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Triple O - 2023 Score Card

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Triple O - 2023 Score Card
Posted by PVT Kanaka on Monday, September 26, 2022 2:40 AM

Aloha,

 

I have been more ghoster than poster, but, as promised, I thought I'd share teh results of the the Triple O's spring / summer 2022 build campaign.  This year, as a budgeting and scheduling tool, I laid out some projects that I thought would provide a variety of opportunities to hone skills without bogging me - or the rest of the crew - down for months at a time.  I also like to see what I can craft from locally available stuff as shipping to Hawaii is reidiculous and getting worsed.  Over the next week or so, I hope to highlight a few of them.

 

I'll begin with my priority project, Charlie the Railtruck.  This B'mann model never worked great.  It has been repaired, remotored, and recalcitrant for years.  Its failure to work is teh primary reason  my oldest son never took a shine to the hobby, so this thing became my railbound Moby Dick.  I decided to give it one last goal, and I gave Oldest Son the direction that as long as it was safe and had a reasonable chance of success, I would let him take design lead.

 

He began by building a frame around a USA Trains motor block

We decided to go with battery power, so I helped him with that.  We had a real hard time, though, finding couplers that were not outsized.

A friend sent photos of a narrow-gauge lumberyard system that used rounded bumpers, so the boy cut and shaped a pair.

He "plated" them with scrap aluminum, cut axle extensions for the motor block...

...and crafted the motor block into a gondola.

I helped him select hardware to make a drawbar.  You can alsoe see teh battery and Magnetic Critter Controller in the photo below.   The D-cell powers the headlamps.

He made a tarp to cover the electronics and a deck to cover the original electronics.

All of this placed Charlie back in service Oldest Son's way!

VideoCharlie Back in Service

Not the way I would've done it, but it was his project, and he did it his way.  While the railroad will never be his hobby, he was proud enough of this effort to take a stab at model rockets and a balsa wood airplane.  I'll call that a success!

 

More to follow!

 

Eric

  • Member since
    August 2021
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Posted by Swiss-Colorado-Lines on Monday, September 26, 2022 1:17 PM

Eric,

 what a fun project! And valuable lessons for kids.Your son will probably learn skills that can be aplied elsewhere.My daughter did just that; we used to build HO buildings together when she was young, and she eventually went to Architecture school in College.Nothing is ever a waste, it all comes back around.Plus , fun to have these projects together!

Paul

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    February 2013
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Posted by PVT Kanaka on Tuesday, September 27, 2022 2:40 AM

Thanks, Paul, true on all accounts!  Still, if you go to some of my earlier posts, these things used to be "all hands" evolutions.  I do miss those days!  

 

Back on "track," here, though was our effort to place derelicts we'd picked up since 2021 and put in what I call the "Tub-o-Trains." In most cases, they needed simple fixes like new trucks or wheel sets.  Others offered what I call "micro-projects," projects just short of a real "kit-bash" that are deliberately designed, however, to employ and explore new techniques and materials. A battered LGB combine served this purpose nicely.  As the picture shows, it was missing a coupler, door, chimney, and truss rods.

 

Piano wire and craft beads served as new truss rods and turnbuckles.

I considered leaving the "turnbuckles" as-is in their "Elfin gemstone" glory in honor of an advisor on this project who has a Tolkein-themed railroad, but I opted against that in the end.  Nothing against whimsy, but I draw my whimsy from my local environment and the old "Winnetou" movies!

 

Youngest Son and I used the surviving door to make the measurements, tracing the framing onto styrene.

  Next, we cut a plexi-glass core.

And, yes, despite use a metal straight edge, my styrene cuts were parallel only in non-Euclidean math.  While we let the glue set, we shaped another craft-bead into a chimney topper.

  

Small wood screws, a nail, a scrap of dowel, and a plastic doo-dad...

...became the rest of the chimney.  With everything in paint and re-assembled, it looked pretty good, I think! Below is the side showing both the replaced door and homemade chimney.

For real bragging rights, here is the restored vehicle next to an original.

This is the primary viewing angle.  Witht the exception of the two tones of yellow on the door and the previous owner's paint job, I think this new combine blends in pretty well absent close examination.   Oh, the reefer in the back is another member of the Tub-o-Trains.  It will get new handrails and such in time.  There is also a really mauled LGB box car that will serve as a core for a more extensive "micro-project" in the new year.

 

I should mention that we put four total cars back into service from the Tub-o-trains, with this being the most extensive repair project.  What is really cool is that many of the pieces and parts came from other garden railroaders who were upgrading or re-theming their own pikes.  Not only does this this follow our nominal prototype's (Oahu Railway & Land Co.) practice of taking, restoring, and reusing from other railroad's cast-offs, it speaks volumes to the generosity of the community.

 

I have one more major project to document, and I will get to that later this week.

 

Aloha, Eric

 

 

  • Member since
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Posted by Swiss-Colorado-Lines on Tuesday, September 27, 2022 12:55 PM

Great job revitalizing that combine! Hard to tell the two apart.

Paul

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    February 2013
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Posted by PVT Kanaka on Tuesday, September 27, 2022 9:26 PM

Thanks, Paul.  I was pleased with it.  A big part of attacking the Tub-o-Trains was balancing desired outcome with skills and time on hand.   I think each project should have a "skills goal," and I have learned that projects that take too much time soon become drudgery rather than joy.  This one hit the sweet spot!

 

Eric

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    February 2013
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Posted by PVT Kanaka on Monday, October 3, 2022 2:07 AM

Final major project for the spring and summer of 2022...a custom M.O.W. set!  My younger son really, really wanted a crane car, and that served as the genesis of this project.  I combined that with a desire to master my sabre saw, some LGB archbar trucks from TrainLi, and a flat car plan from White  River Productions 2021 "Garden Trains Annual" to put things in motion.  Along the way, we picked up some wheel sets, a crane, and gondola walls from other folks' junk sets.  

The first thing we did was to take measurements from commercial low sided gondolas:

 

...to ensure that the final product would fit on our R1 curves.

 

Next, I tried to rip a perfectly good pine plank into 1/2" strips.  Epic failure...

...but the 1:24 gang got some salvageable timbers.  X Legio got the rest, and they became part of a siege engine.  All was well, and more sawing and sanding got useable timber.

We then commenced to actually assemble the frame.

Because of my incredible saw skills, framing the car defied all attempts to square the thing.  The frame took multiple flight tests across the yard before we got something useable.

We used commercial strips for needlebeams, shaped our scraps for bolsters, employed cotter pins for queen posts, and bent some brass wire for truss rods.  A bead covered in heat shrink (a suggestion from a pen-pal) became our turnbuckle.

 

We painted it flat black and installed the trucks.

We cut some brass tubing so the screws holding the trucks in place would not eat the trucks.

The next thing to do, of course, was to see how it tracked!  The frame tracking well, stirring sticks became decking, a felt tip served to mark nails, and diluted India ink served as stain.  We then mounted a donated LGB crane and built a boomrest from wood scraps.  Later, we fashioned a counterweight from a styrene-covered wood scraps.

 

Somewhere in this process, the boy hit the internet and saw many cranes had a dedicated tender.   With the donated gondola walls, I had no choice but to reat the steps above, adding some Ozark Miniatures stake pockets to hold the gondola in place.  Since I ordered those stake pockets, I also got some stirrup steps and brake wheels, too. If you have to pay for shipping...

 

The final M.O.W. set, sans some lettering for the tender, came out pretty well.

 

 

It is functional (emphasis on "fun") and consistent with our "universe" in terms of scale and detailing.  It also provided a neat way to hone my still awful saw skills, try some basic kit-bashing, and keep the little guy interested.

 

I have had to clear the lanai to allow for Halloween crafting, so this is my / our last big project for 2022.  I have some MOW stuff to do and minor building repairs.   And, of course, I have some scheming for 2023 projects!

 

Have a great week!

 

Eric

 

  • Member since
    August 2021
  • 155 posts
Posted by Swiss-Colorado-Lines on Monday, October 3, 2022 12:50 PM

Great project! Fun, and cost effective. 2007 was my scratchbuilding year, but I've become lazy somewhere along the way.....

Great job, as Always!

Paul

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    February 2013
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Posted by PVT Kanaka on Monday, October 3, 2022 9:46 PM

Thanks, Paul!

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  • From: S.Easton , Mass.
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Posted by smcgill on Tuesday, October 4, 2022 7:28 AM

Kid -zilla might even surpass your skills ..he seams to enjoy build the cars.. Great job with the crews education .. The pike is looking great ! Yes

Mischief

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    February 2013
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Posted by PVT Kanaka on Wednesday, October 5, 2022 3:11 AM

Thanks so much!  I think he may have the "bug."  His older brother is currently fascinated by model rockets, which is something!

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