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1:55th scale
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giles b



Joined: 25 Oct 2006
Posts: 2192
Location: London

PostPosted: Sat Jun 09, 2018 3:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The first two figures have their "new clothes" - the overalls have come out a bit shiny and need a repaint, but otherwise I'm pleased with them - at least they no longer look like businessmen. During painting the arm cam off the left hand figure and at this magnification you can see it's been re-set a bit too low. Maybe some filler needed, to build it back up.



Since the picture was posted the population has doubled
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giles b



Joined: 25 Oct 2006
Posts: 2192
Location: London

PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2018 4:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Had some time today, and got the body-work of the boxcar finished. It took longer than I thought it would, with all the ladders to make and little bits of strapping for the door runners and catches.

Just need to find a good box-car brown in my paint collection.

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giles b



Joined: 25 Oct 2006
Posts: 2192
Location: London

PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2018 4:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Now the boxcar is finished it does make some of the ex-HO rolling stock look rather slim. I thing the old-style gondola can get away with it, but I'm seriously thinking whether the 0-4-0T will need beefing up a little. The cab is the main area to tackle, and could usefully do with an extra 5mm of width, as well as a little height - one of the reasons I wanted to make a start on some working figures to assess the trains' proportions. It looks like the cab will need widening and could usefully have its roof raised around 3mm, or should I just bite the bullet and make a look-alike Porter cab for it. At all events I have a plastic nozzle that could be cut down to form a decent loco chimney.
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giles b



Joined: 25 Oct 2006
Posts: 2192
Location: London

PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2018 5:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The paint's drying on the three items of rolling stock constructed so far. When painting the red gondola I realised it had corrugated steel ends, so these were filed down and vertical strapping added, plus end sills to give the brake-man somewhere to perch when operating the wheel, which is now set on a vertical pole. I found some press-studs in the sewing box, which work quite well for any cars not already provided. I'll try and bring the photos up to date tomorrow.

Time now to work out what reporting marks the cars will carry. A trawl through my part-used decal sheets showed the best bet would be to use my Southern Pacific/Cotton Belt letters, which have plenty of letters O, N, C, S and T for a potential fleet of about 8-10 vehicles. After some map-gazing and doodling with possible names I think it will be the Tallahatchie and Choctaw County RR (TCC), putting it squarely in the Mississippi delta and Bobbie Gentry land; my American layouts tend to have names with musical connections, and I had thought the layout might be called Muddy Waters. However, the railroad's chosen name also provides the the local business owners, for instance Thompson, Taylor or even MacAllister & Son (if the layout is set on/before 2nd June 1953).
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alastairq



Joined: 31 Aug 2008
Posts: 369
Location: the land that time forgot

PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2018 9:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Seasick Steve??? Smile
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giles b



Joined: 25 Oct 2006
Posts: 2192
Location: London

PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2018 3:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Progress on several fronts over the past couple of days. The baseboard for Muddy Waters is done - I'm trying out a method described in MTI of a light framework and 6mm plywood, topped with half-inch balsa to give a wharf-side appearance with the minimum of carpentry. It works, as all the carpentry was done yesterday afternoon with the gluing done overnight and this morning, with time out for some shopping - rail joiners to buy.

While the glue on the baseboard surface was drying I did some work on more of the figures, and there will soon be two railroad personnel and another man, standing with hands in pockets. I'm swapping the torsos and legs around from various bodies to get slight variety in the poses, heights, and using different hat styles to mix it up a little more. On the rolling stock front, an old Tri-ang reefer is providing part of the body to go on one of the recently arrived flat cars, while a cheap gondola has been shortened and will get some planked sides to turn it into another boxcar.

Meanwhile a bid of 2.99 plus postage, bagged another 0-4-0T loco - a Lima version of the L'il Tugger tank engine. It is an old model, repainted and a little bit scruffy so there were no other bidders, but it should be good for some rather drastic cab modification. The valve gear is not so accurate as the Model Power version, but I can always add some cosmetic slide bars, once I can test it on the track, which should be ready by the time it arrives.
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giles b



Joined: 25 Oct 2006
Posts: 2192
Location: London

PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2018 10:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The first of the flat car donors has been shortened to a scale 22ft to match the boxcar. This one is going to be a reefer with sides from an incomplete Tri-ang TC model. The doors have been enlarged a little and I need to extend the locking bars. The sides can then be cemented onto the outside of the donor flat, which will make them the correct width, and I'll provide new ends and roof.


Meanwhile, here's the work in progress on one of the new figures (body Preiser + added headgear, legs from a Slater figure - slightly adjusted).
The painting needs a second coat, as I handled him too soon and some of it rubbed off.
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giles b



Joined: 25 Oct 2006
Posts: 2192
Location: London

PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2018 12:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The 0-4-0T arrived this morning. First inspection revealed it to be a fairly elderly model, as had been hinted by its brass wheels, seen in one of the photos. It turned out to be picking up on only one pair of wheels, but a quick tweak of the PB wheel contacts cured that, and after a wheel-clean and a drop of oil it started running much more freely. It does need a lot more weight adding, being seriously light-footed, but I can leave the side tanks in place and stuff them with lead sheet.

As the baseboard and track is complete I want to get the wiring in (only four connections) today if possible, after which there'll be a gap before there's more modelling time.

BTW can anyone confirm if a very dilute coat of PVA will act as a flatting agent on gloss paint?

[Edit] finished connecting the wiring to the track and had a test session with various locos. The Model Power 0-4-0T is OK, and the new Lima version runs better than it did when first unwrapped after a spot of oil and a tweak to the pick-ups. My Bachmann Plymouth - due to become a boxcab - is superb, and an old Piko railbus chassis runs very well, too, and could yet be turned into a primitive doodlebug.
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giles b



Joined: 25 Oct 2006
Posts: 2192
Location: London

PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2018 4:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ever hopeful, I've won another online auction lot of a Model Power 0-4-0T of the L'il Tugger variety, at its starting price. There are slight issues with the body - the front pilot looks as if the width has been trimmed, but as I need it to be wider than the HO one and would have worked on it anyway, that's not a cause for concern. What may have put more people off is the fact that the chassis and body seem to be held together under the cab by a bendy bit of styrene, suggesting that the nub on the chassis that ought to fit into a slot in the body is missing. Again, something that ought to be reasonably easy to deal with.

Meanwhile I've been tackling the ground cover and have "paved" some of the roadway areas beside the track with card that will get a wash of plaster slurry at a later date. The more ticklish problem is how to plant the alternative buildings for HO and 1:55th scale so that, as far as possible, the joins don't show. I am mounting buildings on 1/8th inch thick balsa sheets, and building up the surrounding ground with a balsa frame for the foundations to drop into.


The head-scratching started with the narrow gauge freight and passenger depot, which is larger than the footprint of the HO version, and also on several different levels. In the end I've made the 1:55 scale depot sit on a deck which extends over part of the river - where the HO riverboat will fit.


At present it's a mass of small joined-up bits of balsa, the result of some false starts, but all will be covered with coffee-stirrer deck boards when it's finished - hopefully tomorrow. The HO depot will be on the other side of the line and can be retained in position with small wooden blocks, which a small yard office can fit over in the larger scale, if the foundation pit idea doesn't work.

Apologies for the messy pictures; this is the untidy stage of construction, but all will need to be put away mid-week, so I can concentrate on some maintenance work on Shellsea Harbour.
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giles b



Joined: 25 Oct 2006
Posts: 2192
Location: London

PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2018 4:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Flitting about from one thing to another (as usual) I've been looking at possible back-scene images - the reason being that I want to fix the back-board in place to keep the baseboard from warping in the heat, and it's easier to do the back-scene while it's being mounted on a strip of plywood.





As you see I have some waterside images and some country ones, the hope being that a low relief building to separate them will make viewers think the river turns away and runs the other side of the middle-distance trees at the left hand end of the layout. I still need to fret out the board that hides the fiddle yard exit, which will be fronted by a row of low relief buildings with (I think) the suggestion of trees behind.

This is only a rough layout, as I need to put a new ink cartridge in the printer to get the images to match better. The wharf pictures also need a little editing for colour as otherwise the duplicated buildings area little too obvious.
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giles b



Joined: 25 Oct 2006
Posts: 2192
Location: London

PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2018 9:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Although I like the waterside view shown above (Wolfeborough on Lake Winnipesaukee, NH) I can't help wondering why the town is on the other side of the water when the railway is this side. Also the vista is a little too distant and doesn't really match the other end of the backscene architecturally.

Googling Mississippi River views I came across a selection of shots of the Tallahatchie River, the actual supposed location of the 1;55 scale line.
By printing the picture twice with one side flipped horizontally there is sufficient length so long as the girder bridge is removed from one side. Girder bridge? Well, that goes to explain the connections of the modelled tracks with the rest of the railroad. The line comes over the river to a station from where a short branch/long siding trails back to serve a wharf.



This backscene is only to evaluate the prespective and composition so was printed with a cartridge very low on ink.
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Blackcloud Railways



Joined: 25 Oct 2006
Posts: 2039
Location: Sandbach UK

PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2018 5:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Taking both options for the backscene together, town that side of the water, railway this side? Simple. The railway was intending to span the river, aiming for somewhere well beyond, but realised too late how much a bridge would cost.

By that time it would be uneconomical to start surveying an alternative route so a car-float dock a short distance upstream is used to ferry freight traffic across the river to the other, unconnected, section of the railway without the need for transshipment to/from a riverboat. Hence the short branch/long siding.

The girder bridge on the backscene belongs to another railroad and running rights across it are difficult to negotiate because the two railroads were built to different gauges.
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giles b



Joined: 25 Oct 2006
Posts: 2192
Location: London

PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2018 10:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, Bob, either of those scenarios works for me.

I do like the more rural view, which works for the 1:55 option while the distant town view is good if I get to the shared HO version; it may be a bit too New England-looking to represent the Mississippi delta area. I don't want to have to change back-scenes, so will make a decision later. This may depend on whether I can increase the size of the town images and "repaint" some of the houses to make the repeated structures less obvious.

One all is decided and installed I can then fit the control panel, before getting back to the work on the scenic foreground.
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giles b



Joined: 25 Oct 2006
Posts: 2192
Location: London

PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2018 10:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Modelling is definitely taking a back seat at present, owing to a gardening project in progress. However some small steps have been taken in 1:55.

The Li'l Tugger 0-4-0T has started its upscale transformation. I didn't do a card mock-up of the changes - perhaps I should have - as it turns out raising the height of the current cab while leaving the rear bunker exposed at the rear looks a little odd, mainly I think because we are conditioned to see American steam locomotives with two cab windows, plus any side doors. I could extend the cab over the present bunker (but where would the fuel go?), or else extend forwards over the tanks. This makes the visible boiler a bit short. It may be necessary to decrease the headroom in the cab and the height of the chimney to improve the proportions.

The show last week-end provided an old-fashioned HO planked reefer body, to which I've fitted some spare bogies. I'll need to cut out the doors and add new ones, wider and taller, and then a horizontal plank along the top of the sides (did they call them cantrails in the USA?) to increase the height a little. The roof will then need slightly widening, which can be done by sawing along the centre-line and adding a new roof-walk overlaid onto the original.

Finally I remembered that the On30 stock for Puerto Paseo includes a short tank car that was made as a water tender for the Paseo Mail, but has never been used. If the edges of the decking are cut back and the tank saddles lowered, it should work well for 1:55. The potential stock roster would then be 3 boxcars, 3 gondolas, two reefers, a flat car and a tanker, which should be plenty.

Next week there I hope there may be some spare time to move some of these ideas forward.
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giles b



Joined: 25 Oct 2006
Posts: 2192
Location: London

PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2018 5:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Had a little spare time today to get on with some more of the freight cars; starting with the tank car that was originally part of the Puerto Paseo collection, where it always looked a little small. I took 5mm off each side of the flat car base, which luckily left half of the original Obechi solebars in place, then refitted the tank. The old brake wheel looked a bit large, and has been replaced with half a press-stud. The car seems to fit in quite well with the boxcar, so I can go ahead and detail and re-paint it.


The HO reefer had its sides removed and the edges thickened with some 60thou square rod. The grab-irons were removed, and the doors cut out to fit new enlarged doors.


The sides were then refitted to the ends, so it now pretty much matches the boxcar's dimensions. The roof still needs the profile boards fitted to the car ends, so it is sitting a little flat at present.




Next session I'll finish the ends and add the ladders and replace the grab irons with staple wire.
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