Sunday, August 31, 2008

Isaiah 43:1-21

(1) But now thus saith the LORD that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine.

(2) When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.

(3) For I am the LORD thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour: I gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee.

(4) Since thou wast precious in my sight, thou hast been honourable, and I have loved thee: therefore will I give men for thee, and people for thy life.

(5) Fear not: for I am with thee: I will bring thy seed from the east, and gather thee from the west;

(6) I will say to the north, Give up; and to the south, Keep not back: bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the ends of the earth;

(7) Even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him.

(8) Bring forth the blind people that have eyes, and the deaf that have ears.

(9) Let all the nations be gathered together, and let the people be assembled: who among them can declare this, and shew us former things? let them bring forth their witnesses, that they may be justified: or let them hear, and say, It is truth.

(10) Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.

(11) I, even I, am the LORD; and beside me there is no saviour.

(12) I have declared, and have saved, and I have shewed, when there was no strange god among you: therefore ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, that I am God.

(13) Yea, before the day was I am he; and there is none that can deliver out of my hand: I will work, and who shall let it?

(14) Thus saith the LORD, your redeemer, the Holy One of Israel; For your sake I have sent to Babylon, and have brought down all their nobles, and the Chaldeans, whose cry is in the ships.

(15) I am the LORD, your Holy One, the creator of Israel, your King.

(16) Thus saith the LORD, which maketh a way in the sea, and a path in the mighty waters;

(17) Which bringeth forth the chariot and horse, the army and the power; they shall lie down together, they shall not rise: they are extinct, they are quenched as tow.

(18) Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old.

(19) Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.

(20) The beast of the field shall honour me, the dragons and the owls: because I give waters in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert, to give drink to my people, my chosen.

(21) This people have I formed for myself; they shall shew forth my praise.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Athearn HO scale Southern Pacific "'84 LA Games" SD40-2 dummy

I got the handrails installed while watching ESU send VT packing. I like Athearn handrails alot for their durability but, they can be a bit difficult to install. If they are not a good snug fit, I do one of two things.

---For overly loose parts, I use a bit of Loc-tite Super Glue Gel Control in the end of the part before I insert it.

---For tight fits, rather than force it, I use a heated 25w pencil soldering iron to heat up the end and slowly push it into the plastic. This has the added advantage of a firm grip after the plastic cools. The great disadvantage is that you can slip and ding the body shell with the hot point. Yes, I have done it and no, it is not a pretty sight seeing a 48 year old man go fetal and start sucking his thumb.

Once finished, I brush a drop of regular Crazy Glue to the end of each stantian to keep them perpendicular to the rails and footboards. No, mine are not all straight. Yes, I ran out of glue after I started this project.


Friday, August 29, 2008

Atlas N scale SW1500 in GM Demonstrator colors...

This one was part of a box lot and is one of the early 70s models with the mechanism built by Rivarossi.

I usually don't hesitate to purchase locomotives that don't run as 99 times out of one hundred, I'm able to rescue them. Burned out motors are actually rare. More often they are simply gummed up from age and use and are easily made to run again. This one however, was packed in a granular styrofoam powder that resembled laundry soap. It left an even finer dust that got everywhere in the mechanism, essentially ruining it and the motor of another locomotive that came with it.

After a thorough cleaning, I did my usual bench running to test it. It ran fine, then stopped dead. It will not run until I put a full 12 volt jolt to it. Once placed on the track, it sits there mocking me like some mechanical school yard punk. In short, it has successfully lined itself up as the next candidate for any moon shots I can put together.


Original ad: Cox HO scale model trains...

...from the September 1972 Model Railroader magazine.


I found out that the reason they could speak so well of their equipment is because most of it was being manufactured for them by Athearn at the time.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Athearn HO scale Southern Pacific "'84 LA Olympic Games" SD40-2 dummy

This act of kindness came to me today from the UK. Ken posted a picture of his on the Tyco forum just about the time the Olympics were getting started. I had made a comment about how nice it was and that it really belonged over here stateside, but not thinking anything of it beyond that. Shortly thereafter he PMed me, offering me another one that he had, a dummy, for the price of shipping, it simply had a damaged rear step. I eagerly jumped at the opportunity, and kited him the necessary postal funds. That my middle little sister recently moved to LA made getting it all the more special.

---The beast is flawless save for one bell on the horn, none of the steps were broken (still tryin' to figure out how that happened 'tween here and England, knowing the USPS's record)[ and I now have one of the prettiest Espee lokies outside of the Black Widow paint scheme that they had. Just got to place the railings, something that will be done this weekend whilst watching some college ball.

I am truly humbled and blessed to be in this hobby with folks like Ken and others I've met over the years and hope to live up to that in my dealings.


Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Wednesday's Word...

From a visitor in the past...

"Nice modeling but, I find the overt Christian message somewhat offensive."

Who art thou?...What sayest thou of thyself? He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Esaias. And they which were sent were of the Pharisees. And they asked him, and said unto him, Why baptizest thou then, if thou be not that Christ, nor Elias, neither that prophet? John answered them, saying, I baptize with water: but there standeth one among you, whom ye know not; He it is, who coming after me is preferred before me, whose shoe's latchet I am not worthy to unloose.

Enough said...

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Original ads: NorthWest Short Line

Model Railroader magazine; September 1972


Those familiar with my HOn30 Climax locomotive build can clearly see the inspiration for it in this ad and others like it.

Undecorated Bachmann HO scale N&W auxillary water tender...

...used both with their Class "J" streamlined 4-8-4s and their 2-8-8-2 Y6bs. Bachmann went all out on these with see-thru roof walks, scale hand rails and coupler lift bars. They also put pizza cutter flanges on it that would make Alessandro Rossi proud. Quite a piece of work for $8.99 back in the late 80s.


Monday, August 25, 2008

Kruger Street Toy and Train Museum...

Atlas HO scale Cotton Belt GP40...

...another product of a "good old boy" trade. Because DD40s were too big to go into a yard, the Espee would run locomotives like these with them to go in and pull out their train.


Yes, I know the Espee ran DD35s AND that the Athearn DD40s more closely resemble said DD35s---but---it's my road, not Tony Koester's.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Psalms 50

(1)---A Psalm of Asaph.--- The mighty God, even the LORD, hath spoken, and called the earth from the rising of the sun unto the going down thereof.

(2) Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God hath shined.

(3) Our God shall come, and shall not keep silence: a fire shall devour before him, and it shall be very tempestuous round about him.

(4) He shall call to the heavens from above, and to the earth, that he may judge his people.

(5) Gather my saints together unto me; those that have made a covenant with me by sacrifice.

(6) And the heavens shall declare his righteousness: for God is judge himself. Selah.

(7) Hear, O my people, and I will speak; O Israel, and I will testify against thee: I am God, even thy God.

(8) I will not reprove thee for thy sacrifices or thy burnt offerings, to have been continually before me.

(9) I will take no bullock out of thy house, nor he goats out of thy folds.

(10) For every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills.

(11) I know all the fowls of the mountains: and the wild beasts of the field are mine.

(12) If I were hungry, I would not tell thee: for the world is mine, and the fulness thereof.

(13) Will I eat the flesh of bulls, or drink the blood of goats?

(14) Offer unto God thanksgiving; and pay thy vows unto the most High:

(15) And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me.

(16) But unto the wicked God saith, What hast thou to do to declare my statutes, or that thou shouldest take my covenant in thy mouth?

(17) Seeing thou hatest instruction, and castest my words behind thee.

(18) When thou sawest a thief, then thou consentedst with him, and hast been partaker with adulterers.

(19) Thou givest thy mouth to evil, and thy tongue frameth deceit.

(20) Thou sittest and speakest against thy brother; thou slanderest thine own mother's son.

(21) These things hast thou done, and I kept silence; thou thoughtest that I was altogether such an one as thyself: but I will reprove thee, and set them in order before thine eyes.

(22) Now consider this, ye that forget God, lest I tear you in pieces, and there be none to deliver.

(23) Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me: and to him that ordereth his conversation aright will I shew the salvation of God.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

"CSI-Model Railroading"


Got a nice boxlot of locomotives and a box car in a "good ol' boy" type trade that included this HO scale Bachmann Santa Fe 4-8-4 "Northern". At first glance it appeared the only thing missing was the bell on the front of the smoke box...


...but on closer examination, I noticed that the feed water pump detail had been gnawed away in a previous life. It was done to make room for details cast onto the cylinders that aren't found on a Northern locomotive normally. The other side revealed a valve detail that was bent down by the running boards. Hmmmmmm...


....ahhhh...another clue...the trailing truck sports wheels that are almost half the size of a Northern's truck. Not only that, the truck is metal whereas the truck on the Northern model is plastic---AND---it's too far forward by about 18 scale inches.

The red brakeman's lanterns were really flashing in my inner rivet counter's eye's until I sought refuge in HO Seeker's excellent online archive of locomotive models and deduced that it was a Northern shell applied to a UP Overland model drive unit. This was later confirmed by its previous owner and with that, my alter ego Sternly Hardcase, a.k.a. "Rivet Counter Man", was driven back into his dark lair, before he got a glimpse of my Tyco locomotive collection.

UPDATE: My CSI work apparently didn't extend to noticing the missing eccentric rod on the other side...sigh...guess my fall project will be melding my other Northern with this one. It'll to come...

Friday, August 22, 2008

Athearn HO scale CSX C44-9W...

Oh, but to be realistic...

Photobucket gotta have two at least.

Purchased at a flea market, they sport numbers 9023 and 9003. They were often seen at train shows, I never found enough cars to slow them down. Now decoder free, they spend their daze wandering aimlessly around the test loop or sunning themselves on my diorama, daydreaming of days gone by when a consist of 45 cars was a day off.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

HO scale helium cars...

One of the more unique cars one could have on your roster, mine also show the sharing of car body molds over the years. The green New York Central unit is an AHM issue from the late 60s, early 70s. The red Southern Pacific unit is a recent acquisition, one of your classic "good ol' boy" trades, and is a Roco from about 20 years later.



Still got my eyes peeled for a couple of other paint variations...

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Wednesday's Word...

Isaiah 6:1-8

(1) In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple.

(2) Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly.

(3) And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory.

(4) And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke.

(5) Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.

(6) Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar:

(7) And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged.

(8) Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.

I have to be honest...I quietly steer clear of many newcomers to the hobby. It's not that I don't like them or that I don't like sharing what I know. I actually enjoy showing someone the ropes to scenery, maintenance and such. But, experience has taught me that a sizable number of these folks will end up with a dust covered "Plywood Pacific R.R." pining away in the corner of a garage, basement or attic in less than a year, the reality of the diverse skills, time and money involved smacking them upside the head pretty hard. If they stick with it that first year or so, then I know I have a fellow hobbiest who truly enjoys the hobby for what it can do for you rather than what it appears to be on the surface.

Alas, the same can be said for far too many of those I've met over the years in church. The initial "Rah rahs" have given way to the hard reality that there is more to the real faith than what meets the eyes. So many don't see the LORD as King of all Creation so much as they see a debt counselor, medicine man, cosmic life ring or celestial panic button. When the true price of believing rears its head, their starry visions, plans and dreams get set aside for the tyranny of the here and now, thus allowing the dust to gather on any faith they might have had at the beginning.

Tears must be shed, pain must be endured, losses must come, that which appears good must be set aside for the better---we must see ourselves and our desires for the absolute wretches that we and they are apart from Him. That He must redeem, He must sanctify, He must deliver and He must call. Once you see yourself for who you really are and He does the necessary work of redemption and sanctification, if you are still willing, then and only then can He send you out as one of His own.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

AHM HO scale SD40-2 custom Western Maryland paint scheme...

...received this from a modeler up in Canada. Whoever painted it knew their road's roster. I've always enjoyed having a bit of someone else's work in my fleet so I was really pleased to pick up this one though, at the time, I didn't know that it was a custom paint job I was buying. The postal services made sure I would keep them high on my B list, the front and rear railings were all but destroyed en route. A little bit of Ambroid's Pro-Weld kept me from going down to the post office and biting someone on the ankle.


Monday, August 18, 2008

An amazing collection of vintage model airplane engines...

Bear with it in the beginning, it is a tour of the whole shop.

IHC HO scale Fairbanks Morse C Liner...

..."Corky's Carnival Caravan"

Like those Tyco GG1s, I could not imagine wanting one of these things 25 years ago...but, alas, the nostalgia bug bit and I was able to pick the set up for an exceptional price at a local swap meet. Because of the pastel colors of the roofs on the boxcars, my son calls it the "birthday train".


Come on, you know you want one...besides, they run great AND they are easily converted to DCC.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Genesis 13

(1) And Abram went up out of Egypt, he, and his wife, and all that he had, and Lot with him, into the south.

(2) And Abram was very rich in cattle, in silver, and in gold.

(3) And he went on his journeys from the south even to Bethel, unto the place where his tent had been at the beginning, between Bethel and Hai;

(4) Unto the place of the altar, which he had made there at the first: and there Abram called on the name of the LORD.

(5) And Lot also, which went with Abram, had flocks, and herds, and tents.

(6) And the land was not able to bear them, that they might dwell together: for their substance was great, so that they could not dwell together.

(7) And there was a strife between the herdmen of Abram's cattle and the herdmen of Lot's cattle: and the Canaanite and the Perizzite dwelled then in the land.

(8) And Abram said unto Lot, Let there be no strife, I pray thee, between me and thee, and between my herdmen and thy herdmen; for we be brethren.

(9) Is not the whole land before thee? separate thyself, I pray thee, from me: if thou wilt take the left hand, then I will go to the right; or if thou depart to the right hand, then I will go to the left.

(10) And Lot lifted up his eyes, and beheld all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered every where, before the LORD destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, even as the garden of the LORD, like the land of Egypt, as thou comest unto Zoar.

(11) Then Lot chose him all the plain of Jordan; and Lot journeyed east: and they separated themselves the one from the other.

(12) Abram dwelled in the land of Canaan, and Lot dwelled in the cities of the plain, and pitched his tent toward Sodom.

(13) But the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners before the LORD exceedingly.

(14) And the LORD said unto Abram, after that Lot was separated from him, Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward:

(15) For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever.

(16) And I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth: so that if a man can number the dust of the earth, then shall thy seed also be numbered.

(17) Arise, walk through the land in the length of it and in the breadth of it; for I will give it unto thee.

(18) Then Abram removed his tent, and came and dwelt in the plain of Mamre, which is in Hebron, and built there an altar unto the LORD.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Mehano HO scale 4-6-2 Canadian

The 4-6-2 wheel arrangement is known as the "Pacific" or "St. Paul" class of steam locomotive under the Whyte notation or classification system.

Many of my pieces are somewhat like the memorial and witness stones the Patriarchs of the Old Testament would set up from time to time after God had moved in their life in some way. I have cars, locomotives and vehicles that are specific and special reminders of the people I know and have met through this hobby , for whom I pray for from time to time as they are brought to mind. This particular locomotive stands in place for all my wonderful Canadian friends I have met and modeled with, the paint scheme ensures that they are not easily forgotten.


Friday, August 15, 2008

Tyco HO scale 50' plug door boxcar circa 1980...

...part of the "Golden Eagle" train set. Could you imagine a toy with a tobacco related accessory coming out today?


Silver Streak HO scale Drover's caboose circa 1960s...

These were used on trains carrying livestock. The animal handlers used the coach end and the train crews used the caboose end with the cupola.

This was my first wood car kit, purchased in a parts lot partially assembled. I added full brake detail and painted and lettered it for my road.


Thursday, August 14, 2008

Varney HO scale C&O two bay covered hopper...

The mold for this has bounced around the industry for many years, last showing up at Life Like, both open and covered.

I received this in a lot dropped by the club. It was part of a evidence haul at the local police station that they needed to get rid of. None of the members was interested and I'm no good at saying no to free model trains. I weathered it and put new wheelsets and Kadee couplers on it.


Athearn HO scale Southern Pacific SD40-2 '84 LA Games paint scheme...

Owned by Catfordken over at the Tyco Forum. I found the original ad in the February '85 Railroad Model Craftsman.



Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Wednesday's Word...

Let it never be said that I do this blog as a way of promoting the idea that, "By golly, Jesus is really cool cuz you can still play with trains and models and stuff."

My model work is an added blessing from my Father in Heaven and my right of entry into your home to bring the Gospel of Jesus Christ and His revealed Word as found in the Scriptures. May God open my eyes to the first moment even the slightest shadow of this hobby comes between me and Him. I'll toss it out into the street just as I did so many years ago and never look back.

Evangelism: A Cheap Salvation

But we have renounced the hidden things of shame, not walking in craftiness and handling the word of God deceitfully, but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God.---2 Corinthians 4:2

Here again is seen the glaring discrepancy between Biblical Christianity and that of present-day evangelicals, particularly in the United States....

To make converts here we are forced to play down the difficulties and play up the peace of mind and worldly success enjoyed by those who accept Christ. We must assure our hearers that Christianity is now a proper and respectable thing and that Christ has become quite popular with political bigwigs, well-to-do business tycoons and the Hollywood swimming pool set. Thus assured, hell-deserving sinners are coming in droves to "accept" Christ for what they can get out of Him; and though one now and again may drop a tear as proof of his sincerity, it is hard to escape the conclusion that most of them are stooping to patronize the Lord of glory much as a young couple might fawn on a boresome but rich old uncle in order to be mentioned in his will later on.
---A.W. Tozer, Born After Midnight, 17.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Tyco HO scale United States Steel bulkhead flatcar...

One of those cases where I inadvertently made an uncommon car rarer...

I found this at the bottom of a box of junk cars at the local railroad museum. It was complete with no broken steps but, per my modus operandi at the time, I chucked the toy train wheelsets, clipped the Talgos and body mounted Kadee #5 couplers. Had I been a member of the Tyco Forum at the time, I might not of done that...


Monday, August 11, 2008

Scratchbuilt HOn30 Climax...

I built this some years back, one of the first online tutorials I ever did, spurred on by of all things the rack of antlers on the headlight. Someone needed a rack just like that to put on his loco's headlight and I cobbled a set together using some parts from the scrap box. Before I knew what hit me, the rack had to have a headlight which, of course needed a lokey to adorn. The rest, as they say, is history...


The locomotive was built onto the mechanism from a Model Power RS15---not a wise choice for such a model if one wishes to run said model. Poorly engineered from the start, Model Power diesels did their best work as static displays and not as working motive power. In the end I had to reluctantly make a flatcar load out of it---a great model still but not what I had originally intended.

The flatcar is a Revell model from the 1960s and includes the original sprung trucks. I added C70 rail to the deck, eventually I'll chain it down...eventually.

Unsolicited product endorsement...

After years of thumbing my nose at ready built buildings and trees, I have to say I was rather impressed with this product from Rapido. I've run my own t-pole wires and still have a tick in my eye from the experience. At 35 greenies though, I doubt any will be showing up on my layout---not a complaint mind you, I just don't fork over that kind of coin for my hobby easily.

The website can be found here.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

1 Thessalonians 5

(1) But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you.

(2) For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.

(3) For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.

(4) But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.

(5) Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.

(6) Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.

(7) For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night.

(8) But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.

(9) For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,

(10) Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him.

(11) Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.

(12) And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you;

(13) And to esteem them very highly in love for their work's sake. And be at peace among yourselves.

(14) Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men.

(15) See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men.

(16) Rejoice evermore.

(17) Pray without ceasing.

(18) In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

(19) Quench not the Spirit.

(20) Despise not prophesyings.

(21) Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.

(22) Abstain from all appearance of evil.

(23) And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

(24) Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.

(25) Brethren, pray for us.

(26) Greet all the brethren with an holy kiss.

(27) I charge you by the Lord that this epistle be read unto all the holy brethren.

(28) The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.
---The first epistle to the Thessalonians was written from Athens.---

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Athearn HO scale heavy duty flatcar...

The flat is easily my favorite freight car model, the Athearn heavy duty flat being my favorite flat car. Its articulated trucks make for an impressive show in 40 scale feet.



PhotobucketNo, I don't know why I haven't weathered the trucks on the C&NW car...go away.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Just celebrating the removal...

...of the last DCC chips in my fleet. Not my best editing, but it was fun to do nonetheless. Credits to Bachmann Turner Overdrive for the bumper music...

As an aside, it's amazing the engineering that went into those articulateds so that they could traverse an 18" radius curve. They relaxed a bit here though, my broadest curves are 20" radius.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

FREDS, Flashing rear end devices...

...and for less than three bucks.

I get my circuits from cheap toys and children's shoe boxes. I use a standard two cell (usually AAAs) battery clip in regular freight cars and scratchbuilt button cell clips for my pig trains and other cars with a high center of gravity. The SPST switch runs $1.29 at Radio shack. Filing down a 3mm LED into a small rectangle then wrapping it in shrink tubing makes a respectable FRED and creative wire routing sets it properly on the coupler, something those $39.95 cars don't do.


The flash rate of most cheap circuits is a bit high but a real life flash rate just isn't as effective in my opinion. A slower flash rate can be made from this circuit Bakatronics offers. It's easy to assemble, is adjustable and no mean trick for a newcomer to substitute an LED for the bulb.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Wednesday's Word...

...that I never forget why I'm here...

Evangelism: God is Depending on Us

Just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him love....---Ephesians 1:4

Sin is a disease. It is lawlessness. It is rebellion. It is transgression--but it is also a wasting of the most precious of all treasures on earth. The man who dies out of Christ is said to be lost, and hardly a word in the English tongue expresses his condition with greater accuracy. He has squandered a rare fortune and at the last he stands for a fleeting moment and looks around, a moral fool, a wastrel who has lost in one overwhelming and irrecoverable loss, his soul, his life, his peace, his total mysterious personality, his dear and everlasting all!

Oh, how can we get men and women around us to realize that God Almighty, before the beginning of the world, loved them, and thought about them, planning redemption and salvation and forgiveness?

Christian brethren, why are we not more faithful and serious in proclaiming God's great eternal concerns?

How is this world all around us ever to learn that God is all in all unless we are faithful in our witness?

In a time when everything in the world seems to be vanity, God is depending on us to proclaim that He is the great Reality, and that only He can give meaning to all other realities.
---A.W. Tozer, Christ the Eternal Son, 48.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

There's a prototype for everything...

I can't remember how I came about this photo, it proves there's a prototype for just about anything, even a freelanced electric locomotive I scratchbuilt 15 years ago and never got around to painting.



Swap meet Tech Tip #1...

Nothing beats a 9 volt battery with a couple of alligator clips attached to help diagnose whether that old Tyco or Bowser has any life left in its motor. Just touch it to the wheels, 9 volts is enough to goose some life out of all but the worst motors. It will take a little experience to know which wheels, as a general rule, touch the left drivers/right tender wheels on steam models, on most diesels it's usually pretty obvious which ones pick up power.


Monday, August 4, 2008

Matchbox Collectables tractor/trailer combos...

Though no scale is specified, I find they meld in perfectly as foreground models in HO scale. They were put out as a series in the mid 90s at roughly $30 each but now can be had for around $5 at most yard sales and flea markets. The only real discrepancy I've found is that the tandem axles track about a scale 9" wider than other trucks of similar size, hardly worth losing sleep over unless you are in the PROTO 87 crowd**. My only desire would have been less chrome, especially in the wheels but, for the price, one can flesh out a terminal or team track really quick.





These represent part of my early era fleet and are suitable for up to the very early 1970s settings.

**I have nothing but love for my PROTO 87 brethren.


Sunday, August 3, 2008

Psalms 40

(1) ---To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.--- I waited patiently for the LORD; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry.

(2) He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings.

(3) And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD.

(4) Blessed is that man that maketh the LORD his trust, and respecteth not the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies.

(5) Many, O LORD my God, are thy wonderful works which thou hast done, and thy thoughts which are to us-ward: they cannot be reckoned up in order unto thee: if I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered.

(6) Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire; mine ears hast thou opened: burnt offering and sin offering hast thou not required.

(7) Then said I, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me,

(8) I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart.

(9) I have preached righteousness in the great congregation: lo, I have not refrained my lips, O LORD, thou knowest.

(10) I have not hid thy righteousness within my heart; I have declared thy faithfulness and thy salvation: I have not concealed thy lovingkindness and thy truth from the great congregation.

(11) Withhold not thou thy tender mercies from me, O LORD: let thy lovingkindness and thy truth continually preserve me.

(12) For innumerable evils have compassed me about: mine iniquities have taken hold upon me, so that I am not able to look up; they are more than the hairs of mine head: therefore my heart faileth me.

(13) Be pleased, O LORD, to deliver me: O LORD, make haste to help me.

(14) Let them be ashamed and confounded together that seek after my soul to destroy it; let them be driven backward and put to shame that wish me evil.

(15) Let them be desolate for a reward of their shame that say unto me, Aha, aha.

(16) Let all those that seek thee rejoice and be glad in thee: let such as love thy salvation say continually, The LORD be magnified.

(17) But I am poor and needy; yet the Lord thinketh upon me: thou art my help and my deliverer; make no tarrying, O my God.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Rivarossi Memories... my newest addition to my modeling links, found by Nelson over at the Tyco forum. Originally only in Italian, thanks to the hard work of Angelo S. Giusti and Dario Romani, we Rivarossi fans on this side of the pond can enjoy the story and other models of Alessandro Rossi, the founder of Rivarossi.

Time to march out my big three again, click on the picture for its story...

Norfolk and Western 2-8-8-2 Y6b "Mallet"

Southern Pacific 4-8-8-2 Cab-Forward

Union Pacific 4-8-8-4 "Big Boy"

Friday, August 1, 2008

Wireless camera mounted on a Tyco F7 dummy...

I had a blast with this while it lasted. I bought a color camera and mounted it to the front truck of a Tyco F7. With a slight downward tilt, I got a fantastic view down the track with a very realistic panning action to the side as it approached curves. Sadly, I found they do not like having their polarity crossed and the camera succumbed to the dread "Magic Blue Smoke" that, until then, had only been the bane of my motors and DCC decoders.

I made a simple tray out of sheet aluminum and epoxied it to the truck after filing about a 7 degree bevel to it. The camera was held in place and easily adjusted further by using poster gum to hold it in place. The 9v battery fit very snug in between the screw posts to the fuel tank.

I cut a "smiley" into the nose of the F unit but, looking back, a simple widening of the door on the nose would have been enough. The antennae was fished through a hole drilled just ahead of the horns on the roof. I installed a 3mm super bright LED in the headlight to light the way through tunnels and passes that was quite effective. I have video somewhere that I'll post in the future.