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Topics - NGPhil

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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

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.

Announcements / Image size restriction
« on: October 16, 2011, 06:17:18 AM »
Is there any chance you could bump up the resolution on the automatic image resizing?  640x is pretty small.  I usually save my stuff down for the web to 750x which is just enough bigger to be easier to view but still small enough that it fits on a person's screen who has their resolution set to the lowest (800x600) resolution.

Just a suggestion...

I'm waiting for my ho - hon3 conversion kit from NWSL, but I thought I'd fire up a thread here about it first.  This is a back burner project so I can't say this thread will get updated for a while but I wanted to get one thing out there.  I've read several places that the Bachmann shay isn't a good candidate for conversion due to it's size.  I'm showing several photos here to hopefully help some people understand the size of these models.  Now, I understand that the MDC shays were a bit over sized also but at least as a point of reference I think this comparison helps.  My observations are that the Bachmann shay is actually smaller than the MDC hon3 shays in some ways and bigger in others.  The cab height is actually lower on the Bmann shay than the MDC ones.  The cylinders on the Bmann is a lot bigger than the MDC shays.  I wish I had some other brass shays to compare this too but they're still a bit out of my price range.  Maybe one of these days. 

The Bachmann shay is a nice model.  I bought mine missing some parts and have some work to do on it to get it all back together but that's why I thought it would be a good buy.  I got it for a big discount and figured since it had to be disassembled to put the lineshaft back together it would only make sense to regauge it while it's apart.  Enough words.  Here are some shots.  Excuse the grass on the 2 truck  ;)

HOn3 General Discussion Forum / Mini mining layout
« on: July 08, 2011, 11:00:20 AM »
I thought I would start a new thread for this in response to Batey's inquiry and because I had been planning on doing it anyway.  I've had a lot going on modeling wise lately but just haven't taken many photos or posted anything about what I'm doing.  Right now I'm building a 36" x 45" mini mining layout.  I've got the frame built, sub terrain built and am about 50% complete with track laying.  I am posting a diagram of the layout though it's changed in a few ways.  It features a dock scene on the front side with a barge docked for unloading ore.  A mine at the opposite end for loading ore in the cars and a good bit of grade change/tunnels etc. throughout.  I built a Grandt line 25 ton diesel for it and bought a BCH MinitrainS Plymouth and re gauged it to hon3 for motive power.  I just finished a 3d model for the ore cars that will be put to work on the line and ordered my first set of 5 of them to finish.  See below:

The operations planned will include some operating elements.  The barge will have an opening in the center where the cars dump that will dump into a hopper located under the layout.  The hopper will transfer ore material up to the mine via a pulley driven belt system to eventually deliver ore back to the cars on the other side of the layout with the push of a button.  I'm in the design stage for this system but have got most of the parts and had a successful pulley/belt system proof of concept test.  I also bought one of 2 sound systems to be installed under the layout from ITTP ( which is the seaside sound system.  I recently bought a tugboat kit to go at the dock and I want to try to scratch build a fishing boat and the barge.  I'm currently building the engine shed which is a lot of fun.  I'll get some pics up soon.  I'm planning a lot of lighting throughout the layout and fun stuff because this is ultimately going in my kid's play room for us to play with.  I want to make it interesting for them to keep them interested.

Here's a trackplan to give an idea of what I'm doing.

I thought I'd start a thread on this project since I've finally started working on it.  I got this kit for free from a fellow I bought some other stuff from.  It's an old MDC Hon3 static steam kit from their 3-in-1 series of old timer kits #1550 "Moose Jaws".  While it's intended to be a static kit and you can build a 2-4-4-2 or 0-4-4-0 etc. out of it, it is essentially the outside frame from their 2-8-0 kit with an extra set of cylinders/rods and a boiler/tank/cab from their HO scale 0-6-0 switcher.  I talked with Dave at NWSL about some parts to power this thing and settled on an NWSL 1630 can motor w/ flywheel, a 28:1 gearbox for 2.4mm axles which is what the kit has and some misc universal couplings to match it all up.  Interestingly, the motor pretty much lines up w/ the gear tower with a .010" styrene shim which I wanted to isolate the motor from the frame anyway.

I don't care for the boiler/tank/cab the way it is, so I'm scratch building a new tank and boiler for it.  I'll use the cab and smokebox front and some other pieces from the kit though.  I'm using this loco for reference:


Hamond lumber's #16 was a standard gauge 2-8-2T from American Locomotive Company.  I'm just using it for inspiration and not trying to build a copy of it.  Obviously :)  While there are some obvious differences between #16 and what I've got to work with, it's the look of #16 I'm going for.

So here are some shots of the current status of the project:

The gear tower mounted on the frame.  Getting this tower to fit took a LOT of grinding/milling of the frame.  Due to it's location and size I also had to sacrifice the mounting location for the guide rod bracket.

Motor mounted to frame via styrene carrier.  Don't ask how this is all attached  ;)  eh hem... CA

Test fit of driving rods and siderods etc.  It's all running fairly smoothly.  I've got a small "catcher" somewhere that I have to locate and file away but it will run really nicely when done.  The NWSL can motor is silent and the gear tower reduces the low speed to where you can barely see it moving!  

The pilot is going to get cut off and replaced by a switcher style pilot from a bowser (I think) 0-6-0  It's either a bowser or an ho MDC 0-6-0.  Regardless, the pilot on the ho model will look better than the modern style K series(ish) pilot that is on the frame now.

I'll post some pics of the boiler/tank build once I have something to show.  I've looked for reference or even images of anyone who's built the "Moose Jaws" kit before and found very little.  Hopefully this will help anyone looking for info on it.  I have only seen 2 of these for sale on ebay in the last year and they've gone for around $50 I think.  They're a great buy though since you get a set of drivers and driving gear etc. for bashing projects.  There are some serious issues with it out of the box though.  Don't expect to just drop some parts in and watch it run round.  The frame supports interfered with the driver flanges right out of the box and took a LOT of filing to get clearances for everything.  It's a hell of a lot of fun though!

HOn3 General Discussion Forum / 4mm OOn3/ TT scale drivers
« on: April 08, 2011, 02:00:10 PM »
Has anyone here ever used British 4mm/OOn3 scale drivers for hon3?  I've been looking for a source for drivers for a long time and keep running across several manufacturers in the UK who have a large selection of 4mm drivers which seem like they could work or be a base for re-working to work in hon3.

HOn3 General Discussion Forum / future Blackstone products
« on: March 30, 2011, 08:26:24 AM »
I'm frustrated with the way the Yahoo group is working for me.  My posts there are still moderated and there is typically a day lag between when I post and when it shows up.  I'm carrying this over from the Yahoo group because I'd like to see a discussion take place where posts actually show up.

This in no way is a negative reflection on what Blackstone has done or may do.  I don't intend to start a flame war here, but I wanted to see if anyone else shares my views on what might be a good candidate for BS to produce in the future.

In my humble opinion, I think the western NG lines are well represented by BS and others in the hobby.  I think it's time we see some eastern prototypes produced.  I don't necessarily mean the EBT but that would be nice.  Personally, I'd like to see a Blackstone shay.  Right now, the only options for hon3 shays are NOS MDC shay kits or brass or David Hoffman's partial shay kits.  All of which are very limited in availability.  The MDC stuff is reasonably priced still but they take a bit of work and fuss to add detail and make them good runners.  Brass is fairly inaccessible by many due to cost but has the detail.  Not sure on the running ability.  PSC has some shays listed but god knows if they'll ever get produced.  David Hoffman has a decent product from what I hear, but his supply is limited to however many wheelsets he bought from NWSL.

That leaves a decent gap for a reasonably priced ($350-$450) RTR shay with good detail and running abilities.  I don't know of a specific prototype that would make sense, but a shay would work on a lot of layouts.  Eastern modelers would likely gobble them up and probably some "less strict" western modelers would buy some for their lines.

Beyond shays, what about a heisler or climax?  The only options there are brass and I haven't seen either for quite a while.  I have no idea on the market of these things though and I could be way off base.  I'm just a bit tired of all the western prototype stuff.  The last thing I want to see BS produce is another K series engine.  I know a lot of the NG modelers do model the western lines and they are very cool, it's just that there are a lot of options for western modeling and very few for eastern/freelance.

Again, BS is doing a fantastic job and I'm not saying they need to hurry up and produce something, just saying that it would be nice to see them break away from the western lines as far as locomotives go.

HOn3 General Discussion Forum / Scratch built 0-4-0 porter
« on: March 21, 2011, 08:24:01 PM »
I posted this over at Railroad-line but I thought I'd post here too since this forum is more appropriate.  I've been building this little porter for the last few weeks here and there.  I bought the drive shaft, gears, pulleys and Chris333 sent me the Faulhaber 0816 motor.  The headlight is off of an extra keystone shay kit.  The sand dome, stack and smoke front pieces are rapid prototype.  The wheels are rolling stock spoked wheels I got from steam era models in Australia. The rest is scratch from etched brass, styrene and brass shapes.

I still have to add the leaf springs, reversing lever, steam lines, sanding lines, bell wire, whistle, coupler pockets (link/pin) and weathering.

I learned the hard way that the frame design for the first version was a bad idea.  I had everything squared, plumed, level, balanced, aligned etc. and near the very end of construction I got the end frame brace a little hot and the frame shifted slightly.  It still runs but has a wobble at low speed.  I was too far into it to start over.  This build also uncovered some long term servicing issues since the drive shaft is essentially sealed in the frame.  If the pulley ever broke it would render the piece useless.  I've almost decided to just finish detailing it but weather it to look like it's on it's last legs.  I've got a spare motor I can throw in it so I can at least move it around the layout under it's own power but it's performance isn't up to my standards.  It's either that or scrap the frame and salvage the parts and use them on the next build.

I plan to build a few more of these.  I really enjoy building locomotives.  I've been so busy building locos and some rolling stock that I haven't even touched the benchwork for the layout.  Eventually the need to have a place to run these things is going to overwhelm me and I'll have to get some trackage laid.

I started designing the version 2 frame.  The new design will allow for drive line removal/servicing, take any error out of alignment, include a new gear reduction design and a new crosshead design.  The biggest change will be that the frame will be one piece.  I think I have it worked out so that I can get the pulley clearance and the worm gears clear of the top of the frame.  I'll just have to etch it and see how it goes.  I'll do a build thread with more step by step on the next one.

I may deviate and build a keystone shay with the NWSL power kit too, so porter #2 may have a little delay.  I bought a NWSL power kit for an HO <- not narrow and almost have all the parts reconfigured for n3.  I bought a new swiss motor for it last week which is just an amazing thing to hear (or not hear) run.  I had to study the motor shaft to make sure it was actually spinning.  I've also got a railbus to build.

So here are the progress pics of the porter.

This was the early version of the frame/motor assembly.  In the "final" version, I did away with the styrene spacers and screwed in assembly.  The initial thought was that it could be disassembled and reassembled with the screws.  There would be no way.  Given it's size, disassembly with this configuration would result in a mess.  This one also only had one axle geared which was a mistake.  With 2 wheelsets, at this scale, the siderods and assembly aren't accurate enough to drive the other axle.  The working model/final has both axles geared in sync.  This was a little 6v motor which didn't have enough torque to nicely handle the drive line.  It got replaced with the swiss made Faulhaber 816.

Below you see the RP parts and etched cab pieces.

Overview of the parts

RP cylinders.  I ended up not using them.  I had concerns about their structural integrity given their function in the drive line.  I also worried about being able to successfully attach them to their frame.

Fast forward a bit to the "final".  The boiler, tank and cab aren't attached to the frame yet.  Rough paint job to get a better feel for it's final look.  The boiler, tank and vertical boiler part (don't know what that's called!) are FULL of 1/16" tungsten rod for weight.  Pickup is provided by the brake shoe assembly and is insulated from the frame by .010 black styrene frame sides.  This works really nicely.  There are kadee springs behind the brake shoes that contact the drivers at all times.  It does ok on it's own but would benefit from a tender with added pickup.  I have one I'm working on and will try to get some pics up here.

another view

Birds eye with a turnout I built with a MASSIVE gap in the rails.  I didn't have a jewelers saw (do now) so I used a cutoff wheel.  Bad idea.  I'll fill the gaps with styrene.

Overall, I'm happy with it as a proof of concept.  I learned a lot and discovered a lot of better ways to build these.  I think I've got the design fairly repeatable.  I have a layout with 10 cabs, side rods, builder plates, number plates, crossheads, headlight brackets and cylinder brackets, so in one etch I've got enough parts to build 10 of these guys.  Once I get the frame engineered I'll probably do a running test frame and then start building the others.  The only real time consuming parts were the crossheads and cylinders.  The crosshead itself is about 1/16 x 3/32!  That has to get a brass rod soldered to it and a piece of .010 stainless steel which is about 1/16 wide soldered with a hole drilled and then bent to wrap the guide rod.  Very fiddly business.  I must have built the crossheads 10 times.  Like I said though, I think I've got a design that will make them go quicker.

Wow, what a wordy post.  I hope I didn't bore anyone to death!

Welcome aboard! / Phil in PA
« on: March 21, 2011, 01:08:53 PM »
Hi all, My name is Philip,  I just discovered this forum because ChrisS mentioned it in a thread I have over at railroad line forums.  I'm mainly modeling locomotives and rolling stock based on a fictional line called the "Bedford Lumber & Freight Company".  It's a logging line based in South Central PA/North Central MD/WV etc.

I really like scratch building and prefer it.  I don't own any RTR equipment and don't have any plans to buy any (although the Blackstone c19 is tempting).

I'm glad to see a forum setup for hon3.  Yahoo groups isn't really an appropriate platform for discussion and other forums seem to revolve around other scales or specific prototypes.

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