Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Miniatur Wunderland...

...if you find yourself in Hamburg, please go there in my place...

Monday, November 28, 2011

Modeling water...

...in short, I hate it. I'm not too fond of any of the current techniques, each having their own compromises. One simply learns to live with the shortcomings of ones chosen technique, mine being varying shades of acrylic paints coated with many coats of clear gloss medium, interspersed with gloss coats that have been tinted with various shades of brown, green and blue.

The water where I live has a noticeable tea color from the cypress trees along the shore. I simulate this with a couple drops of brown craft paint to tint the gloss coat. Ditto for one coat of green for algae and one coat of blue for reflected sky. The effects are much more subtle than the camera gives justice. A nice touch is the ripple effect in the simulated sand bottom created by the tinted water settling in the styrofoam beads that is very noticeable near the ends of the bridge...



The acrylic, like most products, has an unsightly edge creep that needs dressing up...not as bad as most but foliage patiently applied works very well here.

The girl is Frankensteined together from 3 different Plasticville figures. I made a putty out of styrene sprues dissolved in liquid plastic cement. Once applied and hardened, it carves easily to any shape, in this case, the hair and contouring her body to be more feminine (she started out life as a brakeman, mail carrier and male pedestrian).

The pier is cobbled from scraps in the junk box with some wood dowel for pilings, then aged and weathered.


Sunday, November 27, 2011

Matthew 24:4-14

And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.

Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake. And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.


One need only look to last Friday, the day after the day when everyone supposedly gave thanks for all they had (...up to that point, I guess) to understand that we, as a nation, have a problem. And, since God sees fit to start His judgment at His house (1Peter 4:17), then it is a safe bet that our problem as a nation can be traced back to its pew warmers.

I'm not going into the list, it is long, nasty and bloody and does not need a Congressional committee to have a hearing on it to know that it exists. I do know this, as some wise sage put it sometime back;

"Because nations are temporal entities and not eternal, their sins must be judged in the here and now, for there is no judgment for them in eternity."---paraphrase, currently tracking source.

If we as a nation do not repent, then we as a nation will fall...and all the evidence points to right soon.

Where is your treasure stored up?

Where lies your anchor?

To whom will you/do you call out to?

...just saying.

BTW: The problem people have with Tim Tebow is not his praying, it's his faith and that, for once, there's someone on the field whose testimony off the field matches his genuflecting on the field. American "Christian", stand up and take note or sit down and shut up...

Friday, November 25, 2011

Mehano HO scale 4-6-4 Hudson semi-streamlined in Canadian National paint, epilogue...

Remember that cool bell I made?

Guess what I found in my parts bin...


Seems like all those part lots I buy for a couple of bucks at train shows can hide a gem or two...in this case, an original Mantua bell the fits just fine with a little adjusting of the bracket holes---and it has a clapper to boot.

I'm not tossing the other bell though...it'll serve to stand in somewhere else as needed.

LSU 41 Arkansas 17...

...I love smoked ham...woo hoo...


Scenicking the Procrastenatan River...

...4 1/2 years after I put the shell down...sigh...

My technique is fairly simple...buy lots of cheap half-full bags of Woodland Scenics ground foam at train shows for pennies on the dollar. Paint the shell with a generous coat of equally cheap Wally World craft paint...then coat it liberally with various shades and coarseness of ground foams while the paint is still wet. Over spray it all with a mist of water with a bit of alcohol in it to help drying time, then dribble a 50/50 water and acrylic matte medium solution over it all...touch up as needed.




Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving 2011...

Anything I come up with sounds too superficial and self-centered. I've given God countless reasons to flick me off of this planet like an old rag and into any tormented flaming eternity He deemed fit and all with more than good cause.

That my family is laughing together in the other room right now, in a home that is mortgage free and secure, with food enough to feed a small third world nation, provided by God to the benefit of this wayward and thankless husband and father is more than I can take in at times.

May you and yours have a blessed holiday...

National Day of Thanksgiving, October 3, 1789

Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor, and whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me "to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness."

Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be. That we may then all unite in rendering unto him our sincere and humble thanks, for his kind care and protection of the People of this Country previous to their becoming a Nation, for the signal and manifold mercies, and the favorable interpositions of his providence, which we experienced in the course and conclusion of the late war, for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty, which we have since enjoyed, for the peaceable and rational manner, in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national One now lately instituted, for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed; and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and in general for all the great and various favors which he hath been pleased to confer upon us.

And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech him to pardon our national and other transgressions, to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually, to render our national government a blessing to all the people, by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed, to protect and guide all Sovereigns and Nations (especially such as have shown kindness unto us) and to bless them with good government, peace, and concord. To promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the encrease of science among them and Us, and generally to grant unto all Mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best.

Given under my hand at the City of New York the third day of October in the year of our Lord 1789.

Go: Washington

Monday, November 21, 2011

The Delmarva Model Railroad club...

...glad to see they're getting it back together after a very hard year...

Sunday, November 20, 2011

John 21:20-23

Then Peter, turning about, seeth the disciple whom Jesus loved following; which also leaned on his breast at supper, and said, Lord, which is he that betrayeth thee? Peter seeing him saith to Jesus, Lord, and what shall this man do? Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou me.

Then went this saying abroad among the brethren, that that disciple should not die: yet Jesus said not unto him, He shall not die; but, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee?

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Con-Cor/Rivarossi N scale 2-8-8-2 N&W Y6b....

...gets an early Kadee Micro-Trains #1048 conversion kit installed. Nicely engineered for a relatively painless install, Kadee is to be commended for its early foray into a fledgling scale, without which N scale probably wouldn't enjoy the following it does, and certainly at a time when what was offered usually did not line up with the quality of the conversion kit Kadee designed for it.

The Con-Cor Mallet was one of the better running locomotives offered in its day, and certainly well worth the extra work to convert...even today. The conversion kits are still relatively easy to find online for these old locos, and usually run between $3-10 apiece.




The original pilot coupler provided in the kit grenaded on me, leaving me to modify one (actually two, one of THOSE grenaded as well...sigh...) from a U-boat conversion kit I had lying around. It does work but serves as a reminder to how fragile they are...

Friday, November 18, 2011

AHM/Rivarossi Limited Edition HO scale Conrail Bicentennial GG1 #4800...

...the first GG1 built and the only one with a riveted carbody, the others being welded, hence the nickname "Old Rivets". Along with this paint scheme, #4800 wore Pennsylvania RR, Penn Central and the standard blue Conrail paint before being retired to a museum siding around 1980.

Number 2091 of 2700 made, the AHM/Rivarossi model falls short only in that they use a welded carbody on their rendition, but is an otherwise faithful and accurate reproduction of Old Rivets when she wore this paint scheme in the years around our nation's 200th birthday. I especially enjoy the silver running gear and the kitschy 70s stylized graphics. It comes complete with its original foam lined box, certificate of authenticity and commemorative belt buckle...



Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Mehano HO scale 4-6-4 Hudson semi-streamlined in Canadian National paint...

...part of a set offered in a Canadian retail chain. I just love the colors, the whitewalls and elephant ears---a feature added to some passenger engines to lift the smoke higher over the equipment behind for appearance and passenger comfort.



It is an excellent runner but...alas...its bell had gone the way of odd socks and Kadee coupler springs. Since replacements are hard to find, I made my own with a bit of brass wire, an odd rivet in my scrap box and a blob of solder...



After a bit of bending and then a good buff with my Dremel tool, my Canadian Belle had a bell again...



Sunday, November 13, 2011

Jeremiah 23:1-8

Woe be unto the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! saith the LORD. Therefore thus saith the LORD God of Israel against the pastors that feed my people; Ye have scattered my flock, and driven them away, and have not visited them: behold, I will visit upon you the evil of your doings, saith the LORD.

And I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all countries whither I have driven them, and will bring them again to their folds; and they shall be fruitful and increase.

And I will set up shepherds over them which shall feed them: and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall they be lacking, saith the LORD.

Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.

Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that they shall no more say, The LORD liveth, which brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt; But, The LORD liveth, which brought up and which led the seed of the house of Israel out of the north country, and from all countries whither I had driven them; and they shall dwell in their own land.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Con-Cor/Kato JNR DD13 N scale Centercab Switcher, circa 1978---boo boos....

...it has developed a nasty grind, especially climbing grades. Further inspection revealed a gear that has had half of its teeth chewed off by the worm gear...

...what it should look like...


...what it now looks like.

By removing these three spur gears, including the offending one, I am now able to run it still...albeit with greatly reduced traction ability...


I wonder if Kato still stocks 35 year old locomotive parts?

TCU 36, Boise State 35

Thank you Texas Christian University Horned frogs for shuttin' them Boise State "We deserve a shot at the title" Broncos up...


Apparently, our guys came all this way to play in the Meineke Bowl...sigh...

UPDATE: Maybe not, I think they found their game somewhere in the icy stare of the Mad Hatter during halftime....

Final score...LSU 42, Western Kentucky 9

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Matthew 24:3-12

And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?

And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.

Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake. And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

LSU 9, Alabama 6....

"...'round the bowl and down the hole...Roll Tide, Roll!!"


As we enter the holiday season...

I detest most group movements and boycotts as they almost always start with finger pointing at some boogeyman or another that needs knocking down. An honest assessment of our nation's current situation starts with realizing that, for every finger we point, there are three pointing back at us.

With that I offer this -- slightly edited version -- of a current movement that has caught my eye. Without further comment, I ask, "What say you?"

Christmas 2011 -- Birth of a New Tradition

As the holidays approach, the giant Asian factories are kicking into high gear to provide North Americans with monstrous piles of cheaply produced goods -- merchandise that has been produced at the expense of Canadian/American labor. This year could be different. This year North Americans could give the gift of genuine concern for others. There is no longer an excuse that, at gift giving time, nothing can be found that is produced by American or Canadian hands.

Yes there is!

It's time to think outside the box, people. Who says a gift needs to fit in a shirt box, wrapped in Chinese produced wrapping paper?

Everyone -- yes EVERYONE gets their hair cut. How about gift certificates from your local hair salon or barber?

Gym membership? It's appropriate for all ages who are thinking about some health improvement.

Who wouldn't appreciate getting their car detailed? Small, locally owned detail shops and car washes would love to sell you a gift certificate or a book of gift certificates.

Are you one of those extravagant givers who think nothing of plonking down the $$$$ on a Chinese made flat-screen? Perhaps that grateful gift receiver would like his driveway sealed, or lawn mowed for the summer, or driveway plowed all winter, or games at the local golf course.

There are a bazillion owner-run restaurants -- all offering gift certificates. And, if your intended isn't the fancy eatery sort, what about a half dozen breakfasts at the local breakfast joint. Remember, folks this isn't about big National chains -- this is about supporting your home town businesses with their financial lives on the line to keep their doors open.

How many people couldn't use an oil change for their car, truck or motorcycle, done at a shop run by the American working guy?

Thinking about a heartfelt gift for mom? Mom would LOVE the services of a local cleaning lady for a day.

My computer could use a tune-up, and I KNOW I can find some young guy who is struggling to get his repair business up and running.

OK, you were looking for something more personal. Local crafts people spin their own wool and knit them into scarves. They make jewelry, and pottery and beautiful wooden boxes.

Plan your holiday outings at local, owner operated restaurants and leave your server a nice tip. And, how about going out to see a play or ballet at your hometown theatre.

Musicians need love too, so find a venue showcasing local bands.

Honestly, people, do you REALLY need to buy another ten thousand Chinese lights for the house? When you buy a five dollar string of lights, about fifty cents stays in the community. If you have those kinds of bucks to burn, leave the mailman, trash guy or babysitter a nice BIG tip.

You see, Christmas could no longer be about draining North America's pockets so that China can build another glittering city. Christmas could now be about caring for our neighbors and encouraging small businesses to keep plugging away to follow their dreams. And, when we care about our neighbors, we care about our communities, and the benefits come back to us in ways we couldn't imagine.

THIS could be the new Christmas tradition.

Consider forwarding this to everyone on your mailing list -- or posting it to discussion groups -- or throw up a post on Craigslist in the Rants and Raves section in your city -- or send it to the editor of your local paper, radio stations, and TV news departments. This could start a revolution of caring about each other as a people, and isn't that a part of what Christmas is about?

Tru-Scale Models READY-TRACK, November 1970...

...can you believe it's that time already?


Pennsyvania Railroad engine crew fire control video....

Thursday, November 3, 2011

N scale Arnold 0-8-8-0 Tenderlok BR-96 Mallet

Having wanted one for many years, I was pleased to have the opportunity to have one come my way...even if it was only to repair damaged running gear.

Pretty tight work for my beastly mitts---keep in mind that the drivers on this locomotive are just over a 1/4" in diameter and that rod is a half inch long with a 1/16" hole to line up with a 1/32" hole.


A beautifully detailed locomotive and an excellent runner, its one shortcoming appears to be the egg shaped eccentric. Unlike the rest of the rod work, it is made of plastic and appears to crack, but only enough to pop the rivet out under stress. Because the rivet is peened, it simply snaps back in...albeit with the aid of high powered magnifiers and a jeweler's needlenose pliers.



I wish I could have taken better pictures but I simply don't like to take chances with such models in my house. Though 30+ years old, they still command a premium price, usually $200-250 easily. They came in four colors, each a representation of an actual color used on the Bavarian Railways at the time: black, blue, green and tan and all with the colorful red running gear.

So, like some "catch and release" fishing trophy, one more picture before I sent it back to its owner.



Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Nothing wrong with this HO scale 4-8-4 Mountain...

...start with a good running mechanism, a empty six pack and some hand tools...woo hoo...

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The 'Twilight Zone' meets "Mister Rodger's Neighborhood'...

...hands down the best model train video yet.