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Messages - NGPhil

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HOn3 General Discussion Forum / Re: Drgw #50
« on: September 10, 2012, 03:23:38 PM »
The BCH MiniTrains Plymouth is easy to re-gauge to HOn3 from HOn30.  I mentioned the process in this thread (bottom of the post):  Really easy.  Not sure about the wheelbase.

Swap Meet / 2-8-2T Moosejaws kitbash for sale
« on: September 08, 2012, 09:05:50 AM »
I've decided to focus my modeling on the EBT and as such, the 2-8-2T Moosejaws kitbash project locomotive needs to go.  It's been sitting on a shelf since I built it and I thought I'd see if anyone here want's it.  If you haven't seen the thread, it's this one:

Make me an offer.  Please email the offer to: phildlight at gmail dot com

Announcements / Re: Wolfgang Dudler
« on: September 06, 2012, 07:13:55 AM »
This is sad news.  I really enjoyed Wolfgang's work and posts here and on the other forums as well.  He will be missed by many.

I love it.  Excellent attention to detail!

Challenges / Re: Group Challenge: Pennslyvania Logging Caboose
« on: January 19, 2012, 06:34:26 AM »
Very cool!  I love that first shot! I grew up in that neighborhood (still live in PA too), so I'll be watching this with interest.  It's interesting looking at the PA logging RR history because it almost always involves a climax or heisler.  Too bad those buggers go for such big money when they show up on fleabay. 

that is AWESOME!  Nice job!  I love the detail.

Challenges / Re: A Group Challenge??
« on: January 10, 2012, 07:05:34 AM »
I've got an EBT caboose kit I want to build but I just don't have time at the moment.  I've had to pause almost all my modeling projects for a little while.

HOn3 General Discussion Forum / Re: Good Brass Dealers?
« on: January 06, 2012, 06:36:43 AM »
I second Southwest Narrow Gauge!  He has top notch stuff.

HOn3 General Discussion Forum / Re: C&S 2-6-0 re-motor
« on: January 05, 2012, 11:55:19 AM »
I'll buy the maxon off you if you still have it.

HOn3 General Discussion Forum / Re: Powering a Jordan Rail Bus
« on: January 04, 2012, 11:09:32 AM »
I've currently got 3 NWSL power kits for the shays with a few projects in mind down the road.  I have one of the kits partially built.  Here's my observations of the Power kit.

1.) The bottom of the power trucks is very fragile and difficult to get to seat properly and stay in place.
2.) The sideframes need a lot of tweaking to get the drive shaft to fit correctly.
3.) The king pins that the power trucks connect to the chassis with are weak.
4.) The power truck/cardan shaft solution is problematic and limits minimum radius.
5.) If you try to add "animation" to the lineshaft by having the lineshaft engage the gear faced wheels front and back, you have 4 points of gearing/motion to synchronize.  Problematic.

If I'm not mistaken, the David Hoffman mechanism for the KLW shay is driven by the lineshaft (can anyone confirm this?) and is by far the best option if you want an almost RTR 2 cyl shay.  That said, my goal is to sacrifice one of the power kits (I'm primarily interested in the geared wheels) and try to power it via the lineshaft.  I want to build the Mich Cal Shay #2 and vertically mount the motor (Mich Cal is a "T" boiler for anyone not familiar) to drive the lineshaft.  IMHO, the primary issue w/ the NWSL cardan shaft/power truck method is getting the pieces all synchronized since you've essentially got a power "loop" (gearbox via cardan shaft to worms driving geared wheels then transfered via the lineshaft to the motor and/or to the other truck) to deal with.  A lot of vintage brass HOn3 shays were powered via the lineshaft including the PFM/United Mich Cal Hon3 shay.  I don't know how long this link will be up since it's for an ebay auction, but this is the idea:

Don't get me wrong, that drive system is a SOB to build (especially from scratch) but, again, IMHO, is far superior to a circle of motion.  I'm close to pulling the trigger on a CNC mill so I can build components like this.  I'm too consumed with other projects to get into the shay projects right now.

FYI, a KLW/NWSL power kit shay lot just sold on ebay for $149 + sh

Again, the David Hoffman option is $250 for a semi kit (mech assembled and tested) with warranty, and you get to build the super structure (fun part).  If you want a little class A, that's the way to go.

Looks good.  Looks like a hell of a lot of fun to me.  I like the roundhouse only because you might wish you had more loco storage in the future.  It would be cool if  you could make the 2 foot line operational.  It's funny, I looked at the layout plan first and then read your comments.  I thought the same thing re: "A large switching layout".  To be honest, I'm not a switching layout kinda guy, but I can see where if you were, this would be the kind of layout to build.

What kind of elevation change is on the layout?

HOn3 General Discussion Forum / Re: Powering a Jordan Rail Bus
« on: January 01, 2012, 12:09:45 PM »
Hi Barry,  Thanks!  I think there is still room in the rear cargo area.  That section isn't very visible when the model is complete, so there's a pretty large void back there.  It would probably be best on the roof in the rear.  To be honest, I'm still not into DCC.  I plan on doing it some day but I don't really have a layout to use DCC on.  The mini mining layout is my only layout currently and it's far too small to warrant using DCC.  I'm just modeling ("L" or "LL" depending on which side of the pond you're on I guess) this with the provision for DCC if I ever decide to do it.

HOn3 General Discussion Forum / Re: Mini mining layout
« on: January 01, 2012, 11:55:26 AM »
While I had the camera out, I figured I'd update this thread.  Here's a little bit of what I've been working on.  I got the hardshell mostly complete.  I built a pertty cool little section house that I can't recall the kit maker's name of right now.  I started a little freight station for the upper level.  I bought a barge, and a tugboat (not pictured) and I'm really looking forward to building the tug.  It's the Taurus by Model shipways.  I'll do a build thread on it when I get going on it.

Enough talky talky.  On to the pics.

Here's a shot on the upper side of the layout looking up at the section house:

A close up of the section house.  I still need to finish some detail on it like downspouts and stairs.  I should have taken pics but the entire is complete with 6 grain of wheat bulbs to light it up.  I spent way too much time building this.  I made kitchen furniture, living room furniture, bedroom furniture, put flooring in the rooms with a black and white checkrboard in the kitchen, kitchen cabinets, refridgerator.... You get the idea.  I'll try to get some pics with the lights on to see if I can show the interior.

Another shot of the house:


A shot down by the docks.  I stilll need to get the roof on the engine house.  You can see the barge I got in it's approximate position.

Here's the current status of the little station.  I'm not convinced I like the paint scheme I went with.  I might redo it.

Here's an overall of the upper side.  I'm planning at least 3 more houses on the hill at the top, a light house up on the very top near the cliff face and a large vertical mine on the very edge to feed the tracks.

Obviously still a TON of stuff to do on this.  I've been slowly picking away at it.  I guess it's one of those long term projects despite my kid's demands that it be completed sooner.

HOn3 General Discussion Forum / Re: Powering a Jordan Rail Bus
« on: January 01, 2012, 10:56:37 AM »
Thanks Jackpine!  I figure I'm not the only one who's thought about doing one of these but didn't because of a lack of information on it, so I'm hoping this might provoke someone else to build one.  It's neat because it's quite a departure from typical locomotive construction.  I've been scratch building a locomotive for a while now (several months) and needed a break.

I got the figures painted and placed, finished adding weight (the chassis weighs 96 grams right now) and covered up the motor in the cargo area.

I mounted the floor to the chassis.  I'm still deciding whether I want to assemble the sides, front, rear and roof as a removable piece in case I decide to add a decoder to it later.  If I do, I think I'll add some styrene chunks on the sides where they meet the floor and then screw up through the floor into the styrene pieces.  My only hesitation is I'll need to devise a way to connect the lights that would allow removal of the body assembly.  I'm going to radio shack later today to see if they have any small connectors I could use.  If not, I have some brass tube and rod and I might fashion my own connector.

I started on the lighting/wiring this morning.  The front light is a SMLED which is another one of the super tiny pin head sized led's that you have to solder leads to.  I must be getting good because I nailed this one on the first try.  Usually I ruin 3 before I get a good one.  I bought a super nice digital soldering station with adjustable temp and presets and I attribute that to the soldering success on the LED.

I used a simple grain of rice bulb for the cabin light so that it's constant.  The headlight only works when the unit is moving forward.  I still need to build the rear light for reverse lighting.  I painted all the wires black and trimmed up the leads to the lights so I don't have a bird nest in the rear.

I think the rear light is the next step and then see if I can devise a method to allow easy removal of the shell.  The end is in sight.  I'm super happy with the way it's turning out.

HOn3 General Discussion Forum / Powering a Jordan Rail Bus
« on: December 31, 2011, 01:14:25 PM »
This is a scratch I've wanted to itch for a long time!  A little over a year ago I won an ebay auction for what was listed as a Keystone Locomotive Works Shay with a NWSL power kit.  It turned out to be 2 KLW shay kits and 2 NWSL power kits!!!  One of the power kits was the original NWSL Flea unit which didn't seem like a great power system for a shay kit, but would work perfectly to power a Jordan Rail Bus kit.  I bought the Jordan kit and just recently started working on it.

I'm really impressed with the jordan kit.  For the price, it's a great kit with clean castings and nice illustrated instructions.  I've looked all over the internet for a discussion on powering one of these kits but I haven't seen one.  Hopefully this thread helps someone out there who is thinking about powering one of these kits.  The new NWSL Flea units are probably easier to deal with than the vintage model I used but the general process should be the same.

The first step in the build was to modify the Flea unit for HOn3 since it was built for a standard HO scale shay kit.  I didn't take any photos of the Flea unit before I dismantled it but it had the shay wheels on the axles.  I pulled the shay wheels and unsoldered the Flea chassis then chucked the axle in my lathe to turn down the ends of the axle to receive new NWSL 38" spoked wheels. 

The flea axle had the gear already centered and rather than screw around with a new axle I figured modifying the existing axle would be easiest.  I measured it and turned down the diameter of the outer edges of the axle and trimmed off the excess.  It fit perfectly after the mods.

Next I reassembled the Flea unit and tested it.  It worked beautifully, so I moved on to modifying the railbus frame to accept the flea unit.  This was really straight forward.  I simply marked where the motor would sit on the frame and cut out the flat horizontal section between the frame rails.  I made a styrene wrapper for the motor which got acc'd to the frame.  As I mentioned, I bought NWSL 38" HO spoked wheels which are almost a perfect fit for the frame.  I did have to shave a little off the frame bottoms so the wheels cleared the frame.

The Jordan kit comes with plastic wheels for the front truck, which obviously wouldn't work for a powered unit.  I decided to use a Blackstone freight truck in the front because of how well they roll and they would work for added electrical pickup.  So that the chassis rides at the right height, I used two of the plastic wheels from the Jordan kit to create a bolster for the truck to ride on.  This worked out perfectly.  I glued them back to back and then glued them to the underside of the chassis.  Once dry, I screwed the truck to the chassis leaving it slightly loose so that the truck rotates freely around the center.

To aid in electrical pickup I used 2 small pieces of pc board ties and filed the copper off of one side of each.  I then acc'd the pc board pieces to the truck cross brace.

I then bent 2 fine pieces of phosphorus bronze wire as wipers and soldered them to the copper on the pc board pieces.

On the rear, I did the same thing with 2 longer pieces of PC board ties and acc'd them to the bottom of the motor and sides of the frames.  Once I got all the wire run and connected I tested the unit and was very happy to see that the pickup was awesome!  Basically all 6 wheels provide pickup which makes a nice reliable unit.  It helps that the Flea unit runs very nicely.

Next I added weight to the under side of the frame.  I used 1/16" pure tungsten welding rods which are much heavier than lead of the same size.  I did use a lead chunk in the center.

Next I modified the floor plate to fit over the motor assembly.

With the clearance worked out on the floor plate, I assembled the seats and painted most of the interior.  I added the detail for the driver and added a lot of tungsten in the rear at the motor to aid in traction.  To cover the weight and motor on the interior, I covered all the items with crates and lumber to simulate a freight load in the rear of the bus.  Finally I test fit the figures that I'll use on the interior.

This is where I'm at as of today.  I need to paint the figures next and get them attached.  I plan to light the interior and add a working headlight and taillight.  It shouldn't be too much longer until it's wrapped up.  I'm having a good time building it and can't wait til it's done.  I hope this helps someone out there.  This is really an easy build and results in a nice quick good running model.

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