Subscriber & Member Login

Login, or register today to interact in our online community, comment on articles, receive our newsletter, manage your account online and more!

Making HO steamers puff smoke

30012 views
63 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    March, 2009
  • 802 posts
Making HO steamers puff smoke
Posted by rjake4454 on Friday, March 27, 2009 12:14 AM

Besides MTH, most locos don't have smoke units, and neither do any of my BLI steamers .

Now I have seen the Athean Big Boy get fitted with a unit, but it doesn't simulate train smoke as well as MTH does on several of their locos, the athearn model produces what looks like thin cigarrette smoke, there is no synchronized chuff and smoke either, just thin whisps, appearing as though they are coming from a moving candle.

 I have heard before from others that smoking HO engines are not a good idea because it can leave oil residue throught the engine which can start to mess things up, is this true?

Or do most model railroaders simply consider a smoking engine to be 'toyish', thus making it too much trouble to go into this area in the first place. Is that one of several factors that sets us apart from the Lionel crowd? (obviously the third rail does not to mention the price and space that O gauge requires)

 How come most HO people don't seem that concerned about smoking engines? We obviously care about realism and don't consider ourselves to be part of the 'toy train' crowd, and smoking is prototypical for steamers.

Oh, and can you imagine if N or Z scale people wanted smoke? Is that even possible?

  • Member since
    August, 2005
  • From: S.E. Adirondacks, NY
  • 3,246 posts
Posted by modelmaker51 on Friday, March 27, 2009 2:15 AM

I don't think H0 smoke has ever looked very realistic even when syncronized, it always looks as you described, cigarette smoke and toy-like, which most H0'ers I think try to avoid. As you also mentioned, the oil residue does get everywhere, track & scenery. With those considerations, smoke is better left to the immagination or Photoshop. Only live steam looks like live steam.

Jay 

C-415 Build: https://imageshack.com/a/tShC/1 

Other builds: https://imageshack.com/my/albums 

  • Member since
    April, 2003
  • 302,134 posts
Posted by Anonymous on Friday, March 27, 2009 3:30 AM

 

modelmaker51

I don't think H0 smoke has ever looked very realistic even when syncronized, it always looks as you described, cigarette smoke and toy-like, which most H0'ers I think try to avoid. As you also mentioned, the oil residue does get everywhere, track & scenery. With those considerations, smoke is better left to the immagination or Photoshop. Only live steam looks like live steam.



I do not quite agree with that statement. Watch this link:

www.km-1.de/dynamicsmoke4_3.wmv

 and you can see why. 

Now that´s not yet quite HO scale, but the guys are working on it for HO as well.

  • Member since
    July, 2006
  • From: Canada's Maritime Provinces
  • 1,753 posts
Posted by Railphotog on Friday, March 27, 2009 5:27 AM

Imagine a Big Boy puffing out prototypical smoke as it goes around a layout!  Filling the air with smoke particles, and the average enclosed layout room becoming filled with a smoky haze!  Boy what fun!  Cough! Cough! Cough!  Eyes watering, throat irritation and goodness knows what's happening in your lungs!  What fun!

 I often wonder if the guys with recent O scale MTH and Lionel engines that have smoke capabilities, with large reservoirs to hold lots of smoke fluid, and fans that force the smoke out in large quantities (steam AND diesels!) actually run them very much when operating on their home layouts.

Our local club has two members who own such equipment, and we've had to ask them not to run the smoke units at our annual shows.  The show is held in a fairly large venue - its about 100' by 70', yet the smoke from their trains could be smelled all through the place.  Dealers with tables near their layout have complained of having to breathe in the smoke all day during the show, and some members with breathing problems and allergies had problems too.  So imagine doing this in a typical small home layout room!  Sure sounds like fun!

Thanks but no thanks!

 

 

 

 

Bob Boudreau

CANADA

Visit my model railroad photography website: http://sites.google.com/site/railphotog/

  • Member since
    January, 2008
  • 169 posts
Posted by Hansel on Friday, March 27, 2009 6:16 AM

I love the smoke coming from the bottom of the loco, or from the cylinders.  Maybe they could have it come out of the whistle too!  Since everyone is complaining about the smoke, I wonder if anyone has tried to use water and steam for this effect?  I also love the smell of coal burning, but that might be a stretch.

How about black smoke coming out of the exhaust from a diesel?

  • Member since
    April, 2003
  • 302,134 posts
Posted by Anonymous on Friday, March 27, 2009 6:21 AM

 Yeah, just figure a 11 by 9 ft. room with 3 steamers smoking. Need to put your fog lights on pretty soon...Btw, here in Germany you can buy the smoke fluid with the scent of hot oil, coal and steel - how close can you get to the real thing?

I let my steamers smoke now and then, but keep the room well ventilated. So far I have not encountered any breathing problems - some glues I use are worse!

  • Member since
    April, 2003
  • 302,134 posts
Posted by Anonymous on Friday, March 27, 2009 6:24 AM

Hansel

I love the smoke coming from the bottom of the loco, or from the cylinders.  Maybe they could have it come out of the whistle too!  Since everyone is complaining about the smoke, I wonder if anyone has tried to use water and steam for this effect?  I also love the smell of coal burning, but that might be a stretch.

How about black smoke coming out of the exhaust from a diesel?

 

 At this year´s Nuremberg Toy Fair, KM 1 has just presented their newest model with steam blowing through the whistle. Their Diesel locos also have a smoke unit, but the smoke is not black - yet. Who knows what they will come up with next - the guy who runs it is nuts! 

  • Member since
    March, 2009
  • 802 posts
Posted by rjake4454 on Friday, March 27, 2009 10:56 AM

Railphotog

Imagine a Big Boy puffing out prototypical smoke as it goes around a layout!  Filling the air with smoke particles, and the average enclosed layout room becoming filled with a smoky haze!  Boy what fun!  Cough! Cough! Cough!  Eyes watering, throat irritation and goodness knows what's happening in your lungs!  What fun!

 I often wonder if the guys with recent O scale MTH and Lionel engines that have smoke capabilities, with large reservoirs to hold lots of smoke fluid, and fans that force the smoke out in large quantities (steam AND diesels!) actually run them very much when operating on their home layouts.

Our local club has two members who own such equipment, and we've had to ask them not to run the smoke units at our annual shows.  The show is held in a fairly large venue - its about 100' by 70', yet the smoke from their trains could be smelled all through the place.  Dealers with tables near their layout have complained of having to breathe in the smoke all day during the show, and some members with breathing problems and allergies had problems too.  So imagine doing this in a typical small home layout room!  Sure sounds like fun!

Thanks but no thanks!

 

 

 

 

 

Good points, I myself like the smell at the train shows, but I could see it getting old pretty fast if you ran them in your small den on a regular basis.

I quit cigs 2 years ago, and I wonder if this would undo some of the health benefits of that. Something to think about...

And the oil residue, I wouldn't want it affecting my BLI steamers on the layout, you guys really think it would over time?

  • Member since
    September, 2004
  • From: Germany
  • 1,951 posts
Posted by wedudler on Friday, March 27, 2009 11:34 AM

 But sometimes I like running my shay with steam. It's only a Seuthe smoke unit.

Wolfgang

Pueblo & Salt Lake RR

Come to us http://www.westportterminal.de          my videos        my blog

  • Member since
    June, 2007
  • From: Indiana
  • 3,548 posts
Posted by Flashwave on Friday, March 27, 2009 2:57 PM

Sir Madog

Hansel

I love the smoke coming from the bottom of the loco, or from the cylinders.  Maybe they could have it come out of the whistle too!  Since everyone is complaining about the smoke, I wonder if anyone has tried to use water and steam for this effect?  I also love the smell of coal burning, but that might be a stretch.

How about black smoke coming out of the exhaust from a diesel?

 

 At this year´s Nuremberg Toy Fair, KM 1 has just presented their newest model with steam blowing through the whistle. Their Diesel locos also have a smoke unit, but the smoke is not black - yet. Who knows what they will come up with next - the guy who runs it is nuts! 

Also, Rapido has a steam generato car coming out that uses steam.

wedudler

 But sometimes I like running my shay with steam. It's only a Seuthe smoke unit.

Wolfgang

That;s cool.

There is merit in the smoke thing. But ironically, the only engine to have bothered me, including live steam and o scale in doors, was an HO MTH Pennsy. The only one to have triggered my Asthma, and the only thing in YEARS to do so.

Smoke is like sound. You don't want too much, but for a lot of us, it fills a niche. It may not be the right sound, but having something close to actually sound a whistle at the approach to the wired up crossing is fun. Mself, I;ve been headsketching taking the motor and or weights out of my Lionel Amtrak Daylight and putting in smoke for the cylinder cocks, top vents, and the smoke itself. The problem i see is that the whistle wouldn't heat up fast enough to be on que.

-Morgan

  • Member since
    February, 2005
  • From: Southwest US
  • 12,914 posts
Posted by tomikawaTT on Friday, March 27, 2009 3:15 PM

My opinion about HO smoke is the same as my opinion about HO sound:

If the effect isn't truly prototypical, why bother?

The prototypes for my steamers were hand-fired with low-grade coal, so the smoke was black, not white.  Also, when working upgrade, it came out in towering clouds, not wimpy little whisps.  Needless to say, I'm not holding my breath waiting to see that effect in anything smaller than large-scale, coal-burning live steam.

Another facet of the same flawed diamond - the residue wouldn't do a thing for any part of the layout, rails, rolling stock or scenery.  Not to mention the effect of the particulates in the air of a small, enclosed space on people with breathing problems...

There was a question about getting the desired effect with water - soggy scenery, anyone.  Never mind the impact of moisture on anything electrical...

'Way back in the dark ages I had a Lionel loco that smoked.  I think I used a total of two smoke pills during the entire time that I owned that locomotive...

Chuck (Modeling Central Japan in September, 1964 - with silent, smokeless steam locomotives)

  • Member since
    March, 2009
  • 802 posts
Posted by rjake4454 on Friday, March 27, 2009 5:24 PM

The last time I ever owned a smoking loco was when I was a little kid, my lionel hudson had smoke fluid, of course, we didn't run it on a layout, just on the carpet.

I'm probably just romanticizing the past, I don't want to destroy my track, scenery or engines just to attempt to experience my childhood years again.

  • Member since
    January, 2009
  • From: Maryland
  • 7,964 posts
Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Friday, March 27, 2009 7:00 PM

tomikawaTT

My opinion about HO smoke is the same as my opinion about HO sound:

If the effect isn't truly prototypical, why bother?

The prototypes for my steamers were hand-fired with low-grade coal, so the smoke was black, not white.  Also, when working upgrade, it came out in towering clouds, not wimpy little whisps.  Needless to say, I'm not holding my breath waiting to see that effect in anything smaller than large-scale, coal-burning live steam.

Another facet of the same flawed diamond - the residue wouldn't do a thing for any part of the layout, rails, rolling stock or scenery.  Not to mention the effect of the particulates in the air of a small, enclosed space on people with breathing problems...

There was a question about getting the desired effect with water - soggy scenery, anyone.  Never mind the impact of moisture on anything electrical...

'Way back in the dark ages I had a Lionel loco that smoked.  I think I used a total of two smoke pills during the entire time that I owned that locomotive...

Chuck (Modeling Central Japan in September, 1964 - with silent, smokeless steam locomotives)

First, I agree with every word Chuck said.

Second, I will add a new thought to this, which applies to sound as well as smoke. If every model on the layout does not have these features, than the illusion is at best, way less effective. The best looking model railroads are those where everything you look at is in balance with all the elements around it. Too much detail one place and too little right next to it is damaging to the effect. Better that both pieces be moderately detailed, or in this case better to not have these things at all since you are not likely to have it on every loco and the effects are far from realistic.

The same is true with these "special effects", once one loco has sound, your brain will expect all of them to have it, until you go crazy from the noise. Smoke is the same way, one loco on an O-27 Christmas Garden puffing around is cute, after that its just smelly and unrealistic.

The environmental concerns for your layout, equipment and health are real. There is no way to make these effects without breathing something you would rather not.

Also modeling silent and smokeless steam locos and diesels in 1954.

Sheldon

    

  • Member since
    February, 2001
  • From: Poconos, PA
  • 3,948 posts
Posted by TomDiehl on Saturday, March 28, 2009 10:47 AM

rjake4454

Railphotog

Imagine a Big Boy puffing out prototypical smoke as it goes around a layout!  Filling the air with smoke particles, and the average enclosed layout room becoming filled with a smoky haze!  Boy what fun!  Cough! Cough! Cough!  Eyes watering, throat irritation and goodness knows what's happening in your lungs!  What fun!

 I often wonder if the guys with recent O scale MTH and Lionel engines that have smoke capabilities, with large reservoirs to hold lots of smoke fluid, and fans that force the smoke out in large quantities (steam AND diesels!) actually run them very much when operating on their home layouts.

Our local club has two members who own such equipment, and we've had to ask them not to run the smoke units at our annual shows.  The show is held in a fairly large venue - its about 100' by 70', yet the smoke from their trains could be smelled all through the place.  Dealers with tables near their layout have complained of having to breathe in the smoke all day during the show, and some members with breathing problems and allergies had problems too.  So imagine doing this in a typical small home layout room!  Sure sounds like fun!

Thanks but no thanks!

Good points, I myself like the smell at the train shows, but I could see it getting old pretty fast if you ran them in your small den on a regular basis.

I quit cigs 2 years ago, and I wonder if this would undo some of the health benefits of that. Something to think about...

And the oil residue, I wouldn't want it affecting my BLI steamers on the layout, you guys really think it would over time?

I have to agree with both posters above. Look at the amount of smoke in the original video coming out of that locomotive. Running that locomotive in my layout room (16 x 12 feet) for just 5 minutes would make the air unbreathable. Does anyone know if this is the traditional mineral oil smoke unit or if they're using something else?

I also see the same problem with doing this effect with real steam, plus the danger of causing some serious warping with the increased humidity level in the room.

Smile, it makes people wonder what you're up to. Chief of Sanitation; Clowntown
  • Member since
    April, 2003
  • 302,134 posts
Posted by Anonymous on Saturday, March 28, 2009 11:17 AM

 As far as I know the smoke fluid used here is not based on mineral oil. The stuff does not even have a hazard warning on it, although I would not drink it. I don´t know whether the stuff used in US is different from what we have here, but I have been running "smoker"s for more than a couple of hours without suffocating.

 

  • Member since
    January, 2005
  • From: Kansas City Area
  • 1,161 posts
Posted by gmcrail on Saturday, March 28, 2009 1:48 PM

wedudler

 But sometimes I like running my shay with steam. It's only a Seuthe smoke unit.

Wolfgang

 

The Seuthe smoke units are the worst.  The oil they use splatters out the stack (destroying your nice custom finish), the smoke is heavy and just lays around (that KM1 video demonstrates that exactly).  Even though the volume may be impressive, its behavior still doesn't look much like the real thing (which isn't all white, anyway).  And their cylinder **** steam (that discharge under the front of the locomotive) is just a steady stream, instead of the somewhat violent alternating blasts from the front and rear of the cylinders, which sometimes rival the steam and smoke coming from the stack.  

Bottom line is, they (model smoke units) are unrealistic; the "smoke" (just oily vapor) damages paint finishes; it will, if used frequently, settle onto every surface of the layout, including the track itself; it requires frequent filling of the oil reservoir;  and it ain't good  for the lungs!

 Personally, if I'm going to ruin my lungs, I'd rather do it with real coal smoke (the good ol' high-sulfur kind - cleans out the sinuses)!  And I don't care what "flavors" the smoke oil comes in, it don't smell like the real thing!  Big Smile

---

Gary M. Collins gmcrailgNOSPAM@gmail.com

===================================

"Common Sense, Ain't!" -- G. M. Collins

===================================

http://fhn.site90.net

  • Member since
    March, 2007
  • From: Rhododendron, OR
  • 1,497 posts
Posted by challenger3980 on Saturday, March 28, 2009 2:55 PM

Hansel

I love the smoke coming from the bottom of the loco, or from the cylinders.  Maybe they could have it come out of the whistle too!  Since everyone is complaining about the smoke, I wonder if anyone has tried to use water and steam for this effect?  I also love the smell of coal burning, but that might be a stretch.

How about black smoke coming out of the exhaust from a diesel?

 Lionel, does have steam effects for the whistle and blow down, and it does come out on que and with enough pressure to look good, on their two new Vision Line, high end locomotives. They haven't modeled the cylinder**** exhaust yet. And a LOT of steam locomotive exhaust was white, it wasn't all black. Some were almost nonexisistent in visible smoke(on a Properly Fired Locomotive). I have read stories of photographers actually putting signs, Burma Shave style, along the right of way asking the firemen on N&W J class to "Please Make Smoke" for a photo.

   As far as the smoke residue gets all over everything, I enjoy both HO, and 3 Rail O Scale, and I have noticed that the vast majority of people making this claim, are those who don't use it, mainly those in HO. I have heard very few 3 Railers make this comment, but 3 Railers tend to be the ones that use smoke the most, in MY experience it is no where near the issue that many like to make it. I have never seen the damage or heard a 3 railer comment on smoke residue damaging any scenery. I can also state from personal experience that any splatter from over filling, or adding fluid to a powered up locomotive, has been an easy wipe to clean up, with NO DAMAGE to any painted surface, just does not happen( I suppose it could if you weathered with chalk powder or water colors AND didn't seal it)

  Yes, you can get smoke sented like coal, wood burner oil fired, diesel as well as other non-prototypical scents as well such as Christmas tree, Candy Cane, Cookies Baking ( these can go a Long way in keeping harmony with the Wife, in some cases) and other even hard to explain aromas.

   And before you go to far insulting O-Gauge as "Toy Like" there are plenty of 3 Rail Locomotives (and cars too, for that matter) that Rival many HO Brass for detail. HO(and N Scale as well) have their own low end products, that are so far from prototypical as to not even be humorous, that there is plenty of competition with O-Gauge on that subject. Also being an HO modeler myself, I could give a list of non-prototypical issues in HO as well. We can all enjoy our own chosen areas of the Hobby, without need to insult, or degrade that which someone else enjoys. Trains are SUPPOSED to be FUN.

Doug

May your flanges always stay BETWEEN the rails

  • Member since
    March, 2009
  • 802 posts
Posted by rjake4454 on Saturday, March 28, 2009 3:13 PM

challenger3980

 And before you go to far insulting O-Gauge as "Toy Like" there are plenty of 3 Rail Locomotives (and cars too, for that matter) that Rival many HO Brass for detail. HO(and N Scale as well) have their own low end products, that are so far from prototypical as to not even be humorous, that there is plenty of competition with O-Gauge on that subject. Also being an HO modeler myself, I could give a list of non-prototypical issues in HO as well. We can all enjoy our own chosen areas of the Hobby, without need to insult, or degrade that which someone else enjoys. Trains are SUPPOSED to be FUN.

Doug

Please forgive me for my choice of words, they were meant as harmless jest, no offence intended to o-gaugers. Believe me, I agree with everything you just said, so much to the point my brother has had to twist my arm to keep from leaving HO and going into lionel at certain points.

I have nothing against 3 rail trains, and many are not toyish at all but look more realistic than HO, not that there is anything wrong with enjoying toy trains to begin with. Heck, I even like Thomas the Tank Engine on television, with the moving eyes and puffing smoke.

Trains are indeed supposed to be fun, we shouldn't get too hung up on realism so much so that it becomes a chore to work on the layout. That is why many times I have thought about becoming a "hi-railer", running realistic looking trains on 3-rail track. I just don't have the money for that...but I like to run realistic looking trains, running them is the fun part, with all the lights and sound, realistically set or not. Building layouts can be tedious sometimes, but I am new and learning.

 

 

  • Member since
    March, 2009
  • 802 posts
Posted by rjake4454 on Saturday, March 28, 2009 3:34 PM

Sir Madog

www.km-1.de/dynamicsmoke4_3.wmv and you can see why. 

Now that´s not yet quite HO scale, but the guys are working on it for HO as well.

Thats some of the best smoke I have ever seen, but I would really like to know what he did to get his track and ballast that color, all rusted and brown, it looks amazing.

I am afraid of what that stuff will do to my lungs but it still looks great.

  • Member since
    March, 2007
  • From: Rhododendron, OR
  • 1,497 posts
Posted by challenger3980 on Saturday, March 28, 2009 3:46 PM

Hi rjake 4454,

  Apology accepted, there are a lot of people that might be surprised at what is available in 3 Rail, if they were just willing to look. Right now, I personally have Mostly O-Gauge 3 Rail, closely followed by a Huge collection of HO, some N Scale and some #1 Gauge (commonly, inncorrectly ALL refered to as "G" which is ONE Scale of about half a dozen scales, that run on Gauge 1 track) I malso had American Flyer S scale as a kid.

  I am a member of a Large HO ( contradiction in terms?Confused) club but find that I am enjoying 3 Rail's advantages more and more, and often don't visit the club for months at a time now, before I missed few club nights that my work schedule allowed.

  I Apologise, if my reply seemed to have taken too much offense, but I have seen too many examples of someone needing to degrade someone else's choices , in order to justify their own. I have enjoyed many sides of the hobby, for more than 40 years, and they all have their advantages and disadvatages, I can debate many of them from experience, but prefer to let each enjoy there own.

Doug

May your flanges always stay BETWEEN the rails

  • Member since
    March, 2007
  • From: Rhododendron, OR
  • 1,497 posts
Posted by challenger3980 on Saturday, March 28, 2009 3:49 PM

rjake4454

Sir Madog

www.km-1.de/dynamicsmoke4_3.wmv and you can see why. 

Now that´s not yet quite HO scale, but the guys are working on it for HO as well.

Thats some of the best smoke I have ever seen, but I would really like to know what he did to get his track and ballast that color, all rusted and brown, it looks amazing.

I am afraid of what that stuff will do to my lungs but it still looks great.

   Nothing even remotely close to what Smokers consider to be an "Acceptable Risk"

May your flanges always stay BETWEEN the rails

  • Member since
    March, 2009
  • 802 posts
Posted by rjake4454 on Sunday, March 29, 2009 3:01 AM

challenger3980

 Nothing even remotely close to what Smokers consider to be an "Acceptable Risk"

Wink

Deep down, I would bet that you are right, and thats coming from a former smoker. Cigs literally 'traumatize' me now when I see them or even smell them, (I don't want them banned by any means either) but I will never touch those death sticks again, they are so addictive and deadly . So when you have posters on here saying such scary things, I get a little jumpy.

Thats good to know that second hand exposure from smoke fluid probably can't even begin to compare to second hand cig smoke, or to the real thing. although I have varying opinions now on the subject, if I ever go O-gauge in the future, I'll try to keep that in mind, thats my biggest worry.

I tend to disagree with those that said it will do damage to locos paint finish, this, as you said, could only be true if you were obsessed with fine detail, like using water colors or something like that.

I love 3 rail O-gauge, it serves its own purpose, HO can't replace the experience of hi-railers, operating lights, very realistic smoke (I don't really care if the smoke is black or white, MTH and Lionel create great effects on their top of the line models). Maybe some day if I have some more space I will venture into this world, I'll just keep the room well ventilated just to be safe, its not like I would run them with smoke every night or anything.

 In the past I have been tempted to sell my HO stuff and go for a few expensive realistic O-gauge steamers, but my brother has kept me from doing that, I just don't have the money or the space to be a hi-railer at this point.

You have indeed made some valid points as have others. Thanks for your input, I appreciate it.

  • Member since
    April, 2003
  • From: Martinez, CA
  • 5,440 posts
Posted by markpierce on Sunday, March 29, 2009 3:24 AM

A smoking locomotive is a "negative detail."  That is, its presence takes away from the realism of the scene.  Exploding box cars, real water, and loading/unloading loads such as simulated coal are in the same category.  The laws of physics are not altered by scale.  For example, simulated coal doesn't fall 87 times slower in HO scale.

Mark

  • Member since
    November, 2006
  • From: USA
  • 1,247 posts
Posted by Ole Timer on Sunday, March 29, 2009 9:51 AM

markpierce

A smoking locomotive is a "negative detail."  That is, its presence takes away from the realism of the scene.  Exploding box cars, real water, and loading/unloading loads such as simulated coal are in the same category.  The laws of physics are not altered by scale.  For example, simulated coal doesn't fall 87 times slower in HO scale.

Mark

 I don't understand that statement at all ... smoke and the sounds of an engine chugging with whistles and bells take away from realism ? Are you saying only the sound of an electric motor is realistic ? The high end O scale engines are about as realistic as it can get . And as far as engines ... PLASTIC engines compared to diecast ? You can turn down or off the smoke and it does not damage cars or cause humidity . Don't judge O scale by the dept. store sets and the plunk down plastic buildings ... as we O scalers won't judge HO as I used to be in to ... by the low end sets out there . I'm now about ready to enter the On3 world .... now that's realism ! There's nothing more boreing than engines that go round and round sounding like an electric mixer on slow speed only . Just my opinion .

       LIFETIME MEMBER === DAV === DISABLED AMERICAN VETERANS STEAM ENGINES RULE ++++ CAB FORWARDS and SHAYS
  • Member since
    March, 2007
  • From: Rhododendron, OR
  • 1,497 posts
Posted by challenger3980 on Sunday, March 29, 2009 12:34 PM

markpierce

A smoking locomotive is a "negative detail."  That is, its presence takes away from the realism of the scene.  Exploding box cars, real water, and loading/unloading loads such as simulated coal are in the same category.  The laws of physics are not altered by scale.  For example, simulated coal doesn't fall 87 times slower in HO scale.

Mark

   That Dog just don't hunt. The sychronized puffing and volume of smoke that many O-Gauge locomotives put out does look very good.

Exploding box cars, real water, and loading/unloading loads such as simulated coal are in the same category

   The "Exploding Boxcars" are not any more common on a High Rail layout than are Tyco's Chattanooga Choo Choo or chrome plated "Silver Streak" on a serious HO layout, or is it fair for me to assume, that because you model in HO, You have both of these on your layout? Real water on an O-Gauge layout is the exception, rather than the rule also, and is not often seen outside of Garden Railroading. I haven't done it yet, but I imagine that a bottom dumping hopper on a well built coal trestle, would look pretty good. As far as the coal not falling 87 times slower in HO, well, I have yet to hear that complaint from the public after 5 years of working Show at our HO club, which DOES have a Working Rotary Coal Dump, which has people waiting for coal to arrive, when dispatching slips up on coal deliveries.

  But, I guess that modeling (or trying to) even 25 miles of railroad, on a typical 10x15 layout is realistic. Our clubs layout room is 4200 square feet at 60x70, basically just over 1 Scale Square mile(a mile in HO is 60.68955xxx feet) in that 1 scale square mile, we model approximately 100 mainline miles, the Oregon Trunk, a nice logging division(OOPPS, that has a working Log Jammer at the Mill, gotta remember to ask those logs falling into the mill pond(painted, not real water) to slow down) several yards, several towns and industries,all in that Scale Square Mile.

   When we run even close to prototypical train lengths, generally 80-100 cars (which is now getting to be a short to medium train length for the prototype) they stretch through more than one town at a time, which in reality should be 20-40 miles apart, talk about destroying the ILLUSION, and that is on a 60x70 layout, what do you think even a 25 car train (especially if running the common 60+ foot cars) looks like on the average home layout? Can you say CABOOSE CHASE?

  IIRC, in HO, a 40 inch radius curve is about equivalent to a 20 degree curve on the prototype(about the sharpest a real Big boy could manage) which would be considered a very sharp curve in the real world, not commonly seen on a mainline, what radius are your curves? I have read that for a mainline turnout, they are generally in the #20 range, yet most HO modelers are thrilled to fit #8 on the mainline, there's realistic for you.

 There are plenty of 3 Rail Locomotives that have detail to Rival most HO Brass, these AREN'T your Grandpa's Lionel.










  And so nobodyelse needs to say it:  OMG, there's 3 rails, and those flanges are a bit BIG, Especially on the Pilot wheels.

   This Hobby is as much one of Compromises and Balances, as it is one about modeling Trains. We each make our own choices as to which Compromises and Balances we are willing to accept, but we all must make them, unless you are modeling a plant switcher operation, in a very large room. There should be enough in this Hobby for each of us to find plenty of enjoyment, without the need to insult , or degrade, that which someone else finds enjoyable.

Doug

 

May your flanges always stay BETWEEN the rails

  • Member since
    April, 2003
  • 302,134 posts
Posted by Anonymous on Sunday, March 29, 2009 12:48 PM

 Lovely pics of great looking locos.

"De gustibus non est..." We see a variety of opnions in this thread, but we should remember, what our hobby is about - creating a railroad atmosphere, just to enjoy. Everyone of us does this differently  - for me, "smoking" HO steamers help me to create the atmosphere that I want to enjoy.

 

  • Member since
    April, 2003
  • From: Martinez, CA
  • 5,440 posts
Posted by markpierce on Sunday, March 29, 2009 1:03 PM

My philosophy is not to spend money or time on things which take away from my enjoyment of the hobby.  That's not unique.  What is unique is how we each define enjoyment.

Mark 

  • Member since
    March, 2007
  • From: Rhododendron, OR
  • 1,497 posts
Posted by challenger3980 on Sunday, March 29, 2009 1:12 PM

 

Sir Madog

 Lovely pics of great looking locos.

"De gustibus non est..." We see a variety of opnions in this thread, but we should remember, what our hobby is about - creating a railroad atmosphere, just to enjoy. Everyone of us does this differently  - for me, "smoking" HO steamers help me to create the atmosphere that I want to enjoy.

 

 

 I agree completely, that we each find different  things enjoyable in the Hobby, just because someone else doesn't enjoy the same things, doesn't make either "Right or Wrong"

 

 

Another question for you, how many HO Articulated locomotives are "Realistically Articulated"?  These are all articulated in the front engine set only, with the rear engine set properly fixed rigidly


 

These are semi-scale, with the articulateds being Double articulated as is common in HO, O-Gauge has a wide variety of products, you can find something to fit most wants/needs

 

I don't think that these need any explanation


Doug

May your flanges always stay BETWEEN the rails

  • Member since
    March, 2009
  • 802 posts
Posted by rjake4454 on Sunday, March 29, 2009 1:32 PM

Those pics are really tempting me to go O-gauge, those marker lights!

  • Member since
    April, 2003
  • From: Martinez, CA
  • 5,440 posts
Posted by markpierce on Sunday, March 29, 2009 1:36 PM

challenger3980

 Another question for you, how many HO Articulated locomotives are "Realistically Articulated"?  These are all articulated in the front engine set only, with the rear engine set properly fixed rigidly

As many as one wants and can afford.  For me, four out of five HO articulated locomotives are realistically articulated.

Mark

Subscriber & Member Login

Login, or register today to interact in our online community, comment on articles, receive our newsletter, manage your account online and more!

Search the Community

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
Model Railroader Newsletter See all
Sign up for our FREE e-newsletter and get model railroad news in your inbox!