Monday, December 28, 2009

Working on Coalfinger's Layout

I forgot to bring my camera.  Somehow I've got to get a spare and leave it in the car.  We worked on Coalfinger Ken's layout tonight.  Concrete Keith and I showed up to eat his cookies and play with N scale track.  Keith did most of the work while Ken and I talked about the L&N.

Its a nice layout, currently in two pieces for ease of assembly.  We laid the yard siding and the lead to the yard.

What fun!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

My New Track Supplier

While I don't advertise on any of my blogs I will plug an extremely good supplier in order that others my benefit from their service.

My local hobby shop has been out of Micro Engineering track for months. I've asked them to order it repeatedly and they always say "its been out of stock and we get it when we get it." So I thought it was unavailable.

Finally, in an act of desperation I jumped on the HO egroup and asked for ideas as to where to get track. A nice fellow by the name of Glen Thomas said that his company Cream City Turnouts carried Micro Engineering and that he'd be glad to fill the order for me.

I told Glen that I really needed it before Christmas because I plan to work on the layout over the holidays. "No problem" he says. Glen gave me a price even better than my local hobby shop and had it Fed Ex'd to me (at no extra charge). It arrived yesterday in good order, drop shipped directly from Micro Engineering themselves! Two packs of six sticks, ME code 83 weathered HO track. Hey....I thought they were out of stock?

So thanks Glen and Cream City Turnouts.

It appears they produce a variety of custom give them a shot for your track needs!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Consultation with the Good Doctor

The doctor is in! Five cents please...

From my good friend Dr. Revis Butler, DDS...

Dear Scott,
I need some advice. I'm building a scratch-built flat car based
on the LOP&G prototype shown attached. On each end where the coupler arm extends from the end of the car is a rather elaborate attachment which I need to copy. Would I be best to try to take a piece of wood or plastic and carve it out or what. I'd like to try to make the model as much like the prototype as possible. If you have a chance, please share your thoughts about this. I've got an instrument for making the rivet dimples so I'm doing that with sheet styrene then gluing it to the underlying structure. That seems to have worked so far. Tedious.
Hope you and your family have a Blessed Christmas.
Dr. Revis Butler, Jr.

Click On Photo To Enlarge

Just to introduce Revis, I'm rather ashamed that he is asking me for help when he just got through winning a first place ribbon for passenger cars in the SER Region Convention! check out page 42

The Live Oak, Perry and Gulf is a favorite railroad of mine. Logging trains in the South are my passion.

Some Live Oak, Perry & Gulf Photos

My suggestion for Revis...

This device is called a coupler pocket. It was cast metal and designed for hard shocks from banging the cars together. The "fins" are all cast into the one piece. This was before welding was common.

I'd approach this piece as a plastic project. Using very thin styrene sheet, probably .005 and .010 sheet styrene from Evergreen Scale Models, I would construct the whole piece. The styrene is available at most hobby shops. I'd make the base square (see diagram) out of .010 and cut a square hole for the coupler shank.

Using strips of .010 I'd make the front box square out of four pieces. I'm not sure of the dimensions here, but you might be able to estimate the dimensions from the coupler itself. Then using .005 styrene, make the "fins" or angled supports. Once it is all glued together and dry, test fit it on one of the cars.

To make a functional model, it may need to be a bit wider than the prototype in order to work well. After the first one is assembled you can make a silicone mold and cast the parts in resin which will make it much stronger.

Grandt Line makes some of these types of coupler pockets which you can use for inspiration!
Cannonball's cast iron pocket
Cast iron pocket drawing

Hope that helps! Can't wait to see the model. I'm still blown away by your turpentine mill!

Scott Perry

Sunday, December 20, 2009


Recently I went on a railfanning trip to the GNRR and the CSX. You can see the GNRR photos here as I post them...

I've also been doing a lot of work on the Dixie Central

More design work is being done on the B&O layout as well.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Helping Out

I know not to stop by the train store on the way home. Especially now that it is on the way home!

Got sidetracked last night. Ran into Bob and Mark, and a new friend Bill. Bill is new to model railroading and had just bought some equipment. He needed some help with a layout design, so naturally I jumped in.

All in all I lost track of time and was late coming home. The foreman was quiet calm about it.

It amazes me how I can completely lose track of time when I'm around the trains.