A Psalm of David.) O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens.

(2) Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength because of thine enemies, that thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger.

(3) When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained;

(4) What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?

(5) For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour.

(6) Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet:

(7) All sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field;

(8) The fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas.

(9) O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

AHM/Rivarossi HO scale N&W 2-8-8-2 Y6b "Mallet"...

I made it to third base in my hunt for all 4 articulated locomotives produced by AHM/Rivarossi with this purchase of a Norfolk and Western Y6b mallet. It was picked up for $30 at the same swap meet as the plow.


Ambroid HO scale Russell Plow...

This was given to me by one of the sellers at a swap meet today. He seemed pleased that I appreciated his workmanship and old school models and was glad to know it was going to a home where it was going to be enjoyed.


UPDATE: Thanks to Larry at HO Seeker, my thought that this was an old Ambroid kit appears to be true. From a 1964 ad, the B&M original snowplow, third down on the right...


Thursday, May 22, 2008

Lima HO scale bay window caboose...

The caboose in the previous shots was found in the dust and rubble of a large HO layout that was built in a shed. The original owner passed away 6 years previously, and friends and family helped his wife part out and sell down most of the layout. They left several boxes of buildings and old cars that had little value, where they remained as the shed fell down around them. I managed to pick this and two other cars out of the dust and spider webs, to reveal a unique weathering job placed there by time, rodents and rain---just like the real ones. I only added lettering for my road, blending it in with the weathering already present, then sealing it with clear flat.


Athearn HO scale Southern Pacific SW1500...

...stretching its legs on my newly scenicked shunting puzzle.



How NOT to fire your live steam model...


Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The Basic and Mostly Credible Inglenook Shunting Puzzle... some scenery put on it this past weekend. Deadlines are a great inspirer when you need some scenery done. The train show is coming to town in June...sigh...

My ground cover starts with a layer of sifted and demagnetized parking lot dirt, to which I mist a water mix that has a splash of rubbing alcohol and a drop of dish detergent as a wetting agent. Then I sprinkle on various colors and grades of Woodland Scenics ground foam. I wet it some more then dribble a 50/50 mix of water and acrylic matte medium as a fixing agent. Some of my buildings are glued in place at that time, others, like the store fronts, are made removable for future maintenance issues on their electronics.

You can keep up with the progress here...







Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Unusual tinplate layout...

...I think I'll stick to just running them around the layout.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Marklin layout on YouTube...

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Isaiah 54

(1) Sing, O barren, thou that didst not bear; break forth into singing, and cry aloud, thou that didst not travail with child: for more are the children of the desolate than the children of the married wife, saith the LORD.

(2) Enlarge the place of thy tent, and let them stretch forth the curtains of thine habitations: spare not, lengthen thy cords, and strengthen thy stakes;

(3) For thou shalt break forth on the right hand and on the left; and thy seed shall inherit the Gentiles, and make the desolate cities to be inhabited.

(4) Fear not; for thou shalt not be ashamed: neither be thou confounded; for thou shalt not be put to shame: for thou shalt forget the shame of thy youth, and shalt not remember the reproach of thy widowhood any more.

(5) For thy Maker is thine husband; the LORD of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called.

(6) For the LORD hath called thee as a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit, and a wife of youth, when thou wast refused, saith thy God.

(7) For a small moment have I forsaken thee; but with great mercies will I gather thee.

(8) In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the LORD thy Redeemer.

(9) For this is as the waters of Noah unto me: for as I have sworn that the waters of Noah should no more go over the earth; so have I sworn that I would not be wroth with thee, nor rebuke thee.

(10) For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the LORD that hath mercy on thee.

(11) O thou afflicted, tossed with tempest, and not comforted, behold, I will lay thy stones with fair colours, and lay thy foundations with sapphires.

(12) And I will make thy windows of agates, and thy gates of carbuncles, and all thy borders of pleasant stones.

(13) And all thy children shall be taught of the LORD; and great shall be the peace of thy children.

(14) In righteousness shalt thou be established: thou shalt be far from oppression; for thou shalt not fear: and from terror; for it shall not come near thee.

(15) Behold, they shall surely gather together, but not by me: whosoever shall gather together against thee shall fall for thy sake.

(16) Behold, I have created the smith that bloweth the coals in the fire, and that bringeth forth an instrument for his work; and I have created the waster to destroy.

(17) No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Modern "Galloping Goose" in HOn30...

...guess it's time I should finish it.

It's built on an old Atlas Geep mechanism and tracks quite well. The how-to can be found here.


HO scale North American Dispatch "Pluto Water" reefer...

...manufacturer unknown. This is a printed wood kit with all major detail points prepositioned for ease of construction. I intend to finish this one for regular service for its unique logo and paint.


Wednesday, May 14, 2008

StromBecker HO scale reefer circa 1947...

...just making sure that you newcomers appreciate what's available in the hobby. In light of what used to count as an HO kit, I just smile when someone weeps and gnashes their teeth because they can't find a particular model available R-T-R, DCC ready with Quantum Sound. I'll keep these around just to erk the ribbet counter crowd too...the printed hatches on this reefer's roof should have them flippin' and floppin' in the aisle at the local train show




O yeah...don't forget the state of the art running gear and draft gear that was available back then. NMRA/X2f couplers were just the thing. Then you had Roundhouse, MDC, Baker, Mantua hook/loops, Kadee Magna-Matic MK-4s and MK6s, Marcoes...all compatible as cats in a dog kennel.


Tuesday, May 13, 2008

StromBecker HO scale boxcars circa 1947... NYC "Pacemaker" and B&O "Sentinel" paint schemes.





Monday, May 12, 2008

StromBecker caboose kit circa 1948...

From the ad...

"StromBecker caboose cars are authentic to scale. They are designed to meet the requirements of HO railroading. StromBecker HO caboose can be used on operating layout if you use HO trucks and couplers. StromBecker kits can be winners and make fine gifts for dad's desk, Mother's mantle, your room and as a help for your teacher."

Many thanks to Gregg at the Tyco forum for the box that contained this and other 1940s era HO models.




Sunday, May 11, 2008

To my beloved bride of 17 years...

Proverbs 31:10-31

(10) Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.

(11) The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil.

(12) She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.

(13) She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands.

(14) She is like the merchants' ships; she bringeth her food from afar.

(15) She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens.

(16) She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard.

(17) She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms.

(18) She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night.

(19) She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff.

(20) She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy.

(21) She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet.

(22) She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple.

(23) Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land.

(24) She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant.

(25) Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come.

(26) She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.

(27) She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.

(28) Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.

(29) Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all.

(30) Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised.

(31) Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Perception over reality...'s all in the angle of the camera...

My contest entry over at another forum had me coming up with a scene I couldn't model normally. I have many space, time and financial restrictions and so settled on trying to fool the viewer's eye into seeing things that simply aren't there. My first shot shows my final effort as pictured...


Because I wanted a post-Civil War setting, I felt a color shot couldn't do it and so, using Gimp, I added a sepia tone and fuzzy border to what is now my contest entry.


Needless to say, I'm thrilled with how it came out...especially when you consider the "hours" of careful "modeling" I did...


I must add that the packet steamer is a wooden model in 1:90 scale built and given to me by one of my residents, Mr. Ralph Hughs. I've since christened it the "Col. John S. Mosby", after a particularly wily Confederate guerrilla fighter in the Civil War. My future plans include re-rigging it, as most of it is dried out and breaking, cleaning it off and putting a crew and passengers on it.

108 cars...

...pulled by one Athearn F7. I just love how it opens and closes with it chasing it's tail.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Alexander Scale Models HO scale Industrial Brownhoist crane circa 1970...

Rescued from a junkbox at a train show for nothing, it was poorly assembled and painted and severely damaged. I rescued it as best I could, adding a roof, cable and hook, then painting and weathering it. The sheen comes from Testor's Dulcote and it's annoying ability to pick and chose when it wants to dry flat or with a satin gloss...sigh.




Sunday, May 4, 2008


Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called: Mercy unto you, and peace, and love, be multiplied.

Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.

I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not. And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day. Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire. Likewise also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities. Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee. But these speak evil of those things which they know not: but what they know naturally, as brute beasts, in those things they corrupt themselves. Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core.

These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear: clouds they are without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots; Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever. And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him. These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaketh great swelling words, having men's persons in admiration because of advantage.

But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts. These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit.

But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. And of some have compassion, making a difference: And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.

Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

N scale Harley Davidson motorcycle...

...built by Butters over at the N Scale Forum.


Friday, May 2, 2008

2 min. 55 sec., 2 locos, 100 cars, 2 cabeese... John's own words...

"Okay, finally, I get the latest tries for this site.
It's May 1st, 2008.

I was attempting this load with a Pennsy C-Liner by LL P1K and an SD-45 by Bachmann spectrum.
Something happened to the SD-45... GRRR!
So, I swapped the locomotives.
Sound, lights, action... Two Athearn Genesis F-3 Demonstrators pull the load.
A bit of technical difficulties, and then resuming the train.
Funny, with the other locomotives, there were no problems until I started filming. Go Figure!

So, here it is... Just a teensy bit over 100 freight cars... Double locomotives, 100 cars, two(2) cabooses."

O, HO and N scale 4 wheeled bobbers...

...shown in relation to each other for perspective. Honest, Ray, I'm gonna do something to yours and give it'll get it back...someday...sigh...



Thursday, May 1, 2008

Fully animated treehouse scene in HO scale...

...on a peanut butter jar lid!

1/8 scale trebuchet...

...a bit of my assistant's handiwork that he gave to my children. Golf balls make very good ammo. NOW the neighborhood cats have a problem...