Once upon a time, Dave built some T-Trak modules. He spread a pair of passing sidings across several of them, and called them “the yard modules.” Those modules proved incredibly useful, and were included in every show layout. When Dave took a break from the hobby, Dana got the yard modules, and they went to so many shows that their foam-over-flakeboard carcases got all beat up. I built new carcases from oak-veneer plywood, and Dana and I installed the old track on them. They continued to go to every show. When Dana stepped back from his train-show activities, I got the yard modules, and here our story begins. (more…)
Atlas, one of model railroading’s most established manufacturers, came late to the online-ordering party. They finally have a web site where you can add items to a virtual cart, feed in a credit-card number, pick a shipper, and have merchandise show up on your porch. You know, the kind of thing that everybody does these days. Half the part listings have no pictures. I never received a shipment notification, let alone a tracking number. I read complaints from other N scalers that shipments would take weeks or months to show up. But I pulled the trigger on Monday anyway, the box appeared on my porch Saturday, and it was full of stuff that solved old problems. Celebrate the little victories.
It’s been a while since I’ve talked about the Susquehannock Industrial Park project, mainly because I haven’t made much progress. I have done some work on the Bickles Foods factory since I got the walls assembled. The roof is finally coming together.
You may recall that I “wanted the rooflines a little less chaotic” than Art Curren’s original kitbashed structure, which combined original kit roof panels with a variety of scrapbox parts for a very interesting roof. I don’t want my roof to be particularly interesting, which means that it’s going to take more effort. Go figure.
So, the roof panels are cut to shape and (mostly) fitted together, but there’s still much to do. I had to do some splicing work, because the structure is longer than the styrene sheet I used, but the joints went together evenly, and should look great once everything is complete and painted. Watch this space for further updates!
This hobby does many good things for me. It’s a channel for creative expression, an entre into new fields of learning, a doorway to social settings. But a means of relaxation? Um, not really. I can be a terrible perfectionist at times. (more…)
The drama’s over. The locomotive I’ve wanted for over 30 years is here.
Every August, our Boy Scout troop spent a weekend at a camp in northern Pennsylvania, with other troops from all over the region. We’d do the usual Scout-type stuff: learn a little woodcraft, trade patches, play a few pranks on the new kids, play Uno by the light of a Coleman lantern. When an all-day hike to Kinzua Bridge was announced during the 1982 camp, I signed up immediately. Hey, Kinzua Bridge, right? One-time tallest railroad bridge in the world? You bet I’m going.
Getting back turned out to be a little complicated.
The engine was peeking out of a box under Paul’s table at the Batavia show as I walked past. I stopped, and gently pulled it out for a closer look. Paul looked decidedly uncomfortable. It was easy to see why.
It’s an American Flyer 316, an S gauge model of a Pennsylvania Railroad K-5 Pacific. Manufactured about 1955, beautiful die-cast shell, smoke unit, knuckle coupler, even an air-chime whistle. Nice engine, or at least it started out that way. Then somebody came along and plastered swastikas all over it. Paul picked it up with a bunch of other AF items, some similarly decorated, at an estate sale. He could offer no explanation for why someone would do this, and neither can I.